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Advice: Palm or Pocket PC?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2001 5:24 pm    Post subject: Advice: Palm or Pocket PC? Reply with quote

I'm in the process of choosing either a Palm or Pocket PC based product. Based on my research, I'm presently leaning toward the iPaq, though I've never used either.

I want something powerful, but not overkill. I want to be able to sync with my desktop. I understand the Windows-based environment, so I lean toward the Pocket PC.

How well does Palm do in this regard -- that is, syncing with the desktop? Also, how good is the Palm with notetaking?

Which would you recommend?

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Russ Smith

Joined: 23 Jan 2001
Posts: 255
Location: Indianapolis

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Palm is fine for PDA applications (Calendar, Tasks, Contacts) but the small screen is quite limiting for more than a small note and completely unusable for viewing a spreadsheet or other detailed information.
If you're more comfortable with typing, both the Palm and the IPaq have external keyboards which make it much easier. The best is the StowAway foldable keyboard as it folds into a unit not much larger than the handheld. Most Palm users without keyboards buy an alternate program, like Graffitti, to do pen input. Most PocketPC users are happy enough with the built in on-screen keyboard or character recognition.
Both Palm and PocketPC have fairly intuitive syncing operations. The PocketPCs is more robust, particularly if you're translating to Microsoft Word. Many Palm users buy add-ons to do document viewing and translation.
The monochrome Palms last longer on a battery charge than the color PocketPCs (the color Palms, about the same) but the screen isn't as readable in as many different lighting conditions. The IPaq is one of the few, because of its reflective screen which is easily readable outdoors and in very bright light.
The IPaq, like most of the Palms, doesn't have any expansion slot built in. It does, however, have expansion sleves which allow it the widest variety of expansion possibilities of any PocketPC.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going by everything I have read, I would recommend the following.

If you are looking for a barebones Task/Calendar/Contacts system, with a few extras, the Palm is definitely your item. It is the fastest when it comes to inserting data, but doesn't do a whole lot else. I don't know specifically how well sync works on it.

If you are looking for a Task/Calendar/Contacts/MP3s/Movies/Games/Recorder/etc/etc/etc which could be used as a Cellphone/TV Remote/Digital Camera/etc then you want the iPaq.

In my experience.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally posted by Russ Smith:
Most Palm users without keyboards buy an alternate program, like Graffitti, to do pen input. Most PocketPC users are happy enough with the built in on-screen keyboard or character recognition.

Palm comes with Graffitti and onscreen keyboard. PocketPC comes with a graffitti type program as well (although better in my limited experience).

Many Palm users buy add-ons to do document viewing and translation.

Oftentimes this software is freeware.

And to elaborate on what I said in my last post, the high end Palms can do a whole lot. But in my opinion, if you are buying a PDA to do more than calendar/contacts/tasks, then the iPaq does more, better.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses -- they are helpful!

At this point, I am very much leaning toward the iPaq (PocketPC). I am familiar with the Windows environment, and I use Word and Excel a great deal.

I think I will use it not only for PDA tasks (calendar, tasks, contacts), but also for extensive note-taking and as a tool for research.

Although, down the road, I may use it for other things -- MP3 player, wireless, etc. etc. -- at this point, I don't see these tasks as major selling points.

In the end, though, I continue to lean toward the iPaq for a number of reasons.

Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2001 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually i have both (a visor deluxe and an ipaq). the ipaq is the better hardware but software choices are not as varied as palm. there are far more free palm software. Even microsoft is charging you for pocketpc versions of free games like minesweeper and freecell now. even with the higher resolution, viewing excel files is a chore and shouldn't never be tried as worksheets can be very wide in my working experience. in a few months, the hardware situation will be much tighter, the new sony clie will have multimedia and a higher color resolution than current pocketpcs. By the way, read more on the dust problem on ipaqs before you buy. mine has dust inside the screen and i only got it today.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2001 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for the IPAQ, they are superb. I used to own a Palm but it pales next to the IPAQ.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2001 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this being a PPC board, you obviously are going to get plenty of people telling you the iPaq is the way to go. I have used Palms for years, and recently tried the HP Jornada for about a month before going back. I found the Palm so much easier, faster, more elegant in its design and useability. There were too many programs that I just couldn't find good alternatives to on the PPCs (although one of my favorites, HanDBase, is now available thanks to my griping to MS about there being no low-cost database for the PPC!)

I also got frustrated with problems with battery life, battery died on my Jornada too many times when I could not recharge. I definitely would go for the iPaq if you decide on a PPC due to it having longer battery life as well as being viewable outside but this does come at the cost of not being as bright indoors. Try to check one out in a store before buying it.

I personally have never understood why everyone makes such a big deal about MP3s on the PPCs. They burn through the battery life so fast as to be very impractical for any kind of regular use. Particularly since to have any number to play at all, you have to use a Compact Flash card (which drains batteries as well). A dedicated MP3 player will give you more songs for much longer play time.

I personally am looking forward to the new Handera 330 device. This is one of the best Palms I've seen, it catches up to the PPCs in the hardware area in quite a few ways. Higher screen resolution, you can rotate apps like spreadsheets and ebooks so they are easier to read, super backlight, jog button, voice recording, etc. Plus Compact Flash and SD slots. No, it's not in color, but I personally can live without color if it means a device that does what I need, quickly and reliably and doesn't need to be recharged every day.

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Rasta Man

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for the IPAQ, they are superb

Umm, read about the ipaqs there are a lot of problems with them. I would wait a while. New Toshibas, and Casios are coming out soon. I heard they may even have 3D Chips in them. Anyway, I would wait and not buy an ipaq until they are re-designed.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gone from a Zaurus years ago, to Palm to Visor. I've had a Prism since January. I also recently acquired an iPaq 3650. The iPaq is a beautiful, fun toy that does many things, but work and cost wise it pales in comparison to the Visor Prism. The color screen on the Visor is not quite up to the iPaq, but for any reasonable purpose (including viewing jpg photos) it is absolutely fine. There are far more programs out for the Palm OS which will help you to perform any business or personal task. Most, if not free are dirt cheap and you can download and try them for a month or longer to see if you like them before buying. Not so with the iPaq. All the programs are far more costly than any I've bought (and I buy quite a few) for the Visor, and you can't try most before buying. The Visor lets you expand memory with either CF or Smart Media depending on your preference or what other toys you own which use that card (i.e. camera, mp3 player). Every module and accessory for the Visor Prism is far less expensive than the iPaq. And if you want to play mp3s, you can choose between two different modules to do it. Lots of modem, wireless and phone choices. By the way, it's smaller and lighter too.

The iPaq is a marvel, but on the road, I carry my Prism, Targus keyboard, modem etc in one small pouch. There are both free and inexpensive programs to sync to Outlook 2000 and MS Word. I do both every day. Now there's Adobe for the palm to carry and view pdfs. The Palm OS games are great in color and at a cost of are free or $5 - 10 you can eat 'em like candy. I can even IM with my kids on AOL.

Again, the iPaq is a beauty, but the Visor is a versatile, workhorse, a Swiss Army Palmtop.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently a palm user who is going to be the owner of an iPaq very shortly. While I love the Palm platform entirely and i do not think that it is limiting at all, I just feel that I need a change keep me on my toes. From my experience with working on the demo units of the PocketPC's they seem to be only a little bit more difficult to use than a palm (this could be due to the fact that I am so used to the palm method of operation. Like other have posted here, just try both at the store and go with the one that meets your features/style/price.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been a Palm user for few years. I currently still have Palm Vx but I recently bought iPaq for comparison and I am definately gonna keep it. There are two things in my opinion where Palm Vx wins: size and battery life. I can go few weeks without recharging my Palm Vx but I can't go few days without recharging iPaq. Also, Palm Vx is so much smaller, you don't feel it in your shirt pocket. But iPaq wins everywhere else. It integrates with Outlook beatifully, it has Pocket Word and Excel (for Palm you'd have to buy Documents To Go and Attachments To Go for the same functionality; though new Palms come preloaded with these). It also has Pocket Money which integrates with Ms Money which I use a lot (again, for Palm you'd have to buy a separate program). I love bright, color screen and multimedia functionality of iPaq. Also, people say that there are not as many programs for PocketPC as for Palm - it could be true, but it is changing very rapidly. I found all the programs I had for Palm are also available for PocketPC. Another thing that is very important to me is reading eBooks. On my Palm Vx I could not read for too long and it was very hard to read in the dark because you'd have to use their "inverted" lighting. I found it very annoing and didn't read much. With iPaq, I trully enjoy reading books every single day and display is nice and crisp and text looks very good in Ms Reader which also comes preloaded. Last thing, if you download Ms Transcriber for PocketPC (it's free) you will be surprised how well it recognises your handwriting; I mean if it is recognising 90% of my chicken scratch, it is REALLY good Smile This program is great for taking notes.

So I guess at this point I am definately recommending IPaq.... Palm has some catching up to do... even though Palm is a great PDA.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2001 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Battery life on the iPAQ is bad, and what upsets me the most is loosing the data once you drain all the power. iPAQ should not let the user use the PDA up to this point.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

go with the palm ...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Ok I am going to say somthing bad about ipaq and hp - They have one huge flaw that casio does not have - A replacable battery. It amazes me that a device that uses battery power like these do don't offer addtional batteries. With my casio, I can run it for 20 hours with 2 batteries. Ipaq is nice but that one flaw is major. When you are in the middle of somthing what do you do - stop and recharge? I guess. With casio you just replace the battery, with another one.
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