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Palm to get multicoloured clone

HandEra to ship high-res Palm PDA

Personal digital assistant maker HandEra 330 has unveiled a device sporting two expansion slots and a high-resolution colour display. The device runs the Palm operating system.

Formerly known as TRG, HandEra was the first company to add a CompactFlash expansion slot to a Palm OS-based device. Its latest PDA, the HandEra 33, will have a MultiMedia/Secure Digital slot as well as 2MB of Flash memory (for upgrades) and 8MB of ROM.

"With so many input/output add-ons for CompactFlash, our users wanted another slot for memory," says J Michael Downey, HandEra's chair and chief executive. Palm's new m500 and m505 PDAs also support Secure Digital expansion slots.

HandEra also says its 330 is the only Palm-powered device with a quarter VGA (240x320 pixel) screen.

The 330 has a non-inverting backlight and an optional landscape display mode that supports documents and even spreadsheets.

"The display has a 240x320 resolution," Downey said. "The average Palm device has a resolution of 160x160 [pixels], so ours offers roughly double the resolution."

To achieve this, HandEra converted the Graffiti handwriting-recognition area so it is software-driven, Downey says. When Graffiti is not in use, that region collapses so you see a larger window of data meaning more graphical information can be displayed.

The HandEra 330 should be available by June, priced at $350. UK pricing has yet to be established.

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