Pocket Pals

Shopping List

When shopping for a PDA, Kevin Cheek, hardware product manager for Apple Computer in Cupertino, California, recommends asking yourself the following questions:

  • How many functions must your PDA fulfill? If you use only a Rolodex and an appointment calendar while on the road, you won't need a highly sophisticated, costly device with e-mail capabilities. On the other hand, if you usually need a substantial amount of data, look for a PDA with lots of memory.
  • How careful are you with your equipment? Should your PDA come equipped with a protective lid?
  • How lightweight must your PDA be?
  • Does your PDA need to communicate with your desktop computer?
  • How well and how fast does your PDA need to recognize handwriting?
  • Do you need wireless communication capability?
  • Do you need a "password" function for confidentiality?

Bear in mind, as with any electronic equipment, manufacturer's list prices and street prices are often very different. For instance, Sharp's OZ-6500 has a manufacturer's list price of $499, but one computer superstore sells it for $269.

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This article was originally published in the January 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Pocket Pals.

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