Keyboards, Mice, and Other Devices

A few accessories can make your PDA far easier to use as a sophisticated tool.

If you are planning to bring a Wi-Fi?enabled PDA as your primary computing device, you should probably consider an external keyboard. You can buy keyboards that attach to most PDAs, but the niftiest solution is to buy a wireless keyboard. These keyboards use universal infrared technology, built into most PDAs, and work with most PDAs.


The best keyboards come from Think Outside,, and are made for PDAs from Palm and other manufacturers. Think Outside also has a Bluetooth version expected by the time this book is published.

These keyboards typically fold up and are pocket size. They do not add a great deal of weight to your PDA.

Road warriors find external chargers invaluable for Palm-style PDAs. These allow you to keep your PDA fully charged on the road without bringing along a heavy cradle.

The "stick-on" Targus PDA mouse, available from, replaces your Palm-style PDA's stylus with a more accurate mouse-like pointing device.

Finally, a great add-on for many PDAs turns the PDA into a GPS (Global Positioning System) complete with mapping data. You don't ever have to get lost again when you are on the road!

For more information about these products, see Garmin International Inc.,, and Navman, Garmin is one of the leading vendors of GPS equipment, and Navman offers a comprehensive product range that supports both Palm and Pocket PC operating systems as well as the Windows platform, with products such as the GPS clip on jackets for many leading handheld PDA manufacturers.

The Absolute Minimum

Here are the key points to remember from this chapter:

  • Load the software you'll need before you go.

  • Find Wi-Fi hotspot information before you go.

  • You have many choices of portable computing devices that work well on the road with Wi-Fi.

  • A variety of accessories can improve your "on-the-road" experience if you are traveling with a PDA.