Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.
Web Reviews: Everything You Need to Know About Handhelds
Staying connected: This site has the resources you need to be an informed buyer and expert user of handheld computers and smart phones.
February 1, 2005
Handheld computers—Palms, Pocket PCs, and smartphones—are indispensable gadgets for a growing share of real estate practitioners. You can use it to check e-mail from the field, pull up contact information from anywhere, and stay on top of your schedule without missing a beat. If you want to buy a handheld or get more out of the device you already own, Brighthand is a site that provides unbiased information solely about handhelds. It offers product reviews, learning resources, and discussion groups. Parts of the site are targeted specifically for Palms, Pocket PCs, and smartphones—with plenty of news and reviews on products in each category. Prominent advertisements are somewhat of a distraction on this site, and the page design is pretty bland. Other than that, it’s a great place for valuable information that will turn you into an informed buyer and user of handhelds. Here are some of the main attractions:
- Smartphones. They’ve been called the Swiss Army knife of real estate, thanks to their ability to function as a phone, camera, and computer in one. Just like the home pages for the Pocket PC, Palm, and Other Handhelds, this page has a list of featured stories running down the center. Browse the list for a story that catches your eye, such as The Most Important Handheld-Related Events of 2004, or Brighthand’s Predictions for 2005. The product reviews, in a column just right of center, are comprehensive, with lots of screen shots and photos. And to the far right is a list of news headlines, mostly about new products and company announcements.
- Brighthand Discussion Forums. Want to chat with other proud owners of a Pocket PC or looking for some good advice before buying a pricey gadget? This section provides a forum for interacting on a range of topics, from a General Discussion on mobile computing to experiences using Symbian OS Powered Smartphones. To post a comment, you must register a username, password, and e-mail address, but registration isn’t needed just to read other postings—which can be educational in itself.
- My Product Advisor. This is a fun tool to help you narrow your search for a new PDA. Fill out a detailed interactive survey on usage, price and brand preferences, and attributes like size and internal memory. When you’re finished, click on the “Recommendations,” button on the top right of the screen to get a list of devices that match your needs, complete with prices. This portion of the site is a free, unbiased service operated by Market Insight Corp.
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