The Nokia N-Gage and the Tapwave Zodiac are both highly portable, with souped-up 3-D graphics cards and gaming-style layouts. Both let you watch videos and listen to MP3s. Both have built-in Bluetooth for head-to-head gaming and PC synch. Yet they still manage to be very different beasts.
Nokia's N-Gage ($300) looks more like a plastic taco than a communications tool, but it's a fully featured cellphone running the Symbian OS. Nokiaâ€s game roster is impressive (Tomb Raider, Tony Hawk and Splinter Cell), but its screen is small (1.5 by 2 inches), and it's only available with T-Mobile service.
We are hopelessly in lust, however, with the Zodiac. It's the first PDA explicitly designed to double as a gaming machine, and it features two SD memory slots, a mini joystick, shoulder buttons and a stunning 320-by-240-pixel landscape-oriented screen that's almost three times the size of the N-Gage's. Units come with either 32MB ($300) or 128MB ($400) of onboard memory, and because it runs the Palm OS and its apps, the Zodiac doubles as a productivity sucker and enhancer. Tony Hawk, Duke Nukem and Doom 2 are some of the goodies, but the design is so lovely we'd want one even if you couldn't frag with it.