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Compaq’s new IPAQ3970

The Compaq IPAQ3970 is the perfect business tool, with its colour touch screen, 64Mbytes internal memory and Bluetooth interface writes SEAN BACHER.

Once the batteries are charged it is ready for you to carry the power around in your pocket. Initially you have to calibrate the screen and go through a crash course on how to perform functions like copying and pasting. This should take you no longer than a minute and once done you are ready to enter contact details, schedule appointments and if you have a couple of hours to spare, you can even start composing your first Pocket Word Document. Before you are able to synchronise the PDA with your computer you need to plug the docking station into your USB port and connect the power cord to the docking station. You then need to install the drivers and the included software. While installing the software you will be asked various questions like which mail client you use, if you want to synchronise your contacts, e-mail inbox and calendar. You will also be asked if you want to create a relationship with your computer where every time you plug the PDA into the docking station, all data is synchronised or if you just want to copy the data across once and never again.

Very easy. In true Microsoft fashion, the operating system is easy and straightforward to use and is very similar to Microsoft Windows. Everything is controlled via the touch screen and there are quick launch buttons for quickly getting to your contact’s database, calendar, e-mail and voice recording program. As with most Microsoft powered PDAs, you have the option of using the character recognition software or the on screen virtual keyboard. However, if you decide to use the character recognition, you had better make sure you have perfect handwriting as Microsoft is like a grade one teacher when it comes to reading your letters. The onscreen keyboard is much easier to use, with its familiar QWERTY layout you will be able to type out reminders in no time at all.

It definitely gives you a lot more freedom when travelling, you no-longer have to phone your secretary in the office each time you want someone’s details or want to find out what time your next meeting is. Its ability to connect to the Internet is also a great help, especially when you are on the move. Further, its Bluetooth connectivity makes it possible to connect to your cellphone up to ten metres away. You can now check your Internet mail account as you would when sitting at your PC. You can even dial in and download your mail onto your PDA and should your company’s network support it, you can dial in and have a presence on the LAN, thus enabling you to communicate with co-workers or even have an online game of Hearts.

The Compaq IPAQ 3970 is a really attractive PDA. But the truth be told, there is only one new if not innovative feature and that is Bluetooth.

R9 500 for a PDA is quite expensive even though you are getting a couple of extra functions. If you are absolutely sure you are going to use those functions then maybe you should think about buying yourself one. But if you a merely looking for a PDA to organise your life then I suggest you may want to look at something else.

The Compaq IPAQ3970 is available from Incredible Connection. Contact them on (011) 806-8400. For more information on the IPAQ visit Compaq’s site on

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