Why I love my PDA


I’m not ashamed to admit I like my gadgets. But I do particularly like a gadget that makes my life better.

Earlier this year, after much deliberation, I bought a Dell Axim X51V PDA. My main reason for buying it was to allow me to check emails and browse internet sites when I’m away from a PC.

However over the past nine months the PDA has become so much more useful than I’d originally anticipated.

Here are eight ways I use my PDA that I didn’t expect:

1. As an MP3 player – using Resco Audio Recorder with headphones or with my (now legal) Audiax FM transmitter in the car.

2. Making notes. I make text-based notes using PhatNotes and sketches/handwritten notes using PhatPad. No more hardback notebooks or reporter’s pads for me.

3. Keeping tabs on RSS feeds with Newsgator Go! (as well as synching with my desktop and web-based RSS readers).

4. As a powerful and Outlook synch-ed diary and contacts manager, using Pocket Informant.

5. As a phone using Skype Mobile when I’m in a wi-fi zone.

6. Watching DVDs, using a clever piece of software called Spb Mobile DVD.

7. As a digital audio recorder, for recording meetings or even interviews for podcasts (hint: the 3.5mm audio jack is for both headphones and mono microphone – split the socket into two using item PX50MS here)

8. As a pocket calculator, using the bundled Windows Mobile 5 calculator.

The only thing I wish is that I could use it as a mobile, to save me having to carry both around.

There are, of course, PDA/phone hybrids around, but none had the processing power or feature spec that the Axim did.

By the time I next replace my mobile and the Axim I suspect I’ll end up with a hybrid device with a higher spec than the Axim – which will be a good thing as the one aspect I haven’t managed to successfully set up is GPRS network access using my mobile (via Bluetooth).