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Mobility heads Gitex agenda

Vendors will be attempting to tap into the Middle East’s passion for laptops, PDAs and smart phones come October 3.

A multitude of vendors are set to arrive at this year’s Gitex with a wide range of mobility solutions. From personal digital assistants (PDAs), to notebooks, smart phones and wireless connectivity offerings, one of the show’s key themes will be accessing information on the move.

Foremost among those vendor’s dedicated to giving end users anytime, anywhere access is HP. The computing giant intends to not only introduce two new notebooks — the HP Compaq nx9020 and nx9030 — at the show, but it will also unveil is latest suite of iPAQ handhelds.

The extended line up of mobility devices includes the iPAQ hx4700, which boasts a four-inch VGA screen and ProtectTools encryption, and the rz1710 Pocket PC, the vendor’s first multimedia-focused handheld.

However, the star of the show will undoubtedly be the h6340, which HP claims bridges the convergence gap between voice and data by integrating quad-band GSM/GPRS, WLAN and Bluetooth wireless technology.

The device also boasts a touch pad with a mouse-like cursor for simple navigation and it provides manageable, secure access to corporate data and the internet. When combined with Microsoft Exchange 2003, the h6340 can send and synchronise e-mail, attachments and calendars over a Wi-Fi or GPRS network.

Mobility is a key theme for HP as it continues to dominate the Middle East’s hardware market. As such, it sits at the heart of the vendor’s R&D strategy and influences every part of its business, including the Imaging & Printing Group.

“We are spending a huge amount of money on R&D and innovation is one of our main strengths. We understand our responsibility as leaders in the industry and we are responding fast to the feedback from the consumers and customers and that is what is driving the introduction of new products,” says Amr Hassan, general manager, Imaging & Printing Group, HP Middle East.

“Everything in your home today can be connected together and digitised. We are even introducing a mobile projector, which is very, very small in terms of size and it can be carried from house-to-house or even during work. We are not only talking about digital entertainment or home entertainment, but about mobility as a whole.”

Other vendors looking to tap into the region’s desire for mobile products at Gitex include Acer and BenQ. The former believes its Ferrari notebooks will cause a stir, while the latter will be showcasing its range of Joybook laptops. Other international vendors touting notebooks include ASUS, Dell, FSC and IBM, while a host of smaller assemblers, including DTK and DCS, will also be present.

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