PDA Buying Guide

Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are data-centric devices designed for on-the-move computing and communications. Here's what to consider before buying one.


Many PDAs will now play MP3 music files, the most common music file format. Models with more onboard storage or a storage card slots are preferable if music playback is important, because MP3 files will use up a great deal of storage space on these devices. Small earphone or headphones will be needed for listening and devices with Bluetooth may be compatible with wireless headphones for added portability.


Some models include a microphone for voice recording personal memos or creating voice messages to send via MMS or email. This is a useful feature as it saves needing another device, but voice quality may be inferior against dedicated voice recorders and additional storage cards might be necessary for saving long or numerous messages.

Megapixel digital cameras are increasingly common in PDAs for business purposes, such as recoding locations, shop design or prototype objects, as well as personal uses like sharing baby photos or travel pictures. Many models have a 1.3MP camera onboard and, with larger screens and better resolution, they're good enough to make a small print or email to others. Video capture is also starting to appear in more models and as inbuilt storage and storage card capacity continues to grow, capturing better pictures and video will be possible.

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