Four phone-less PDAs

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CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.

They're a pretty rare breed nowadays but phone-less PDAs have their advantages. We track down four of the best.

A long, long time ago PDAs were just that -- personal digital assistants. With them you could plan out your week's schedule, maintain an electronic rolodex, jot down notes during meetings or play some simple games while commuting to work. At a pinch they might've played music or video, but they most certainly couldn't make phone calls. Today, PDAs can do all these things and a little bit more. Some models even come equipped with GPS, so they can guide you to new and unfamiliar parts of town.

While most PDAs today fall under the banner of being "smartphones", some of us still prefer our PDAs sans phone and there are many reasons for this. For instance, you might have a perfectly serviceable phone which you don't want to let go of. Or, maybe, you're old school and prefer devices that do one job and do it well -- say, a Sony Walkman A806 for music, a Samsung A701 for making calls and sending SMSes, and a Fujifilm FinePix F31fd for happy snaps.

Indeed there are certain advantages to having a separate PDA. For one, they don't have to be constantly connected to a network, so battery life is usually better. And think about it, if you've got your PDA-cum-phone pressed against your ear to take a call, where are you going to take your notes? Umm, on a notepad? How very 1980s.

Until last week's announcement by HP of additions to its iPaq line-up, phone-less PDAs were heading towards the endangered species list. It wasn't easy hunting them down, but here are our fab four PDAs without phone capabilities.


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