Net Xpress: With a Cybiko, you can chat, e-mail, instant message - and much more

April 26, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

Today, I am revisiting a product that I featured quite a while back called the Cybiko, mainly to focus on one of its accessories. To refreshen your memories, this product is a cross between a handheld game system and a PDA but it is so much more than that as well.

The Cybiko comes in two versions: Classic and Xtreme. The Classic is toyish-looking, bulky with small storage spac, and comes in several different colors. The Xtreme is slim, sleek and silver-colored, with more features and slightly more storage space.

Among the many things one can do with the Cybiko, in addition to playing games (alone or multi-player), are both wireless and Internet e-mail and chat, instant messaging with AIM users, organizing bills, learning a new language and watching mini movies. The Xtreme also offers voice chat and the ability to create wav files because it has a built-in microphone.


You can use the Cybiko as a study tool, as it has downloads of phrasebooks for Spanish, French and German. There is an application that helps students keep track of their homework assignments. It also comes with a scientific calculator as well as a regular calculator.

The Cybiko also has a program that allows you to read books on the go and convert time or measurements. There is a flash card application, handy for studying for tests, and several other handy tools. All of the software on the Cybiko site is available for free.

One of the accessories made available for the Cybiko units, both the classic and Xtreme versions, is an MP3 player. When the systems came onto the market, they included a rebate opportunity to get a free MP3 player by mail. However, a memory card for the player, which accepts Secure Digital or MMC memory cards, must be purchased separately.

Although the supplies for that offer have since been depleted, luckily, there is still a chance to purchase these MP3 players thanks to eBay.The MP3 player adds such great value to the Cybiko units. Not only can one listen to songs but the memory card provides additional storage space for all your favorite Cybiko games and applications.

Even though now it isn't available for free, one of the things I like most about the MP3 player is its cost. A brand new unit for an Xtreme costs under $25 - that's a real steal compared to what it costs for some portable MP3 players on the market these days.

Memory cards on eBay are quite inexpensive. I found a used 32MB SD card for only $10.50 and shipping was free. A 32MB memory card can hold a ton of games, books and music files. For example, I tested a 32MB memory card and was able to install three books, eight MP3s (recorded at a high bit rate, which equals a much bigger file), a movie, several photos, more than 75 games plus a few user files - and there still is more than 2MB of free space available.

Both versions of the Cybiko have dropped drastically in price. They debuted with prices over $100. Now, a Classic can be bought new for under $18 while a new Xtreme costs under $31, with shipping included. Cybikos have great potential - they're great fun and can be had at such a great value.

Learn more about Cybiko at the official site, Note: The United States part of the site was supposed to close this past February. If you wish to purchase a Cybiko, go on eBay at and search for Cybiko.

Net buzzz

* AOL has two new features: Open Mail, so their users can download and check mail in other mail clients, and a toolbar for the Internet Explorer browser. Read more.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423.

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