Dell unveiled on Tuesday three additions to its Axim series of handheld
computers, offering Bluetooth connections for the first time and tapping Intel's
latest mobile chips.
Two of the new Axim
X30 models feature a
combination of 802.11b Wi-Fi with Bluetooth wireless, marking the debut of the
latter technology in the product line, the computer maker said. The third, entry-level
device comes without wireless capabilities.
The handhelds are all powered by Intel's PXA270 processors
, making them among
the first products to use the XScale mobile chips, which were released in April.
The chips, formerly code-named Bulverde
, are designed to
bring the processing performance of handhelds closer to that of notebooks and to
cut back on battery power consumption.
While the entry-level device and the midrange version run on a 312MHz
processor, the higher-end model runs a 624MHz processor. Dell said this is the
fastest chip clock speed available for a handheld.
All three Axim X30s run Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 SE operating system
for pocket computers. They include a built-in Secure Digital input-output slot
and a 3.5-inch transflective thin-film transistor (TFT) color display with
Quarter Video Graphics Array resolution.
Other hardware makers also plan to release handhelds with Windows Mobile SE
2003 and new Intel processors later this year. With the early release of the
Axim Pocket PCs, market analysts feel that Dell may gain an advantage over
Hewlett-Packard, which is scheduled to launch its comparable iPaq devices in July.
"The new iPaq models will be sleeker and more eye-catching than the Axim X30.
However, the new iPaq models will also carry a slight price premium over the
Dell," Sam Bhavnani, a senior analyst at market intelligence firm Current
Analysis, noted. "In the interim period, until its new models are ready to go,
HP should initiate significant price reductions on its models that go
head-to-head with the Axim."
Dell said the nonwireless Axim X30 configuration starts at US$199, while the
dual-wireless model is available for US$249, after a US$30 rebate. The other
wireless combo device, with the faster chip, is priced at US$349. The handhelds
are available at Dell's