Casio releases entry level PDA

Looking to cash in on the fledgling consumer handheld market, Casio has launched the Pocket Viewer PV750.

The personal digital device (PDA) is aimed squarely at the entry-level consumer market and will sell through major outlets such as Harvey Norman, Coles Myer and David Jones.

Casio's distribution arm Shriro explained it will not distribute the PV750 to online retailers, but will allow traditional operators to sell the products online.

The PV-750 will retail for $399. Casio also sells two 'slim' models - the S250 and the S450 costing $249 and $299 respectively.

"The mass market is a growing area [for PDAs]," said Casio's national sales manager Michael Schuller. "This is an entry level range in a segment of the market that in the past has been scared off because price points have been in excess of $1000."

While comparisons will no doubt be made with Palm's recently released m100, Casio hopes its strong brand image in consumer electronics will help the company take a share of the untapped consumer handheld market.

"Lots of people want to use a PDA," Schuller said. "They want the sleek design, email, diary, address book and phone and PC integration but not the price tag that comes along with it."

The Pocket Viewers use their own operating systems, not Windows CE like their Cassiopeia counterparts. In an effort to expand the number of applications supported by the device, Casio provides download kits for developing applications for the PV750 on its Web site.

The PV750 includes infra red capability, allowing users to send email via compatible mobile phones. The device will also synchronise data with a PC via its Quick Data Copy function. Casio also provides a cradle and software for data synchronisation. Data is stored on the handheld's 2MB flash memory.

Users can also download information to Microsoft Outlook using Enterprise Harmony software, also available on Casio's web site.

The devices are available immediately from Shriro Australia and Advanced Portable Technologies.www.casio.co.jp/English/pvwww.apt.com.au

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