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Pocket PC Makers Launch New Windows Mobile-Based Devices

When Microsoft took the wraps off its new Windows Mobile 2003 software for Pocket PCs on Monday, hardware partners old and new lined up to announce their support for the new operating system.

Hewlett-Packard led the way with four new iPaq models based on the new OS. Each of the new devices features built-in Bluetooth technology and includes mobile printing software to allow customers to wirelessly print to a Bluetooth-enabled printer.

HP called the new $399 iPaq h2210 the smallest dual-slot Pocket PC available. It includes both Compact Flash (CF) Type II and Secure Digital (SD) expansion slots, 64MB of memory and an Intel 400MHz XScale processor.

The company's new mid-range Pocket PC -- the h1940 -- offers an SDIO expansion slot, 64MB of memory and a 266MHz Samsung S3C2410 processor. The estimated street price is $299. For small- and medium-sized businesses, HP is offering the h5150 and h5550, which both include a 400MHz XScale processor and a removable battery. In addition to Bluetooth, the top-of-the-line h5550 integrates 802.11b wireless LAN technology and a thermal biometric fingerprint reader. The $649 handheld also packs 128MB of memory and up to 17MB of non-volatile flash storage. The h5150 includes 64MB of memory and up to 4MB of non-volatile flash storage, and an SDIO card slot. It is expected to sell for around $549.

JVC meanwhile, entered the PDA market for the first time with two Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs that reflect the company's audio/video background. The MP-PV131 and MP-PV331 include a JVC AV player that supports a variety of compressed formats, including MP3 and MPEG4. The MP-PV331 also includes MPEG4 video capture and integrated Wi-Fi, and can stream video wirelessly when used with compatible JVC digital camcorders. Both models weigh six ounces and include a 400MHz XScale processor, 128MB of memory, CF Type II and SD card slots. JVC said the MP-PV131 and MP-PV331 would be available in September for $499.95 and $599.95, respectively.

Gateway also announced its first PDA offering. The 100X Pocket PC will be based on a 400MHz XScale processor and features dual CF and SD slots. Gateway said it plans to launch the device in the third quarter for between $300 and $350.

ViewSonic unveiled the V36, which features a built-in 300K digital camera, a 300MHz Intel Xscale processor and 64MB of memory for $329. The device is expected to be available in August, along with ViewSonic's new 802.11b SDIO (secure digital input/output) card, a $129 add-on.

Others backing the new OS include Toshiba, Dell, Intermec and Symbol Technologies. The four companies did not introduce new hardware, but will be including the new OS on their current models, as well as offering upgrades to customers who already own Pocket PCs.

Toshiba said it would include Windows Mobile software for Pocket PCs on its e750/e755 and e350/e355 series handhelds. Customers who purchased a Pocket PC e750/e755 Series device after May 23, 2003, are eligible to upgrade to the new operating system for $15.99. Those who purchased an e750/e755 series Pocket PC before May 23 can upgrade to Windows Mobile 2003 for $50.

Dell, which launched its first PDA in November, said that the new OS would be available on its Axim X5 device beginning Monday. The company said it would also offer a $29 upgrade to existing Axim owners.

Intermec said it will begin shipping Windows Mobile 2003 on Intermec 700 Color models in the third quarter. Upgrades will be available for current 700 Series Color customers, as well.

Symbol also said its rugged PPT 8800 with Windows Mobile 2003 software will be available in the third quarter.

Reprinted from allNetDevices.