Hewlett Packard is set to introduce two new Pocket PC handhelds at Comdex next week. The company has leaked to CNet its plans for a mid-range model called the iPAQ h1910 and a high-end model called the iPAQ h5450.
At only 1/2″ thick and 4.2 ounces, the h1910 is slimmer and lighter than previous iPAQ models. It has a 200MHz Intel XScale processor and 64MB of SDRAM, of which the user can access 48 MB, and 16MB of ROM. It has an SD/MMC slot for external memory but continues the iPAQ heritage of no CompactFlash slot. Of course it has all the standard buttons but also sports a D-pad. It has a 320 by 240 pixel, transflective, 65,000-color TFT screen.
The h1910 uses a removable Lithium-ion battery. There is no word yet on what its battery life will be. It doesn’t ship with a cradle, instead depending on cables for power and synchronization.
HP will officially announce this handheld on Monday, and it will be available only in the U.S. next week. It will sell for $299.
This model will face some tough competition. Several companies, including Dell and Viewsonic, have announced plans to release models with similar features. Dell, in fact, will be unveiling a similar model, the Axim X5, that will be significantly cheaper than the h1910.
HP says its smaller form factor will give it an advantage over the $199 Dell Axim X5. Cindy Box, an HP marketing director, told CNet, “Size matters. It really does in this market. It’s more than the price alone.”
HP isn’t just targeting consumers. Next week it will also introduce the h5450, with a feature set sure to warm the heart of corporate IT departments. It features built-in 802.11 and Bluetooth wireless networking. It will also include an integrated fingerprint scanner as a security measure, important to businesses worried about company secrets being stored on easily stolen handhelds.
It runs on a 400MHz Intel XScale processor and offers 64 MB of SDRAM and 48MB of ROM. It has a 320 by 240 pixel, transflective, color TFT display.
The h5450 uses the standard iPAQ form-factor so already available add-on Expansion Packs, or sleeves, can be used. It weighs 7.26 ounces. It also includes a more powerful infrared port and software to allow it to be used as a universal remote.
Like the h1910, this model will be released next week. It will be sold world-wide. It offers high-end features at a high end price: $699.
Word of these models surfaced in May, when Brighthand first revealed HP’s plans for both of these (see link to story below). Of course, at that time HP wouldn’t confirm the information, but with the release date so close it has clearly decided the time for secrecy is over.