The call of convergence: do new phone-PDA combos give you the best of both worlds? (Tech News).
Not every PDA phone or phone-enabled PDA has every possible feature. And the most exciting--the Nokia 7650, which has a tiny integrated camera lens--isn't available or currently planned for the U.S. market. But there's still a wealth of products that place more power in your palm--and in your ear--than ever before. Some of the hottest convergence tools include the following:
* Handspring Treo 180 Communicator is a Palm OS organizer with a built-in QWERTY keyboard. A second model, the Treo 180g, trades the QWERTY keyboard for Graffiti text input. Each device measures just 4.3 x 2.7 x 0.7 inches, and weighs 5.4 ounces. The Treo costs $399. A color display version will be available for $599 by midyear (www.handspring.com).
* Nokia's 9290 Communicator has a 4,096-color TFT (thin-film transistor) active-matrix display for its Symbian OS organizer. The device runs Java applications, opens and edits Word and Excel documents, and comes with 16MB of memory, expandable to 64MB. Priced at $799, the Nokia 9290 measures 5.11 x 1.82 x .934 inches and weighs 8.6 ounces (www.nokia.com).
* Samsung's SPH-I300 wireless phone is compatible with Palm OS applications, and has a 256-color display, touch screen (no QWERTY keyboard), Graffiti handwriting recognition, and infrared communication. It has 8MB of memory for user data and applications, measures 4.92 x 2.28 x .83 inches, weighs 5.99 ounces, and retails at $499 (www.samsungelectronics.com).
* Compaq's iPaq Pocket PC 3870 gives you wireless phone, e-mail, Web browsing, and messaging--as well as the usual PDA capabilities. Weighing 6.7 ounces and priced at $649, it also comes with 64MB of RAM and integrated Bluetooth (www.compaq.com).
So, will convergence fly? "I think once people learn they have to ditch their PDA along with their phone to switch carriers, there's bound to be a renewed and negative consideration of the wisdom of merging [the phone and PDA]," says Rich Santalesa, chief analyst at PDA & Wireless World, a New York City-based analysis firm specializing in the handheld and wireless markets.
Although you may actually be ditching inches and ounces by combining a phone and a PDA, Santalesa says there's a "sense that the combo [comes] at a cost in weight and in basic functionality." Of course, if adding PDA functions to your phone means leaving the laptop behind, it might be worth losing the extra ounces. Give some thought to what you want the device to do and consider whether the trade-offs make sense.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||May 1, 2002|
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