Plugged In: All In One Devices
These days, the line between the cell phone and PDA grows eternally blurry, and that tiny handheld that used to merely make a phone call has morphed into a full-service assistant that slips easily into your pocket. Itís hard to believe that some streamlined little units can not only make a phone call, but serve up an MP3 for your audio pleasure, entertain you with a game, organize your schedule, keep all of your personal data, provide you with a spreadsheet or Word document, take a picture, or interact with other wireless devices.

Here are three PDA/cell phone combos that are worth a look, a listen and a workout.

This unit wonít necessarily replace your cell phone, but it adds a ton of communication functionality in a compact package that absolutely rocks. Weíre particularly taken with its ability to stretch from portrait to landscape in the tap of a button for the viewing of spreadsheets, Web pages and more.

The Tungsten T3ís built-in Bluetooth technology offers wireless connectivity, allowing you to share files, photos and more with nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices. You can also wirelessly access e-mail, dial phone numbers, send text messages and connect to the Internet using the Palm Web Pro Browser and a compatible mobile phone.

In addition to syncing with Outlook, the T3 houses a short voice recorder for quick messages-to-self, and comes with dual expansion slots to add memory and functionality.; $399

From the QWERTY keyboard to the onboard camera, the Treo 600 packs a lot of functionality into a tight space. The Treo lets you do e-mail and multimedia messaging, Web browsing and more.

It hot-syncs to your computer to keep your records up-to-date and backed up, and takes dandy little images with its camera. Add memory in the 600ís expansion slot for even more functionality and storage.

The 600 is super-lightweight and its button functionality is easy to manipulate. But we did find the keyboard a bit on the tiny side for our fat thumbs. Each key is slightly curved, too, making keystroking a little slippery. It takes a bit of getting used to.; $449

BLACKBERRY 7510 Itís hard to beat the size and power in the tiny Blackberry 7510. We marveled at the phone, e-mail, browser and organizer applications, but one generally expects those things. What we were really taken by was its long-range digital walkie-talkie feature, its built-in speakerphone and amazingly high-resolution color display.

Weíll always have problems with small QWERTY keyboards, but itís almost worth developing thumb dexterity to operate the Blackberry. Itís easy to navigate, has ample memory for applications and data storage, and proved itself to be a trooper on the road.; $349.99

Technophile Don Campbell lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo by Renata Kosina