Palm's new devices take on PocketPCs

If anyone doubted that Palm could compete on an equal footing with the feature-laden Pocket PCs, the introduction of the Palm...

If anyone doubted that Palm could compete on an equal footing with the feature-laden Pocket PCs, the introduction of the Palm Tungsten C and Zire 71 should put those doubts to rest.

With almost a year of living with Palm OS 5, the Palm Solutions Group is introducing the first Palm handheld with 64Mbytes of memory, built-in IEEE 802.11b, a keyboard, and a claimed six-hour battery life under full and constant usage with Wi-Fi and the display activated.

On the software side, Palm in partnership with IBM will create a set of application programming interfaces to connect Palm's VersaMail client directly to Domino Lotus Notes Server in May.

Using DataViz's Documents to Go, Version 6, the device will have full Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint compatibility. Users will also be able to open text and graphics with Documents to Go by tapping once on the attachment icon.

On the Tungsten C handheld, the browser will support JavaScript.

The Tungsten C handheld will be priced at $499 (£314 ) and ships with a 400MHz Intel XScale processor, Palm OS 5.2.1 operating system, a TFT colour display, SD/SDIO expansion slot, and a Palm universal connector.

On the consumer side, Palm will introduce the Zire 71 priced at $299 (£188). The Zire 71 ships with a built-in digital camera that uses the full handheld display as its viewfinder. It also ships with Palm OS 5.2.1, a Texas Instruments OMAP 310 processor running at 144MHz, 16Mbytes of memory, and a built-in MP3 player.

The Zire 71 is shipping now and the Tungsten C will be available worldwide by 5 May.

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