Choosing a New PDA

palms-assortedpalms.jpgAfter a day of trying to fix my 5 year-old Palm Tungsten T I am just about to throw in the towel.  In my haste, I made a bid on ebay for a used Tungsten T for US$25, but now I am wondering if I did the right thing.

What should I be really looking for at this point?

Lately it seems that the productivity market for PDA’s has been ignored, and what has come into vogue is a massive case of feature creep with PDA’s being “augmented” by any electronic tool that can be found lying around.  Today we have the following list of options:

  • PDA + cell phone
  • PDA + camera
  • PDA + GPS
  • PDA + iPod/mp3 player
  • PDA + video camera
  • PDA +HD radio
  • PDA + ebook reader
  • PDA + Gaming device
  • PDA + browser
  • PDA + IM’s
  • PDA + SMS
  • PDA + Television remote (no kidding)

And of course, there are various combinations of the above optional items.

Over time, the “PDA” portion of each device has shrunk in favor of the new “bling-bling,” giving less space and resources on the device to the management of time demands.  in the advertising, the important has given way to the entertaining and frivolous. As a result, it’s become harder to find a PDA that is devoted to productivity.

After looking around a bit, it’s hard to find a company that is even thinking of productivity in the terms that we use them here at 2Time — managing time demands to increase peace of mind and user productivity.

I am open to recommendations, but a bit taken aback that in the last five years since I bought my Tungsten, no progress has been made in designing PDA’s that more closely fit the needs of users.  (I have the same complaint about Microsoft Office, which has essentially changed only its color scheme between XP and 2007 versions.)

I’d love to find a company that is serious about building productivity software and hardware around the actual needs of users, taking into account the fact that users must deal with an increasing number of time demands in an effective way.  I think that the first company to come up with a system that is more than just a conglomeration of disconnected features is likely to do quite well.

In the meantime, my search continues.  As I indicated earlier, I am open to suggestions, but I think that I’ll be limiting my search to Palm OS devices, given the number of programs I have purchased based on that OS.  That limits my choices tremendously, but if I get my PDA working again, I think I’ll nurse it along until someone comes up with a better device.