Handspring pre-announces two new Visor PDAs

Pro and Neo due Monday

Handspring will launch two new PDAs next week, the Visors Pro and Neo, the company has admitted after some initial shipments hit store shelves too soon.

The existence of both models was leaked in August, but the rumoured ship date came and went with nothing but a 'there's nothing going to happen' message from Handspring.

The silver Visor Pro is based on a 33MHz Dragonball VZ CPU and boasts 16MB of memory. The screen is a 4-bit monochrome backlit LCD. Power comes from a built-in rechargeable Lithion Ion battery. It is priced at $300.

The Visor Neo comes in at $200. The chip and screen are the same as the Pro's, but it has just 8MB of memory and operates off two AAA batteries. It comes in three colours: 'smoke', red and blue. Like the Pro, it runs Palm OS 3.5.2, though since it contains none of the main features of Palm OS 4.0 - SD card and 16-bit colour LCD support - it's not entirely surprising the more up-to-date OS isn't being used.

As expected, the Pro will replace the Visor Platinum, which is to be discontinued soon. The Neo supersedes the current Deluxe model, though the latter is likely to be around until the end of the year, reflecting a higher level of stock in Handspring's warehouses.

In the meantime, we await the arrival of that other rumoured Handspring launch, the Prism II. According to the leaks so far, it too will ship with 16MB of memory and a 33MHz CPU, but feature a 16-bit colour display and the requisite Palm OS 4.0. ®

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