New handhelds push the envelope

New handhelds push the envelope

Hand held computers are destined to make significant inroads into the enterprise computing solutions market if the increased performance and functionality of Casio Computer's new range - launched in Sydney on Wednesday - are any guide.

Michael Westrup, managing director of Casio's Australian distributor, Mobexa, Australians are one of the biggest adopters of handheld technologies in the world and he expects this range to be hugely popular with users and profitable for resellers.

"We were staggered with the number of units we sold of previous Casio handhelds and have been eagerly awaiting these new models," he said.

In addition to three new Casio products presented to the assembled media, representatives from some of the many businesses developing and distributing cutting-edge applications for handhelds were also present demonstrating enterprise and niche market solutions enabled by the new technology.

Amongst many advancements including size and weight reduction, improved processing speed and e-mail/fax capability, the new range have the added feature of a microphone and speaker for basic voice recording and voice recognition to launch applications.

The range starts with the $699 (RRP) low end Cassiopeia E-10 that will be popular in retail outlets as the first palm-sized computer in Australia to run Microsoft Windows CE 2.0. It also boasts seamless desktop synchronisation, infrared capabilities, 4MB (expandable) of memory while expense management, appointments and digital camera viewing programs come as standard.

For more of a mobile business solution, the $999 (RRP) Cassiopeia A-20 claims to be the fastest handheld PC in the Australian market place. As well as including all the E-10's features, it has a wider screen with higher resolution, 8MB of ROM and room for two modem or PC cards and a long list of software applications on top of the pocket versions of Microsoft's Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Internet Explorer.

Systems integrators, solution providers and VARs will be interested in the unpriced Cassiopeia PA-2500 that is aimed at corporate and vertical applications. These machines are designed for data collection and communications applications and are already being deployed into retail inventory, mining, mapping (GPS) and home health solutions.

Complete with a keyboard, the PA-2500 offers most of the functionality of a modern desktop or notebook PC with a fraction of the footprint.

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