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Dell cuts the wires

Axim X3 PDA, a cheaper wireless device

Dell formally introduced three versions of the new Axim X3 personal digital assistant today, including a model with an integrated 802.11b wireless chip that costs less than comparable Pocket PC devices.

For £229, Dell will sell the Axim X3 with a 400MHz XScale processor from Intel, 64MB of RAM, 64MB of ROM and an 802.11b wireless chip. Two-non wireless X3 configurations will be available for £189 and £139.

Hewlett Packard's cheapest iPaq PDA with integrated 802.11b wireless costs about £269. The Wi-Fi-enabled iPaq h4150, introduced Monday, also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Axim X3. It comes with 64MB of RAM, but it wasn't specified how much ROM it would have. HP has two other models with the short-range Bluetooth standard that cost less than the h4150 available on its website.

Toshiba's e750 Pocket PC comes with an integrated 802.11b chip for about £239, but comes with only 32MB of ROM. Market leader Palm sells the Tungsten C with integrated Wi-Fi for £339, but has cheaper Bluetooth models available in its Tungsten line-up.

The linchpin of Dell's business model is delivering hardware at prices lower than the competition, and that trend is continuing in a market where the company has less experience than its competitors. The firm shot to fourth place in terms of shipment market share across both Palm OS and Pocket PC operating systems, and was second behind HP in the Pocket PC category in the second-quarter according to research from IDC.

All of the new models come with an SDIO (Secure Digital I/O) expansion slot, and a 3.5in transflective TFT (thin film transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display) screen.

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