PDA News – Asus A730 pics, Loox 700 with pics, Faster Bluetooth

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High res pics of Asus A730

Chinese-language website Mobile01.com has a complete gallery of high-res photographs of the new Asus A730 Pocket PC and the P505 PocketPC phone, apparently taken at a trade show. The new photos really show off the difference in sharpness between VGA and QVGA screens. Amongst other things, the photos show the A730 being compared to an iPaq 4150 with only a minimal difference in size. They also demonstrate that the A730 apparently boasts a USB Host port, and even show it connected to a USB flash memory disk. Beware though, the images total over 5 MB, no small download if you’re on a modem. Thanks to dayday for the tip.



Pocket Loox 700 series info, photos

FirstLoox.org has uncovered additional information regarding the upcoming Fujitsu Pocket LOOX 700 series. Judging from the specs–dual slots, dual wireless, VGA screen, 1.3 MP camera with flash, etcetera–and preliminary photographs obtained from the Fujitsu image server by Russian site Mobile-Review.com, the Loox 700 series appears to be a slight cosmetic redesign of the Asus A730 with essentially the same hardware. This wouldn’t be the first time Fujitsu has done this, as the Loox 610 was a rebadged version of the Asus A716, and the Loox 420 is essentially a direct hardware copy of the iPaq 4150. Either Fujitsu is mercilessly outsourcing their engineering, or they have a really good corporate espionage department. While it isn’t very disappointing given their rather bloody pricing scheme, Fujitsu does not currently sell to individual customers in North America, only corporate customers, and has no plans to change this.



CSR builds faster Bluetooth chips

Wireless chipmaker Cambridge Silicon Radio is now sampling a new type of Bluetooth chip that would increase the theoretical maximum connection speed. The new chips, called Enhanced Data Rate, or ‘EDR’ Bluetooth, claim to increase maximum speed from 721 Kbits/second to 2.1 Mbits/second. While neither of these numbers will be achieved in real life, a greater theoretical maximum will also mean a roughly proportional increase in the practical maximum.

The catch is that like a particular wireless router’s ‘turbo’ mode, you must be using EDR chips on both sides of the connection, otherwise you get no benefit. Moreover, since this is not yet a standard enhancement, so for some time CSR will presumably be the only company manufacturing the EDR chips. The Bluetooth SIG does intend however to make EDR an ‘addendum’ to the Bluetooth 1.2 specification, but it isn’t clear what that means. The new CSR chips should enter mass production in the fourth quarter of 2004.





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