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Flash: palmtop upgrade.

Palmtop PC technology keeps improving! Recently I have come across word of a new offering from Hewlett-Packard: the HP 200LX, an upgraded version of the Palmtop PC. (Editor's note: See article in the January/February 1995 issue). It contains all the features of the HP 100LX with additional functions that significantly increase its overall value to property managers in the field.

What's more, even with the introduction of sophisticated built-in software, the 200LX still weighs in at less than one pound.

First let's talk about power. The 200LX comes equipped with three megabytes of ROM and two versions of RAM (one and two megabytes). Built-in printer drivers support a variety of serial printers (HP LaserJet, Epson FX-80, and IBM Pro-Printer). Optional equipment allows you to transfer files between the 200 LX and your DOS-compatible PC at the office.

What else does the built-in software have to offer? The 200LX starts with all the 100LX's existing features, such as Lotus 1-2-3, and its complete personal planner capacity (telephone and appointment books, memo editor, and notetaker) and expands what can be done for the property manager with some new functions:

* Data communications. You can transfer messages or files via modem and with "file capture capability," you can save data from various information services.

* Database templates. This function gives you the ability to create or modify templates for your specific needs.

* On-line contact. Advanced communications software connects the Palmtop user to on-line services at the office or elsewhere.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the 200LX is "Pocket Quicken," a valuable and easy-to-use financial software tool for nearly all aspects of real estate property management. Speaking for myself, I find its assistance most valuable in managing personal finances while at home or out in the field.

Consider, for example, the tangle of your business expense accounts. Wouldn't it be nice to have one computerized method of entering and editing transactions in checking, savings, credit card, and cash accounts? Quicken does it all, greatly simplifying your financial recordkeeping. You can use the software for reviewing account balances and registers, for tax planning and reporting, and for creating and printing financial reports. If I transact business while in the field, I can later download the information to my desktop PC, so I am always up to date and have an accurate record of expenditures.

Into the ACT!

The Palmtop also allows me to use the ACT! program by simply sliding a flash disk memory card into the side slot of the machine. (Note that ACT! will also run on the HP 100LX).

Among the specialized features I find particularly useful are:

Contact database. This database enables you to access information on the client's business and financial background, details of your contact history, and any progress notes you have entered into the Palmtop. That way you can walk into a meeting fully prepared; you can even ask about the outcome of Billy's Little League championship game.

Integrated activity scheduler. Forget the clumsy personal calendar. Here is a way to remember appointments, follow-up contacts, and stay on top of weekly schedules. There is no limit to the detailed notes you can keep just for yourself - "to do" lists, personal reminders, and more. Just as with the HP 100LX, you now have the capacity to focus your main attention on management.

Data sharing. Being mobile does not mean being out-of-touch, of course. This software is designed to allow you and other ACT! users to share data, secure within a record-locking and password-protection system.

The HP 200LX does cost more than the 100LX model, and its innovations may not be necessary for everyone's real estate management needs. But isn't it good to know it's out there?

Robert S. Griswold, CPM[R], ARM[R], is president of Griswold Real Estate Management, Inc, AMO[R], in San Diego. The firm manages a portfolio of more than 4,000 residential units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space. Mr. Griswold also has extensive experience as a receiver for private lenders and financial institutions.

Mr. Griswold is a member of the IREM National Faculty for Courses 400 and 101, as well as a certified instructor for the California Department of Real Estate. He is the president-elect of the San Diego chapter of IREM and a former member of the board of directors for the San Diego Apartment Association. He is also a member of the JPM Editorial Review Board.
COPYRIGHT 1995 National Association of Realtors
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Hewlett-Packard's HP 200LX
Author:Griswold, Robert S.
Publication:Journal of Property Management
Article Type:Evaluation
Date:Mar 1, 1995
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