RumorMill™: Dell Axim X3 Coming Mid-October

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Among the most highly-anticipated products of this fall are Dell’s next Pocket PCs, the Axim X3 series. According to an anonymous source, these will be announced on October 15, and are expected to be available a week or so after that.

Dell’s first models, the Axim X5 line, had both a SD/MMC slot and CompactFlash slot. While this added to their usefulness, it made them somewhat bulky. The Axim X3 models will have only a single SD/MMC slot, but will be significantly smaller. The SD slot will suport SDIO, which means it will be able to use peripherals designed to plug into the SD slot.

Supposedly, there will be two models in this line: a 300 MHz one and a 400 MHz one. This source does not know what processor these models will be using or how much RAM they will have. Though the source didn’t say, it is certain these models will run Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC.

The 400 MHz one will have some form of wireless networking, but it is not known at this point which one that will be. However, if these are going to be slim and light models, it seems likely it will be Bluetooth.

This source also doesn’t know what these models will cost. However, late last year a high-level Dell executive said that his company plans to release a model with a color screen some time this year that will cost less than $150.

If this information is correct, the X3 line appears to be designed to compete with Hewlett-Packard’s popular iPAQ h1900 series, which are slim and light handhelds with only an SD slot. There are two new models in this series that should compete directly. The h1940 has a 266 MHz processor and Bluetooth and sells for $300. There is also a less expensive one, the just-announced h1935, which has a 203 MHz processor, no Bluetooth, and is selling for $200 after a rebate.

Other Rumors

Last month, Pocket PC Italia ran some rumors on the Axim X3, most of which concur with this latest information. Both sources agree there will be two versions of the X3. A Basic one will have a 300 MHz processor and an Advanced one will have a 400 MHz processor. But Pocket PC Italia had some more details. According to it, both will have of 64 MB of RAM and 48 MB of ROM.

Pocket PC Italia also said the X3 models will run an Intel XScale PXA26x processor. This contradicts an earlier rumor that these handhelds would be based on a concept design created by Samsung and Microsoft that is powered by a Samsung ARM9-based S3C2410 processor.

However, Pocket PC Italia reports that the X3 won’t be available until November.

Wireless Model

In November 2002, Steve Macon, another Dell executive, told InfoWorld.com that his company was working on a handheld that will offer both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. To solve the problem of interference between these two wireless networking standards, they will not be able to operate simultaneously.

This summer, Dell told News.com it still plans to offer a model with integrated 802.11b before the end of this year. The Pocket PC Italia rumor says this will be out about a month after the release of the X3.

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