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2 PDA Tuesdays

PDA Tuesdays: March 23

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The Battle of the Handheld Marketplace:

In the late 1990′s, Palm Inc., released the Palm Pilot which started the PDA recolution. Basically the Personal Digital Assistant was born which allowed you to do more than just track phone numbers and play simple games. Hundreds of productivity applications turned into thousands of applications that ranged from being FREE to costing over $20.00 USD. Certainly, the Palm Pilot was not the first handheld device o the market but was the first to truly introduce the masses to a handheld productivity device.

Microsoft also around this time released through their hardware vendors like HP a number of devices which ran a compact version of Windows in a handheld device. These devices were more like a mini laptop. A clamshell design with a screen on one side and a chiclet keyboard on the other. These devices ran Windows CE which looked like Windows but was a far cry from being compatible to the full blown Windows desktop. Microsoft eventually released units that looked more like the Palm with more hardware and  an operating system with more potential.

It’s has been over a decade now since these humble beginnings and the PDA category seems to be quickly disappearing. It is not that the need for handheld productivity devices are nolonger popular, it’s actually the opposite but the actual user base is leaning towards minimizing what they carry. This means instead of having a cell phone and separate PDA or laptop, many users are relying on devices like the various Smartphones from Palm, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Googlephone, Symbian, iPhone. Being connected to the office, cliwnts ans family on the go is very important in this age of online explosion. Social networking sites are also making Smartphones more important.

In the coming months, a range of new devices will certainly appear in the marketplace that will make the decision when purchasing a new Smartphone that much more deficult. I will update you as the latest developments present themselves.

Windows Mobile Devices Grow Up

Windows Mobile devices like all Smartphones on the marketplace suffer from a really small screen. When you are playing simple video games or checking the odd text email, it is OK but for most productivity activities, a real screen like on a laptop is best suited. There has been the ability to enhance a Windows Mobile device with a cool accessory called the REDFLY from Celio Corp. The device consists of a larger screen and keyboard that accepts the signal from a Windows Mobile devices wirelessly and allow you a full screen view of your work and the website.

When the REDFLY was released in  early last year, the retail price was $499.00 USD. The price was certainly beyond the reach of the average since the unit is not a true laptop. There is no internal processor, no internal memory, hard drive and no CD/DVD player. At $499.00, the price is close to a low end laptop. In many cases, the price of the REDFLY is more expensive than the actual Windows Mobile device that can be connected to this unit.

Here are some of the advantages that the REDFLY has going for itself.

- 800 X 480 screen size instead of the (240 X 320 /240 X 240 / 320 X 320 / 480 X 480 / 480 X 640) smaller screen sizes

- Internal battery on the REDFLY last about 5 hours on the C7 model and 8 hours on the C8N model.

- You can connect wireleslly to the REDFLY using the built in Blueooth of the REDFLY and your Windows Mobile device.

- You can also connect via the USB port on the REDFLY which will also recharge your Windows Mobile device at the same time.

Now at the $499.00 price tag, what the REDFLY offers is still very pricey. Now that the cost has come done, the REDFLY is more reasonable for the average user.

The C7 model has a 7 inch screen size and has a retail pricing of $199.00 after a $30 rebate.

The C8N model has an 8 inch screen size with a video input port and has a retail pricing of $299.00

At these prices, the REDFLY is truly a great addition if you require a very light and functional add-that allows you to be productive on to go with your Windows Mobile Smartphone.

You can go to REDFLY for more information.

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