HP has launched an all-singing, all-dancing version of its Jornada PDA. The 928 WDA (pictured with optional camera) is the company's first wireless handheld with built-in GSM/GPRS (global system for mobiles/general packet radio service). Like O2's Xda, the device runs Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition.
It features a dual-screen design that allows users to access phone and PDA features separately. The main screen is a 16bit reflective colour TFT screen, which gives users access to all the PDA applications, while a separate, blue backlit display allows users to view phone functions. This means you can make a call without having to fire up the main display, which should save both time and battery power.
HP is going against the Intel crowd, using Texas Instruments' Omap 710 processor instead, which offers integrated wireless, data, voice and multimedia connectivity. Another unique feature is a dual-battery system combining an integrated battery with a removable, rechargeable lithium polymer cell. HP claims this system will deliver three hours talk time, 12 hours PDA usage and 150 hours standby.
The Jornada 928 WDA is available now from Vodafone stores, priced from £390 with contract.
We can expect to see more of this type of convergence device — featuring both phone and PDA functions as well as built-in wireless and GPRS support — from other manufacturers in the coming months. Indeed Taiwanese manufacturer Eten Information Systems, has already launched its own hybrid phone/PDA, the InfoTouch P600, which combines Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition software with support for GPRS.
The InfoTouch P600 is based on a 206MHz StrongArm processor and has 32MB of ROM and 64MB of RAM. The device, which measures 135x80x18mm, sports a 240x340pixel colour TFT monitor and has both SD and CompactFlash card slots. The phone is dual-band 900MHz/1800MHz and supports GSM and GPRS services.
The InfoTouch P600 ships with standard Pocket PC 2002 applications, including Pocket Outlook, Pocket Word and Pocket Excel, as well as Media Player which supports audio files in MP3 format.
Pricing and availability of the device haven't been released and as yet it is only available on the Asian market. But Eten has offered to manufacture the P600 under contract for companies in Europe so no doubt we will see it over here, though probably under another brand name.