PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS
A personal digital assistant (PDA), or handheld computer, is a small, mobile, handheld device that provides computing and information storage/retrieval capabilities.
The vast majority of PDAs have five basic functions:
Contact management (names and addresses)
Mobile phone functionality
To do list
Many PDA manufacturers now include additional functionality in their products, such as:
Access to the Internet
The ability to play MP3 files
The ability to read electronic books
The ability to play games
Size and Weight
The size and weight of PDAs can vary enormously â€“ some are the size of a credit card, some fit in the palm of the hand and some are like UMPCs. Basic PDAs are confined to basic information organization, while the latest PDAs have many additional functions and capabilities such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and extra memory storage options.
Additional options one should consider purchasing include an external Bluetooth keyboard, an extra battery, docking cradle, travel synchronisation cable, extra stylus, case, USB/VGA cable for use with a data projector.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of PDA:
Clamshell PDAs have a small keyboard and they open out rather like a miniature laptop. They may also feature touch-sensitive screens and a stylus.
Tablet-type PDAs do not have an integrated keyboard. Input occurs using a stylus or fold-away/portable keyboard and they tend to be palm-sized.