TIPPINST -- We have several models of PDAs knocking around Tipperary Institute and when they're out on a table in an Irishblogs conference they're often met with the derisory question, "What's the point?" Why have a PDA? My short answer: backup, removeable storage, and applications.
On the balance, we are witnessing the demise of the PDA as a separate device. That is what the numbers show in the field of consumer electronics. Within a few years, those who can afford to purchase a PDA will buy a smartphone that can its special content into hard drive space provided by the networks.
At the moment, you need to back up your phone if you expect any peace of mind. For most people, that's not as easy as pushing a button and having a cup of coffee. I won't buy a phone that does not offer a removeable media option because I get too many fat attachments during the course of my business day. The stuff has to come off easily. It doesn't slip off easily through the software that comes with many phones.
To date, nothing can touch the wonderful diversity of applications that run on PDAs. My Sony Clie turns on instantly and shows high resolution pictures, plays videos, MP3s, and slideshows. It handles Word, Excel, and PowerPoint without a bother. Try all those things on an average phone. Everything backs up with HotSync, reliably and quickly. I can sync the Clie with my Yahoo address book. The PDA with its online sync and local backup provides a long-lasting peace of mind that no expensive smartphone can match.
For the moment, I have a PDA because it's much more muscular and versatile than the smartest phone I carry (the Nokia 9500). Both have places in the distressed map case I carry aboard public transport.
Claire Pieterek -- "Why buy a PDA?"