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Handheld PDA Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a handheld PDA.

Getting Started

At Abt, we carry a large selection of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to help keep you organized, informed, and entertained. With a PDA, you can store phone numbers and contacts, schedule events, create to-do lists, and keep notes, as well as entertain yourself with games and much more. Manufacturers have added new features to PDAs such as e-mail access and voice recording, and some play MP3 files and let you access electronic books.


When purchasing a PDA, it is important to know how much memory (RAM) you think you'll need and what data entry method would best suit your needs. The average PDA today has about 16MB of internal RAM, which can be used to store thousands of contacts, events, notes, and more. Some PDAs have additional memory chips--SD cards (Palm) or Memory Sticks (Sony)--so if you run out of space, memory can be added. Data entry on PDAs varies by model. (Data entry is the way information can be entered into or manipulated on your PDA). There are three different data-entry methods that are recognized for PDAs: Keyboard entry, Touch Screen/ Stylus Pen, and Handwriting Recognition.

Size is important when deciding on a PDA. The body style of all PDAs varies with each model and manufacturer. Some PDAs are as small as a credit card, while others can be as long as a laptop computer.

It's important to know there are different methods of linking up a PDA to the Internet and/or to your computer to download information. The most common access is through a USB cable. It is good to know that this type of connection can only be used with the newer Pentium computers. Other connection methods are Serial Cable, Infrared, Serial Docking Station, USB Docking Station, and PC Card Slot.

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