HP launches new Jupiter handheld PC

Hewlett-Packard has unveiled the first member of its new Jornada family of handheld PCs, based on the new, enterprise-oriented version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE operating system.

The Jornada 820 will be targeted at mobile workers who want a system large enough to support convenient keyboard data entry but who don't need the memory or computing power of a full-blown notebook PC, HP said.

"For users who want almost a full-size keyboard, who write and receive a lot of e-mail and want to surf the Web on the road, it's the perfect machine," HP spokeswoman Andrea Bell said.

Microsoft launched Windows CE, Handheld PC Professional Edition, on Oct. 7, along with a hardware design specification known as Jupiter, of which HP's Jornada is one example.

The new Jornada device is due to go on sale in November in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific, priced at $US999, HP said.

At 1.1kg, the Jornada 820 is less than half the weight of HP's Omnibook 2100 notebook PC, and features an 8.2-inch colour screen and 16MB of main memory, HP said. Users can expand the memory to 32MB by adding a compact flash memory card, Bell said.

The system offers up to 10 hours of battery life, which can be extended by another 15 hours with an optional battery pack that fits inside the unit, HP said.

The device is powered by an "instant-on" StrongARM 190MHz processor, which HP says eliminates boot-up time. The system also includes a built-in, 56Kbit/s V.90 modem and a VGA-Out port for displaying PowerPoint presentations on a compatible VGA monitor or projector, HP said.

Bundled software programs include pocket versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook and Internet Explorer, as well as an application called bFax Pro from bSquare Inc.

Other hardware makers including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. have announced plans to release systems based on Jupiter, all of which are expected to retail for about $US1000 or less.

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