Finish with your fat filofax and transfer all your essential information to this pocket-sized, nice-price PDA.
3Com's latest Palm offering comes in the form of a cut-down III, called the IIIe. Essentially it's the same machine with half the amount of RAM - 2Mb, to be precise - and a chic iMac-esque translucent case.
For those unfamiliar with Palms, these handy PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) are one of the most popular PDA replacements for your fat filofax. In contrast to the Psions, the Palm has no physical keyboard, so it's small enough to carry in your pocket. The IIIe also has significant weight and size benefits over most Windows CE devices, which are usually much bigger.
There are three possible ways of entering data into the IIIe. The main one is using graffiti, the Palm's own handwriting 'language' which is quick to learn and enables you to write as fast as you would on paper. Second, you can use the on-screen keyboard, but as this obscures most of the display, it's not ideal. The third is to use the Palm desktop on your PC to enter information, then HotSync your Palm to synchronise the information via a cradle connected to a serial port.
Standard software includes a date book, calculator, to-do list, address book, memo pad, email and a small accounting package which enables you to increase your productivity wherever you are.
One of the other great benefits of joining the vast Palm user base is the incredible choice of add-on software available on the Internet. Virtually every type of application you can think of is available as commercial software, shareware and freeware. Synchronisation with MS Outlook is standard, but Lotus Notes requires an extra application.
We liked the uncluttered layout of all the IIIe's applications, making them easily navigable and easy to use. You're never longing for a colour screen as the four-shade monochrome screen is crisp, clear and easy to see, and you get at least a month's battery life from two AAA batteries. Lastly, the built-in infra-red port lets you beam applications, appointments, addresses and anything else on your Palm to other Palm owners with an infra-red port.
Overall, this has to be one of the best PDA deals of the year.
Great value for studients and those who don't need the large memory of the IIIx.
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