Clarion shows new prototype portable navigator

Clarion has shown a new version of its mobile Internet navigation device and said it will cost about US$700 when launched later this year.

Car audio and navigation maker Clarion has unveiled a new prototype of its handheld mobile Internet navigator device that's due to be launched later this year.

The greatest difference between the latest prototype and previous model is its shape, which has gone from being rectangular to trapezoidal where the top edge is shorter than the bottom edge.

It was on show at the booth of parent-company Hitachi at the Computex trade show in Taipei. Computex, one of the world's largest IT shows, opened on Tuesday.

The machine, which is based on Intel's Centrino Atom platform, has a 4.8-inch screen, runs Linux and comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It will be launched in North America later this year and in Europe in 2009 and will cost around US$700, said Noriko Ueda, assistant manager of Clarion's marketing group. A more expensive version with built-in 3G (third-generation) wireless capability is also planned, she said.

In addition to GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation it comes with digital TV, a Web browser, e-mail client, Flash player, image viewer, PDF (Portable Document Format) viewer and quick access to Google Earth, YouTube and MySpace.

An earlier version of the prototype was shown at CES in Las Vegas in January and at a recent Intel news conference in Tokyo.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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