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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

PDA Accessories

TomTom Navigator 2004

For the second year running, my Leo's Pick PDA accessory is the TomTom Navigator. This is a cool little gizmo that turns your PDA into a full-fledged GPS navigation system. It offers all the features you'd find in a handheld GPS device, but routes all the information and maps through your PDA.

The Navigator connects to your PDA via Bluetooth wireless technology; you can carry the remote GPS unit in your hand or mount it on your dashboard and then read the results on your PDA's screen. This means that you can use the Navigator as either a handheld or automotive GPS device. TomTom offers models for both Palm and Pocket PC units, as well as lower-priced wired models that forego the wireless Bluetooth connection.

TomTom's navigation software includes tons of U.S. maps, liberally sprinkled with gas stations, restaurants, and other points of interest. The TomTom Navigator not only shows you where you are, but also offers door-to-door 2D or 3D navigation and voice-guided turn-by-turn instructions.

Obviously, you want to plan your route before you start driving, and you can do so by selecting your start and destination from the currently displayed map, entering the start and end addresses manually, or simply tapping the name of the person you want to visit in your PDA's address book. It's really that easy.

I particularly like the "avoid roadblock" feature that provides instant rerouting around major construction and traffic congestion. The Navigator even displays the total distance for your trip and your estimated time of arrival. And if you take a wrong turn, it takes that into account and recalculates your route automatically.

Model: TomTom Navigator 2004 Manufacturer: TomTom (http://www.tomtom.com) Price: $299

HP Bluetooth iPaq Headphones

If you're an HP iPaq user, here's a neat little accessory. These headphones let you use your iPaq as a portable music player, while you listen in private—without any cord between your headphones and your PDA. Connection is via Bluetooth wireless technology, and the headphone itself is a comfortable behind-the-head design.

Model: Bluetooth iPaq Headphones Manufacturer: HP (http://www.hp.com) Price: $99.99

palmOne Universal Wireless Keyboard

Inputting data via stylus is a pain; it's much easier to type in large amounts of data, which is where palmOne's Universal Wireless Keyboard comes in. As the name implies, it's a full-size keyboard that connects to your PDA via Bluetooth wireless connection. And, even though this accessory comes from palmOne, it works with any type of PDA—even Pocket PC models.

Model: Universal Wireless Keyboard Manufacturer: palmOne (http://www.palmone.com) Price: $69.99

Veo Photo Traveler Camera

Add a digital camera to your PDA with Veo's Photo Traveler. The Photo Traveler is a 1.3-megapixel camera with 4X digital zoom; it can also be used to shoot moving videos. You can fine-tune your image with the unit's focus dial. The Photo Traveler connects to the expansion slot on the top of your PDA. Versions are available for most major Palm and Pocket PC models.

Model: Photo Traveler Manufacturer: Veo Products (http://www.veo.com) Price: $99.99

ZIP-LINQ Sync-n-Charge Cables

Here's a neat idea: Recharge your PDA from your laptop PC, so you don't have to carry that bulky PDA recharger with you when you travel. Instead, use ZIP-LINQ's Sync-N-Charge cable to connect your PDA to your PC, via USB. Once connected, the cable automatically syncs your data and recharges your PDA. The cable itself includes a retractable doohickey, so when you're not using it it's nice and compact. Sync-N-Charge cables are available for most major Palm and Pocket PC models, as well as selected smart phones.

Model: Sync-n-Charge Manufacturer: ZIP-LINQ (http://www.ziplinq.com) Price: $9.99

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