Handspring Visor in glorious colour

Prism drama: Handspring Visors promise colour and power

Handheld computer company Handspring announced its first colour PDA, the Visor Prism, Monday. The company also took the wraps off what it claims is the fastest handheld computer on the market -- the Visor Platinum.

With the Visor Prism, Handspring will be hoping to make great play of its Springboard add-on slot, which allows the handheld computer to be turned into a camera, a games console and an Internet access device. In conjunction with the launch of a Prism, Handspring announced a GPS module, an MP3 player colour game pack for its handheld computers.

Handspring promises that its superior screen will make up for coming to market behind it competitors. The 16bit Visor Prism can display up to 65,000 colours, significantly more than its nearest colour PDA rivals, the Palm IIIc and the iPac Pocket PC from Compaq.

"Combining Visor Prism's rich, bright colour display with Springboard expansion technology makes it a unique platform for exciting applications like digital photography, global positioning systems, and colour Internet browsing," says Joe Sipher, vice president of product marketing for Handspring in a statement

The Palm OS-based Prism and Platinum, which costs $449 (around £300) and $299 (around £200) respectively, are also the first Visors to be powered by Motorola's DragonBall VZ 33MHz processor, which Handspring claims brings a dramatic performance boost. The company says that the Platinum is the fastest PDA on the market and is approximately 50 percent more powerful than the Visor Deluxe.

"Visor Platinum's increased performance coupled with a display capable of 16 shades of grey will help enable developers to create new performance-intensive and advanced graphics applications," adds Sipher.

Handspring says it will demonstrate the new handhelds at PCWorld in Tokyo this week and expects to be offering the computers in Europe before the end of the year.

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