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  1.    #1  
    I just saw a beautiful Casio device and now am rethinking my plan to purchase a Clie 710c. I'm in no hurry since my trusty Visor Dx is just fine, but I wanted to start a new thread debating between these two modalities without any bashing of individuals. Points I'm considering:

    1) MP3 capability and battery life - I didn't know WinCe could even
    do this!

    2) A screen readable in color in the dark - for someone like me who
    works in very dark rooms, I was amazed at how easily I could read
    the screen, play games in my dimly lit workplace.

    3) Ability to download documents formatted just like they are on my
    home computer - I have already bought Documents to Go and don't
    want to invest in another program in Palm if I switch.

    4) Color.

    5) Enough affordable memory to download medical references.

    Also, what is the real difference between crashes between Palm and Win CE? I've never seriously crashed my Visor.

    Also, what about a keyboards for these devices? I understand they are larger than the Clie?

    What about Casio vs Compaq - is the cost difference worthwhile?

    I admit the ability to download web pages from sites I want appeals to me rather than what AvantGo gives me.

    Sorry this is so long! Thanks for your help in advance!
  2. #2  
    I wish I could help you, because this is a subject I'd love to hear more about. Too often the debate turns into vague assertions instead of concrete functionality comparisons. Honestly, to this day, I'm not clear on what exactly a PocketPC can do that a Palm OS device can't -- apart from playing Doom.

    Unfortunately I don't own either system.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by John Nowak
    Unfortunately I don't own either system.
    How'd you find your way here?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson

    How'd you find your way here?
    Sorry, I misspoke. I don't own a Sony; I own a Visor Edge.
  5. #5  
    That's funny cuz to this day I've never seen a PalmOS device use 2 pcmcia cards at the same time. None the less even one. There is a 5 gig mass storage card that uses a pcmcia type II slot that is compadible with WinCE devices. There is one thing the PocketPC can do that the PalmOS can't. There are many things you can do with 5 gigs of space will browzing the internet with internet explorer on a wireless networking card connected to a cable modem or dsl, while using a keyboard that alows you to type at the same time.
    "there is always a way around the system" - redwing '99

    visit http://www.kevintm.comwww.kevintm.com
  6. #6  
    I've used Palms for over 5 years now, but have also used WinCE and Pocket PCs for short bits of time (mostly my friends' devices that I borrow for a couple days to play with). The Pocket PCs have coem a LOOOONG way from the earlier version of Windows CE. They're actually usable! Bare in mind though, that I've always always ended up coming back to Palms.

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    1) MP3 capability and battery life - I didn't know WinCe could even do this!
    This (MP3 audio capability) has been one of Microsoft's and their partners' selling points for the Pocket PC since the last bunch of Palm-Sized PCs came out just before the Pocket PC was released (that's a mouthful). Sound quality really depends on what device you have.

    Battery life on Windows CE devices has always been a problem, but it isn't as bad as it used to be. If you own a Pocket PC, expect to charge it every day (or a couple times a day if you use the MP3 and device extensively) to every couple of days if you just use it sparingly. I don't own the Clie 710 (though I do want one), but from what I've read you probably should charge it every day or other day if you use the MP3 feature. As Palms move towards colour screens and possibly higher power processors like the Xscale or ARM Dragonball, battery life will no longer be so greatly in favour of Palm.

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    2) A screen readable in color in the dark - for someone like me who
    works in very dark rooms, I was amazed at how easily I could read
    the screen, play games in my dimly lit workplace.
    I think the review on The Gadgeteer has side-by-side shots of the screen in the dark (I could be wrong, it might have been another site). Both are more than capable. The better question is, which one works better in the light?

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    3) Ability to download documents formatted just like they are on my
    home computer - I have already bought Documents to Go and don't
    want to invest in another program in Palm if I switch.
    Well, Pocket PCs do have Pocket Word and Excel. That's kinda nice. Mind you, neither is not as full featured as it's desktop counterparts. Think of Pocket Word more like WordPad that Word from the Office suite.

    If you already bought Documents To Go, why waste the investment if you are satisfied with the program?

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    5) Enough affordable memory to download medical references.
    If that's the case, then CompactFlash, which most Pocket PCs use, is the cheaper and higher capacity of the four available in your decision (Palm's new units and some of Casio's use SD and MMC cards, Sony uses its MemoryStick).

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    Also, what is the real difference between crashes between Palm and Win CE? I've never seriously crashed my Visor.
    Not sure about the crashes, but what I HATE HATE HATE HATE with the Pocket PC is that applications stay open, running, and I MEMORY after you exit them. There is no Close button like there is in Windows. Unless you buy a shareware app to provide this most BASIC of functions, you must go into the Settings, Control Panel, System tab, Memory applet, Running Programs tab, and THEN you can close the program and take it out of memory. Is that a load of crap or what?

    Also, a Pocket PC listed with 32 MB of RAM is a little misleading. RAM must be divded into Storage memory (where you can keep documents. files, programs, etc.) and Program memory (where applications actually run). I don't know if Microsoft removed this, but there used to be a limit on how they could be resized. Therefore, if you maximized program memory to 16 MB, that would leave you only 16 MB of RAM from storing your files and MP3/WMA files. Or on the other side of the coin, if you set program memory to the smallest that it can be can be, even with no apps running that space is "lost" in the fact that you can't store anything in it.

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    Also, what about a keyboards for these devices? I understand they are larger than the Clie?
    All major Palm models (Palms, Visors, and the Clies) has Stowaway keyboards, as do the Compaq and HP Pocket PCs. They're all the same size. Not sure about the Casio.

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    What about Casio vs Compaq - is the cost difference worthwhile?
    If you go Pocket PC, spend the money and get the Compaq. The screen is better on the Casio (well, that all depends on WHICH Casio), but you have better audio and peripheral support with the Compaq. Also, Windows CE is apparently moving exclusively to StrongARM processors. The iPaq is built around it, the Casio is on an older and slower MIPS chip (I think).

    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    I admit the ability to download web pages from sites I want appeals to me rather than what AvantGo gives me.
    AvantGo works both offline and online on both Palm and Pocket PC. To use PIE, you'll need a modem or network card for the Pocket PC. And do you really really want to surf non-optimized web sites on a screen that small? I hope you like scrolling, both vertically and horizontally (yuck!).
  7. #7  
    Wireless networking while using a keybaord is very possible for visors. Thanks for playing our home game.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  8. #8  
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by pel in chicago
    [B]
    1) MP3 capability and battery life - I didn't know WinCe could even do this!
    All PocketPCs can play back MP3s. The battery life is not affected that much on Sony or PPC if you turn off the display while listening. If you leave the display on, you draw a lot more current. Batteries don't like this and so you will discahrge it much faster.
    2) A screen readable in color in the dark - for someone like me who works in very dark rooms, I was amazed at how easily I could read the screen, play games in my dimly lit workplace.
    Virtually all of the color screens look great in a dark room. The bigger test is how they do in store/office lighting and how they look in bright sunlight. The m505 is at it's worst in office light. The Casio PPCs, the Palm IIIc, the Visor Prism, and the HP54X units are unusable outside. The Amigo, IPAQ, Sony and m505 color units all use reflective displays that actually look beter in the sunlight than they do inside.
    3) Ability to download documents formatted just like they are on my home computer - I have already bought Documents to Go and don't want to invest in another program in Palm if I switch.
    Pocket Word is decent, but if you use a lot of advanced formatting, you will lose some of it when moving docs back and forth. On the Palm side, the new release of WordSmith is in my opinion the most compatible solution for Word compatibility. It appears to be better than Pocket Word. If you use PDF docs, there are Acrobat viewers on both platforms.

    I am assuming that you are mainly interested in text documents. Discussing compatibility with other document types such as Excel or PowerPoint is way complex.
    4) Color.
    Color is cool and there are lots of differences and trade-offs. Let's look at the Palm side first.

    The Palm IIIC is the worst. it uses a 256 color mode with a palette of 4096 colors. This means that you can simultaneously display any 256 of those 4096 colors. The Prism and m505 use a 16-bit palette. This means that in theory you can display 65,536 colors simultaneously. Actually you can only display 25,600 colors at once since that is the number of pixels on the screen. The Sony Clie N710C can currently display 256 colors out of a palette of 262,144 colors. This can actually look better than the 65,536 color mode on the Prism if the picture has less than 256 colors since you can more closely match each of the pixels. The Sony 610 will use Palm OS 4 and support 65536 color mode. There is suppoed to be an upgrade for the 710, but Sony has not yet given a firm release date. The Sony color units use a 320x320 resolution. This is four times as many pixels as a regular Palm unit and 33% more pixels than the Pocket PCs. Graphics look like photos on this screen.

    In Pocket PC land, the Casios reign supreme. With their 64K color mode, they look great. The new Amigo also uses this mode, but it's colors are not quite as vivid. The IPAQ and the HP 54X units lose in this comparison. They are both limited to a palette of 4096 colors. This can cause signifigant banding on pictures.

    Another issue with color units is graphics performance. More colors and more pixels mean more data is used to draw the screen. On the Palm IIIC, Visor Prism, m505 and the Pocket PCs, the graphics are drawn by the CPU. This is especially noticable on the Prism. Each pixel uses sixteen times as much data as in the original black and white mode that the monochrome Palms use by default. The Sonys use a 2D accelerator that makes the graphics performance at least equal to any on the monochrome units even with their higher resolution.

    5) Enough affordable memory to download medical references.
    All of the units that I have discussed except the Palm IIIC can use expansion memory. How much is enough memory to hold your medical references? If you are talking 64MB or less of memory, there is not that much to choose between the different solutions. One type of memory or another may be a little cheaper, but not by more than 30 or 40 dollars. If you need a lot of memory, go with the PPC since you can drop in a 1GB CF hard disk.
    Also, what is the real difference between crashes between Palm and Win CE? I've never seriously crashed my Visor.
    Neither one crashes very often on their own. 90% of the crashes that I have seen on the most recent versions of both OSs are caused by bad apps. Since neither of them really protects memory very well, they are both at the mercy of application programmers. That said, I would rate both OSs as very stable.
    Also, what about a keyboards for these devices? I understand they are larger than the Clie?
    Basically the same choices. You can get folding keyboards for all of the units being discussed except for the Casios. There are a number of other solutions for both platforms, but they are basically comparable in feature and price.
    What about Casio vs Compaq - is the cost difference worthwhile?
    Do you want to use it outside? Go IPAQ.

    Do you need better color matching? Go Casio.

    One thing to keep in mind if you are going to need access to add-in memory all of the time is that the Casio has the expansion slot built-in. The IPAQ needs to have an expansion sleeve attached to expand the memory. The sleeve approach has an advantage in that if you don't need the expansion, you can have a smaller device. There are also a number of expansion options so that you can choose between CF, PCMCIA and dual PCMCIA. Keep in mind that even the smallest sleeve (CF) makes the IPAQ bigger and heavier than the Casio E125.
    I admit the ability to download web pages from sites I want appeals to me rather than what AvantGo gives me.
    The version of IE that is included iwth the PPC is a pretty decent web browser. It also incorporates AvantGo so that you get both feature sets.

    There are a number of good browsers available for Palm OS. I don't do much browsing on the Palms, so have no strong opinions, but you can search the archives here on Visor Central and get a lot of advice and opinions. I think that I saw a thread on this in the last day or two.

    I think that's all for now. I started this a couple of hours ago and then went to a long meeting, but hopefully its not too disjointed.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by kevmccollum
    That's funny cuz to this day I've never seen a PalmOS device use 2 pcmcia cards at the same time. None the less even one. There is a 5 gig mass storage card that uses a pcmcia type II slot that is compadible with WinCE devices. There is one thing the PocketPC can do that the PalmOS can't. There are many things you can do with 5 gigs of space will browzing the internet with internet explorer on a wireless networking card connected to a cable modem or dsl, while using a keyboard that alows you to type at the same time.
    A. Visor Springboard is similar to PCMCIA making it easy to adapt. B. What could you do with 10Gigs on a PDA? C. For that cost, you could get a laptop rather than squint at a 3" screen. D. How do I filter you?
  10.    #10  
    I am so grateful for everyone's answers. I think I have quite a bit of research to do before selecting my next PDA. Fortunately I am quite happy with my Visor (except for my bulky case and inability to read it in the dark). All I really want visibility in dim light rather than sunlight since I work in radiology. Color is a bonus as well as the MP3. All I need is 16 mb of memory.

    One quick question - will the Compaq unit show photos adequately compared to the Casio?
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by pel in chicago
    One quick question - will the Compaq unit show photos adequately compared to the Casio?
    It will show them more than adequately. They'll look very good, perhaps not as great as they would on the Casio, but still very good. This is where the difference between 12-bit colour (the iPaq) and 16-bit colour (the Casio line) become apparent. In regular usage (PIM functions, regular applications, even video playback), you won't be able to tell the difference.
  12. #12  
    The IPAQ will show some pictures just fine. Others will look like crap unless they are dithered. There is one app named CoolViz (I think), that will dither pics as they are displayed on the IPAQ.

    The types of pics that will look bad are ones with gradients of the same color. In other words pictures that have a range of the same color moving from light to dark. This could be a picture of a sphere or the sky changing color toward the horizon.

    The problem lies in the fact that the 12-bit (4096 color) display of the IPAQ only has a maximum of 16 levels of any color from very light to very dark. THis is not enough to trick the eye into thinking that the gradient is smooth. Especially since the actual gradient may not go clear from very light to dark. Maybe just from medium light to medium dark. The 64K color solution of the Casio and various Palm OS devices has 64 levels of each color. Having gradients composed of four times as many colors makes a huge difference.

    To give an idea of how bad the IPAQ can be, you can sometimes still see color transitions on the 64K color displays. If they are barely acceptable, the 4096 mode is absolutely unacceptable without some kind of dithering.

    However, 'everything's a blur' is completely correct that while running the normal apps you would never see a difference since they tend to not use many colors and no close gradients.
  13. #13  
    If you want the most power than go for a CE device.

    If you want a the best form factor. Go for a Palm M505.

    Bla bla bla

    Look, The 710c is the best device for those who want some PPC features but in a Palm based PDA. If you don't care about the OS then go for what ever you want.

    I concede to the fact that PPCs are more powerful than Palm devices on average. But all the Palm devices I have owned never made me feel that I had to go CE yet. The 710c came along and met my needs. Thus keeping me in the realm of palm.

    I am not complaining about Microsoft but if they were not such a huge monopolistic company, the PPC platform would have been dead a while ago. WinCE/PPC was a great idea but was too expensive and tried to do too much. NEXT computer was a prime example of that, they were ahead of its time.

    Palm chose to pay attention to price which meant putting value ahead of put it in just for the heck of it. That strategy put the PDA on the map. And for the money, most Palms are more bang for the buck. Granted, today the Palms and PPC are getting closer in pricing now. Which means as soon the next generation Palms are out (ARM or Intel based), we can try to compare Palms and PPCs like apples to apples, but for now its like apples and oranges. PPCs are trying to be a laptop replacement. Palms are Organizers that do more. Think of it that way and you'll find the device that you will use everyday and not sit collecting dust.

    I use my 710c everyday because its small enough to fit in my pocket, I can listen to mp3s, schedule my day, reminds me of important dates & appointments,and the Hires graphics are amazing. Do I need to run MS word? No. Do I need a 200mhz processor to run an Address book? no. I could go on and on.

    So the question here should be what device out of the Palm and CE arena really meets your specific needs.

    I chose my PDA with me in mind hence, I am getting my moneys worth.
    Last edited by mikedemo; 07/20/2001 at 12:12 PM.
    -Mikedemo
    It's all about how you spend the money.

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