HP announces five new handhelds, gaming PC

Bumper launch of 59 products for hardware giant

HP has announced five new iPaq handhelds and three new HP Compaq laptops, along with dozens of handheld accessories, software packages and services.

The total release of 59 products, including 56 in the iPaq line, is a record announcement for HP, a spokeswoman said. More information is on HP's Web site.

Among the five handhelds is a new HP iPaq 900 Series Business Messenger, a third-generation (3G) cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard for messaging. It is designed for professionals who need mobile email, phone and the ability to run enterprise applications, HP said.

HP also announced a gaming PC called the Blackbird 002, with optimised airflow and an aluminum chassis. It will go on sale October 1 for US$2,500 to US$7,100.

Separately, HP announced an iPaq 600 Series Business Navigator, a combination 3G phone and navigation device with a 12-key input for single-handed use.

Also announced was the iPaq 300 Series Travel Companion, which provides high-resolution 3D navigation with an entertainment system. Another new device is the iPaq 200 Series Enterprise Handheld, which HP said has a large screen and Wi-Fi capability that can be used for voice-over-IP applications. An iPaq 100 Series Classic Handheld that was announced provides what HP called "simple synchronisation" to personal content and Wi-Fi connectivity and is only 13mm thick.

Prices were not announced and will vary by region, HP said, referring customers to its Your Life Is the Show site.

Both the iPaq 900 and iPaq 600 will allow users to make calls and access the Internet globally via tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band GSM/EDGE, in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity. Both run Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional and include a 3-megapixel camera. Also, both can be supported by the new HP Enterprise Mobility Suite 4.0, which is intended to enable easy setup and over-the-air management by IT professionals.

The three new laptops are the HP Compaq 6520, with a 14.1-inch widescreen display; the HP Compaq 6720, with a 15.4-inch widescreen display; and the HP Compaq 6820, with a 17-inch widescreen display. All are designed for small-business users and feature a silver finish and a keyboard that is "scooped out" for more of a desktop experience, HP said in a statement.

All the laptops feature the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. HP said the 6520 will vary in price by region, noting that the 6720 starts at US$649, while the 6820 starts at US$999.

One of the five new software products that HP announced, called HP iPaq Mobile Broadband Connect, can access the Internet from an HP laptop or PC through a tethered iPaq 3G phone for high-speed broadband connections. Pricing was not disclosed.

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