There's a huge library of games for both Palm and Windows Mobile (a.k.a. Pocket PC) devices, from basic puzzle and word contests to first-person shooters and real-time strategy titles. Sporting a high-resolution VGA screen, a multimedia accelerator, and a gaming bundle, the Dell Axim X51v
is a hot pick for gamers. We'll plug Download.com
one last time here as a good source for further information on software.
The addicting Jawbreaker game.
Music and movies
More and more PDAs today have built-in digital cameras so that you can take snapshots on the fly. Typically, handhelds have 1.2- or 1.3-megapixel VGA cameras; you won't get the same image quality as with a dedicated digital camera, but they're good if you want to take a quick shot to e-mail to family or friends.
Even without a camera, you can transfer files from your PC and convert your handheld into a portable electronic photo album. The Palm LifeDrive
even lets you create slide shows with background music, and Windows Media 2003 for Pocket PC Premium Edition even comes with image-editing software for the PDA.
Today, more PDAs, such as the HP iPaq rx3715, are sporting integrated cameras for on-the-go snapshots, but don't expect the same quality as digital cameras.
Load up a memory card with tunes, and plug in headphones--you've turned your organizer into an MP3 player. If you have the Plus Digital Media Enhancement for your Windows XP machine, you can load your home videos onto your Pocket PC device to watch anytime. Palm OS, too, supports applications such as Kinoma Video Player to let you watch videos you've downloaded to the device. One note: Not all Palm OS handhelds have digital audio and video players, so if having multimedia capabilities is important to you, make sure to check for audio/video support before purchasing the PDA.
Both Palm and Windows Mobile support e-book readers. Reading on the screen of a PDA is naturally a different experience from doing so on a paperback, but a good story can pull you in, no matter what the format. You should also take a look at services such as AvantGo, which delivers Web sites to your handheld or your smart phone for free. Each time you sync, AvantGo will load the latest version of your favorite Web sites such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, or CNET News.com.