The Blackberry does exactly what its makers claim. It is the best possible device for receiving and replying to corporate email while on the move. It will sync with corporate calendars but there is no spreadsheet, POP3 email, web or WAP browsing. Even voice is a coming-soon extra. You can edit text but it's not a word processor, there are no formatting options, search and replace or spell check.
The unit is dominated by a huge screen and keyboard. You can see 19 lines of 33 characters in the smallest font. It's mechanically very high quality. There are no cursor keys or menu button, just a jog dial which presses in to select an option. It works very sensibly, hold a letter key down to capitalise and automatic capitals after a full stop and space.
The user interface is excellent. You can easily create contact cards for people who've sent you mail, and it is quick and easy to mark a number of mail messages and delete them. There is a selection of ring tones and vibrate functions, which can be set to be different when the Blackberry is in or out of the exceptionally secure holster. While all other devices have a timer which goes and checks for mail every five, ten or thirty minutes, the Blackberry just gets mail when it arrives at the server.
Battery life isn't great, although this is down to how much you use the vibrate and backlight. I found it lasted about one day. Among all the devices here the Blackberry is the most life-changing. You never get into the office and think 'I must check my mail', you've already read it. Quick deletion of marked messages means you can easily get rid of any messages you've already read on your PC.
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