Technology Buyers Guide: A snapshot of mobile devices

Acer Computer

Web enabled Internet appliances

The range includes Webpad, a lightweight, portable, wireless Internet access. The Web Pad allows users to browse the Web, send e-mails and chat online, to view online TV guides, get stock quotes or even shop online via e-commerce-enabled Web sites.

Internet Screen Phone

Acer's Internet Screen Phone is an Internet access device for e-mailing, Web surfing, online transactions and simple phone calls. I-Phone users can access the Internet just by touching a button or press the speed-dialling key. Messages can be typed using the full-size keyboard or the pen.

Acer SlimMate PDA

The Acer Slimate PDA lets users organise and keep business information mobile, to organise schedules, datelines and appointments. The PDA also lets users send and receive e-mails and faxes as well as surf the Web and make online transactions.

Pricing: Webpad - available Oct/Nov and will retail for just under $500, i-phone - Available July 2000 and will retail for about $1000, SlimMate PDA - available Oct/Nov and will retail for just under $500.

Contact: 1300 366 567


One Touch View db

Alcatel's One Touch View db Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) phone features circuit switched data bearer (WAP Class C). The phone also supports WML (wireless markup language) 1.1 with additional proprietary tags and WML script. Wireless telephone applications (WTA) functions are also supported for "Make call" and "Send DTMF" (dual tone, multi frequency) tones. The One Touch View db has full graphic display with four lines of 15 characters and 96x42 pixels. It includes a built-in hands-free function.

Pricing: not yet available.

Contact: 1300 655 033


Casio PV750

The PV750 is a PDA and features e-mail capability. Infrared connection with compatible mobile phones enables e-mail. The unit synchronises with Microsoft Outlook and programs may be added as they become available on Casio's Web site to extend the unit's functions. Amongst the first of these add-on programs will be SMS (multiple) transport software enabling the PV750 as an SMS device.

Also due for release is Phone Manager which allows the transfer of data between the phone and the PV750 to synchronise data.

The PV750 is capable of storing 8130 contacts and 24,400 appointments. It has 2MB of Flash Memory, which gives extra protection as the data will remain intact even if the batteries are removed for up to 30 days. Other functions include memo, scratch pad memo, expense manager, currency conversion, home and world time, a calculator and a couple of games. The unit is supplied with cradle and Casio Desktop PIM software with synchronisation at the touch of a button.

Pricing: The PV750 is expected to retail at around $399, available in August.

Contact: (02) 9370 9100


iPAQ Pocket PC; Aero 1550; Armada M700; Armada E500.

Compaq offers a range of solutions that include Internet specific devices, combined with portable and handheld computers, enabling unstoppable access to information and services.

Due to ship in July, the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC is a pocket-sized PC enabling Internet connections. The handheld PC companion delivers real-time information access and accommodates standard PC cards, Compact Flash cards and wireless access to the Internet and corporate networks; it is powered by a 206MHz Intel Strong- ARM 32-bit RISC processor and includes 32MB of standard memory for storing thousands of contact names and addresses, viewing e-mails with attachments and listening to MP3 music titles.

The recently launched Windows powered Pocket PC Aero 1550 is designed for mobile professionals. It features the new Windows Powered Pocket PC operating system and users can read, edit and create e-mail attachments with Pocket Word and Excel, or share the latest calendar, contacts, tasks and inbox information with their desktop PC.

Compaq's latest Armada M700 and E500 portable computers provide a combination of hardware and enabling technologies for mobile business users. The Armada portables feature mobile Intel Pentium III 700MHz processor with SpeedStepTM technology and dual mode operation.

Pricing: iPAQ Pocket PC - available July, price to be advised. Aero 1550 - $755. Armada M700 - starts at $7221 (promotional pricing inc. tax). Armada E500 - starts at $6796 (promotional pricing inc. tax)Contact: 1300 368 Smith ElectronicsPocketMailThe new PocketMail is a small hand-held device that lets a user send and receive e-mails from virtually any telephone in the world including cordless phones, PABX office systems, mobile phones and payphones. It is about the size of an electronic organiser and is similar in appearance. The user simply types a message, dials the PocketMail service (via a 1300 number), holds the device to the phone and pushes the start button to send and receive e-mail messages (three 500 character messages generally take about 25 seconds to send or receive). The PocketMail is based on new, fast and error-free technology combined with proven acoustic coupling equipment. The PocketMail device has its own processor, a Qwerty keyboard, and comes with memory and communications software. A cable and software are also provided for backup and restoration of data to a PC.

Pricing: $248 plus additional fees and charges (pre GST pricing)Contact: 1300 366, MC 218 and T28sThe R320 is a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled phone that lets users record voice memos, check appointments and wirelessly transfer contact details with other users. For heavy data demands, the R320s can be placed next to a laptop or palmtop to use the built-in infrared modem. Housed with a 15mm display, the R320 weighs 100 grams. Quality of call connection is said to be ensured with dual band GSM 900/1800. It is available now but pricing was not advised.

The MC 218 features WAP functionality and the EPOC operating system. MC 218 supports e-mail, fax, SMS messages and Internet access. MC 218 works with any Ericsson GSM mobile phone. "My Phone" software synchronises numbers held on the MC 218 with those on an Ericsson phone and enables the start and finish of a call directly from the MC 218. Pricing: $1299.

The T28s uses lithium polymer battery which, combined with the three-volt platform, enables longer talk and standby times. Key features include voice answering and dialling, inbuilt vibrating alert, games, full graphic display for easy readability, an active flip and profiles, and personalised settings. RRP for the T28s is $825Contact: 1300 650 TechnologiesHandheld computers, including Palm OS, Windows CE & Psion technologyEworld Technologies provides custom software development for Palm, and Windows CE for automation of paper-based processes. Eworld provides end- to-end solutions for businesses looking to use handheld technology, including enterprise handheld computer training, product support and service on Palm, Casio, Symbol, Sharp, HP, Compaq, TRG, IBM WorkPad, Psion, Vadem, using Palm OS, Windows CE and EPOC platforms, and enterprise solutions for remote access to Lotus Notes, NT, Exchange, Novell systems and back-end legacy systems; and Connectivity via GSM, PSTN, RF or cable for e-mail, data and PC connectivity. The service also includes strategic planning and product deployment with extensive pre- and post-sales programs Australia wide and custom software development for Palm, and Windows CE pen-based systems, including field data collection, asset management, sales force automation.

Pricing: Various

Contact: (02) 9232 4222


Gateway Solo 3300

Gateway has announced the Solo 3300, a portable computer just over 25mm thin and weighing about 1.7 kilograms, the Gateway Solo 3300 combines expansion with a 500MHz Intel Pentium III processor and 64MB of RAM. A 6GB hard drive comes standard and can be upgraded to a 12GB drive for increased storage. A 12.1-in display combined with an external CD-ROM or optional DVD-ROM make the system a lightweight presentation solution.

The Solo 3300 includes a full complement of built-in ports for communications, networking, expansion and audio. Customers can connect to the Internet, their office network and multiple peripherals without carrying additional components.

Pricing: $4599. (Gateway's July Price Promise: buy in June and if the price for the identical system falls between July 1-9 2000, Gateway will refund the difference.)Contact: 1800 500 Hewlett-Packard AustraliaHP Jornada 545 Pocket PCThe HP Jornada 545 comes equipped with the latest productivity and time management software including pocket versions of Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer, in addition to Pocket Outlook for calendar and contact manager.

The Jornada 545 sports a 4096 vivid colour screen, CompactFlash memory expansion slot, 133MHz chip with 16MB of RAM and USB port allowing the user to sync the HP Jornada 545 with the desktop PC, and at the touch of a button carry and access contacts, tasks, calendars and memos, and send and receive e-mails.

A fully featured browser enables access to Internet content and also allows offline browsing, with Net access possible via a landline or GSM modem plugged into the Jornada's CompactFlash expansion slot, or via the infrared port.

With the use of the Jornada's MP3 media player and image viewer, the user can also download digital music, images and other multimedia files from the desktop using the USB cradle or serial cable. In addition, the HP Jornada 545 also includes an e-book reader and virtual games applications.

Pricing: RRP $999

Contact: 13 1347


HP DeskJet 350CBi

The new DeskJet 350CBi is mobile printer which features infrared connection, shock-proof design and leak-proof ink cartridges for air travel. Up to five pages per minute (ppm) in black and two ppm in colour. Black text printing is at 600 x 600dpi resolution and colour images at 600 x 300dpi. It uses HP ColorSmart II technology to optimise colour images. An IrDA-compliant infrared adapter is available for wireless use. It also comes with a 30-page sheet feeder for convenient, hands-free operation. It supports a variety of HP media, including transparencies, labels and glossy paper. Also, LaserJet margin emulation for documents have been formatted for HP's LaserJet printers. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.

The HP DeskJet 350CBi supports Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows 3.1x, MS-DOS and Mac OS operating systems.

Pricing: RRP $569.

Contact:13 1347


mWare WAP portfolio

The mWare range of products and services is a complete portfolio for WAP-enabling organisations, comprising mandatory modules for procedural issues, pre- and post-implementation services, through WAP gateways and servers.

The range includes mWare Protector, a communications server that typically resides within the customer's premises and translates WTLS to/from SSL. The mWare Terminator is a communications gateway residing in MobileSoft's secure development bunker in Melbourne. It terminates incoming calls and routes them to the appropriate mWare Protector.

Mandatory mWare modules include: Authenticator (enabling users to logon); Customiser (customisable WML functionality); and Enabler (WAP setup capability). Other modules include Notifier (for sending simple text confirmation messages to users' e-mail and/or mobile devices), Messenger (for ‘pushing' GSM messages to mobile devices), Profiler (used to identify customer trends and purchase patterns), Renderer (rendering module that takes advantage of efficiencies/deficiencies of each WAP device) and Manager (comprising configurations, help desk, administration and some session management functionality).mWare Advisor consulting services include, for example, business requirements analysis, technical analysis and project management. mWare Maintainer covers the maintenance services supplied by MobileSoft.

MobileSoft is the only Australian software company to sit on the WAP Forum, the international body setting WAP technical standards.

Pricing: on application

Contact: (02) 9953 6501

Symbol Technologies

SPT1700 / Windows CE Range - PPT2700, PDT7200, PDT7500The SPT1700 is a small, handheld touch screen computer, built with an integrated barcode scanner and wireless LAN capabilities, ideal for applications such as inventory control, parcel track and trace, sales force automation, mobile POS, merchandising, retail shop floor management and the like. Based on the Palm operating system, the SPT1700 is very easy to use, with short software development cycles and little training required. Drop tested specification at 1.2 metres to concrete, with temperature ratings from minus 20C to 50C, and with weather sealing, the SPT1700 can be used across all climatic and environmental conditions.

Symbol offers three Windows CE devices - with integrated scanning and optional Wireless LAN (RF) capabilities.

THe PPT2700 (identical form factor to the SPT1700), uses Microsoft's Pocket PC, and sports up to 16MB of RAM.

The PDT7200 is a full touch-screen device, but is a gun-style form factor with 1/4 VGA LCD screen, built-in vibrating pager, up to 16MB RAM, plus up to 48MB of flash memory, scans 1D and 2D codes, and has a 1.8 metre drop tested specification with an added protective boot ideal for more industrial applications. The PDT7500 is sealed to IP64 specifications, has 1/8 VGA screen, 1.8 metre drop spec, keyboard, up to 32MB RAM, 1D and 2D scanning and has GSM, DataTac, Mobitex or CDPD communications built-in.

Pricing: on application

Contact: 1800 066 188


The AirConnect solution lets employees roam without the restriction of a cabled network. 3Com's AirConnect solution is made up of: wireless access points, PC Cards, software and firmware.

The access points are fixed to a ceiling or wall and act as a bridge between the wired network and up to 63 simultaneous wireless PC or laptop users.

The 3Com AirConnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN is based on the IEEE 802.11b standard.

Pricing: AirConnect starter packs, which include an access point, three PC Cards and the management software, are priced at about $2700.

Contact: 1800 644 606