The new Palm m515 handheld is designed for the business market. It features twice as much memory as other Palm handhelds, an improved colour display and runs on the Palm OS 4.1, allowing users to carry mobile versions of Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents or exchange e-mail and access the Web. A range of optional peripherals and SD cards are also available. E-mail and Internet features require an Internet connection via a compatible data-enabled mobile phone or a compatible modem. An SMS application requires a GSM phone and a mobile phone service provider supporting SMS messaging using GSM protocols.
The m515 carries a retail price of $869.
The Palm m130 handheld features a long-lasting rechargeable battery, so it can be used for weeks at a time as an organiser, to exchange SMS and e-mail, to create and edit Excel and Word documents, view photos and read e-books. The handheld can be customised with an array of interchangeable faceplates and expansion facilities.
It retails for $639.
Advantech's MobiPanel is a handheld device that offers information mobility and boundless communication to mobile professionals. The MobiPanel is shock-, dust- and water-resistant and is also equipped with a 10.4-inch-high brightness LCD. Based on the Windows CE 3.0 operating system, it runs on an Intel StrongARM 206MHz processor with 32MB flash memory and 64MB SDRAM memory. Equipped with a PCMCIA Wireless LAN card, the MobiPanel allows 11Mbps of wireless transmission. Entry-level models start from $2,962. The MobiPanel is designed for a range of applications, from warehousing and medical to logistics and transportation.
Ingram Micro is the exclusive distributor of CyberBank's PC-EPhone, a convergent device that combines a handheld personal computer with full Internet access, telecommunications and PDA capabilities. The PC-EPhone has Web and remote e-mail capabilities, a 4-inch touch-screen, mobile phone capabilities supported by a CDMA network and SMS supported by Windows CE. It also has MP3 capabilities and MPEG for video and Web television. The device supports remote Citrix access and features a Word converter, a spreadsheet converter, Avantgo client software, PDF viewing software (Primer), a voice recorder and a calendar. It supports Outlook and handwriting character recognition. The device has 32MB of RAM and 32MB of Intel ROM. It also features a CompactFlash Slot (CFII) and built-in infrared connectivity. It can connect to a barcode scanner, video camera, wireless printer compact flash memory, external disk and LAN wired or wireless network.
The PC-EPhone carries a retail price tag of $1,999.
Ingram Micro: (02) 9741 2021
Handspring Treo Communicator
The Handspring Treo 270 is a compact, full-colour communicator that integrates a mobile phone, a Palm OS organiser and wireless applications like e-mail, short messaging and Internet browsing. Despite its small size, the device includes a built-in, backlit keyboard and colour screen for improved readability. The device is available through exclusive distributor Brightpoint Australia and retails for $1,599. The Treo 180 Communicator also integrates a mobile phone with wireless applications and the Palm OS.
It comes in two versions, one with a built-in keyboard and one with Graffiti handwriting software, and carries a retail price of $1,299.
Brightpoint: 1300 300 213.
Handspring Visor range
The Handspring Visor Pro is an expandable, Palm-powered handheld with lots of memory. The rechargeable device lets users store thousands of records and tons of Palm OS applications. The Springboard expansion slot is compatible with digital cameras and wireless modems. It retails for $599. The Visor Edge is Handspring's thinnest handheld, and also features the unique detachable Springboard expansion slot. It is fast, rechargeable and 100 per cent Palm compatible and retails for $399. The Visor Delux comes with 8MB of memory and comes in a range of colours. As well as the expansion slot and Palm OS, Handspring has added an advanced datebook, calculator and world clock.
The device carries a price tag of $249. All Handspring Visor products are available through Brightpoint Australia.
Brightpoint: 1300 300 213.
Sharp Zaurus SL5500
The Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 is a unique, dedicated Linux open-source device with a Qtopia interface, Opera browser, and a Java virtual machine. It is ideal for Linux-based businesses and Linux developers. It is designed for business and individuals seeking a viable, reliable and stable PDA alternative. The device is capable of receiving rich media and also presents well for the youth market with a built-in MP3 player. The SL5500 features a 206MHz Intel StrongARM CPU, 64MB RAM, a 3.5-inch frontlit touch-sensitive LCD, stereo audio out and mono audio in.
It retails for $1,199 and is available from Eduquip, Tera International, Leader Computer Systems, J Mills Distribution and BQ Wholesale, as well as retailers such as Dick Smith Electronics, Harvey Norman, Portacom and Organiser World.
Sharp: (02) 9994 8044.
Symbol Pocket PCs
Vodafone Australia has certified Symbol Technologies' locally developed, ruggedised Pocket PC handhelds for use on its GPRS network. The Vodafone GPRS service is provided through the same network as with the existing GSM service so Vodafone GPRS users have access to Vodafone's network coverage across Australia. The GPRS Pocket PC has already been certified for use on the Telstra network. Optus is currently finalising approval. GPRS sends data in self-contained packets so users are charged only for the amount of data sent and not for the period of connection time. With expected data speeds of 30Kbps into the terminal and 10Kbps out, Symbol's solution is designed for most industrial applications. The Pocket PC handhelds combine ruggedisation with WAN capabilities. They are IP54-certified and can withstand windblown dust, rain and 1.2-metre drops onto concrete.
Symbol has two models available: the PPT 2837 is a streamlined pen-based configuration, while the PDT 8137, also pen-based, offers multiple keyboard options. Both feature the Intel StrongARM 206MHz processor and a rechargeable, extended-use lithium-ion battery. Both are fully compatible with Microsoft SDK for Pocket PCs with a Symbol API available to support barcode scanning. An integrated miniature scan engine, conveniently placed scan triggers and an ergonomic design enable simple one-handed data capture. The handhelds also feature a high-res 1/4 VGA display with touch-screen and backlit keyboard.
Pricing is available upon application.
Logitech KeyCase is a smart and stylish all-in-one keyboard and protective case for PDAs. Users simply open the case, sliding the SmartMotion cradle upright and to type. KeyCase puts the most popular editing functions within easy reach and one-touch keys give the user instant access to favourite applications. The soft keyboard is made of high-quality, lightweight, spill-proof, durable material. Wrapped around a PDA, it acts as a shock-absorbent case.
It works with the PalmTM m125, m130, m500, m505 and m515, includes a two-year warranty, and retails for $249.
Tech Pacific: 1300 651 124.
BJE Enterprises: (02) 8850 1000.
Toshiba e310 PocketPC
The Toshiba e310 PocketPC has rocketed to the number three position in the handheld market within just four months of being launched and remains one of the best-selling entry-level handhelds. Weighing 140 grams and working off an Intel StrongARM 206MHz processor and Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 OS, the e310 features a bright 3.5-inch, 64K colour display screen. It offers full Pocket PC catering for both day planning and contacts as well as being an MP3/video player and gaming console. Other features include a standard SD expansion slot to increase on-board memory from 32MB to 288MB, and up to 72 hours data protection in the event of a main flat battery.
The e310 is priced at $898.70 and is available from distributors such as Brightpoint Australia.