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PDA Primer

Helping you through the handheld marketplace

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Palmtops, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and PIMs (personal information managers) are the rage among techno-savvy entrepreneurs. These devices are often the size of a pocket calculator but deliver the features and abilities of a desktop computer. These gems function as electronic calendars, address books and scheduling tools. Several of them offer word processing, wireless fax, Internet access and more. Through an infrared or cable interface, you can exchange data between a PDA and your desktop computer, allowing you to "take it with you."

These devices range from $200 to more than $1,000. Take the time to find a store with several display models before purchasing one. Some of the leading vendors in this category include Palm, Casio, Compaq, Handspring and Hewlett-Packard.

As long as you remember they're no substitute for a desktop computer, but rather a supplement to these machines, they're a great addition to your business's equipment team.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Guide You'll Ever Need