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What are Handheld Devices?

All About Handheld Devices and Gadgets

Handheld devices have become a craze in the new millennium and it is difficult to find anyone today without some or the other handheld gadget in his or her hands (pocket, if you so prefer). So what exactly is a handheld device? Simply put, a handheld device is a pocket-sized computing device with a display screen and input/output interface like an external or touch screen keyboard. Going by this definition of handheld devices and gadgets many appliances can qualify to be called handheld, like a mobile phone, PDA, mobile PC, handheld game consoles and so on.

Various popular handheld devices include:

Mobile computers

  • Notebook PC
  • Ultra-Mobile PC
  • Handheld PC
  • Personal digital assistant/Enterprise digital assistant
  • Graphing calculator
  • Pocket computer (largely obsolete)
  • Handheld game consoles
  • Nintendo DS (NDS)
  • Game Boy, Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Sega Game Gear
  • PC Engine GT
  • Pokémon Mini
  • NeoGeo Pocket, NeoGeo Color
  • Atari Lynx
  • Pandora
  • GP2X/GP32
  • Gizmondo
  • PlayStation Portable (PSP)
  • N-Gage

Media recorders

  • Digital still camera(DSC)
  • Digital video camera (DVC or digital Camcorder)
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Media players/displayers
  • Portable media player
  • e-book reader

Communication devices

  • Mobile phone
  • Cordless telephone
  • Pager

Benefits of Handheld Devices and Gadgets

Literally speaking, handheld devices have become as popular as oxygen and their popularity cuts across age, class, sex, nationality, race and ethnicity barriers. Even a roadside tea vendor can be seen merrily chatting away on his handheld mobile device or the busy executive jotting down notes on her handheld PDA. Handheld gadgets like the mobile are steadily replacing the fixed-line telephone and this amazing transition from the wired to the wireless world couldn't have been possible without the numerous benefits offered by handheld devices.

Office on the go: Today's handheld devices like smartphones and PDA's enable you to literally take your office with you. You can send and receive emails, browse the net wirelessly at 3G speeds, access secure office files through VPNs, edit files and much more on your handheld mobiles. Thus, you are no longer limited by either size or mobility to increase your productivity.

High Convenience: Isn't it far more convenient to just store a quick note on your PDA instead of rushing to your home and accessing your bulk of a machine? Today's handheld devices can do all the functions that your traditional computer can do, and more. Today's smartphones like the iPhone have inbuilt GPS navigation services, which was unthinkable just a few years back.

New Entertainment forms: As technology has progressed and computing prowess has found its way on small and miniaturised gadgets, new entertainment forms have also emerged. Today people don't just watch movies on television or in theatres, rather their own notebooks and wide display mobile phones offer digital quality experience with Dolby surround sound, entertainment on the move? You bet. Similarly the Nintendo's and PSPs have ensured non-stop action to the avid gamer.

Breaking the Communication Barrier: Previously snail mail was the only way to keep in touch with your friends, loved ones and in many cases with your business associates too. Not anymore. With umpteen forms of communication devices and tools making appearance almost daily, the communication barrier is well and truly broken. Today you may just ‘tweet' your status on your mobile, or book a railway ticket through your cell while sitting in a bus. Even real time chatting on cool hand held appliances and devices has become possible. No place to hide yourself now.

The Future of Handheld Devices

With handheld devices scaling new heights of popularity everyday and becoming almost indispensable in our busy lives, it is certainly worth asking, where are these handheld gizmos headed for? While some take the line that we may have an all integrated device in the future that serves all our purposes equally well, others beg to disagree. Prominent among these is Nokia VP Tim Eckersley, who says that no single device would dominate the humungous handheld market. Rather the honours would be evenly shared between three device types, data-centric, voice-centric and the hybrid PDA type handheld devices. So hold on tight and don't fall, the journey promises to be a rocking one.


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