What barebones PDA is right for me?
July 9, 2007 9:31 AM   Subscribe

I want a barebones PDA. Please help me find the right one.

Primarily, I'd like a device that would allow me to carry my Outlook calendar around with me. I'd also like to have the capability to have a shopping list on there - I've used SplashShopper with my former PDA, a Palm Zire 22.

I don't necessarily need color or grafitti capabilities on the device. A good (ie, loud, buzzing, pinching, poking) alarm for my calendar events would be great.

Also, something cheapish - under $75 would be great.

I really liked the Zire 22 and might go back to it, but it's on the high side of my budget. If an old Handspring or Palm IIIxe would do the trick for cheaper, I'll try one of those instead. I wonder if those would be sync-able with Outlook, and if I could get SplashShopper installed on them?

I'm also considering one of these cheap options, but the reviews are putting me off.

I did try integrating my calendar into my iPod, but that didn't work so great for me. Hard to read on the screen, cranky about synching, etc.

posted by lucyleaf to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could try a used Blackberry and the desktop sync software - if all you're looking for is calendering and a list, you can set it to sync to outlook for contacts, calendar, memos and notes., and should be able to pick one up for next to nothing, and the software's a free download.
posted by pupdog at 9:45 AM on July 9, 2007

I loved my Zire 31 (which is the predecessor to the Z22), and would recommend that model wholeheartedly. Unlike the 22, it has a SD card port and a headphone jack - so you can use it for playing music (or storing all of wikipedia!) if you're so inclined. The processor is a bit slower on the 31 though, so be careful there. You should be able to find one pretty cheaply used.
posted by matkline at 10:00 AM on July 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

I've since upgraded to a Blackberry, but I previously carried a Nokia 6620 smart phone. It had extra-basic calendar and task list software that sync'd fine with most computers (I'm not an Outlook guy but I'm certain it works with that software.) If the task list doesn't do it for you - there are thousands of Symbian OS apps out there and surely a few dozen are grocery-list type programs.

No larger than a 'regular' cell phone and totally fine for quick glances at one's calendar and event alarms.

You can get an equivalent phone dirt cheap if not free from most US providers at this point. If you already carry a cell phone, this solution seems like a slam-dunk to me.
posted by gazole at 10:01 AM on July 9, 2007

To 2nd gazole, I have the Nokia 6600 which is the sibling model to the 6620. It syncs Outlook pretty well (handles repeating events and multiple contact details for each person...far better than I've seen in other people's phones). It has barebones utilities for keeping lists and memos, and clocks and a nice little unit conversion tool.

The operative phrase for searching for these types of phones is a Symbian Series 60 phone (although they keep changing the branding on that so who knows how long that will stay valid).
posted by mmascolino at 10:20 AM on July 9, 2007

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