TRG to aim handheld at enterprise

TRG Products Inc., best known for its flash memory products for 3Com Corp.

TRG Products Inc., best known for its flash memory products for 3Com Corp.'s Palm platform, plans to introduce a Palm OS-based handheld computer aimed at the enterprise.

The TRGpro, which looks like the Palm IIIx, will cost $329. It will include standard Palm desktop software, 8MB of dynamic RAM, 2MB of flash memory, and a CompactFlash card slot for adding a modem or up to 340MB of flash storage.

It also includes FlashPro software, which enables the device to store data even if it loses power for extended periods of time, according to Ernie Rudolph, president and CEO of TRG in Des Moines, Iowa.

The announcement will be made next week at the PalmSource developers show in Santa Clara, Calif.

Business-friendly features

What could make the device especially attractive is that TRG offers APIs that enable enterprises to write software for the device that uses only the flash memory, not the RAM, Rudolph said.

In addition, for customers who order 500 or more units, the company will build to order devices that include various mixes of RAM, flash and other features.

One beta tester has been impressed with what he's seen.

"Lookswise, it's a Palm III, but functionally it really opens things up for us significantly," said Jatinder Singh, manager of mobile computing at Impact Innovations Group, a Columbia, Md., consultancy that has been testing the TRGpro for months. "Being able to plug a CompactFlash card into the device is something we've been looking for.

"We get a number of requests for applications where there's a lot of reference data that needs to be accessed. With the TRGpro we can store the reference data on the CompactFlash.... CompactFlash can hold up to 300 megs."

TRGpro is due to ship by the end of the year. Volume discounts will be available, although TRG hasn't set volume pricing yet.

More information will be available at www.trgpro.com.

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