Apart from work-related options, Internet functions andvoice memo recording, the Cassiopeia offers a range of”entertainment” functions. Reader software and a sharp colour screenmake reading electronic books a reasonably viable option and a number of classicsare included in the package. Or if you prefer music, there is the MP3 player,which allows you to turn your Cassiopeia into a solid-state Walkman,downloading music directly to the handheld or via a Flash memory card. COST depends on network   WEIGHT164g         There is a variety of handheld computers, personal digitalassistants (PDAs) and palmtops on the market, from the established Palm Pilotseries to the new Handspring Visors. There are even some mobile phones that arealso PDAs. So are they the latest in executive toys, the 21st century’s answerto Newton’s Cradle – allowing you to plan golf games surreptitiously – or areal business tool? If you don’t like the idea of carrying around a mobile phoneand a PDA, there is a new generation of devices that take advantage of thedevelopment of the mobile Internet. The Ericsson R380 is the first mobile phonethat doubles as a handheld computer. It uses the Symbian operating system,based on Psion’s EPOC software. COST $499    WEIGHT 360g         MEMORY 16Mbytes Psion 5mx With the current range of communication devices for businessexecutives on the move, you can keep in touch easily no matter where you happento be. Bronagh Miskelly surveys some of the latest models The Palm may also reduce your need to carry business cards,at least if you mix with other Palm and Visor users. The contacts programallows you to create an electronic card which can be zapped to compatiblemachines. This certainly beats a pocketful of cards, scraps of paper andmatchbooks, and will be even better when all handhelds are compatible. Otherinformation – e-mails, letters, “to do” lists, contacts – can beshared via the same infrared link. On the downside, it can be difficult to position the 5mx towork comfortably and get good visibility on the screen. And while folding downto something not much bigger than a spectacles case, the 5mx is not really apocket device, as its weight would drag down all but the biggest pockets. Previous Article Next Article The Palm does not have a keyboard but does offer two modesfor data entry. The first is a miniature on-screen keyboard layout on which you”type” using the stylus. Or you could use Palm’s proprietary Graffitiwriting system to “write” stylised versions of letters on the screenwith the stylus. Although this is a much faster method, it won’t do much foryour penmanship. But for those wedded to the notion of a PC-style interfaceand who want to get a lot of work done on the move without the need for alaptop, this device certainly has plenty to offer. Palm Pilot Vx This is a cost- and weight-effective solution if you want abasic device but are also interested in the option of new gadgets and upgradesin the future. COST $599    WEIGHT225g         MEMORY 32 Mbytes. The 5mx also has clip art and a sketch pad, allowing you toincorporate illustrations into documents and e-mails. But, be warned, learningto draw on screen with a stylus can take quite a bit of practice. And shouldyou ever completely run out of things to do, there is a battleships game todistract you. The applications on offer are also minimalist when comparedto other devices, but for users who are looking for e-mail, diary andnote-taking facilities only, this may be an advantage. One thing is certain,compared to the combined size of an address book, diary and notepad, this winsout – plus you cannot read your e-mail with a Filofax. You can also download arange of other applications from the Internet, many of them for free. Casio Cassiopeia E-115 One of the first devices to use Microsoft’s new Pocket PCoperating system, with 32Mbytes of memory and a colour screen, the Cassiopeiais fully compatible with Microsoft’s standard and virtually universal PCsystems. As well as Pocket Word and Pocket Excel, there is also a version ofMicrosoft Money, allowing you to review your finances on the move and thensynchronise your figures with those on your main computer. So if what you want is a few facts at your fingertipswithout being laden down with technology, this may well be the device for you. COST $249    WEIGHT153g         MEMORY 8Mbytes Handspring Visor Deluxe Handspring is the company founded by the original developersof the Palm Pilot, who left Palm Computing after it was bought by 3Com. Theirnew offerings, a range of devices known as Visors, use the same operatingsystem as the Palms, including Graffiti handwriting. Larger than the Palm Vx,the Visor Deluxe comes in a range of translucent cases, drawing on thepopularity of iMac styling, and what it loses in slimness it makes up for inadded functionality. The phone offers most of the standard handheld functions:calendar, address book, notepad, memo pad, as well as e-mail and mobileInternet, using the WAP system. And of course the essential game. What all the devices have in common is that they offer accessto the Internet and e-mail through a modem or suitable mobile phone link, diaryand contacts option, and at least a basic notebook function. The differencescome in the format or the extras available. To give you an idea of the devicethat might suit you, we give you the low down on a selection of the currentofferings. All in handOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Psion has been in the “electronic organiser”market from the beginning of the gadget revolution and is the original Europeanleader. But the Psion 5mx should not be thought of as a mere organiser. It isdefinitely a handheld computer, giving the impression of a laptop which hasbeen through the hot wash cycle. The new breed of machines have come a long way from theoriginal hand helds of the 1980s, which were unwieldy or required add-on memorymodules, and they offer a range of functions. In addition, because they come ina variety of guises, there should be one to suit everybody who spends most ofhis or her time on the move. If you like your gadgets small and are keen on the neat andefficient, then check out the Palm Pilot Vx. This minimalist device is the onlytruly pocket-sized machine in the selection. At only 11 x 7.5 x 1cm, with aflap to protect the screen, it will slip neatly into any breast pocket. Apart from weight, the Cassiopeia’s main disadvantage is thelack of a keyboard or “Graffiti-style” handwriting system. Enteringdata by tapping out letter by letter with a stylus on an on-screen keyboard isslow and irritating. But if you are into gadgets as well as wanting to work on themove, this could prove a fun choice. Accessing a database, making an entry into a spreadsheet orsending an e-mail used to be something of a grind for the globetrottingbusiness executive. For the times when you weren’t at your desk, but in somefar-flung location, you needed to lug about a laptop and modem. Addresses andappointments required their own books or a bulging Filofax, especially if yourphone list runs into the hundreds. Now, shrinking technology means thecomputing power we had in the desktop machines of a few years ago can becarried around in our pockets. COST $399    WEIGHT115g         MEMORY 8Mbytes Applications are also similar to the standard PC. As well asthe ubiquitous diary and contacts options there are word-processing andspreadsheet programs, which are compatible with Microsoft Office applications.These files are easily uploaded via a simple cable connection. The pop-out keyboard has real keys, rather than therubberised buttons you find on mobile phones. Although it is not really largeenough to touch-type comfortably, it does have a familiar feel for users.Instead of a mouse there is a touch screen and stylus – something common to allthe handheld devices – which allows users to open folders and programmes. Thescreen layout, folders and menus provide a user interface reminiscent of a”standard” computer. At 13 x 5 x 2.5cm, the R380 is clunky compared to theaverage mobile phone, but then you don’t need to carry around a separatehandheld computer as well. At first glance it looks like an ordinary phone, butthe keypad flips down to reveal a letterbox touchscreen. When the flap isclosed the R380 behaves like a phone, but on opening the display changes to thePDA menu. The Deluxe is perhaps most similar in size to the earlierPalm III, but it offers 8Mbytes of memory. It has the same basic menu offeringsas the Palm Pilot; its additional functionality comes from Handspring’s novelmodular approach. The “Springboard slot” allows you to plug in arange of add-on devices, such as extra memory or an additional gadget, in theway you add peripherals such as modems or printers to a desktop computer. It is an extremely user-friendly device, with an on-screenkeyboard and a handwriting recognition system which is easier to learn than theGraffiti system. Ericsson also offers a range of accessories, such as a plug-inMP3 module, which turns the phone into a music player. Modules already available include a modem, a memory back-upunit, a digital camera and a MP3 player, which allows you to listen to musicstored digitally or downloaded from the Internet. Ericsson R380 Smartphone Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Compared to the other hand helds in this review, theCassiopeia is bulky – close to the size of a small paperback. But thedisadvantage of its size is tempered by just what Casio has managed to packinto this device. The Cassiopeia is chock-full of goodies and acts as severalgadgets at once.last_img read more