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Make way for the überhandheld

Fujitsu Siemens to launch 300MHz PDA at CeBit

Fujitsu Siemens is expected to be the first firm to launch a PDA (personal digital assistant) based on Intel's next-generation XScale processor, an industry source said today.

The device, dubbed Pocket Loox, will carry an Intel XScale processor running at 300MHz, according to a person familiar with the product. PDAs available today, equipped with Intel's fastest StrongARM processor, run at a maximum of 206MHz.

The product will be launched at the CeBit tradeshow in Germany next month. Fujitsu Siemens is keeping mum on the processor details, stating only that the Pocket Loox will ship with a 'super-fast processor'.

The company is candid about other features. The PDA will, for example, come with native support for Bluetooth and feature an expansion slot for a separately sold GPRS (general packet radio service) card.

The Pocket Loox will be 'the most advanced PDA available' if it comes with the speedy XScale processor, said Chris Jones, senior analyst at UK research firm Canalys.

"It is a bit of a coup for Fujitsu Siemens to be able to show this. Obviously this is a big increase in speed on what is available today and a lot of people will be after the added speed," he said. "This will be one of the more exciting new product announcements at CeBit this year."

Built-in Bluetooth support is welcome and relatively new, with Compaq's top iPaq being one of the few devices that has it today, according to Jones.

The device, expected to be priced similarly to PDAs based on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002, will initially be available in Europe only, the spokesman said.

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