Zodiac Starting to Appear in CompUSA Stores

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In May, Tapwave announced that its Zodiac would go on sale at local CompUSA stores this month. Reportedly, this is starting to happen this week.

Although the Zodiac was launched last year, until now it has only been available from the Tapwave web site.

According to Tapland, a web site dedicated to the Zodiac, some CompUSA locations have this gaming-oriented handheld in stock now. However, not all stores have them available yet.

Tapwave Zodiac This is a very significant event for this device. The fact that it was only available from the Tapwave web site meant most customers had to agree to buy the Zodiac without ever having held one. This has limited its appeal.

There will be demonstration units available in CompUSA stores, but these will run special software designed to show off the features of the Zodiac. This will prevent potential customers from actually playing any games on the device.

More about the Zodiac

There are two versions of this device. One with 32 MB of RAM costs $299 and is called the Zodiac 1. A second, with 128 MB of memory, costs $399 and is named the Zodiac 2. Both run Palm OS 5.2 on a 200 MHz Motorola .MX1 ARM-based processor.

The Zodiac’s 320-by-480 pixel screen offers both portrait and landscape modes. This transflective display is 3.8 inches when measured diagonally and offers 16-bit color. It has an ATI Imageon graphics accelerator and uses the the Fathammer X-Forge 3D Game Engine.

Obviously, the main focus of this handheld is playing games, and it comes bundled with two: Stunt Car Extreme and Acid Solitaire.

To allow users to play games head-to-head, the Zodiac includes Bluetooth short-range wireless networking. Bluetooth can also be used to wirelessly connect this handheld to a mobile phone for Internet access.

The Zodiac sports two SD slots, one of which supports SDIO, allowing it to use peripherals, like wireless networking cards, that plug into SD slots.

It is available now from the Tapwave web site. The CompUSA web site is taking pre-orders now.

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