HP plots Win CE handheld with IE in ROM

Hewlett-Packard is to go head-to-head against new releases from palmtop rivals Psion and US Robotics by releasing a Windows CE-based line, according to US reports.

The 300 series palmtops will offer 640 x 240 screens and feature send/receive fax functions. Both the vanilla 300 model and more advanced 320 will be able to send data to Flash memory cards or direct to printers. The 320 will fold a copy of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser into ROM.

In the US, the devices are pencilled in for a spring shipment. Hewlett-Packard UK staff were unavailable for comment.