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Anyone know their PDAs, Internet tablets? Answered

Does anyone know much about modern PDAs or "internet tablets"?

Background- like a complete eejit I managed to break the screen on the Guide, so after fuelling my fifteen minutes of internet fame it looks like being relegated to memento status. It occurs to me that for the 80 quid it would cost me to replace the hardware I could probably get a much more recent PDA or similar device and have more adventures with that.

I'm not very familiar with this newfangled technology, however: the last PDA I owned before the Guide was a Psion series 3 and I always buy cheapo phones that don't double as internet browsers, games consoles or teasmades. Therefore I could use some help sifting through the wealth of devices available for one that meets my requirements. These, in rough order of importance, are:

  • Browser available
  • Cheap!
  • Competent operating system, preferably Linux, preferably not Windows
  • Expansion card slot for readily available flash storage (CF, MMC, SD etc)
  • Decent-sized touch screen or decent sized screen and QWERTY keyboard
  • Pocket sized
  • Can interface with a PC (running Linux) relatively easily
  • Isn't a phone, camera or mp3 player

The only really important ones are the first four. From what I've seen the Nokia 770 seems to meet most of these. Sadly it only supports 2GB of flash storage on RS-MMC, but I can live with that- it seems small RS-MMC cards are so cheap that I could get several and have a multi-volume encyclopaedia :)

Does anyone know any other devices that might fit this description, or can tell me more about the 770?



10 years ago

I bought a Nokia n770 when it was on sale a while ago ($129!) It's got a lovely sharp and high-res display; the first pocket-sized "thing" to have the raw pixels to do a reasonable job of displaying most web pages. It does wireless OK and has a fair PDF reader. But the screen is TINY for all it's pixels... I keep waiting for someone to do PDA and comm functions (perhaps including phone) in an e-Book form-factor (7 inch diag? 720x1280 "720p vertical"?) Seems like a natural to me (with a bluetooth headset, the "guts" of a phone don't need to be hand-sized any more), but the eBook creators seem to be avoiding any non-book-like functionality. Sigh. (OTOH, it's not obvious that the small laptops don't fill this niche pretty well...)

Just to dig this thread up, I bought an N770 with the navigation kit (bluetooth GPS and sat-nav software) which is a lot of fun to play with, but I don't think it has the storage space to be The Guide Mk 2.

In reply to your "I keep waiting for..", I believe some of the newest Dell laptops have a built in 3G phone module- that the sort of thing you were looking for?

Try the ipaq 111-it does run windows, but I'm almost sure you could install Linux on it- and dosen't have a keyboard, but it does have a virtual keyboard, and has a touch screen. So you can just write on the screen with a stylus, and it can learn to recognize your handwriting. It's pocketsized, has an SD expansion slot. I forget how much memory it has. It can browse the internet. It isn't a phone or a camera. It does come with WMP, so it can play mp3s, but that's just a fringe function. It's very cool, and only 100 or 200 $ IIRC.

OK, thanks- I was about to bump this thread for ~~great justice~~ not having any replies. The ipaq seems to be a hacker's device of choice, I will investigate it more. The anti-windows sentiment is just because I'd like to have the freedom to really poke around in the OS and because especially on mobile devices I'm rabidly anti-bloat, I can deal with it as long as it has storage space and a decent browser. It turns out "Internet tablet" basically means that particular family of Nokia devices, so I'll keep looking into the 770 and see how it measures up against the ipaq. (I checked 5mx prices, they're pretty much the same- nice to know I haven't caused a run on them and corresponding price inflation :P)