NEC Heats Up Handheld Wars

The computer maker debuts its 'clamshell' MobilePro 900 for enterprise with a faster chip, more memory and a nearly full-sized keyboard.

NEC Corp. Monday took the wraps off a new handheld PC the company says is perfectly suited for workers in the field.

At $899, the new MobilePro 900 features an Intel XScale PXA255 processor with 64MB RAM Base SDRAM.

While the "clamshell" design is not expected to compete heavily with the Palm and Pocket PC gadgets of the world, the device does measure 9.69-inches wide by 5.05-inches long by 1.19-inches thick. The MobilePro comes with 32MB Flash ROM, and an option for an additional 32MB Flash ROM for customer applications.

The device also features an internal 56Kbps V.90 modem, USB Host/Slave ports, a serial interface, a PC Card Type I/II slot, a Compact Flash Type I/II slot and an infrared (Fast IR) port.

Built on the Microsoft Handheld PC platform, the MobilePro 900 comes with the standard Microsoft wares for PDAs (Pocket Word, Excel, Pocket PowerPoint and Internet Explorer).

The device also has a HVGA (640 x 240) display that supports up to 65,000 colors and could be configured to allow for touch screen functions. The MobilePro 900 ships with a standard lithium ion battery, for an estimated 8 hours of power under normal operation. An optional, larger battery is available, which offers up to 16 hours of power under normal conditions.

NEC says it will market the devices to professional services sectors and healthcare professionals.

"NEC is proud to supply our customers with a solution they are demanding," NEC Solutions America vice president and general manager Larry Miller said in a statement. "It's easy to use and simple to operate. For users who run their businesses from the field, the MobilePro 900 handheld PC is a very compelling solution."

The Tokyo-based firm has had much success selling its mobile products. In addition to its clamshell and ultra-light notebooks, the company has successfully launched its Tablet PC line.

The company has also gotten a boost to its networking capabilities recently with the addition of a CDMA license courtesy of QUALCOMM .






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