It's no secret that entering information into a PDA is slow and cumbersome. Seiko's SmartPad2 uses a mini digitizer tablet to transfer handwritten notes and drawings into a PDA, where they are stored and organized as images in linked applications.
The SmartPad 2 improves the original design with the addition of an alphanumeric keypad and a movable arm that can be aligned with the side-mounted infrared ports on Handsprings.
We were delighted by how easy and unobtrusive the SmartPad was. Write with the electronic pen, and you can produce a document up to 16, 5- by 8-inch pages long.
We did, however, record a few minor complaints. First, the electronic pen is easy to lose and expensive to replace ($50). Second, the Smart Pad feature requires three menu taps to activate. This is acceptable for writing a memo, but too clunky for shorter notes. Lastly, your PDA inflates way beyond pocket size.
We recommend this product to any PDA user who spends a lot of time in meetings and/or on the phone.
Seiko SmartPad2Rating: 87
Manufacturer: Seiko Instruments;800-688-0817; www.seikosmart.com
Requirements: Palm OS 3.1 or later; PC with Pentium CPU; Windows 95; 16MB of disk space; a CD-ROM drive
Pros: Fast and easy to enter info into a PDA
Cons: Greatly increases size of PDA; no text conversion