Psion clamshell-style handheld competes with bigger portables

LAS VEGAS'Psion Teklogix Inc. displayed its new Netbook Pro handheld at Comdex yesterday and boasted that it will let users collect and check data with the same performance as a larger portable but not the heft.

'Presently, field workers have to make due with consumer-oriented personal digital assistants or bulky laptops,' said Norbert Dawalibi, president and chief executive officer of the Mississauga, Ontario, company. 'The task-oriented design and feature set of the Netbook Pro meet the demands of mobile work forces today and well into the future.'

The company unveiled its new clamshell-style handbook in mid-October and began sales at the end of last month. Measuring 9.2 by 7.2 by 1.3 inches, the Netbook Pro is about half the size of a typical notebook, slightly larger than a standard PDA and weighs 2 pounds. But the 800- by 600-pixel resolution and color SVGA screen lets the handheld display Web pages and applications in the same detailed format as on a notebook or desktop PC.

The handheld also has a keyboard that is large enough for touch typing a lot of data quickly.

The $1,500 Netbook Pro, which runs the latest version of Microsoft Windows CE .Net, has a 400-MHz Intel XScale PXA255 processor with 32M of flash memory and 128M of synchronous dynamic RAM.

It also comes loaded with Secure Digital Input/Output, Universal Serial Bus 2.0, Compact Flash and PC Card expansion slots for adding IEEE 802.11b, Bluetooth, Global System for Mobile Communications or Code Division Multiple Access wireless services.

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