T Nation

PDA - The Best


I'm looking for a good, reliable, large-storage-capacity PDA for use at college. Primary usage would be storage of class documents (powerpoint presentations, schedules, syllabi, etc). Secondary usage would be MP3 capability. I'm looking at the PalmOne Tungsten|e.
BlueTooth would be a plus.

Any suggestions appreciated. I know <0 about technology.


buy a notebook pc you cheap bastard =P

but seriously, I can't see the benefit to using one of those in school. I just don't see the advantage. Maybe you have your reasons, but are you sure you don't just want a shiney new toy?


I'm not cheap, I'm CHEAP.

The way most of the professors organize class material, it's best to have a laptop. Most encourage it. But, I am not that rich. So, a PDA with certain functions seems a good bet.


I currently own a Palm Tungsten E which i purchased around christmas of 2003. A lot of the funtions it has, I never use, however, it is a must in my profession, especially when you need to look up drug info quick and aren't right next to a computer with internet.
The E is a moderately priced PDA with about everything I would probably ever need. I also use mine as my food log which is nice cuz i can just carry it around and enter stuff whenever.

Mine has 32 MB of mem on the device and i also bought a 64 MB card. I doubt I'll ever need to use all of that memory. Any specific questions, you can PM me


If you could, I'd try to save up and get a laptop. Personally, I think that a PDA would be annoying and less practicle for all around use. But then again, I've never used a PDA, so I don't know a whole lot about them.

I'm in college right now, and I have a Dell Lattitude. It's a little pricey, but it works great. Check to see if your school has any deals on PDAs or laptops. Usually, they have discounts for students.


I also thought of something else that somewhat echos what others have been saying. In order to download new programs onto your PDA you need to have a computer. So unless you have access to one you are pretty much stuck with the programs they come with.


Actually the ABSOLUTE best would be a tablet pc but thats just my two cents.

Look around at Newegg.com see if you can find something with the specs you want.


I have an ipaq and love it. It's more versatile then a palm in my opinion since it's runs a Windows operating System.


I've got the Tungsten E2, and I love it. It does powerpoint, excel, word, and the bluetooth feature is cool, but I don't think I'd use it as much if I didn't have a computer to synchronize it with. It's great for updating your records when you're away from your computer, but data entry is too slow for it to replace a laptop. I certainly wouldn't be able to use it to take notes in a lecture


Look at the Dell Axims. I think they rank best for the price. You can get one with wireless and bluetooth for a very reasonable price.


Sony Clie PDA, they have a slot for a memory stick.


Does your school not have computer labs for you to use?

If you are that cheap or poor, just by a thumbdrive and use the computer lab at your school. The other option is just to bum computer time off of your friends with laptops.


Thanks all for the suggestions.

I do have a brand new desktop - not top-of-the-line, but not too shabby - AMD Sempron, 60gig harddrive, 512 SDRAM, 512MB NVidia graphics card.

I just need something like a PDA to keep a lot of information compact, as my class loads tend to have me running to opposite ends of campus. And, because of a few misplaced vertebrae, I can't wear a backpack. I tend to park as close to the middle of campus as I can get to make my trips fast.

I think I'm going to go with a Tungsten|E. Not the screen size I want, but good price after my discount.

As for software, I was looking at the Graffiti Anywhere for heavy notetaking. Anyone know a PDA program that would be more fit to comprehensive note-taking?


I recently got a Sony Ericsson P910i. It's a phone/PDA but I like it better than any windows based PDA I have had before. In the end it's all personal though... I'd suggest looking for user reviews of any models you're considering before actually purchasing one.


I started with a Palm Pilot, back a long time ago when PDAs were new and rocks were soft. I now have an Ipaq.

Get a PDA that can handle memory cards of any sort. Get more than one memory card. On board storage is great, but memory cards are more flexible. One card of MP3's, one card of text files...

The graffiti system is good, but for extensive note taking it sux. You just can't get enough accuracy on the tiny area on a PDA at the speed you need for notes. For speed, you need a folding keyboard. If you can get extra batteries or add on external batteries, do so. PDAs are not designed for running a couple of hours at a stretch like you'd need in a lecture. Not all seats are near a power outlet. PDAs that run dry on power can lose data stored on board. The data on the cards will be OK.

Or, keep your eyes open for a used laptop. The price of a used laptop is about the same as a decent PDA after accessories like memory cards and folding keyboards. Look for refurbished ones from a manufacturer over a private seller if you are not a chip-head.


I'm fidgety when it comes to money.

I've decided to line myself out with a Palm Zire72. Decent price even with accessories and service plans, thanks to an employee discount.

Major use will be in-class note taking (a folding PDA keyboard fell out of inventory this week, so boss let me take it), viewing class-related files at work, and other random uses of technology.

It can't replace my workout logs, though. I beat the unholy hell out of those little notebooks.


If you didn't actually buy yet, you might check into the LifeDrive from Palm.

It's got a 4GB drive, plays music, bigger screen that the Zire, and keeps it's memory intact even if you forget to charge it up. It's got an SD slot for memory expansion and file swapping, too.

With the 4GB drive, you could put a lot of music on it, too. No need to buy that ipod mini, if you've been eyeing one...

It's got MS Office compatible software, so you can view, edit, and write your stuff using that keyboard, too.

It's got bluetooth and wifi, so if your campus has wifi somewhere, you can check email, t-nation.com, etc.


I saw that, and it stopped me in my tracks. That has ever'thing I'd need. except a battery I can replace. And a reasonable price. I'll be home on a daily basis, allowing me to charge, unload and reload files. The Zire 72 should last me well through the end of school, and it's reasonable in price.

But that LifeDrive, it looks a lot better than a bunch of the iPaqs.