Thursday, July 29, 2004

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner "For people who rely on a smart phone or wireless PDA to do e-mail and access the Web, the Holy Grail has been to get a device that can work on both a cellphone network and on faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. The idea is that when you are near a Wi-Fi transmitter, your device will work at high speed, and when you're not, you still will be able to get online, albeit at slower speeds, via the much more widespread cellphone network.
The cellphone industry has been working on such combo devices, and Nokia and Motorola have announced specific models. But this week, Hewlett-Packard, the computer giant, and T-Mobile, the cellphone carrier, announced what they say will be the first combined Wi-Fi/cellphone to reach the public. A wireless PDA that can also make phone calls, rather than a traditional cellphone, it's called the HP iPAQ h6315.
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As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability.
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All in all, the HP iPAQ 6315 is a winner. I wish it were a bit smaller and that the keyboard was built in. And I still prefer Palm's software to Microsoft's. But for mobile e-mail and Internet addicts, the ability to use both Wi-Fi and the cellphone network is a big plus."
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