PDAs still hot at Comdex

Dell and ViewSonic announced first PDA products, while others had new and updated models

Personal digital assistants aren't new anymore, but they still were a hot item at the Comdex show in Las Vegas. Several vendors, including Dell Computer Corp. and ViewSonic Corp., announced their first PDA products, while others announced fresh and updated models.

Dell Axim X5

Dell's offering, the Axim X5, runs on Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC operating platform. Its high-end specifications include a 400 MHz Intel Corp. X-Scale processor, 64M of SDRAM, 48M of Intel StrataFlash ROM and Microsoft Pocket PC 2002.

The Axim X5 comes with a removable battery and an optional high-capacity battery. The cradle can charge either type of battery at the same time the Pocket PC is docked, so if you have an extra battery, you can keep it charged at all times and never have to go without. In addition, you can dock the device with either type of battery installed.

Prices start at $349 with the dock. A $50 rebate is in effect until Jan. 19, 2003, that brings the price to $299. The device also is available with a synchronization cable — instead of the dock — for $249. The $50 rebate also applies for this option.

ViewSonic Pocket PC V35

ViewSonic's new Pocket PC, the V35, features a 300 MHz Intel X-Scale processor, 64M of SDRAM and 32M of ROM. It comes with the Pocket PC 2002 operating system and features a 3.5-inch transflective display that runs at a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels.

The V35 is small and thin, weighing only four ounces. It sells for $299, including a synchronization cradle.

Sharp Zaurus SL-5600

Sharp's Zaurus SL-5600 is the latest in the Zaurus series of PDAs. The Zaurus is the only PDA on the market to run on a Linux and Java platform. The system comes with HancomMobileWord and HancomMobileSheet — applications comparable to Micosoft Word and Excel.

Another unusual feature is the Zaurus's built-in keypad. The design features a sliding cover that reveals the keyboard when open.

The processor is a 400 MHz Intel PXA250 and the system comes with 32M of SDRAM and 64M of flash memory. Its 3.5-inch reflective TFT screen runs at 320-by-240 resolution. The battery is rechargeable and replaceable.

Palm Tungsten T

At Comdex, Palm Inc. was featuring its recently unveiled line of devices called Tungsten. One of these, the Tungsten T, has a slider design that opens to reveal a Graffiti writing area.

The Tungsten T comes with the new Palm OS 5 operating system, which offers functionality for applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Its processor is the ARM-based Texas Instruments OMAP1510.

The color screen features 320-by-320 resolution, and other features include one-touch voice recording, a new five-way navigator button and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

The Tungsten T is priced at $499.

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