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New @migo PDA Offers User-Friendly Features

Hand-Helds

The addition of a PC Card slot is very nice for those who intend to use the Pocket PC for more than just basic functions.

November 22, 2001|MARK A. KELLNER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Florida-based URThere is offering a new Pocket PC with a rather nice built-in feature: a full-size PC Card slot.

Most PDA brands now offer some method of adding expansion cards, but the beauty of URThere's hand-held is that everything is neatly tucked into a single case. No need for extra sleds (like the Compaq iPaq or the Hewlett-Packard Jornada). No need for proprietary cards (like the Handspring Visor).

URThere's @migo-600C will work with any of the hundreds of PC Cards already on the market. And the device is one of the best deals out there--$499.

That might seem like a lot for a PDA, but consider that the Compaq iPaq and the HP Jornada sell for $600 to $650--and then you have to pay an extra $150 to $200 for the expansion card sled.

The addition of the card slot is a very nice feature for those who intend to use their Pocket PC for more than just basic PDA functions, allowing users to slip in a wireless antenna, a video-out card for hand-held presentations or a dial-up modem card so the device can "phone home" and synchronize data.

Out of the box, the @migo-660C is equipped with 32 megabytes of RAM. It features a removable lithium-ion battery that the maker says gives eight hours of "normal" usage.

Not all Pocket PCs allow you to pop in a spare battery when one runs low, and it's a great feature for serious PDA users.

Like all Pocket PC devices, the @migo-600C is equipped with a built-in microphone and speaker (for sound recording and playback), a headset jack and the basic Pocket PC applications: miniature versions of Microsoft's Word, Excel and Outlook programs.

A small jog wheel on the side enables users to move easily through lists of addresses, tasks or files.

The front-panel controls include a mouse equivalent to move a cursor across the screen and four hot buttons to quickly access contacts, to-do items, notes and the calendar.

Although not as slender as the iPaq, the @migo-600C still fits comfortably in a shirt pocket. The unit packs several control buttons on the left side, including power, the voice recorder, brightness and a hot button to activate the media player.

This arrangement can lead to a user accidentally powering on the device or recording a voice memo by pressing the wrong button at the wrong time.

It's impressive that the firm includes a tutorial CD along with the standard Microsoft ActiveSync synchronization software and desktop Outlook application.

About the only flaw I found in the device is that the color display, though certainly sharp, could be a bit brighter. It's readable and usable, but it lacks the brilliance and brightness of the iPaq and Jornada screens.

Of course, it also costs much less than those models.

*

Mark A. Kellner is a freelance technology writer and hosts "Mark Kellner on Computers" at http://www.adrenalineradio.com from 5 to 6p.m. Thursdays. He can be reached at mark@kellner2000.com.

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