Datawind yesterday announced the launch of the PocketSurfer2. The PocketSurfer2 is a handheld device that delivers the internet rapidly and wirelessly, for up to 20 hours a month for free. Unlimited internet access costs £5.99 a month. The 152x75x15mm, 174g PocketSurfer2 has a 640 x 240 colour widescreen display and will cost £179 when it goes on sale at the end of July.

At the London launch event, Datawind claimed that the PocketSurfer2 allows you to browse the web in its original HTML layout, with full graphics, Java support and other complex web functionality. The PocketSurfer2 has an integrated mouse pointer and a full format, backlit qwerty keyboard.

Pitched against the limited functionality and small screens on mobile phones or smartphones, Datawind claims the PocketSurfer2 has page-load times of under seven seconds over GPRS. At the launch event, Datawind challenged anyone to produce a faster handheld web experience, and load times were impressive - for a mobile device. The PocketSurfer browsed through several web-pages and downloaded a PDF in the time it took an Apple iPhone to post one page.

Datawind said the PocketSurfer is intended to replicate the desktop web surfing experience on the go, and to supplement a user's smartphone rather than replace it.

Free usage for the PocketSurfer2 is available everywhere a mobile phone works, not restricting you to WiFi hotspots. The relatively quick load times are down to Datawind's compression technology, and the free internet access is supported by search-engines, who pay every time a PocketSurfer user posts a query.

For more details on the PocketSurfer2, go to