The PDA Multipivot
Like most PDA users,
I love the technology, but can’t stand the inconvenience of manipulating and transporting
a device the size of the average Palm or PocketPC. True, it’s
much more practicable than carrying a Rolodex, laptop, portable
library, scientific calculator, and, if you’re like me,
a Game Boy. On the other hand, they’re irregularly shaped,
more capacious than your average pants pocket, and highly delicate;
I’ve ruined three just by either dropping them a couple
feet, or simply sitting down. Styli are easily lost, and, for
most, the Graffiti system of hashmarks for data entry is counter-intuitive.
Using one while you’re driving, for those that take advantage
of the GPS functionality of several recent entries in the handheld
marketplace, is less than ideal.
For schools following
the model of Smithtown, New York, and equipping all of their
students with Palms (rarely do they choose PocketPCs), these
minor irritations become formidable obstacles in IT deployment.
Children use them in several environments, each of which
makes different demands. Using them at their desk requires
a different viewing angle than sitting in a chair or using
them in a group circle or science lab. Also, as I’ve
said before, the most ruggedized environment known to science
is kids: no product ever takes a beating like anything distributed
to teenagers. Given the inherent delicacy of your average handheld
computer, and the limited budget of your average school, some
kind of protective measures must be implemented.
Although we’ve seen a few different PDA
cases in our technology reviews here, in my opinion, none of
them really compare to the PDA Multipivot in terms of multifunctionality.
Forged from tough aluminum alloy, the Multipivot boasts of
more than 15 uses, including a Landscape View mode, Belt Carry,
and Car Mount. Once unfolded, the case acts like a stand with
an adjustable angle of inclination, and a “third hand” that
allows you to clip and suspend documents, so you can read them
while using the device. For those concerned with the ergonomics
of repetitive handheld use, the Multipivot offers a “Secure
Grip” feature that allows the user to make fine rotational
adjustments to ensure the most comfortable grasp possible.
However, although the manufacturer claims the feature is so
effective that the average user can work with both hands while
still holding their Palm, after using the product, I would
not suggest this as being an appropriate method for education
Best of all, the Multipivot, at $24.95 (before
any applicable education discounts), is priced very comparably
to many more purely cosmetic case accessories, although not
only can it be used with a hard or soft-shell case, it can
actually accommodate CD players, GPS navigators, and other
similar devices as well.#
For more information, visit the manufacturer
online at www.multipivot.com.