PSP or Palm TX or PocketPC? Which to buy and why?
December 16, 2005 10:08 AM   Subscribe

PSP or Palm TX or even Pocket PC? I've been given the option of picking my own electronics gift for Xmas. Which one should I go for? I currently use a Sony Clie TG-50.

Trying to figure out what to do. I have a TG50 but it has little RAM and I would like wireless surfing. I use the TG50 for book reading and storing pics and of course for Outlook syncing. Plus I play my NES games and various other ones on it. But now I'm torn between getting a Palm TX which has tons of ram (no keybrd though) or a PSP. I'm also willing to switch to PocketPC if I can find one with Bluetooth and Wireless for under 350$ Any suggestions? Ideas? Pros? Cons?
posted by damiano99 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Don't bother with the PSP, is my suggestion. I had one for the longest time before I just had to admit to myself that it's not as cool as I had originally figured it would be.

The screen scratches up pretty easily, and while Sony occasionally adds interesting features to it, they add them in a really boneheaded fashion that makes them not nearly as appealing as they should be. Further, each new successive update breaks the ability to use any emulators (NES games, etc.) or homebrew games until the new update is cracked.

...and the game library flat-out sucks, too.
posted by Imperfect at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2005

I, personally, like my PSP, but if you're looking for emulation or any sort of real contact management, etc. features forget it.

On the other hand the wireless web browsing works pretty well, and while the game selector is kind of thin now I've been happy with the ones I've gotten.

Also I know people who really like the UMD movies. At least in Seattle Blockbuster rents them.
posted by sevenless at 10:42 AM on December 16, 2005

I'd also add that the PSP's general interface isn't that stellar for, well, anything other than gaming. (Also, it blows for first person shooters.) I occasionally use the web interface for things that don't require any real typing (web comics, looking up movies on Fandango) but the text entry system is abysmal.

I'm a big fan of my Palm OS Treo 650.. it's nice having all my office apps (Good Link) and contacts (Intellisync for Yahoo!) and entertainment (Tetris, Solitaire, Bejewled) in what's basically a phone form factor. The web browsing is pretty good for smallish pages. Fandango is basically un-useable, but eBay, Yahoo, and Amazon all render well enough. (I use eBay and Yahoo's mobile optimized pages, but Amazon's real www)

I've probably owned 4-6 PDA's in my time, but having all that functionality built into my phone (which I conveniently if nerd-ily carry on my belt) has been the best way to guarantee that I'll actually carry it with me.
posted by jwadhams at 10:50 AM on December 16, 2005

I'm pretty happy with my Dell Axim with wifi. It uses the Pocket PC OS, and takes SD cards. I use it for PDA functions, plus checking email, reading Metafilter, and listening to MP3s. There is a hell of a lot more you can do with it if so inclined.
posted by LarryC at 11:01 AM on December 16, 2005

Well, if you can get your paws on one (I had one preordered, and Nokia *CANCELED* my order, without contacting me) I'd check out the Nokia 770; 800x480 tablet, wifi/ bluetooth internal, runs on linux tablet os, etc. Very robust although a little lacking in memory; Of course now they are backordered, and the nokia reps have no clue about orders / shipping / good business policies.

I think the Nokia 770's are boss. Unfortunately, they did some poor demand planning and they are hard to come by, for now.

The Nokia site.

a blog for the 770

last but not least: a link to check for availability from your local compusa

change the zip code in the last link to reflect your locale.
posted by AllesKlar at 11:16 AM on December 16, 2005

Best answer: Forget the PSP, unless you want it for gaming. I got my wife one for an early Christmas present, and she loves it dearly. The only thing she used her Palm for was addresses, and we converted that data to a web page that is her home page in the PSP browser. If you like the games (and movies, and photo storage), it's great...but the onscreen keyboard well and truly sucks. Not good for browsing if you need to do any serious text input.

Get a TX...I have a T5 which I love, and the built-in wifi on the TX should be great.
posted by lhauser at 11:18 AM on December 16, 2005

The T|X screen is a nice size, but something about the Axim 51v is very attractive (to me). Though the Axim is a bit out of your price range.

Slightly OT: I can't seem to figure out why they don't attach small thumb keyboards to the Axim or T|X or Nokia 770. I don't need a hard drive, but a keyboard, even a small thumber, would be handy. (Yes, I know they have clip on keyboards, but I'd like something integrated foldable sort of like a bigger version of the 'LG VX9800").
posted by shoepal at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2005

If I had such a carte blanche offer, I'd definitely be asking for a Nokia 770, even though it's not much of a game machine yet or a PDA at all (until more apps are ported.) But if you can figure out a use for it, it sure is cool.

Slightly OT: Some of us hate small thumb keyboards, shoepal, and consider their absence to be a feature.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:08 PM on December 16, 2005

I had a TX but returned it after a few weeks mostly due to it not doing what I'd hope it to do well: be able to keep tabs on my personal schedule and contacts on my Mac [and .mac] and also do my work schedule on my work PC running Outlook via Exchange. Things got complicated due to my office using a Cisco VPN in combination with SecurID to get to the network via WiFi. So it meant I couldn't use the built-in Exchange syncing from outide the office. In the office, but wireless, my office uses PEAP 802.1x authentication to get on the network and there's no client for that available.

Via bluetooth I could get the calendars to sync to the PC fine, but it meant I had to be within range of the notebook and that sort of defeated the purpose. It also did just fine with the Mac syncing. But I couldn't get it to do both at the same time well. The last straw was when I accidentally had it erase all of my contacts in my Mac's address book.

If you don't have my jacked up situation where there just isn't a solution, the TX is great. I found it could grab a wifi signal in most public hotspots without a hitch. The bluetooth was also great and I could use it to have my phone connect to data services and browse the internet [my phone only has GPRS so it was painfully slow, but I considered switching to a phone with EDGE if I was to keep it].

And what shoepal said about the thumb keyboard -- not being built in like on some PDAs, but as a plug-in. Ericsson made one for its cellphones years ago that you could plug in to the bottom of almost all of its phones -- text what you needed to d, and then unplug it. I was bummed to find it doesn't work with my K750i since SE changed connector.
posted by birdherder at 6:04 PM on December 16, 2005

I had a Zire 72 and the touch screen went bad. So, I bought an Ipaq rx 1955 with wifi. The computer is fine, but I hate windows mobile 5.0. Unless you really need outlook, the Palm software is so much nicer.
posted by phewbertie at 9:39 PM on December 16, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the help guys. I think I'm going to dish out the extra money and get the Axim x51v. Anyone tried it yet? I hate moving to Pocket PC after using Palm for so long, but it seems like fate. The 51v specs sound like they do it all.
posted by damiano99 at 1:00 AM on December 17, 2005

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