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Compaq unleashes iPaq

Compaq, already a leader in the Pocket PC market, has expanded its iSeries range with the launch of the iPaq 3650. <b><i>Mobile Executive</b></i> received one of the Middle East's exclusive preview models for an advanced look.

Compaq, already a leader in the Pocket PC market, has expanded its iSeries range with the launch of the iPaq 3650. Mobile Executive received one of the Middle East's exclusive preview models for an advanced look.

The iPaq 3650 is predicted to set the standard in what users can expect from a Pocket PC. With all of the features usually offered on a device twice its size, the iPaq delivers performance contrary to its minute build.

Compaq claims it has responded to criticisms that have been aimed at similar products in the past: Pocket PCs that simply don't fit in the pocket. The iPaq 3650 comes in a 13.00 x 8.3 x 1.6cm package.

Applications that are most important to the business user are here, with versions of Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and Notes facility all built into the OS. Upgrades include a Microsoft CD-Rom, enabling a number of other applications to be installed.

"Anytime-anywhere Products"

Howard Elias, vice president and general manager, Compaq Global Business Unit, explained Compaq’s timing at the launch: "With the explosion of e-business there is a new consumer demand for anytime-anywhere products and services."

In accordance with this demand, the iPaq can be used to access the Web. You can browse financial information, read a newspaper or bookmark as you would do on a desktop machine.

A revolutionary feature, partly developed with the Middle East is mind, is the radical new TFT screen that can be viewed in the bright daylight without the typical, and substantial, loss of vision or screen glare.

Compaq expect sucess from its balanced approach to both business and consumer sectors. This is not just a corporate powerhouse. Windows Media Player, included on the device, means that you can play MP3 files. A picture viewer and handwriting recognition program also advance its impressive multimedia capabilities.

Fierce Competition

With a number of competitors now on the market, analysts predict the Pocket PC/PDA crossover to be one of the most hotly contested sectors of the electronics market.

Competitors jostling for position include the revamped Jornada from HP, the Casio Cassiopeia range and new Samsung handhelds due in Q4 2000. Ironically, the iPaq must also co-exist alongside the earlier and largely successful Aero model, enjoying notable popularity in the Middle East today for its lightweight frame.

Compaq believes there is room for both in the market, tipping the iPaq’s new StrongArm processor and reflective TFT to appeal to a high-end range of users. Analysts agree, but point to the futuristic finish as the make-or-break element of the newest PDA in town.

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