Compaq to Launch Windows CE Device in Asia

Compaq Computer Corp. on Thursday will begin selling in Asia a color palm-size PC based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE operating system for S$740 (US$435.3), the company said last week.

Known as the Aero 2130, the PC combines the capabilities of a PIM (personal information manager), voice recorder and Internet music player and can operate as a e-mail device, fax and pager, the company said. The device will also employ Pocket Outlook applications to function as a companion to full-featured PCs, Compaq added.

The system is a variant of the Aero 2100 device announced by Houston, Texas-based Compaq for the U.S. market in March of this year.

The 260-gram Aero is fitted with a reflective color TFT (thin-film transistor) display and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries enabling up to 10 hours of continuous use, Compaq said. The system measures 13.4cm by 8.5cm by 2cm and is positioned to compete against 3Com Corp.'s Palm family of handheld systems.

The Aero provides an industry-standard CompactFlash expansion slot and a wireless infrared port for connecting with PCs, printers and other palm-size devices, Compaq said. A dial on the side of the unit allows for one-handed scrolling and execution of actions, similar to the way a mouse is used on a desktop PC. The touch-sensitive display can accept input from the stylus or a fingertip.

A mobile network that will enable handheld computers to send and receive e-mails and faxes is currently under development in Singapore by mobile service provider MobileOne Asia Pte. Ltd. (M1) and the country's newest and fourth ISP (Internet service provider), an as yet unnamed joint venture between Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. and Keppel Corp.

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