Acer enters ‘Tour de PDA’

In a bid to compete for dominant share in the regional GPS handheld sector, Acer has unveiled its first-ever range of PDAs.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  October 5, 2005

In a bid to compete for dominant share in the regional GPS handheld sector, Acer has unveiled its first-ever range of PDAs. The PDA range consists of the n35, n50 and lastly the n50 Premium. Of the models being released, the n35 in particular is pitched up against HP’s also recently launched iPAQ hw6515, as like the iPAQ the Acer n35 also boasts GPS functionality. However, the two companies have taken different routes as far as GPS vendor support is concerned. Acer’s n35 makes use of EasyNav, while HP’s iPAQ features receiver and navigation software by Destinator. As far as digital maps are concerned, Acer is off to a head start because unlike HP’s iPAQ, Acer’s n35 comes pre-installed with maps for all Middle Eastern countries. Acer’s PDAs feature in-built multimedia and PIM (personal information management) functions, which the firm claims is perfect for road warriors and business professionals. The n35 also comes bundled with a CL (CAS Latency) adapter, which makes it possible to use the device on long trips. It also includes a connector adapter for direct charging. Acer seems very positive about the success of GPS technology in the region. “GPS technology is becoming increasingly accepted all over the Middle East. The n35 PDA offers a complete navigation system in one single device – allowing totally unrestricted mobility,” stated Graham Braum, mobility manager of Acer Middle East. Despite the differences in GPS functionality, n35 and the hw6515 are similar in some respects. Both for instance have an operating weight of 165g and make use of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 2003 as the operating system, which allows for instant messaging, e-mail functionality, web browsing and more. The n35 and the hw6515 also feature 128MB of onboard memory. On the performance front, the hw6515 features a 312MHz Intel Xscale processor, while the n32 features a Samsung 266MHz application processor. It seems HP’s $775 hw6515 is in the lead thanks to its speed-processing engine. However, priced at $490, Acer’s n35 could just win the race in the end in terms of overall sales. Acer’s new PDA range is now available in stores across the region.

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