The latest iPAQ 3800 series offers integrated Bluetooth personal area networking and a standard secure digital slot for internal expansion. The size of a postage stamp, SD memory cards can be used for backup, additional storage or swapping between devices to listen to music or view pictures. Both models in the range, the 3850 and 3870, run on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 OS with a 206MHz Intel StrongARM 32-bit RISC processor. The units come standard with 64MB SDRAM, 32MB Flash ROM memory and weigh 180 grams.
Applications include calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, inbox, Pocket Excel, Pocket Word, Pocket Internet Explorer, voice recorder, Windows Media Player 8, calculator, games, Microsoft Reader, File Explorer, MSN Messenger, terminal services client, VPN client, server sync client and infrared beaming.
The iPAQ 3850 and 3870 will ship in mid-November, retailing for $1399 and $1499, respectively.
Compaq: 132 393, www.compaq.com.au.
HP's latest handheld offering, the Jornada 560 series, is specifically targeted at the professional sector. Users can connect wirelessly via a Bluetooth Compact Flash card providing they also have a Bluetooth GPRS mobile phone, and in any environment with a 802.11b wireless LAN. HP has been working hard to extend the battery life to match that of Palm's PDAs and has managed a respectable 14-hour life span with the backing light off. The vendor has also added an additional eight megabytes of Flash ROM for backing up vital data and applications. The Jornada 560 series features the revamped Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 OS, which claims to have rectified many of the functionality problems of its earlier CE platform. Both the 565 (32MB RAM) and the 568 (62MB RAM) sport a 206MHz Intel StrongARM processor. They retail for $1499 and $1649 respectively.
Hewlett-Packard: 131 347, www.hp.com.au.
Based on the Palm OS, Handspring's Visor Edge has to be applauded on two fronts. Firstly, the Springboard expansion modules allow users to switch between games and apps while chewing limited processing power, and secondly, the significantly lowered price. At half the cost of its competitors, the unit comes standard with 8MB RAM (upgradable to 32MB) and runs on a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor. It's rechargeable lithium battery lasts two weeks on a single charge and USB connection allows hot syncing to Windows and Macintosh desktop software. Handspring definitely gets the thumbs up for slick presentation, the Visor Edge comes in metallic silver, red and blue and retails for $749.
Handspring can be purchased via Advanced Portable Technologies (a BrightPoint company).
APT: (02) 9433 8300, www.apt.com.au.
Sporting the new Palm 4.0 OS, the m500 comes with an expansion card slot and a universal connector to add content, storage capacity and data backup solutions in secure digital and MultiMediaCard formats. Weighing in at 113 grams, it comes standard with 8MB memory. M500 standard applications include address book, date book, clock, to-do list, memo pad, note pad, mail and calculator. Users can edit Excel spreadsheets and Word documents on the PDA and a host of third-party software has also been incorporated, such as Documents To Go v3.0 by DataViz, MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition, AvantGo, Pocket Mirror 3.0, Palm Reader, MultiMail SE and Palm Mobile Connectivity Software. The m500 retails for $799 and can be purchased via Tech Pacific and Advanced Portable Technologies.
Palm Sales Australia: (02) 9959 2363, www.palm.com.au.