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 Post subject: Dedicated vs. PDA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:37 am 
Hi, I was hoping someone could help me decide between buying dedicated handheld chess computer or a low end PDA and chess software for it.

I am interested in buying this for my son. Right now he isn't very good (he's young) but I want something he can grow into, so I want it to be decently strong. More importantly is fast. We have a table top chess computer right now and he never plays it anymore because at the level where it is a challenge for him it moves too slowly and he gets too bored waiting around.

I've been looking at the high end dedicated handhelds, like the now obsolete Excalibur Talking Chess Deluxe (I was thinking about looking at the new one when it comes out next month) and the Novag Star Ruby.

But I realized I'm getting up in the price class where I might just be better off buying something like a Palm Z22 with HIARCS on it.

So, aside form the obvious extra features I get with a PDA, if we pretend I will ONLY use it for chess, what are the pros/cons for one vs. the other?

For example, I haven't seen a Z22 up close and personal ... how would the graphics on the Z22 compare to the excalibur deluxe? What would be one model up from the Z22 in terms of graphics, but still not too big a price jump?

What about features?

And also important would be battery life and how fast it plays?

Anyone have good tips and advice for me?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Dedicated vs. PDA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:58 am 
dmt wrote:
Hi, I was hoping someone could help me decide between buying dedicated handheld chess computer or a low end PDA and chess software for it.

I am interested in buying this for my son. Right now he isn't very good (he's young) but I want something he can grow into, so I want it to be decently strong. More importantly is fast. We have a table top chess computer right now and he never plays it anymore because at the level where it is a challenge for him it moves too slowly and he gets too bored waiting around.

I've been looking at the high end dedicated handhelds, like the now obsolete Excalibur Talking Chess Deluxe (I was thinking about looking at the new one when it comes out next month) and the Novag Star Ruby.

But I realized I'm getting up in the price class where I might just be better off buying something like a Palm Z22 with HIARCS on it.

So, aside form the obvious extra features I get with a PDA, if we pretend I will ONLY use it for chess, what are the pros/cons for one vs. the other?

For example, I haven't seen a Z22 up close and personal ... how would the graphics on the Z22 compare to the excalibur deluxe? What would be one model up from the Z22 in terms of graphics, but still not too big a price jump?

What about features?

And also important would be battery life and how fast it plays?

Anyone have good tips and advice for me?

Thanks!



If you're a kid, you want good looking toys that distinguish themselves from the other toys. If you're into playing chess, you want a device that holds your attention.

When I bought my second tabletop in 1986 (with Kasparov telling me in the introduction that chess engines might become nice opponents for top club players in the future....) I remember reading about the dumb down levels: "every now and then a beginner wants to create a tactical plan and try it out. If the chess computer outwits the beginner every time, the beginner might lose interest in the game. This is especially true for children."

Most PDA programs aim at the stronger chess computer enthousiast who wants a robust chess program with strong playing abilities. Most dedicated units can concentrate more on simple training, low level sparring - combined with better looks.

On the con side: remember that a PDA gives you the opportunity to try multiple programs. But it might be too much for your son. Consider that.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:37 pm 
Hiarcs on a Palm (or Fritz on a pocket pc) would be much stronger than a dedicated unit, so your son could grow into it (and never grow out of it!) and it would have better graphics. Also, Hiarcs could move quickly and still be a strong opponent.

I use Hiarcs on my Tungsten E and would recommended it. I'm not sure what PDA's are available at the moment, but I'd get the best screen resolution you can afford and not worry too much about the processing speed - the Hiarcs software will be more than good enough on even a relatively slow processor. :)


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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:42 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:24 am 
I agree with SonOfPearl. I too have Hiarcs on a Tungsten E and it can be set right down to young beginner level, but up through to GM level.

Also, a PDA can have other games in case your son would like a break from Chess.

I'm not sure what the best PDA is at the moment, cos I know there's now a lot of crossover with the mobile phone market, but I'm sure you can pick would up pretty cheaply.

Kem


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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:33 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:19 pm 
I have a Dell Axim with Pocket Fritz and Chess Genius on it. It`s brilliant for playing chess and learning chess. The graphics are much better than any dedicated option that I`ve ever come across.
I also play bridge, poker and draughts on it.
Also, on long flights, I can watch videos on it.
SD cards are cheap and spare batteries are cheap.
I wouldn`t be without it.


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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:27 pm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:44 pm 
Nice thing about dedicated handhelds, though, is that on one set of batteries they run for months without any need for recharging.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:25 pm 
hi,

i have just recently bought an ipaq 114 for playing chess after looking at other options like the dedicated handhelds and palm. for your moneys worth you're definitely better off buying a pda. the novag you mentioned goes for around £80 or so but throw in an extra £40 and you can get a pocket pc and there are around 60 or so softwares for it in one of the articles in this forum.

can't beat a pocket pc for choice. if you want something for long term definetly get the pda. you'll be spoilt for choices and if your son needs a break from chess you can always download other games for him. hp is doing a £20 cashback for the 114 and today is the last day. they retail for around £160 from hp but you can get it cheaper from other places. i got mine for £128 and with the cashback it only came to £108. not a bad deal at all.


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