The Ultronic TS-320 is a fairly common electronic organizer (or PDA, databank) which has 32K of memory and is controlled by several buttons and a small plastic stylus. It has a non-lighted LCD display, half of which is used for displaying data, while the other half displays letters, numbers, and symbols the user can press. The less-common Spectra TS-320 is very similar.
The organizer’s main features are memo, schedule, calculator, telephone numbers, and time. The memo feature lets short memos be entered by pressing letters and numbers on the bottom half of the screen with the stylus. The scheduler (accessed by pressing the Phone button twice), lets the user enter a date, time, and short description of the event associated with that time. The telephone book feature allows the user to enter names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and website addresses. The 32K memory allows a substantial amount of data to be entered (32,768 letters and numbers). Other electronic organizers which have a small keyboard (instead of a stylus) are more convenient for entering data, but are often larger in size. There is also a password feature which allows data to be protected by a password. The ten-digit calculator feature includes percentage, +/-, CE, and memory keys (displayed on the LCD screen; all calculator keys are pressed with the stylus). The calculator can also perform several different conversions (accessible by pressing the up/down arrows in calculator mode). These include USD/Euro, ounce/gram, yard/meter, inch/CM, pound/KG, mile/KM, and temperature conversion.
The time feature enables the user to page through the current time and date in different cities throughout the world. The cities are indicated by three-letter abbreviations, and new cities can be defined by the user. The alarm feature (accessed by pressing Time twice) sounds loudly enough to be heard from some distance away. It sounds for a fairly long period of time before shutting the alarm off automatically. The clock can be set for twelve or twenty-four hour mode, along with two different date formats.
The Ultronic uses two CR2025 batteries, a common and easy-to-find type of coin-cell battery. One battery is used to power the unit, while the other is for back-up and helps prevent loss of data when the primary battery runs out of power.
The small, grey stylus is slightly more than three inches long. It conveniently and securely fits in a slot on the side of the organizer. The TS-320 has a beeping feature which can be turned on and off; it beeps every time the stylus pushes the screen. Using it confirms that the PDA has registered the stylus, while turning it off prevents other people from being annoyed and saves battery power. In addition to the touch screen, the stylus can be used to press the small rubber buttons more easily than your fingers can.
The instruction manual is ten pages long and explains the PDA’s features thoroughly, although in a rather small font. The Spectra brand TS-320 has a somewhat different and slightly shorter manual which isn’t quite as good. If you purchase one of these which has been used, try to find one with an instruction manual, as not all of the features are self-explanatory, and some could be easily overlooked.
Aside from the instruction manuals and brand names, there is not much difference between the Spectra and Ultronic models of the TS-320. One noticeable difference is that the Ultronic is grey and silver-colored, while the Spectra is only colored silver. These units should not be confused with the Ultronic/Spectra TS-220, a somewhat different model with only 2K of memory. A few red-colored Spectra TS-320s are also available, along with the Spectra TS-280, which is offered in dark blue and purple.
eBay.com is the easiest place to find these. You might also find one at a yard sale or thrift shop. The similar Spectra TS-280, which has many of the same features, is listed on KMart’s website, but the description indicates that it only has 3K of memory (rather than 32KB). The Ultronic and Spectra TS-320s tend to come with batteries which have little or no power (probably because they have been sitting in the package too long), so expect to replace at least one of the two batteries after buying it, unless the seller states that the batteries have been replaced.
Overall, the Ultronic and Spectra TS-320 organizer provides a variety of useful features at an inexpensive cost. However, it lacks some of the features available in more expensive PDA models, like data transfer ports and the ability to draw lines with a stylus.