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Pate, Brad (ed.) / Wisconsin engineer
Volume 110, Number 3 (April 2006)

Mulliken, Carly
Combine and conquer: new phones help users multitask,   pp. 14-15 PDF (998.3 KB)

Page 14

By Carly Mulliken
With a wave of new combination cell
phones on the market, the world truly is at
your fingertips - it just depends on how
much you are willing to pay.
Combination cell phones are a unique class
of mobile phones that have the capabilities
of both a handheld computer and a cell
phone. Well-known    brands such   as
BlackBerry, Palm, Audiovox and Samsung
have released phones that can meet many
phone and Internet needs. Besides typical
cell phone features, these phones allow
users to check their e-mail or even down-
load their favorite artists' new singles.
The newest member of the BlackBerry fam-
ily is the 7130, which, among other fea-
tures, boasts a sleeker shape than its older
siblings. Similarly, the newest Palm, the
Treo 700, has been tweaked to improve
upon Palm's older models. Likewise, the
Audiovox PPC-6600 boasts huge advances
over its predecessors. Samsung recently
has entered the market with its first combi-
nation cell phone, the SCH-i730.
Common features
These phones have a few important simi-
larities. First, all of the phones are
Bluetooth capable. Bluetooth is a wireless
technology that allows users to operate
their phones via a headset from up to 30
feet away. Other Bluetooth capabilities
include the ability to exchange contact or
scheduling information with other phones
or computers and to play games against
other Bluetooth users. The power of
Bluetooth comes with a price; compatible
headsets cost anywhere from $50 to $100.
All of the phones give users the ability to
check their e-mail and also to surf the Web
via a wireless connection. They all have the
same data transfer speed, which deter-
mines the speed of the Internet connection.
Another function the phones share is "PC
Sync." This function allows a user to con-
nect the phone to a computer with a cable
and share contact and scheduling informa-
tion. Finally, the phones all come with a
color LCD display.
14 APRIL 2006
WiSConiSi -nr
The Lineup
I   £'t-Lr     I-  I              I   F _  -           I
Palm Treo 700
Samsung SCH-i730
Blackberry 7130
Audiovox PPC-6600

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