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PDA makers unveil Wi-Fi, GPRS PDAs

Big week for GPS-enabled PDAs too

Asus this week demonstrated its upcoming wireless PDA, the MyPal A730 - one of the first handhelds we've come across that's based on Intel's next-generation XScale chip, 'Bulverde'.

The A730 will contain a 520MHz Bulverde, which builds on previous XScales by adding the MMX multimedia instructions Intel developed for the Pentium processor line. It also features SpeedStep, the dynamic processor clock and voltage adjustment system pioneered by the Mobile Pentium family. Bulverde is due to ship during the second half of the year.

The PDA itself features 64MB of Flash memory and 128MB of SDRAM, and, taking a leaf from Toshiba's e800 book, features a 3.7in 480 x 640 display. The device also features a 1.3 megapixel digicam, courtesy of Bulverde's integrated digicam support for still and video photography.

In addition to Wi-Fi, the A730 provides Bluetooth and infrared connectivity. Expansion is provided by a CompactFlash and SD IO slots. The device measures 11.7 x 7.3 x 1.7cm and weighs 167g. It's powered by a 1150mAh battery.

Asus also demo'd its Sony Ericsson P900-style A8100 smart phone. Based on Microsoft Windows Mobile for Smartphones Pocket PC edition, the handheld provides tri-based GSM/GPRS mobile connectivity, plus Bluetooth and infrared for more local wireless links.

Like the P900, the A8100's true keypad flips open to reveal all of the LCD.

The A8100 sports a 240 x 320 display and is equipped with a 1.3 megapixel digicam with integrated flash. An MMC/SD card slot is provided for expansion. It is rumoured to be based on a Intel XScale PXA255 clocked at 400MHz.

Samsung will introduce a Wi-Fi PDA next month, the Nexio XP30, the company said this week.

Built around a 400MHz Intel XScale PXA255 processor, the Windows CE .Net 4.1-based unit also contains 64MB of Flash memory and 128MB of SDRAM.

As its OS suggests, the XP30 is no mere PocketPC. The unit features a 5in, 800 x 480 screen the better to display web content. The unit measures 15.4 x 9.1 x 1.3cm and weighs 240g with its 1500mAh Lithium-polymer battery.

The unit features an integrated 802.11b WLAN adaptor and a USB port for wired connectivity. For expansion, Samsung has equipped the XP30 with a CompactFlash slot

The Nexio XP30 will go on sale next month in South Korea for around $679, Samsung said. However, European and US buyers will have to wait until next year for it.

British PC maker Evesham Technology this week brought Mitac's Mio 168 PocketPC with integrated GPS to the UK.

The handheld, launched last November in Taiwan as world's first PocketPC with a built-in GPS receiver, will ship over here with CoPilot Live UK and Ireland street-level navigation software. CoPilot provides spoken directions, and will alert you to the presence of speed cameras. It can even work out quick detours around traffic jams and roadworks, if you encounter any, Evesham said.

The handheld itself runs Windows Mobile 2003 on a 300MHz Intel XScale CPU. It offers the usual 3.5in 240 x 320 LCD, and contains 32MB of Flash memory and 64MB of SDRAM. There's an SD/MMC card slot for expansion. The Mio 186 measures 11.3 x 7.0 x 1.6cm when then GPS receiver is stowed. It weighs 147g.

Prices start at £450 including VAT. ®

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