As we noted in the introduction to this group test, different people will find different PDA features useful, and what you as an individual like most depends very much on what youâ€™ll use a PDA for. With that in mind it is in some ways difficult to give awards, and our selections may not reflect your own evaluation.
It is clear, for example, that if you need a connected device the Treo 600 and XDA II will probably be vying for the top spot on your list. If, on the other hand, value for money and 802.11b are key features for you, Dellâ€™s Axim X3i will shine. If you want a device you can use as fruitfully at work as at home, then Palmâ€™s Tungsten T3 could be perfect.
All these PDAs are strong examples of devices that stand out from the crowd and offer certain key features which will appeal to certain users. They arenâ€™t though the full story.
Sometimes in life itâ€™s the good all-rounder that actually comes out tops â€“ the person who performs above average at everything asked of them, while not actually shining like a beacon in any one aspect. If this is what you are after from a PDA, then the good all-rounders of our group are Dellâ€™s already noted Axim X3i and the Asus MyPal A620BT. The latter lacks 802.11b, but does have Bluetooth, which means you can use this PDA in conjunction with a Bluetooth mobile phone for a two-piece communications solution, and the A620BT has plenty of internal storage capacity and good battery life.
So you can see from the above that making our Editorâ€™s Choice award has not been easy with this group. Our judgement has been made on the basis of how well the features are integrated into a particular PDA taking into account its intended audience, and also considering the overall ergonomics of the device, and its price.
With this in mind our Editorâ€™s Choice is Dellâ€™s Axim X3i which delivers superb all round capability for the price, including, importantly, good battery life.
We are giving three Recommended awards. This reflects the range of potential uses of PDAs, and the awards go to the three devices which provide what we consider to be the best set of features for particular types of user.
Palm gets a Recommended award for its superb Tungsten T3. This is a device well worth considering if you want to mix your work and leisure PDA use in a single device.
Handspring also gets a Recommended award for the Treo 600. At long last this is a combination PDA and phone at a size and with a level of features that makes it usable for both communications and PDA-type functions.
O2 wins our final Recommended for the XDA II, offered at a very competitive price considering its feature set. It sports a well thought through set of integrated
features and this connected PDA should suit the professional user well.