James Bond's palmtop PC
September 29, 1999
September 29, 1999
by Cameron Crouch
(IDG) -- James Bond always has an array of enviable gadgets. In the next Bond film, "The World Is Not Enough," the charming British agent will sport the new Hewlett-Packard Jornada 430se palm-size PC.
So can you, if you buy it before Christmas. HP Monday introduced the Jornada 430se and announced, with Microsoft, that the Windows CE device will appear in MGM's Bond movie this fall. Available this week for $499, the Jornada 430se is a palm-size PC targeting consumers, not just the business users who buy most handheld units.
The Jornada 430se has a 133-MHz Hitachi processor, 16MB of memory, and 65,000 colors. It plays on the Bond theme with multimedia extras such as an MP3 player and photo software for downloading and storing digital images.
HP claims the 133-MHz Hitachi processor is the fastest available in handheld format.
Handheld users expect personal information management functions, says Elaine Gasser, North American marketing manager of HP's Jornada product line. "The 430se offers a balance between PIM and work, as well as more emphasis on human things," she says.
The color display and multimedia features differentiate Windows CE devices from Palm Pilots, Gasser says: "People don't want to carry three things around if they don't have to."
The 430se also offers a 50 percent increase in battery life compared to previous Jornada models. It can play MP3 files through the headphones for 2 hours and 25 minutes, and can last for 4 hours with normal text-based use, Gasser adds.
Business as usual
Beyond its image and audio perks, the Jornada 430se also includes business applications typical of Windows CE Palm PCs.
Microsoft contributes a full desktop version of Outlook 2000 and ActiveSync 3.0 to synchronize Jornada data with Microsoft desktop applications. The unit includes the Omnisolve calculator, bTask, HPC Notes (this synchronizes with Outlook notes), HP Easy Contacts, and HP Voice Contacts.
Gasser calls HP Voice Contacts a kind of voice recognition software: "You train your Jornada so that when you say a name, it can pull up a phone number for you."
The 430se retail bundle includes stereo headphones, a carrying case to clip onto a belt or notebook, a collectible Bond keychain, and a coupon for three free Bond movies.
In October HP will release another model, the Jornada 430. It targets the more traditional business market and replaces some of the consumer-oriented software with business tools such as Insofile viewer software.
With the Jornada 430se, HP is promoting a palm-size PC as more than just a digital agenda or a calculator, Gasser says. Working with Microsoft and MGM on the Bond movie helps "because Bond projects cool and up-to-date technology."
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