My name is Bill Houle, and I was a Newton evangelist. Other professionals put their entire life in their DayTimer™. I used my MessagePad. Palm Pilot? PocketPC? Please! I've tried them all, and the Newton was (and in countless ways still is) so much better. Long battery life. PCMCIA slot. Infrared. Sound. Large write-anywhere screen, landscape or portrait. Superior handwriting recognition (anyone making ignorant Doonesbury-like fun of the feature has not tried the next-gen models). Scriptable, and with great developer support. Truly a revolutionary product, though sadly, just a bit before its time. 

I still use my MessagePad, though not as often. It has always lacked the one thing that the wannabee's like Palm and PPC had from the very beginning: good sync capabilities with the desktop PC.

A Newton is always on, ready to serve you. It sleeps a lot, but it is never completely 'off'. Short of removing the battery pack and letting it sit for a few hours, there really is no way to kill it (and even then, all you are doing is resetting to factory standard -- the data itself is on Flash Memory and impervious to all but a nuclear blast). Despite this "permanent standby" status, it runs willingly for weeks at a time on only 4 standard AA batteries. Quite phenomenal really.

However, this longevity is true only for an out-of-the-box system. Slap a modem into a PCMCIA slot and you can watch the battery drain right before your eyes. Even reading and writing to external Flash Memory cards can draw extra power.

For this reason, I am fascinated (some might say obsessed) with power consumption on my Newton. I want to do everything I can to keep battery-changing an infrequent event, and I make my PC Card purchases with long-term mobility in mind. NewtPower is dedicated to all things Newton power-related; a site for the power used by the Newton (as opposed to the power of the Newton, which I shouldn't need to sell you on).

Many manufacturers don't seem to care about battery drain; few bother to publish data. Others claim "low power requirement", but are they really? If you are purchasing a card for your Newton and have similar concerns, I hope these comparisons help make your decision easier. If you have specs to be added, please .

Flash Memory Modems Ethernet Other Cards
Alternate Power Sources
A Day In The Life...

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