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S3 unveils badged Psion PDA

Mako mine Revo

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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

S3 has unveiled the first fruit of its partnership with UK PDA pioneer Psion. Today it took the wraps off the Diamond Mako, an electronic organiser that bears an uncanny resemblance to Psion's own Revo Plus.

And, sure enough, that's exactly what Mako is. It's disappointing - we had hoped the pair would come up with something new, not just rebadged existing product - but it makes sense for both parties.

S3 gets to move into a new market quickly, and with an established product. Psion wins a licensee for its platform, something that rival Palm has been doing but with rather more success. It also gets a fresh entré into the US market, an arena where success has largely eluded it.

Mako follows the Revo Plus spec. pretty closely. It's got a 480x160 screen, 16MB of memory and is powered by a 36MHz 32-bit ARM CPU. It ships with a Microsoft Word-compatible word processor, spreadsheet, full personal information manager functionality, plus a WAP browser, Opera's eponymous Web browser and an email client. All in all, a rather nice little box.

The Revo Plus ships for £299 ($448) over here - the Mako will retail in the US for $399. At that price, S3 is certainly not going for the mainstream consumer market, which is just getting used to $149 devices, such as Palm's popular m100 and Handspring's Visor. ®

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