Search About Mobile Web Netbooks iPods PDAs Podcasts Blog Learning in Hand

I'm often asked what Palm and Pocket PC hardware I recommend, so here you go! I consider price, performance, and educational friendliness in my recommendations. I've listed Must Have, Should Have, and Nice to Have hardware below. There's many options out there, so do your research before ordering.

How is it possible to get these great educational tools into your classroom? Most schools apply for grants.

Links to more hardware can be found on the Web Links - Hardware page.

Must Have Handheld Hardware

Palm™ TX
The Palm TX runs the Palm Operating System, has a large screen, SD card slot, Bluetooth, and WiFi (802.11b).
Try to take advantage of the Palm Education Purchase Program to get free handhelds. If you don't have a WiFi network at school or on a tight budget, the Palm Tungsten E2 is a good choice.


HP iPAQ™ rx1995
The iPAQ rx1995 is a Pocket PC and runs the Windows Mobile operating system. It has built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b) and an SD card slot. The Dell X41 520 has more features but is also more expensive.

Desktop Computer
You'll need at least one desktop computer running Mac or Windows to synchronize handhelds. You can synchronize multiple handhelds to one desktop computer. Note: Palm handhelds can sync to either Mac or Windows. Windows Mobile does not sync with Macintosh without extra software.
Power Strips
With a class set of handhelds there will be lots of charging cables to plug in to a wall outlet. I recommend plugging in at least one-third of the cables for charging handhelds. That way handhelds can charge in just three shifts without so many plugs and cables everywhere.
Students (and more often teachers) will lose their styli. You'll need extras!

Should Have Handheld Hardware
Wireless Keyboard

Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard
If students write more than one sentence on a handheld, they'll need a keyboard. The palmOne Wireless Keyboard folds up and can be easily stored. It communicates with the handheld by infrared.

This same keyboard works with Pocket PC handhelds with software drivers from

SD Cards
Memory cards are important for adding extra programs, audio, and video. I recommend cards that are 512MB or larger.

Epson PowerLite Projector
You can use software like PdaReach (Palm), HandShare (Palm), or Remote Display Control (Pocket PC) to display a handheld's screen on your Windows computer. With the Windows computer connected to a multimedia projector, a group of students can all see the screen clearly. You can also connect a document camera (like the AVerVision130) to the projector, eliminating the need for a Windows computer.

Nice to Have Handheld Hardware
Grant Street Software Management Solutions
Using these specialized SD cards, educators can quickly set-up and clone one Palm handheld onto multiple handhelds with the SD Deploy card. With the SD Express card, sets of files can be quickly loaded onto handhelds. Other management solutions include SD Assign for giving HotSync™ usernames and SD Remove for quickly deleting unwanted applications. files. All of this can be done without synchronizing the handhelds with a desktop computer. These cards have saved me loads of time!
Tabletop Charge & Organize Station
TriBeam makes a 32-slot charger for a class set of handhelds. It requires only one power outlet. It's not only a great way to charge, but a great way to organize handhelds by making sure all handhelds are turned into their assigned slots.
AVerVision130 Media Presenter
A document camera is the quickest way to display a handheld's screen onto a screen. It doesn't require any software loaded on the handheld and it can be used for a variety of classroom uses. Glare can be a problem, but with the room lights off, a handheld screen looks great.
This is an archived page of Learning in Hand and is no longer being updated.