Pocket PDAs

by Jamie McAfee

Royal Vista
Rating 70

Size isn’t everything, especially when it comes to devices like the Vista, a credit-card-size PDA from Royal. The tiny assistant is loaded with an address book, schedule planner, calculator, home and world time, memo, and an expense manager. The Vista comes with a foldable, detachable keyboard for inputting information sporting quick keys for all applications. Featuring 768Kb of memory, the Vista also syncs with software programs including Microsoft Outlook and Scheduler+, ACT!, Goldmine, Lotus Organizer, and Palm Desktop.

Sadly, when we tested the Vista, we weren’t impressed. The size of the Vista is convenient for storing in a pocket or a bag, but the keyboard size was a little cumbersome. During startup the LCD screen seemed to be “bleeding,” making it difficult to see the applications. Only cursor keys allowed us to navigate when detached from the keyboard. There were no touch screen capabilities. We couldn’t input any information without attaching the keyboard. The quick keys don’t always work either, making it impossible to access data. In the Contact application, when we tried to edit a mistake in the edit mode, the Vista wouldn’t allow it. It made us go out of the application, select the name, and then delete the entire content.

Overall, the Vista isn’t for business users who need the information right away and without a struggle. But if you are looking for a quick fix and an inexpensive organizer, the Vista may be for you.

Pros: Great size for carrying in a small bag
Cons: Doesn’t always function properly; can’t input information without keyboard

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