Mobile Computing: PDAs vs. Smart Phones

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Notebooks & Accessories

News: Create a Wi-Fi Network on the Go

Apple's new AirPort Express ($129) was designed to create an 802.11g-based wireless connection that lets you stream music from your Wi-Fi enabled Mac or PC to your home stereo. But Apple says the device can also be used to create a wireless network wherever there's a broadband wired network, too. Stuck in a hotel conference room with one Ethernet network jack? Just connect the AirPort Express to the Ethernet jack and, voila, you have an instant Wi-Fi network that other computer users (with 802.11b or 802.11g networking cards) in the room can hop onto, Apple says.

AirPort Express weighs only 6.7 ounces and measures 3.7 by 2.95 by 1.12 inches.

Reader Review: Zaurus Makes Great Notebook Alternative

In a recent column, I asked readers for their favorite notebook alternatives. Al Scott of Columbus, Ohio responds: "I quit taking my notebook with me on trips quite some time ago. In fact, I really only use it for word processing and Web surfing when I'm home. When traveling, nothing beats my Zaurus SL-6000L for what I need to do. Its larger [than most PDAs] screen makes it great for e-mail, Web surfing, office applications, and games."

The Zaurus's 4-inch, 480-by-640-pixel screen is indeed larger than the majority of PDAs. By comparison, the PalmOne Tungsten T3 screen, while slid open, is 320 by 480 pixels. The Zaurus is based on Linux, includes Wi-Fi and a built-in keyboard, and costs about $700. For more details, go to Sharp's Web site.

News: Dell Recalls Power Adapters

Dell said recently it is recalling some 38,000 of its Combination Auto/Air Adapters because they can create an electrical shock if used with power cords from third-party manufacturers. The portable power adapters were sold between December 2003 and May 2004 as an accessory with Latitude and Inspiron notebooks. Dell said it hadn't heard of any electrical shocks but was recalling the adapters to prevent any such problems.

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