HP brings a new "companion" to market

HP brings a new "companion" to market

Another portable device is soon to be released onto the Australian market and, in the mobile computing segment, it seems a new product category has been born.

The puzzle for resellers is how do you qualify the prospect, where does a notebook sale end and a handheld CE device start?

Hewlett Packard's Jornada 820 will doubtlessly hit the spot for those with a need for document creation on the go . . . lighter and quicker to get into a document than a notebook.

This first product in HP's new range of PC "companions" is not intended to be a replacement for a notebook PC, though it will suit some people as a replacement.

The Jornada 820 is powered by the Intel StrongARM 190MHz processor running Windows CE, which eliminates the boot-up time of a notebook PC. This means getting into the (scaled down) Windows-like applications such as Pocket Word, e-mail and Internet Explorer immediately on power up.

The Jornada is primarily a communications device for "professionals on the go". But according to Peter Wilson, HP's portable computing business development manager in Australia, the company is refining the middle ground of mobile computing and even giving the channel some characterisations to identify.

"Roving Ronald" and "Corridor Karen" represent the target markets for the Jornada. Ronald, identified as spending 20 per cent of his time away from his office or on other corporate sites, needs to access e-mail from a variety of locations more than once a day. He has short moments of down time which he would like to make better use of and, because he's always on the move, wants to carry as little as possible.

"Corridor Karen" has the need to capture and reference new and current information but with limited content creation while away from the workstation. She may be taking notes or editing existing files for distribution, and her company is not willing to deploy a full notebook for these functions.

The HP Jornada 820 handheld PC is expected to be available throughout Australia in December.

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