Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Will PDAs take over cellphones and Laptops?

Tap. Tap. Tap.No, I am not going to talk about the rhythms of tap dancing; nor am I writing about the humble water faucet! I am referring to the barely audible sound of a stylus tapping on a PDA screen.

What on earth is a PDA? How did it enter our lives?
Well, to begin with, the World Wide Web shrunk the world, eliminating space and time barriers. Computers brought e-space on to screens and emails did away with postal mails. Cell phones shrunk communication lines even further. Then computers in the form of desktops got shrunk to laptops. Now both cell phones and laptops have shrunk to hand-held gizmos known as PDAs. For the uninitiated, the full form of a PDA is personal digital assistant. Since it fits in the palm, it is also referred to as a palmtop computer. This gizmo came into being in 1983 with the Casio PF-3000.

So what’s so great about a PDA?
A PDA’s greatness lies in its features – a smart combination of the features of a cell phone as well as of a laptop. To begin with, it has the touch screen facility of a mobile but with the additional tool of a stylus (it is like a pen) that you use to navigate around the screen. Next, there is the QWERTY keyboard of a laptop attached to the PDA connected with a USB port or Bluetooth; or it will have a virtual keyboard incorporated, which you bring up on the screen and tap away at it with the stylus.

Speaking about Bluetooth, the PDA has this most popular cell phone facility. Since it is basically a wireless connective system, it can facilitate connections to numerous accessories such as a headset. Furthermore, one of the main features of a PDA, as in a cell phone and a laptop, is the ability to store data. A PDA goes a step further in having a feature that enables it to coordinate the data in it to a laptop.

So will PDAs push cell phones and laptops into near-oblivion in much the same way as the cell phones displaced land phones, and laptops displaced desktops? I doubt it. For one, the PDA needs plenty of finger and neck gymnastics! Whether or not you use the stylus, your fingers are going to get sore with all that continuous tapping. Bent over the screen, your neck’s shape is going to be severely affected. Another sore point is going to be your eyes, which you are invariably going to strain beyond limits to peer at the PDA screen (more likely, too, without blinking!).

Also, nobody really carries only a PDA. Despite its portability and multi-functionality that enables you to check your email, store data and make a call, there is a high possibility that you will also be carrying along your mobile and laptop. So the PDA becomes one more expensive gadget to worry about – did you leave it on the car seat? Did you leave it on the table at the restaurant where you dined? In short, more stress and frazzled nerves!

I would much rather stick to a lightweight Samsung Netbook
and my elegant Samsung mobile.

So what about you? Will you sell off your Blackberry Storm and Dell Vostro
and let the PDA completely take over the organization of your life?

Hmmm….something to ponder about until my next blog!
While you are pondering, you could do something interesting: earn a small income by writing reviews about PDAs and the other products that you use on a regular basis, whether it is a car, an electronic device or books that you read.
Click here to join:

1 comment:

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