Handspring Visor Edge
A relative newcomer to the Australian PDA market, Handspring timed its Australian launch with the introduction of its new slimline handheld, the Visor Edge. The device combines the expandability of Handspring's Springboard extension platform with a slimline form factor. Based on the Palm 3.5.2HS operating system, the Visor Edge is compatible with all existing springboard modules that support the operating system including the VisorPhone. The device comes in three metallic colours - silver, blue and red - and is the first Visor product to be available in lightweight metal casing. Handspring has enhanced two software functions - the fast lookup function that allows users to quick access contact information and the silent alarm, ideal for use when audible alarms are not appropriate. Visor Edge comes with 8MB of RAM and includes USB support and Mac OS compatibility out of the box. The monochrome display supports 4-bit grayscale. The device is powered by the DragonBall VZ 33MHz processor and a rechargeable lithium battery with a life of three to four weeks. An optional serial and USB charging cradle is available for the device as well as a travel charger and USB HotSync cable. The Visor Edge retails for $899.www.vodaphone.com.au.
Ericsson R380 Smartphone
Launched late last year, Ericsson's R380 is the phone vendor's first convergent mobile phone in Australia. The WAP-enabled phone features a built-in personal digital assistant and organiser functionality, aimed at the business corporate market and technology enthusiasts.
Looking like an ordinary mobile phone, the R380's keyboard flips open, revealing a touch sensitive screen. The phone also includes e-mail and messaging facilities giving users the capacity to access several e-mail accounts for business or private mailboxes via dial-in or PC synchronisation facilities.
PC synchronisation allows users to access calendars and address books on their home or office computer. The phone can also double as a digital notepad, where users can write meeting notes or jot down ideas. This can be done via the onscreen QWERTY keyboard or through the R380's handwriting recognition software. The phone also includes the normal mobile features such as voice call handling, vibrating alert, voice memo recorder and office speakerphone. The phone retails for around $1445 off-plan.www.ericsson.com.au.
Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC H3660
On the first anniversary of Compaq's iPAQ Pocket PC, the vendor has released a high end device with more memory aimed at the corporate market.
The 64MB of memory is twice that of the original model and allows users to store more data on the handheld.
Compaq has also broadened its Expansion Pack system enabling real-time information access by allowing IT departments to configure the device to specific needs, from corporate data access to personal information management. The pack now features a dual PC card expansion pack which holds two Type II cards or one Type III PC card. The pack also includes a Compact Flash adapter and portable keyboard. The PDA comes standard with applications such as Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and Internet Explorer as well as calendar and contact applications.
Compaq has also announced new service offerings for iPAQ Pocket PC users - same day courier exchange with recover-all and next day courier exchange with recover-all. To be eligible, customers must have purchased the device from April 1 this year and have registered at Compaq's Web site. The H3600 series models are priced at $1245 and $1445 for the 32MB and 64MB models respectively.www.compaq.com.au.
Palm m500 and m505
Palm has introduced the m500 series of handhelds with the launch of two new models - the Palm m500 monochrome handheld and the colour m505. Both models build upon the signature Palm V series featuring dual plug and play expansion and mobile Internet access capability. The new series also features a Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard (MMC) expansion slot around the size of a postage stamp which allows users to "plug in" applications and store data. The devices also incorporate a new Universal Connector for hardware and add-on modules. It is the same connector used to connect the palm to the HotSync cradle or cable and allows the addition of devices such as modems, digital cameras, and GPS receivers. The connector means users to add more features to their Palm without compromising the wearability of the device. Palm has introduced a new Arctic Mist metallic silver colour and gentle curve to the device, which is expected to be available on the Australian market by the second quarter of this year. The m500 series is also wireless capable, as well as incorporating a crisper display and lithium polymer battery, giving up to four weeks of power with average use. Palm have added the travel alarm developed for the m100, and have also incorporated a notepad button, virtual sticky notes and an LED display that flashes as a silent alarm as well as a vibrating alarm. The device ships with a USB cradle. The m500 will retail for an estimated price of $979 and the m505 for $1149.www.palm-asia.com.