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Toshiba launches VGA, Wi-Fi PDA

e805 offers 802.11b, 480 x 640 display

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Toshiba this morning launched its e805 PDA, bringing a 4in transflective 480 x 640 VGA screen to the Pocket PC platform for the first time.

Bizarrely, Toshiba is emphasising not the device's screen size but its wireless capabilities, probably because - as we

noted

yesterday - there's almost no application support out there for the larger display size. Other apps shift the display into the standard 240 x 320 mode.

The best Toshiba can offer right now is a version of its ClearVue application that can handle a VGA screen and the promise that the e805 is "a sound investment for future VGA-enabled applications".

Fingers crossed, guys...

Back to the wireless side of the story, the e805 features integrated 802.11b wireless connectivity and a bundled Voice over IP (VoIP) application. Toshiba's chosen telephony service provider, in the US, is VLI - a subscription with that company is necessary to use the e805's VoIP function, Toshiba said. VLI provided the VoIP software.

The PDA also contains software that speaks text documents, email messages, diary entries and the like out loud. The device itself can be set to respond to voice commands.

The new model also features "enhanced" screen brightness, though Toshiba is offering an optional Presentation Pack - essentially an RGB adaptor with a built-in USB port - for users who want to hook up a monitor or projector to the PDA.

As expected, the device is powered by an Intel XScale PCA263 processor clocked to 400MHz. It contains 128MB of SDRAM, 32MB of Flash ROM and a 32MB Flash disk. It integrates a CompactFlash slot and an SD Card slot, plus the obligatory infrared port. The screen is driven by an ATI graphics chip.

The machine measures 13.3 x 7.5 x 1.5cm (5.3 x 3 x 0.6in) and weighs 192.8g (6.8oz). It runs Windows Mobile 2003. The Lithium Ion battery is removable, and Toshiba has nicely included a physical on/off switch for the 802.11b adaptor to help save battery power.

The e805 goes on sale today in the US through Toshiba's retail and resale channels for $599. The company will be selling it direct, via its web site, as the e800. ®

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