Devices that can access mobile broadband 2G or 3G type networks include laptops, PDAs, BlackBerrys, SmartPhones, and soon, the iPhone. But which ones can help you be productive and keep you entertained?
Laptops can access full webpages, display full screen and can work with your productivity, scheduling and email programs. They can also play music and video.
They are bigger and cost more than handhelds and they cannot fulfill cellphone duties.
They are designed for productivity and can sync up with popular programs like Outlook. They are kind of like mini laptops with an interactive screen, popular types include the Palm.
They are not that much fun, most don’t play music or video and they are not cellphones. They require a service contract to access mobile broadband on top of your regular cell phone service. Although, they are beginning to incorporate multimedia elements like photo organizers, mp3 and video players and display eBooks; however, they cannot replace your laptop. So, basically you have to carry both around and sync up from time to time.
Similar to a PDA, they can access email and webpages, have organizers, many can perform as a modem for a laptop. Some can play mp3’s and video and perform cell phone functions, like the BlackBerry Pearl. The traditional BlackBerrys have full keyboards, support attachment viewing and are quad band (which means they can connect to 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS and EDGE networks).
To access wireless services they require services beyond your regular cell service and they are not much fun. Most don’t play media content like video or music.
SmartPhones combine PDA and cell phone abilities. They support productivity activities like checking email; yet, also perform all cell phone functions.
They require service add–ons beyond your regular cell phone service to use its features and still cannot replace a laptop. They are nice for looking up simple information online or checking your schedule, but you will still have to sync up every so often.
This small device plays music, can check email, IM and performs cell phone functions.
Currently, a two year Cingular contract is required to use this device. Additionally, although the interactive screen is cool, it is hard to type on, which limits its productive abilities. The iPhone is also costly, much more than a PDA or BlackBerry, but designed to be more fun than productive.
So, all in all, your laptop is still the most productive and entertaining device you can use to access mobile broadband services, but far from pocket size. And the pocket size devices, offer limited functionality.
So what is the best combination of functionality and fun? I’m thinking a small multimedia laptop and a reasonably priced smartphone (to get you by until you can get back together with your laptop).
Writes for www.TopTenREVIEWS.com