Jornada 568

I have to admit that I love my J568 almost as much as the J680. I could probably do another site about the J568 if I had the time. If you spot me in a business meeting, in the car or on vacation, my J568 isn’t far behind.

Here's the specs:

 

 

The J568 easily will sync with XP, but not Vista or above. Of course, you can transfer files such as music and movies on to the CF card, or if a program comes with a .cab file, you can install programs using the J568’s file explorer. If you’re on the go, try a retractable USB sync/charge cord. It’s easier to transport than the cradle.

I actually own three of these, however, only one works reliably. If you buy one used, I highly recommend buying a new extended battery on eBay or wherever you can find one. It is well worth the money if you don’t want to worry about charging. The only problem with the extended battery is that it makes the J568 heavier and thicker, so the unit will no longer fit comfortably into the cradle. I also have a Targus keyboard, a D-Link Air DCF-660W wireless card and an attachable digital camera.

One other nice thing about the J568 is its directional pad. This makes it good for playing games. There are some nice Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master Systems/Sega GameGear emulators that work at full speed on the J568. I also enjoy games like Ancient Evil, Baseball Addict, CrazyKart, EscapeVelocity and Crazy Bubbles.

 

Jornada 540

Like the J568, the J540 is a hand-held PC. The two units shared most of their accessories, including the docking cradle. Unlike the J568, the J540 is equipped with a SH3 processor, which means it will not share the same software. The J540 is also slower, which means video is choppy.

Here's the specs:

 

 

On the positive side, the J540 is a sturdy handheld. The flip-up protective cover could stop a bullet. The J540’s screen is surprisingly vibrant. I also like the fact that the stylus is flatter than any other pocket PC I’ve seen. It looks strange, but is comfortable.

You can pick one of these up for under $30. I have two of them. They're not especially good for games, due to the button layout, but it's a nice unit if you just need to keep your appointments straight or if you're looking for an inexpensive MP3 player.

Cassiopeia EM-500

I picked this handheld for less than $30 which included all the cables and a stylus.  I think the design on it is simply georgeous.  With its MIPS 150 Mhz processor, it's one of the more powerful in Casio's Cassiopeia line.  Like many of these older handhelds, it only has 16MB of storage space on the unit, so you'll have to get creative when it comes to conserving space. Store as many of the files on the SD card as possible.

Here's the specs:

 

 

Note:  If you're going to play MP3's with it, make sure you have an SD card in the expansion slot.  You'll need to create a folder on the card called "My Documents."  Only then will Media Player read the MP3 files.  The frustrating design flaw is compounded by the fact that it's been left out of any of the documentation.

Cassiopeia E-15

I have to admit that I was disappointed in this one.  I haven't got it to do much.  I made a cheap MP3 player out of it, but it's not stereo and the built-in speaker is almost as bad as the J680's.  I am using Xaudio Player.

Every other application or game that I've tried to install on it has also failed. 

Here's the specs:

 

 

[Review from The Gadgeteer.com]

 

Palm m125

The Palm m125 is one of the last in the line of grayscale PDAs.  The m130 was basically identical unit, only with a color screen.  As most Palm OS lovers will attest to, it’s easier to use and more reliable than a Windows CE unit.  (Palm users are to Windows Mobile users as Mac users are to Windows Vista users.) 

It uses two AA batteries which it seems to suck up fast even when it’s off, but maybe that’s because I use cheap batteries.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a backup battery, so you’ll probably have to sync it again after you change the batteries.  This can be a pain.

Here's the specs:

 

 

Don’t expect anything too fancy.  No MP3 player, no wireless internet connections, no fancy emulators.  I mainly use it for MobiPocket Reader, a version of Freecell called Patience and the addictive Space Trader game.  I’ve also tried my hand at a little programming.  I made an educational game called Time Menace where you must travel in time to famous events in American history.

 

Palm IIIe

What I call, "Old reliable."  You could probably drop this thing off the Empire State Building and it would barely make a scratch.  I bought my daughter one, along with a connectable digital camera.  It's great fun to draw pictures on or play a few games (Space Trader is my favorite.)

You can pick them up on eBay for pocket change now and since they run on AA batteries, you won't have to worry about the battery holding a charge.  You'll need a serial port or a USB/serial port adapter if you want to sync it.

Here's the specs: