Windows CE machines (HP Jornada 700 series; Pocket PC)

Pocket computers are just the thing in some science situations: they take up little space; are easy to carry from room to room; have good battery life. They change and go out of fashion quickly so the trick is to buy a job-lot of them around Summer time (it seems) when there are discounts. The latest machines hit the shops before Xmas but at new prices they don’t seem too great: they’re not as functional as you think they are going to be. Windows CE looks like Windows but just the gloss. Printing and file transfer needs thinking through.

A few well chosen wireless LAN cards (try Cisco) could be the way to fly with these.  Jungle were selling the HP Jornada 710 for £210 when it’s normal price was about £500.