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Doors swing open at last chance saloon

Palm debuts 'always on' wireless handheld PDA

Palm today finally delivered on its promise to develop integrated, wireless handheld devices for the enterprise market with the introduction of its i705 handheld model.

It's not going to be in UK soon, if ever, but it's another sign of connected things to come. The i705 has built-in wireless capabilities designed to provide secure 'always on' connections to corporate email servers, as well as full web browsing capabilities and access to AOL Instant Messenger, AIM.

At a street price of around £350, this could easily sell its way into a packet-based UK service such as the GPRS (general packet radio service) systems being rolled out.

Analysts said the Palm i705 is a competitive shot at the popular BlackBerry pagers from RIM.

Alan Reiter, an analyst at Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing said the i705 "rectifies a number of problems Palm had with [earlier models such as] the Palm VII, including the built-in antenna and modem". Palm's optional minikeyboard, he said, "takes PDAs to a new level", offering users both stylus and keyboard input options.

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