A lot of the hospitals are using the new tablet PC's now, which is a full-function Windows XP laptop, but slightly more compact and lightweight, some have a keyboard and you can twist the screen round, fold it up with the screen uppermost and input information using a special stylus and handwriting. Others don't have a keyboard and are called 'slates' and you just use the stylus to input. All tablet PC's come with a special program called 'Journal' which looks just like a sheet of filler paper on your screen, and you can write on it directly with the pen stylus. There are many colours and widths of pen to choose from, plus highlighters & erasers, just by tapping an icon at the top of the screen. You can also choose other paper styles, such as graph paper, music paper etc., to suit what you are doing. I loved this, as I was able to copy diagrams, draw graphs etc., just like you can with ordinary paper and pen - but with the advantage of being able to edit your work by moving things around the screen, erase stuff, copy & paste stuff etc., and NO annoying tapping sounds either or carrying around multiple bulky binders full of heavy paper.
I bought one because I wanted a laptop when I started my pre-reqs, and decided to get a tablet PC, and I love it. I'm into Mind Maps and there is a special tablet PC mindmapping program that you can buy, by MindJet, that I used all the time: I converted my notes into mind-maps, putting whole sections onto one mind-map for quick revision for exams.
The downside is that they are fairly new (couple of years), and still a lot more expensive than a standard laptop (mine was about $1,800, but you can get cheaper ones, and they are starting to go down in price somewhat now). The other downside is that unless you can plug your computer into a power supply at school, you will need to buy extra batteries because a 3hr battery life isn't enough for an entire day at college.
Your local computer store should have one or two on display, that you can try, and it's handy to be familiar with them anyway, because so many hospitals are now using them.
As for PDA's, I have one and used to use it a lot - unfortunately it's now 3-years old and the screen is going Kaput - I can't write legible handwritten notes on it any more 'cos the lines are all broken up. I still prefer using a paper planner, as it's more flexible and no batteries to run out just as I need to look something up! However, it's going to be too bulky to carry to clinicals, so I may have to think about getting a new PDA.
Best wishes, Paint.