Choosing a PDA That is Right for You
by Robert Smithing, MSN, FNP
What We Recommend
Currently Iím suggesting a Handspring Visor Platinum or Visor Prism (if you want color) with 8 MB of memory. The Visor expansion module will allow the addition of more memory, up to 24 MB at present. You can also use the expansion slot to increase the capabilities of the Visor, turning it into a cell phone, an MP3 player, or add the entire PDR. Palm Pilot is now embracing expansion with the addition of the Palm m500 and m505 that are soon to be released.
Screen issues: Color is always nice, and often enhances readability. On the Visor the color screen is better seen in dim and dark conditions. Try them, including in a dim area, and decide which appeals to you more. The down side is that color uses up batteries faster.
Batteries: Generally 2 AAA batteries last for a couple of weeks. I like to use batteries that you replace rather than the built in rechargeable ones. If Iím draining my batteries a lot and itís easier to swap out the replaceable batteries and keep on computing.
Memory: A minimum of 8 MB of memory is suggested. The drug reference programs use 1 or more MB of memory and the 2 MB handhelds do not have adequate memory to run them well.
Wireless connectivity: This can be a nice but rather expensive option. Itís likely to be most useful to advanced users who travel a lot. There may be a future use with electronic prescription writing. Details on this are yet to be worked out.
Obsolescence: Whatever you buy will be replaced by something slicker and better in a couple of months. Get the best you can when you make your purchase and use it. Youíll probably be replacing it in 2-3 years.
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