Special Report: Working from the Ballpark

Best Gadgets for Mobile Computing

It's a beautiful spring afternoon, the team is in town, and you're stuck at the office answering emails and reviewing proposals. Between WiFi at the park and high speed wireless phone access, it's possible tobe awayfrom the office for a few hours without being out of touch. In this report the Retrevo gadget expertsrecommend some greatproducts for remote computing and emailing on handheldsandother smallportable devices.


Enterprise or Individual

Hooking up your mobile device to corporate email is commonplace these days. Whether your company uses Notes, Exchange,Groupwise, or some other email applicationthere's a good chance you'll either use a BlackBerry device to connect to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or a Windows Mobile device. Individuals and small business users are more likely to use a POP3 account, Blackeberry's Internet Service (BIS), or even a browser-based email client.


Choose Your Gadget

Depending on your service and manufacturer or operating system preference, you'll most likely be using a device from one of the following categories Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm, Windows or Mac Laptop Here'sthe list ofour favorite products in these categories. Despite some dings on ergonomics and the fact that it doesn't support Cingular 3Gor WiFi (not very manycell phones do) The BlackBerry 8800 gets high marks for features (it even has built in GPS) and is one of the most popular Blackberry phones on the market.

Blackberry 8800.jpg BlackBerry 8800


The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 is a little slimer then the 8800. It has a 1.3 MP camera and can double as an MP3 player. The thumbwheel is gone, the keyboard is different and the screen might be a little small for browsing but you can't beat the sleek form factor.

Blackberry Pearl.jpg The BlackBerry Pearl 8100


Windows Mobile 6

Windows Mobile 6, the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, was released in February 2007.Version 6 was not a major upgrade (for that,you'll have to wait two years for what is code-named Photon) but it was significant enough to justifiy seeking out devices with Version 6 especially so if you're an Exchange user.Mobile-review had a verythorough review of Windows Mobile 6. Another advantage of Windows Mobile is the ability to view and edit many Microsoft Office documents although how pratical that is on a tiny screen is up for debate. Where are the high resoultion eyeglass displays? Word on the street says Windows Mobile 6 upgrades are right around the corner for Samsung's Blackjack, Treo 750 and possibly Motorola Q. The Samsung i607Blackjack Smartphone is one of the most popular Windows Mobile based phones. Some users complain about the battery life,problems running java-based applications (Google Maps, Gmail, etc.), and other quirks. On the other hand this is a feature-rich phone that supports UMTS (high speed 3G with simultaneous data and voice).

blckjack_duo.jpg Samsung Blackjack


The Treo 750 is the latest in Palm's Treo line.If you like Treos and you likeWindows Mobile this is a good smartphone for you. There are lots of complaints about battery life but otherwisegood reports on synchronizing with Outlook. You can get the similar Treo 700 from the major carriers who each offer their versions of high speed data transmission.

treo 750am.jpg Treo 750


The Motorola Q Smartphone has been on the market long enough for it to reach an affordable price of around $250. Although the reviews are mixed with plenty of complaints about performance and other glitches, there are enough customers expressing satisfiaction with it's QWERTY keypad and other features to give a qualified recommendation. Motorola has announced a new and improved version named the Moto Q 9h which should be available any day.

Motorola Q.jpg Motorola Q Smartphone


The Nokia N Series of phones excel at multimedia functions while supporting most of the latest high speed carrier standards. From the MP3 playing, WiFi enabled N80 to the "Swiss Army Knife," GPS equipped, N95 and all the video playing high megapixelpicturing taking models in between, these phones will make it easier to carry your office around in your pocket.

 Nokia N80.jpg  N95.jpg  n93.jpg
 Nokia N80  Nokia N95  Nokia N93


Sub-notebooks and small handhelds can be a sensible mobile computing device especially when you add a high speed carrier card or link your 3G cell phone.  PC Magazine recently reviewed what they call "Teeny Tiny Handheld PCs." None of them got rave reviews and they're all a bit pricey but they do make a super light weight portable alternative especially with their built in high speed carrier cards.

 Sony Vaio UX180.jpg  Vulcan Flipstart.jpg  OQO Model 021.jpg
 Sony VAIO VGN-Ux180P  Vulcan FlipStart E-1001S  OQO Model 02


High Speed Carrier Connections

There's lots of transmission speed waiting in the wings for cell phones. Jiwire has an excellent article thatdescribes all the latest 3G standardsalong with some recomendations for high speed3G PC Cards. Coming Attractions Cellphones and smartphones are getting more features added to them by the minute. Unfortuantely, it appears at the expense of battery life. Windows Mobile 6 phones should be poping up like spring flowers. Infosynch World has a round up of some news Mobile 6 phones along with another roundup fromWindows for Devices. Among the phones to watch are:

 SCH-i760.jpg  Moto Q q9.jpg
 Samsung Ultra Smart F700  Moto Q 9h


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