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HP launches a pack of new iPaqs

Hewlett-Packard (HP) next week takes the cover off a range of new PDAs and other mobile devices, including a converged device that combines wireless LAN connectivity, wide-area wireless and personal-area networking.

T-Mobile USA and HP are expected to launch the iPaq Pocket PC h6300, the first Pocket PC model to include three wireless technologies in one device. These include a GSM/General Packet Radio Service radio for wide-area data connectivity and phone calls, Wi-Fi (802.11b) for WLAN connections; and Bluetooth for personal-area networking applications. Connectivity can be used for sending e-mail, text messaging, phone calls and Internet browsing.

The device uses a Texas Instruments OMAP 1510 processor, and includes 64M bytes of synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM) and 64M bytes of Flash read-only memory, with 55M bytes available for file storage.

The h6300 includes a snap-on keyboard for composing messages and a camera (on some models) for composing Multimedia Message Service messages. The device includes a 3.5-inch color screen (64,000 colors), and has a removable and rechargeable battery. A Secure Digital slot is available for memory expansion and data storage.

The hx4700 also has integrated 802.11b WLAN connectivity and Bluetooth, and includes features such as an Intel 624-MHz processor, a 4-inch VGA color display, a touchpad with a mouse-like cursor, a removable/rechargeable lithium ion battery, and integrated Compact Flash (Type II) and Secure Digital slots. The hx4700 includes 192M bytes of total memory (128M bytes of ROM and 64M bytes of SDRAM, with 135M bytes available for file storage).

It also includes data encryption tools, including HP's Protect-Tools, and Microsoft operating system functionality for VPN and Wi-Fi Protected Access wireless security.

The rx3000, also called the Mobile Media Companion, seems to be more of an entertainment device than a serious PDA. There are two models, the rx3115 and the rx3715, which include features such as an MP3 player and integrated 802.11b connectivity. The rx3715 sports a 1.2-megapixel camera (with 4x digital zoom) for taking photos or recording short video clips. Both devices include a 3.5-inch color screen, and run on a Samsung S3C 2440 processor. The rx3115 has 152M bytes of memory, and the rx3415 has 56M bytes. You can use the device's Wi-Fi connection to stream content stored on the rx3000 to a TV or stereo. You also can take content stored on a PC and wirelessly download it to the rx3000, so you can take music or other files with you without connecting to a PC via wires.

The rz1700 series includes two models -- the more traditional rz1710, which includes an Secure Digital slot, integrated personal information manager and software for improving personal information manager functions such as calendar, contacts, tasks and appointments; and the rz1715 Mobile Media Companion, which includes a new start page focusing on user's photos, music and other digital entertainment data. The devices include a 203-MHz Samsung 2410 processor and a 3.5-inch color display.

The rz1710 includes up to 35M bytes of memory (with 21M bytes available for file storage), and a Secure Digital I/O slot, for adding cards such as WLAN connectivity, cameras and bar-code scanners. The rz1715 offers up to 25M bytes of user memory (including 10M bytes for file storage), support for MP3, WMA and WMV media formats, and a Secure Digital slot for memory expansion or file storage.

Pricing for the new iPaq models was not available at press time. The devices are slated for release in the fall.