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Personal Decision

With the sheer number of combo PDAs to choose from, here are some things to think about.

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This story appears in the August 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Today's wireless PDAs look less like executive toys and more like useful tools. The CRN Test Center evaluated five products that combine cell phone service, wireless e-mail, instant messaging and Web access--everything an on-the-go professional needs.

The Danger Hiptop, Handspring Treo 300, Palm Tungsten W, Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry 5810 and the T-Mobile PocketPC edition take different approaches to target different audiences. BlackBerry requires its own server on top of a Lotus Domino or Microsoft Exchange server. The $250 (all prices street) BlackBerry 5810 we tested over T-Mobile's wireless network experienced spotty service and e-mail delays-but no problems on the AT&T and Cingular networks. A new BlackBerry Enterprise Server includes wireless scheduling but no automatic synchronization with your desktop computer.

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