CyberBoy: The Multitalented Handheld

Gadget fanatics will enjoy the fun tools loaded on the new CyberBoy PDA

By Grace Aquino

Pack a personal digital assistant, a digital camera, an MP3 player, an FM radio, and a voice recorder into one device, and you get CMC Magnetics' CyberBoy. This sleek--albeit slightly chintzy--handheld offers fun and useful tools for gadget fanatics.

You can download MP3s from a PC via a USB connection, and store them in the CyberBoy's 8MB flash memory or in an optional SmartMedia card that inserts into the device's external memory slot. (I'd recommend buying at least a 32MB SmartMedia card, which is about $30.) The CyberBoy also comes with 8MB of SDRAM.

Navigating the on-screen controls is relatively easy, and the playback quality of MP3s is quite nice, but I found radio reception to be inconsistent.

Cyber Sm
The built-in digital camera takes color photos at up to 640 by 480 resolution--adequate for Web posting. However, framing shots on the poor-quality, gray-scale screen was difficult. When the CyberBoy is attached to a PC, it can serve as a bare-bones Webcam that can capture still photos and videos.

The CyberBoy includes a to-do list, an address book, a calculator, a memo pad, and a calendar. You can enter data through the on-screen keypad or by using a proprietary handwriting recognition function (I found my shipping unit's directions for this feature difficult to follow). You also can sync data between the device and a PC. Note: The CyberBoy has its own operating system, so you can't use software written for more-mainstream PDAs.

At $349, the CyberBoy is pricey, but still a decent five-in-one handheld, especially for younger people who may make more use of its fun features. By comparison, a Handspring Visor Deluxe PDA with a digital camera and an MP3 module costs almost $600. But that has better software and more PDA functions.


CMC Magnetics: CyberBoy

Despite all its cool multimedia tools, it still costs too much.

Street price: $349

From the October 2001 issue of PC World magazine