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Hitachi's new PDA targets corporate users

Hitachi is targeting corporate users with its first PDA, which combines Microsoft's Windows CE .net operating system, Intel's...

Hitachi is targeting corporate users with its first PDA, which combines Microsoft's Windows CE .net operating system, Intel's XScale microprocessor and a built-in wireless LAN modem.

Hitachi hopes to sell a range of services alongside the PDA, including access to intranet applications, said company spokeswoman Emi Takase.

The device will ship to Japan in April this year. Plans for a launch outside Japan are currently under consideration. The company expects the PDA portion of the overall bill will be around ¥50,000 (£260).

Hitachi's NPD-10JWL "mobile multimedia communicator" is based on an Intel PXA250 XScale microprocessor, 32Mbytes of RAM and a 3.5in, 240 by 320-pixel reflective LCD capable of displaying 65,536 colours. It has slots for MMC (Multimedia Card) and SD expansion cards, a mini USB connector and a headphone socket. The device weighs 160g and measures 77mm x 108mm x 17.8mm.

The Hitachi PDA is entering a highly competitive market. Sharp, Casio, Sony, Toshiba and Fujitsu are already battling for market share with Palm and Handspring. However, the aggressive market has led to very low prices, with Palm offering its entry-level M100 PDA for ¥4,900 (£25).

Hitachi first unveiled a prototype of its PDA at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. The company has formed a new subsidiary, the Net-PDA Venture Company, to handle development of the PDA and complementary services.

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