Toshiba spirits Pocket PC into Genios

New devices will go on sale in Japan this summer, but there's no indication when they'll hit the UK high street

Toshiba has released details of two PDAs based on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform.

Defying recent bad news from handheld PC manufacturers such as Palm and Psion, Toshiba intends to launch its two new models within weeks. The basic model, called the Genio e550, will hit the shops on 20 August prices at 70,000 yen (£400). A more advanced version, the Genio e500/MD, which will be sold with a 1Gb Microdrive, should go on sale in September for 100,000 yen (£570).

Both models will contain a 206 MHz StrongARM processor and run Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system. Each will contain 32Mb RAM, and come with a Secure Digital expansion slot and a type II Compact Flash card slot. This will allow users to add wireless networking functionality, or a modem or global positioning device.

There is currently no clear idea when the Genio PDAs will go on sale in this country. A Microsoft spokesman told ZDNet that he thought Toshiba was planning to sell the devices on a global scale. A US launch is expected to take place sometime this autumn.

UK handheld computer manufacturer Psion announced last week that it was suspending production of its Bluetooth PDA. It blamed a "weak and oversubscribed" market for PDAs. However, analysts expect the sector to enjoy strong growth this year.

Earlier this year Microsoft announced that over one million handheld PCs based on its Pocket PC platform has been sold since its launch in April 2000. Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and Casio all make Pocket PC devices.

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