Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Best of Everything is yet to come

PRODUCT REVIEW

By James Booth

What would you pay for a collection of 169 Pocket PC applications? What if I told you the collective retail value of this package was over $4500? Would you be willing to pay $2000? How about $1000? Would you pay $500? Sounds like an infomercial doesn't it?

What if I told you the cost of this software collection is less than $300? That's right, less than $300 for Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine's 2007 Best of Everything in Figure A.

FIGURE A

There is much Pocket PC greatness on this CD. (click for larger image)

It's just a bunch of no-name, demo, shareware/freeware, you say? Not so, I tell you.

Every piece of software in this collection is a fully licensed, 100% registered version. Not a demo. Not shareware. Each application has been specifically chosen by the editorial staff of Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine as an outstanding example in its field. They are the award-winning Best Of.

What's in the package

Because there's such a large amount of software stuffed into this package, I'm not going to go into each and every piece. Neither will I be reviewing any of the individual apps. This article is about the package as a whole.

So what do you get? Well, in addition to the software CD, you get a one-year subscription to Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine, two annual special reports--Best Tips, and Best Software--and the complete archive of past Smartphone & Pocket PC issues. You also get a $25 gift certificate to Usedhandhelds.com, and a surprise gift from Usedhandhelds.com. Current documentation suggests it's a laser pointer/stylus.

Although I said I wouldn't delve into the actual software contained in the package, I will give you a small peek.

There are thirty-eight utilities, nineteen productivity apps, nine multimedia titles, and a total of forty-seven games ranging from action, to puzzles, card games to brain teasers. And this doesn't even begin to make a dent in the Best of Everything collection.

Cost effectiveness

Is the Best of Everything package worth the cost? Well, let me throw some numbers your way...

When I first migrated from the Palm platform to a Pocket PC, I spent a little over $200 on software to get the Windows Mobile versions, or their equivalents, of the Palm software I was giving up. Many of the applications I bought are actually in the Best Of collection; $160 worth, in fact.

And consider this... there are eight titles in the collection that retail for $50 each, and ten that retail for $100 each. These titles alone add up to five times the purchase price of the Best Of package. It's only by special arrangement with the publisher that Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine is able to include them.