HP updates low-end iPaq

Hewlett-Packard continued to revamp its iPaq handhelds with the launch of the h1935, a lightweight personal digital assistant...

Hewlett-Packard continued to revamp its iPaq handhelds with the launch of the h1935, a lightweight personal digital assistant which is the least-expensive model in HP's lineup.

The h1935 is an upgrade of HP's h1910 iPaq PDA, a product which is being phased out, said John Dayan, director of the handheld PC business at HP.

The h1935 comes with an Secure Digital I/O slot for connecting the handheld to the Internet via an 802.11 Lan or a Wan (wide-area network) expansion card.

The market for PDAs without some type of connectivity has been falling over the past few quarters, and analysts say the category will not survive over the long term. But, by choosing to offer internet or voice connectivity through an expansion card, HP can produce a lower-cost PDA for customers unconcerned with wireless capabilities, Dayan said.

Running a wireless connection via an expansion card does drain the PDAs battery more quickly than a built-in wireless chip will do, but the difference is very small.

HP chose to use Samsung Electronics' S3C2410 processor running at 203MHz in the h1935. The h1910 used Intel's 200MHz XScale processor, which consumes more power than the Samsung chip, and takes up more space on the PDA's motherboard.

The other component of the h1935 is Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 operating system. HP launched several iPaq handhelds alongside the launch of the operating system in June, but chose to delay the h1935 for fear of it getting lost among the other PDA launches in June.

The h1935 comes with 64Mbytes of SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), 56Mbytes of which is user accessible. The device also comes with 16Mbytes of Rom.

The h1935 is available through retail and commercial channels in the US and Canada, and on HP's website for $199 (£127), after buyers redeem a $50 mail-in rebate.

The h1930 was launched in in June with a different warranty and different pricing, Dayan said.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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