Mobile Phones & Gear

eBooks and eReaders–a Short Overview

Soon I will be lucky enough to review Sony’s Reader, an eBook reader by Sony. But before I do and give y’all a review, I thought it might be nice to give folks a brief overview of eBooks, both on devoted devices and PDAs. I’ve been in the online documentation game for a long time.? A long time.? I was writing online doc back in 1991, before the Web even got going, back when Acrobat wasn’t even a twinkle in Adobe’s eye.? So I have some pretty (ahem) strong views on online doc, eBooks, eBook readers, and what makes for…


The Otterbox 1920 Treo Case Review

Let’s say that the place where you need to use your Palm Treo 650 or 700 series is not in an office in the middle of the city; perhaps it is at a bivouac in the middle of a desert, in an arctic outpost, or maybe on board a crabbing vessel in the middle of the Bering sea. These are not the places where a stylish wrap will protect your PDA adequately, these are the type places that call for an OtterBox 1920 Palm Treo Case. This thing is a beast!


Spectec SDW-822 miniSDIO WiFi Review

When Judie asked me if I was interested in reviewing the miniSDIO version of the Spectec WiFi card similar to her SDIO one, I was thrilled. My Treo has been pretty well perfect since I got it, except for internet access. Up until recently I have had to make do with only a 10MB data allowance, which is pretty small if I surf with pictures, especially on sites that aren?t designed for mobile devices. With a WiFi card I can surf as much as I like at home without having to worry about going over my 10MB. But therein lies…


Motorola Motofone F3 Review

My Treo 750 is a fantastic device that does email, web browsing, PIM, and if you want it to it can even make phone calls. The price of all this functionality is size. The Treo is by no means a small phone. With the likes of the Dash, the Blackjack and even the JAQ3, the Treo (all models) are quite chubby. Normally I don’t find that a problem. I am addicted to email on my phone, so the tradeoff of size for WM5, thumboard and UMTS (and soon HSDPA) is well worth it. But there are times when I don’t…


The Proporta Treo 700 Lateral Case Review

For some time Proporta has been known for their custom molded aluminum PDA cases as well as their Alu-Leather case line, which consists of hand-crafted leather cases with an aluminum “screen saver system”. Today wer’e going to take a look at the next generation case from Proporta: one that was created especially for the Palm Treo 700 series, and one which blends the protection and industrial design of their aluminum cases with the classic leather style of their Alu-Leather case line, fusing them into something new – the Treo 700 Lateral Case. Included in the box are the case, a…


The Cingular Palm Treo 750 Review

Treo at Last (and I’ll Never Go Hungry Again..!) Some of the best things come in small packages. I’ve been looking at a number of different mobile devices over the past few months. Right now, I’ve got 5 WM PDA Phones, and 2 WM Smartphones. The PDA phones are mostly locked to specific carriers. I’ve got an HP 6945 and ETEN M700 that are both unlocked, Quad Band GSM phones that support EDGE. I’ve got a Siemens SX66 (Cingular/ATT) and Palm Treo 700wx (Sprint). I’ve got an Audiovox SMT5600 (Cingular/ATT) and Cingular 3125 that are both Smartphones. However, one of…


A Palm Treo cradle – LEGO style

I was looking around for a charging cradle that would allow me to store my Palm Treo 650 or 680 in an upright position. Most of the ones that I’ve seen advertised range in price from $29 to $49 USD. While esthetically useful, the practicality of obtaining a cradle meant having yet another spare power cable and sync cable stored away in a shoebox of miscellaneous wires and USB cables. The ancient Greek phillospher Plato is quoted as saying Necessity is the mother of invention, which means that a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or…


The Gennum nXZEN PLUS 5500 Bluetooth Headset Review

Alright, alright, settle down! Just because you are looking at a picture of a pink headset, there is no excuse to dismiss the product as “not something I’d be interested in.” It’s also available in a unisex silver; I just wanted to try something different. 😉 With that out of the way, let me tell you about how I gained first-hand knowledge of the? Gennum nXZEN PLUS 5500 Bluetooth Headset‘s noise canceling properties. My buddy Vincent likes to call every time he gets a new headset, so I can tell him how he sounds on it. Generally I’m able to…


The VITO Technology QuickContact For Pocket PC Phone Edition Review

If you own a Smartphone with hard numeric buttons or a Pocket PC Phone Edition with an always visible keyboard such as the Treo, then you probably don’t need the program I’ll be talking about today. But if you have a Pocket PC Phone Edition that is all screen with very few hard buttons – such as the HTC Universal, HTC Hermes, and other similarly styled large-screen devices, then you might have noticed that making a one-handed call is not always a simple proposition. Case in point: To make a call from the Treo 700wx, I can hold it in…


The i.Tech Virtual Keyboard (VKB) Review

[Ed. note: this review picks up where the Unboxing left off. If you haven’t already read it, read the i.Tech Virtual Keyboard Unboxing first.] This past month with the i.Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. During this time, I have managed to learn way more about Bluetooth Stacks and Windows XP Service Pack 2 upgrades than I ever wanted to know…but I’m getting ahead of myself already, and we wouldn’t want that… 😉 As many of you will recall from my previously posted unboxing, the Virtual Keyboard (VKB) is a futuristic…


The Spectec SDG-810 GPS Receiver Unboxed

After all of the excitement caused by my December 23rd post, it was almost anti-climatic to receive the Spectec SDG-810 SDIO GPS Module today. Almost! 😉 Included in the box are the driver disk, the module and a nifty plastic case. The module comes with a 128MB microSD. And I think that it looks pretty odd hanging out of my Treo 700wx. 😉 When the GPS module is installed and the PDA is turned on, an LED indicates that it is operational. Nope, it doesn’t look any smaller on the HTC Universal. It’s okay though…an all-in-one GPS device may be…


The Palm Treo 750v WM5 Pocket PC Phone Review

In August this year I went 3G. I moved over to Three, a 3G-only carrier here in Australia that provides the best prices on calls, caps, data rates and other services. I didn?t want to be locked into any contracts, so I bought both the SIM (or in this case, USIM) and phone outright. I got the Sony Ericsson M600i, which has a fantastic form factor, including a touch screen and thumboard into its very compact dimensions. However, it wasn?t long before I started to have problems. The phone would hang, the email program would crash, calls wouldn?t ring but…


Treo 650 Housing Replacement Do-It-Yourself Instructions

[Ed. note: Larry originally wrote this article for the Palm Is Life forum, but he has also translated it for posting here.] Around two weeks ago at “http://www.palmislife.com/“, we had a group purchase activity for buying complete set of Treo 650 Housing as replacement parts for those with “poor looking” Treos. These are “Genuine Replacement Housing For Treo 650” with a “Verizon” logo printed. They are not brand new housings, they are all used but in good condition.


The SPB Backup for Pocket PC Review

My Treo started playing up recently, with random software crashes and some sort of battery drain. It got to the point where my Treo would only last 6hrs without any use before it would be dead. I had also just received my MacBook Pro, but I couldn’t get it to sync with it, so I decided it was time for a hard reset. Since I hadn’t been able to sync all my contacts/calendar to my MacBook yet, I needed to get that data off before I did the hard reset. Before I did I loaded up SPB Backup to see…


The Ultimate Theft Alert v3 Review

Ultimate Theft Alert is an application that runs hidden in the background and monitors the SIM card in your Windows Mobile Phone Edition device. It is designed to send an SMS message from your phone in the event that the SIM card is changed. Installation is just like a regular Windows Mobile application, but configuration requires a little digging in File Explorer. You will not find any shortcuts for UTA in any menu on your device. It runs stealthily in the background, so that any would-be thief cannot disable the software. Obviously you will need to install it to the…


The HTC Star Trek / Qtek 8500 WM5 Smartphone Review

It’s been a little over a month since I received a Qtek 8500, HTC‘s first clamshell phone which runs the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone operating system. Unlike some of the other Smartphone OS devices available, such as the Dash and the Q, which attempt to “be all and do all” without the benefit of a touch screen and the full Pocket PC operating system, this is one model that appears to be happy just being a smart phone. Phone first, PDA second, which is an interesting concept these days.


The i.Tech Virtual Keyboard Unboxing

The i.Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard has been on my list of must-try items ever since I first heard about it – which if I remember correctly was in 2003! The first time I saw pictures of a keyboard which worked by beaming a red laser display on any flat surface, my inner geek did a happy dance! This is a product that looks like came straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel, out of a Star Trek episode, out of a…you get the picture. 😉 Like many new technologies, the VKB had a few false-starts and took longer to…


All About the Treo 680

[Ed. note: This unboxing with comments was written and translated by Michael Lin (“puttingdog”) and posted on the Palm is Life Forum. The original Chinese version with larger pictures may be seen here. Gear Diary would like to thank Michael for making his pictures and commentary available to an English Speaking audience and Larry for obtaining Michael’s permission to re-post in English.] The Palm Treo 680… My first impression: why does it take so long just to turn on the machine! It takes almost 50 seconds, dude! Appearance I assumed the coating on the front side and the back are…


The Palm Treo 650 Speaker Fix

[Ed. note: Larry originally wrote this article for the Palm Is Life forum, but he has also translated it for posting here. To see this article in the original Chinese, click here. Happy Hacking!] When the Palm Treo 650 launched, it came with an earpiece issue; its speaker sound was too low for regular people to hear. How bad is it? Well, you could clearly hear the caller’s voice in a quiet room, but you probably couldn’t hear a honeybee flying around your ear while outdoors – even if you have turned your Treo 650 to the loudest level. Later…


The Palm Treo 700p Palm OS Smartphone Review

It didn’t hit home that the last Palm OS device I had owned was the Tapwave Zodiac, until Alison from Astraware asked if I would like to take a look at their new Palm OS game Cake Mania. But I couldn’t, because I had sold the Zod in 2005 and had never replaced it. D’oh! Seeing that I enjoy using a Windows Mobile 5 device as my main brain, I thought it would be a good idea to swap my Samsung A900 (a decidedly non-smart phone) with a Palm OS smart phone – specifically Sprint‘s Treo 700p. This device has…


The Gomadic Sync and Charge Retractable Cable Review

Shortly after buying a Treo 700wx I decided to ditch the bulky power and USB cable set that came with the device. I wanted to trade them for something much more compact, and the obvious choice – since I already had a collection of Gomadic tips – was to try the Gomadic Sync and Charge Retractable Cable system. Knowing that this same gadget would work with any of the other tips I already owned was a major selling point. Measuring approximately 5″ when retracted, the body of the charger is made of glossy black plastic. The center compartment which houses…