Multifunction communication device
The PC-EPhone is touted as the first wireless device to converge the functions of a PDA, telephone and handheld PC complete with full Internet browsing capabilities. With an unusual form factor (similar to that of a personal CD player) and a weight of 299g, the PC-EPhone uses an Intel StrongARM 206MHz processor together 32MB of EDO RAM and 32MB of Intel ROM to run Microsoft Windows CE 3.0.
The WinCE platform includes Pocket Word, spreadsheet software, a PDF viewer, memo pad, calendar, voice recorder, calculator and an e-mail client (as well as a other software available for download from www.pcephone."com.au). The included version of Internet Explorer even supports SSL secure Web transactions.
The PC-EPhone boasts a back-"lit 4in, 256-colour, touchscreen 640x480 TFT display and is navigated using the provided stylus pen. To the left of the screen are application shortcuts, below it two rows of numbers, letters and a limited number of keyboard keys, plus navigation control buttons, an enter button and a status LCD display.
The PC-EPhone can play back MP3 music and MPEG video. The device also features an internal microphone and speaker, in addition to a dual-purpose external headphone/microphone jack. CompactFlash support allows the addition of memory, a 1GB Microdrive, barcode scanners, Bluetooth devices, wireless LAN cards or even an Ethernet adapter. An infrared port facilitates connectivity with other "devices such as wireless printers and notebook computers.
As a mobile phone the device uses Australia's CDMA network, which provides increased data bandwidth over GSM and includes support for SMS.
At $2299, the PC-EPhone costs more than a mobile phone and PDA purchased separately. All up, it's a slightly unwieldy but well-engineered device that will certainly draw attention.
Cyberbank PC-EPhone **1/2
A personal communication device comprised of an Internet-enabled PDA using a touch screen colour display running at 640x480, together with a CDMA mobile phone with SMS support.
Distributor: Ingram Micro.
Phone: 1300 133 366.