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One of the primary uses of a device like this is stock, delivery or inventory control, and Socket sent along its wireless and compact-flash based laser barcode scanners to give them a try. You can scan directly into Excel Mobile spreadsheets and I can see how, were I in need of this sort of feature, this implementation would be very easy to setup and manage. As is so often the case, buying a properly integrated solution from one supplier is an awful lot easier than trying to roll your own from different manufacturers. If you don't need this sort of thing, however, it's not going to swing things in the SoMo 650's favour.
And it must be said that the SoMo really does need something to swing things in its favour, because while this is a very well-built, tough and speedy PDA, it's also a very expensive one. Compaq's excellent iPaq 214 is available for half the price, and while it's not as rugged, it has a better screen, a very similar specification and its own strong suite of communications and connection management applets.
What's more, at £400 the SoMo is also pricier than most smartphones, and as one of the few arguments in favour of separate devices is price, this could have an impact on small business buyers. If durability, a long product life and close integration with Socket's scanning devices make sense for you and your company, then the SoMo might still be a worthy investment. If you're just looking for a good, straight PDA, the iPaq is the better business-focused buy.
A well-built, semi-rugged Pocket PC that offers several advantages in specific technical, warehouse or industrial applications, but the high price means it's a no-go for the average business user.
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