A colleague of mine recently asked me which gadget he should choose to replace his HP iPAQ hx 4700 PDA which suddenly stopped working. For those who do not know, iPAQ hx 4700 was a great PDA with the largest screen on the market, Bluetooth and WiFi, and was the top of the line HP model in 2005. He used his PDA for to-do lists, calendars and UpToDate (installed).
What are my friend's options for replacing his PDA? My answer is below. Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive by any means, please double check the technical specifications and prices yourself.
Regarding the choice of PDA, those type of gadgets seem to be going out of fashion nowadays in favor of smart phones/mini-PCs. Dell stopped making their PDAs and HP reduced their product line to just 2-3 models.
There are several choices on the market right now and I will try to list the pros and cons of 2 of them below:
1. Apple iPhone, price $400.
Pros: easy-to-use, large fonts, zoom-in feature, always-on Internet.
Cons: requires AT&T subscription with data plan ($ 60), programs cannot be installed, small 8 GB hard drive.
2. OQO portable computer, price $ 1,200.
Pros: True Windows computer in the size of PDA, synchronization is very easy, all Windows program can be installed and work seamlessly, 30 GB hard drive.
Cons: relatively expensive, portable Internet requires Verizon or Sprint high-speed data plan ($ 70-80 per month).
Both are excellent options. If I were you, I would go to an Apple store and just see if iPhone works for you. BlackBerry is another alternative but I do not like their tiny screens. Ultra-mobile PCs (formerly known as Origami project) may work for some but they use a TabletPC OS rather than the regular Windows XP or Vista.
OQO seems to be the best option but is also the most expensive one.
Epocrates & iPhone. Link via Doctor Anonymous.
The New Pocket PCs, PC Magazine, 05/2008.