ViewSonic to launch UK PDA

Plus: new HP Presario desktops, notebooks; and ATI's All-in-Wonder 9000 Pro

Reg Kit Watch

PDA

ViewSonic is to bring its V35 PocketPC PDA to the UK market. The V35 contains a 300MHz Intel XScale processor, 64MB of SDRAM and 32MB of Flash ROM. Expansion is provided by a single SD card slot.

ViewSonic claims that, at £249, the V35 is the "lowest-priced" PocketPC in its class, but we note that Dell's 300MHz Axim X5 PDA is only £184 with a recharge cradle - £65 is a lot to pay for just 32 extra megabytes of RAM.

That said, the V35 is rather lighter than the Dell. It weights 4.2oz; the Axim X5 is 6.9oz. Both models sport a 3.5in 240x320 16-bit colour display.

Mobile

HP's Compaq Presario notebook like has been extended with two new series: the 2100 and 2500.

The former is a thin'n'light (ish) family, based on Intel Celeron and Mobile Pentium 4-m, or AMD Mobile Athlon XP processors, at a variety of clock speeds. Each notebook can take up to 1GB of DDR SDRAM and offers a Type I/II/III PC Card slot for expansion. Some units ship with 1394 ports; all offer integrated 802.11b wireless networking as an option. You can have 802.11g, but only if you choose an Intel CPU. HP offers two displays to choose from - 14.1in and 15in - powered by ATI's Mobility Radeon chip.

Oh, and the Intel-based models have the option of a "Free DVD/CDRW upgrade [$25.00]". System prices start at $919, but buyers can bet up to $100 back through mail-in coupons, provided if they select an 802.11g-based machine

The 2500 family is aimed at buyer seeking a mobile multimedia system. It features desktop Celeron and Pentium 4 processors, up to 1GB of DDR memory, up to 80GB of hard drive capacity, optional embedded 802.11b or 802.11g networking, and a free "Free DVD/CDRW upgrade".

Prices start at $1194, but buyers can bet up to $100 back through mail-in coupons if they select an 802.11g-based machine.

Desktop

HP introduced the S3000 series of desktop PCs under its Compaq Presario brand today, all featuring what the company calls a "sleek... stylish" design but which looks like any other mini-tower to us.

Comprising the S3000NX, S3100NX, S3200NX and S3300NX, the family are powered by AMD Athlon XP processors with 2000+, 2200+, 2400+ and 2600+ ratings, respectively. Memory on these pre-built systems ranges from 256GB to 512GB, and hard drives from 40GB to 120GB.

The bottom three models all have 32MB of VRAM and integrated graphics; the 3300 has an Nvidia GeForce 4 MX 440 chip with 128MB of video RAM. The 3000, 3200 and 3300 machine ship with a 48x CD-RW drive, the latter two with a 16x DVD-ROM drive too. The 3100 has DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. All of the machine come with front and rear USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet and a built-in 56Kbps modem.

HP wants $499, $589, $669 and $819, respectively, for the four models in the S3000 series, but is offering $50 off through a mail-in rebate coupon. The middle two models are available now; the others go on sale on 6 April.

Graphics

ATI has begun shipping the $199 All-in-Wonder 9000 Pro graphics card in the US. The card features a 125-channel stereo TV tuner and MPEG-2 based video digitiser which together offer TiVO-style real-time programme recording and time-shifting. The card contains 64MB of DDR video memory and supports DirectX 8.1. ®