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HP talks up voice-centric iPaq smart phone

Long-running PDA line goes candybar

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3GSM HP today brought its iPaq brand into phone territory, announcing a candybar-format smart phone pitched primarily at voice usage - including not only GSM but also VoIP. It's also the company's first Windows Mobile 6 device.

hp ipaq 500 voice messenger

Dubbed the iPaq 500 Voice Messenger, the device has integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 1.2 and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE cellular connectivity. Its powered by a 200MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 850 processor backed by 64MB of SDRAM and 128MB of ROM. There's a MicroSD card slot for extra storage.

The 500's display is a 2in, 176 x 220 panel capable of showing up to 65,536 colours. It comes pre-loaded with Windows Mobile 6 Standard - what in previous generations of the mobile operating system would have been called Smartphone Edition.

HP was keen to tout the handset's voice-control facility, which links recorded words to over 20 commands. It will also allow users to respond to emails with spoken replies sent as an attachment, and there's a text-to-speech function for incoming mail and messages.

The new iPaq weighs 102g and measures 10.7 x 4.9 x 1.6cm, HP said. Inside is a 1,100mAh battery capable of delivering up to 6.5 hours' talk time and 7.8 days on stand-by - competition-leading figures, the company claimed.

The iPaq 500 goes on sale the Spring, HP said, in the US. Despite launching the device in Europe, the company didn't say when the 500 will ship over here.

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