Dell debuts in handheld market

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Dell debuts in handheld market

Dell Computer, the market leader in desktop PCs, is to announce its entry into the handheld market at Comdex Las Vegas on 18 November.

Two versions of Dell's Axim X5, priced at $299 (£192) and $199 (£128), are based on Pocket PC 2002 Professional operating system. The price points undercut Hewlett-Packard's least expensive iPaq 3830 model, which sells for $359 (£231).

The dearer Axim X5 will include a 400MHz Intel StrongArm processor, 64MB of SDRAM, and both a CF 2 (Compact Flash) and SD (Secure Digital) expansion slots. The other Axim X5 uses the 300MHz StrongArm processor and 32MB of RAM.

Meanwhile, the $359 iPaq includes a 206MHz StrongArm processor and 32MB of SDRAM and only an integrated SD slot. The iPaq 3870 sells for $650 and includes 64MB of RAM and integrated Bluetooth.

The Axim X5 does not include any built-in wireless capability, although in autumn 2003, Dell will offer a model with integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with a hardware-software switch between the two.

After price, the single most significant difference between the 6.9-ounce Axim X5 and the iPaq, which is about 10 grams lighter, is probably the ability of the Axim X5 to recharge the battery without the need to dock or cradle the entire handheld device.

The removable battery has its own slot in the cradle, which gives a mobile worker the ability to use a second battery while the first recharges. The cheaper Axim X5 does not include a cradle, only a rechargeable AC adapter.

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