A diary you can order about
If work is awash with "to-dos" like meetings and marking, this lets you prioritise things or set alarms that beep when they are due. You can see your dairy as a day or month list, search for phone numbers by first names, or simply enjoy the tidiness of your life-gone-digital.
But today these things are passe. The big issue with pocket machines is interacting with them - the Nino uses a compact edition of Windows, and you tap on the screen with a stylus (or finger) to choose menu items. You can also talk to it and say "Go to - Calendar - Week", and the diary shows this month's appointments. While saying "Dial - Harry" can get it to play number tones into a phone mouthpiece.
When you need to enter some details, you can choose between using the stylus to tap on a keyboard or drawing letter shapes. It recognises writing and tries to predict the word you are entering - for example, type "curri" and it offers "curriculum".
Most people will pop this in its docking cradle to get details they've typed into their desk computer. So if you've added a new appointment to one machine and not the other, the two sort out their differences while, at the same time, the Nino recharges its batteries from the cradle.
The Nino comes ready to synchronise with MS Schedule (supplied) or Outlook - text, voice and email notes are copied and converted transparently. If you have a network, remote access to your computer is possible. If you must, there's also a not-too-pricey modem for Internet surfing with a mobile phone. Only Filofax lovers will spot that the carrying pouch almost has room for library tickets, reward cards or dry cleaning receipts.
Phillip's Nino 300 palm size PC. Windows CE2 handheld computer, with power adaptor, docking cradle, PC software and carrying case. Typical price Pounds 299 inc VAT from high street outlets.
Philips 0181 689 9179