Commuter finds Jornada perfect fit for handling e-mail

Commuter finds Jornada perfect fit for handling e-mail


When Randy Headrick settles into his seat on the subway in Arlington, Va., for a 45-minute journey home, he pulls out his Jornada 720 handheld PC from Hewlett-Packard Co., opens its clamshell case and begins answering his e-mail.

'I'm typically at meetings most of the day, so I don't get to sit and answer the 100-plus e-mails that I get,' said Headrick, the Air National Guard's deputy chief for command, control, communications and computers. 'But on the Metro ride home and the next morning on the ride back, I can respond to all of them.'

Headrick considers himself a heavy-duty handheld user. For him, a tablet-style handheld just wouldn't do the trick'tapping away with a stylus doesn't cut it with the volume of e-mail he gets. So he needs an integrated keyboard.

Headrick downloads e-mail from his CF-27 notebook PC from Panasonic Personal Computing Co. of Secaucus, N.J., which is his primary PC, and then uploads it to the notebook when he's back in the office.

Hewlett-Packard's Jornada 720 weighs just over a pound. It's priced at $999.
On long trips he carries both the 720, which weighs just over a pound, and his notebook.
He thinks the 720's integrated keyboard keeps him ahead of the curve at a time when more people are using their handhelds for heavy messaging.

'Even the Palm users are all starting to show up with snap-on keyboards now as more and more folks find that the cryptic and difficult process of replying to an
e-mail or entering much data is not easy without a keyboard,' he said.

Bargain in the market

While most makers of keyboard handhelds have struggled to find the right market, HP sees a niche between palmtop handhelds and notebook PCs, said Doreen Canova, sales development manager for HP's I-Appliance Group in Loveland, Colo.

Headrick does more with his 720 than just answer e-mail, loading it with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents when he needs to.

'Using the external VGA PC Card, I can take it with me loaded with a PowerPoint briefing,' he said. 'I can walk into your office, plug it into your projector and give a briefing.'

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