New pda/phone hybrid

With quad band GSM mobile phone and GPRS data functionality and the ability to connect to peripherals and PCs wirelessly using 802.11b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared, the iPaq h6365 is the centrepiece of Hewlett-Packard's new line-up of personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Such hybrid features put the h6365 in competition with other mobile phone PDAs, including PalmOne's Treo 600 (recently reduced to $999) and O2's $1299 XDA II Pocket-PC.

The h6365 comes with Texas Instruments' OMAP1510 applications processor and 64MB of SDRAM (in addition to 64MB ROM). The device weighs 190g, features a 3.5in transflective TFT display, an SDIO (Secure Digital I/O) expansion slot and a built-in 1.2Mp CMOS camera (capable of taking 640x480 resolution stills). Design highlights include rubberised side grips and a removable snap-on thumb keyboard. Phone conversations can be undertaken in handset, speaker phone or headphone modes. Although the h6365 uses Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition, a key differentiator of the new PDAs is that HP has replaced the initial Pocket PC "today screen" with its own Mobile Media Manager interface. Nero Universal Remote Control software is also included.

The $1199 hx4700 is another new range highlight. This performance PDA boasts an Intel 624-MHz processor, a 4in display (640x480 resolution) supporting portrait and landscape modes, a touchpad with a mouse-like cursor, both Compact Flash (Type II) and SDIO slots plus 802.11b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Infrared connectivity. The hx4700 includes 192MB of total memory (128MB ROM and 64MB of SDRAM, with 135MB available for file storage).

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