View Full Version : PDAs and WiFi

07-02-2004, 08:46 PM
I brought a Palm Zire71 (my first PDA) about 8 months ago and have found it really useful and couldn't think of living without it. But the universe is a cruel place and so it intervened to teach me a lessen and it was stolen!

I知 now looking for a replacement, and as I have proved to myself that I do have numerous uses for a PDA I知 prepared to invest a bit more money and consider an upgrade.

In particular I知 considering going for a model with built in WiFi. I travel to Johannesburg/Pretoria a lot and one of the caf chains there are WiFi hotspots. I have used that for checking emails etc with my laptop before. The idea of being able to do that from my PDA is appealing (not to mention safer as I知 always a bit concerned carry a laptop around in South Africa).

Does anyone have experience of regularly using their PDA/WiFi for email and web access? How practical is it on a 320 x 320 screen? What hardware do people use/recommend?

From Palm only the Tungsten C has built in WiFi and I知 not sure if I want a PDA with a tiny keyboard (after having come to be quite efficient at Graffiti 2). If anyone has one any comments you have on its useability would be appreciates.

I would prefer to stick with a Palm OS5 machine to allow me to keep all my existing software that I had brought for my Zire71. A new PDA and then having to replace all the software with Pocket PC versions would increase the cost dramatically.



08-02-2004, 07:35 AM
I don't use any remote access but do use my pocketpc to review emails now and again after synchronising. Replying is tedious, quick "yes, will get back to you" type messages aren't too bad.

John H
08-02-2004, 09:51 AM
Well, this doesn't deal with the WiFi issue, but I have recently bought a Handspring Treo 600 that runs PalmOS 5. It is GSM/GPRS, so ignore the rest of this post if you are on Telecom.

I regularly use a PDA to check email because I do a lot of domestic travelling. I used to combine a Nokia cellphone with a Palm m515 through Infrared, and then thought why carry both when one device will do. I sold them both and briefly flirted with a SymbianOs combo (a Sony Ericsson P800), but did not like it for a variety of reasons.

I found a brand new Treo 600 on TradeMe for a price way below retail (like about $600 below retail!) and I am loving it. I use dial up for email rather than data through GPRS, because I think it is cheaper in the long run. Data charges on Vodafone are horrendous.

I use the thumbboard rather than Graffiti, and find it to be quite user friendly. However, as Robo says, sometimes if a complicated reply is necessary, I just acknowledge receipt and deal with it when I get home, or phone a reply.

It is a pity that the Treo comes with neither WiFi nor Bluetooth, but I understand SD cards to provide for this are in development - current models don't work with the Treo.

Other than that, I suggest looking at one of the PalmOS5 models. They look like they may be a bit big, but the Tungsten C may suit your purposes because it has WLAN built in.

John H
08-02-2004, 09:57 AM
Sorry, ignore the last sentence - I forgot you had said that you have already looked at the Tungsten C and you are not happy with using the keyboard.

08-02-2004, 07:45 PM
It's not that I'm not happy with a PDA with a keyboard - just that I've never used one and they look rather fiddly to me. I would like some opinions from people that used then regularly.

At present I'm tossing up between a simple replacement with another Zire71, an upgrade to a Tungsten T3, or going the whole hog and getting a Tunsten C with its built in WiFi.

Then again some of the Sony Clie models are also OS5 and WiFi capable but I haven't really looked into anything other than Palms before.

John H
08-02-2004, 08:19 PM
I am getting used to the keyboard on the Treo, but it is a matter of taste.

I don't think they are built for adult male thumbs, and when you combine letters, numbers and punctuation on keys (distinguished by the use of shift and option keys) it can be a bit of an epic to write a long message.

But the Treo has a really positive feel to the keys, and I am getting faster. It is actually quite difficult to press two keys at the same time, which I thought would be the main fault with a thumbboard.

I gather there is a freeware programme called (I think) Graffiti Anywhere that some people are using on keyboard fitted Palm OS PDAs. Perhaps worth trying.


John H
08-02-2004, 08:49 PM
I have just installed the freeware Graffiti Anywhere on my Treo 600, and it works fine once you have it configured the way you want it. You can use Graffiti 2 anywhere on the screen.

If you want to learn about it, go to:

You will find a couple of .pdfs there.

Now the only problem for me is that I have used the original graffiti for years, and am finding it difficult to get those letters where you have to do two strokes instead of one!

08-02-2004, 10:18 PM
I picked up the Graffiti2 pretty quickly - but then I had never used the original Graffiti.

Have just been spend some time searching out some reviews on the Sony Clie UX50 and NX80. Very nice looking but pretty expensive. And of course being Sony it would mean having to go out and by yet another different format memory card.

Has anyone actually got a Sony Clie UX50? The screen sounds quite small (1.8 by 2.7 inches) although the 3:4 form factor is nice. The reviews I read seems to disagree on if this was a problem or not so I would welcome some other peoples opinion.

John H
09-02-2004, 08:41 AM
The trouble is I have been using the original Graffiti for about 4 years, so I am finding it hard to get used to the new one. I still can't get the letter "i" reliably...

Have you had a look at:

It is a good site for reliable reviews. You will find a review of the UX50 there, but I cannot find anything for the NX80 except the following:

Depending on where you live, you could go into one of the Sony Style (?) stores in the main centres where you can usually have a play with the models on display.