IBM WorkPad c3

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Similar to the excellent Palm V in nearly every way except in colour and support for Lotus Notes.

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Price: $799
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IBMs WorkPad c3 is pitched as an integral part of IBMs business solutions rather than a stand-alone device

In the already crowded PDA market, IBMs WorkPad c3 is pitched as an integral part of IBMs business solutions rather than a stand-alone device. Also, instead of trying to compete against current PDA operating systems or suffering the expense of developing one of its own, IBM has chosen to rebadge a proven market leader, the Palm V, from Palm Inc. The WorkPad has essentially all the same great features as the Palm V. Aesthetically, it has stylish lines and a lightweight casing but is black in colour compared with the Palms original graphite. However, we felt that this surface may be easier to scratch than the Palm.

Loading the software onto the PC is easy and user-friendly; basically the same as that of the Palm OS but branded as IBM, including a virtual onscreen tour for the novice and Palm-uninitiated. The desktop interface is identical but also includes conduit software for Lotus Notes on CD.

Standard Palm applications are installed on the WorkPad. With Mail you can read and compose email on the road and then synchronise it with the mail program on your PC. Information from your current email address book can be imported into the WorkPads address book with the included HotSync cradle. The earlier version of the WorkPad used to have the Notes client and connection software included in the bundle on a separate CD but it appears they have abandoned this practice. There are also some extra connectivity options offered on the CD. In all probability though due to the nature of IBMs marketing strategy with this product line, the Notes components will be included.

The Lithium Ion battery recharges while it is sitting in the cradle and provides plenty of charge for weeklong excursions away from a power point. Information may also be beamed between the PDA and a compatible notebook or mobile telephone via the infrared port. When connected, a simple press of the HotSync button will synchronise the data stored in your WorkPad with your PC.

The WorkPad c3 is a great choice of PDA for someone that already uses IBM hardware and/or Lotus software. Anyone who appreciates the design of the Palm V will enjoy using the WorkPad, and its minimal appearance belies its ability
to be customised to the individuals very specific requirements and desires.


This Review appeared in the June, 2000 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

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