Unlike most folks with lives, I spend my every spare moment looking for the next killer device. New hardware that really fires the imagination is the almost magical, Star-Trek-type cellphones I see pictured at Asian trade shows that will do everything but the laundry. Of course, much like the TV show, most of what we see is a cup of reality mixed with a bucket fantasy.
For those of us on the Canuck chunk of the Earth, however, there is a realistic option that can help you manage your life and keep in touch. Recently released through Bell Mobility in Canada, the Kyocera QCP-6035 does a kick-butt job of integrating a Palm Vx PDA with a tri-mode cellphone.
Although too bulky to allow you to keep a good pleat in your pants, the QCP-6035 does help you get organized, send and receive e-mail and short SMS instant text messages, take voice memos, and surf the Web (with or without graphics) anywhere that Bell's wireless service supports it.
The unit comes with built-in software for e-mail and text surfing. Software to allow the device to display Web images and deal with e-mail attachments, mapping and more are just a download away by accessing the almost unlimited number of third-party applications available for the Palm operating system on the Web.
Besides its e-mail, SMS and Web surfing abilities, the unit can double as a spare 14.4 Kbps wireless modem for your notebook through an optional data cable.
The 7.3-ounce QCP-6035 is bulkier than a standard cellphone, but not uncomfortably so. It has built-in voicedial capability and it's tightly integrated software allows you to dial directly from your Palm address book or almost any other Palm application. You can use the phone with the flip-up cover opened or closed, allowing you to access all your data and, by using the speakerphone mode or headset, hold a cellphone conversation while doing it.
The jog dial for navigating the Smartphone's drop-down menus is well positioned for your thumb, providing easy access to standard phone features. The IR port doubles as a keyguard button.
A range of accessories is available, and keyboards are in the works from Think Outside (www.thinkoutside.com ) and iBiz (http://www.ibizcorp.com/pdaPaccessories/pdaPkeysync.html).
If you carry both a PDA and a cellphone or just want a device that does more, the QCP-6035 is an excellent way to go. It is available at local Bell Mobility retailers or on-line at www.bellmobility.ca for $799