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New Handspring model offers Graffiti alternative

Handspring, the handheld computer manufacturer, has introduced a new device that combines handwriting recognition with a built-in keyboard.

While Handspring's new Treo 90 runs PalmOS and includes the Palm Graffiti handwriting recognition system, it also comes with a QWERTY keyboard. The company says the keyboard will offers faster, more familiar data entry and navigation. Applications on the Treo have been adapted for keyboard use.

According to Handspring a new keyboard navigation feature called Instant Lookup allows people using the keyboard to look up any name in the Contacts List in three keystrokes or fewer.

Prior to the launch of the new Treo, Graffiti was the only way to enter information on Handspring devices. Joe Sipher, vice-president of product marketing for Handspring said the keyboard was added to the device to attract users who may have been intimidated at having to learn the Graffiti language in order to use handheld computers effectively. "We're finding that the integrated keyboard is a faster, easier and more familiar method of input than Graffiti," he added.

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