short for: palmtop computer a.k.a. - handheld
The generic name for a PC that fits in the palm of a user's hand. Palmtops can connect to a desktop or a laptop to exchange information; this is called "synchronizing," and it is done with a hardware device called a "cradle" (or via an infrared port). Early palmtops served as high-tech message pads and personal telephone books, such as the Palm Pilot. They evolved to include handwriting recognition software (graffiti) that made them easier to use than earlier versions. Palmtops continued to morph and began to include word processing programs, games, and eventually modems and/or wireless connections for sending and receiving e-mail and browsing the Web. It is now commonly called a handheld (as in "a handheld device"), but in Europe and parts of Asia, where it has converged with cell phone technology to become an all-around mobile PDA, it is known as a handy. Some palmtops now have built-in keyboards; Microsoft released a product known as the Pocket PC and there are several competing products, such as the Visor by Handspring and newer versions of the Palm Pilot, that make use of the Palm OS or Windows CE.
NetLingo Classification: Net Hardware
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