Dell cuts wires on Axim X3 PDA

Dell has introduced three versions of the Axim X3 personal digital assistant, including a model with an integrated 802.11b...

Dell has introduced three versions of the Axim X3 personal digital assistant, including a model with an integrated 802.11b wireless chip. Pricing is aimed at undercutting  comparable Pocket PC devices.

For $379 (£227), Dell will sell the Axim X3 with a 400MHz XScale processor from Intel, 64Mbytes of Ram, 64Mbytes of Rom and an 802.11b chip.

Hewlett-Packard's cheapest iPaq PDA with integrated 802.11b wireless costs $449 (£269). The Wi-Fi enabled iPaq h4150 also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Axim X3. It comes with 64Mbytes of Ram. HP has two other models with the short-range Bluetooth standard that cost less than the h4150.

Toshiba's e750 Pocket PC comes with an integrated 802.11b chip for $399 (£239), but comes with only 32Mbytes of Rom. Market leader Palm sells the Tungsten C with integrated Wi-Fi for $499, but has cheaper Bluetooth models available.

The linchpin of Dell's business model is delivering hardware at prices lower than the competition, and that trend is continuing in a market where the company has less experience than its competitors.

Dell entered the PDA market last year with the launch of the first Axim X5 in two configurations for $199 (£119) and $299 (£179), below what its competitors were offering at the time.

The company shot to fourth place in terms of shipment market share across both Palm OS and Pocket PC operating systems, and was second behind HP in the Pocket PC category in the second-quarter, according to research from IDC.

The Axims are now slimmer and lighter than the X5 version. The $229 version of the X3 has the same specifications as the $199 X5, with a 300MHz XScale processor, 32Mbytes of Ram, and 32Mbytes of Rom, but comes in the smaller package and uses a USB (universal serial bus) cable to connect to a user's PC rather than the X5's cradle.

A $329 version of the X3 comes with a 400MHz XScale processor, 64Mbytes of Ram, and 64Mbytes of Rom, but without any type of wireless connectivity built into the device.

All of the new models come with an Secure Digital I/O expansion slot, and a 3.5in transflective TFT (thin film transistor) LCD screen.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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