Compaq unveils iPAQ for business computing

Compaq has unveiled its new iPAQ - a Windows 2000 device aimed at bridging the gap between traditional desktop PCs and Internet-based computing.

The iPAQ, due for release in Australia in July, is aimed at businesses looking to simplify IT management while retaining conventional desktop applications.

Two versions are available - Legacy-Free, which features five USB ports and is designed for use with Windows 2000, and the Legacy model which includes ports for existing peripherals and runs with Windows 95, 98, NT or Windows 2000. Compaq expects to launch the iPAQ in July through its Compaq Connect stores and says it is already receiving inquiries about the product.

While Australian prices have yet to be announced, the Legacy-Free retails in the US for $US499.

Compaq has worked to simplify the system, eliminating slots and ports which are less commonly used to reduce hardware and software conflicts. The series features a MultiBay drive system which allows the user to interchange DVDs, CDs or spare disk drives, depending on the setup.

"The iPAQ represents the first business computer specifically designed for companies moving towards an Internet-based computing model," said Compaq's Internet products and services marketing manager, Sandra Lee Joe.

Compaq also showcased its Armada range of portable PCs, incorporating biometric security and Intel Mobile Pentium III up to 650MHz.