Got handhelds? HP, Sony, Kyocera do

The device makers announce the latest additions to their handheld product lines one day before the official kickoff of the TechXNY trade show.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
3 min read
Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Kyocera Wireless introduced new handheld devices Monday.

The device makers announced the latest additions to their handheld product lines one day before the official kickoff of the TechXNY trade show in New York City. Kyocera announced a new smartphone, the 7135; Sony added the PEG-T665C to its Clie line of handhelds; and, as expected, HP announced two new additions to its iPaq handheld family.

TechXNY, formerly PC Expo, has become an increasingly popular venue for launching wireless and mobile products. The dominant theme of this year's show is wireless networking, and both of these new devices have wireless capabilities.

The Kyocera 7135 is a clamshell-style smartphone that features voice capabilities but can also access high-speed cellular data networks for its PDA functions, according to Kyocera Wireless spokesman Rick Goetter. The 7135 will run on next-generation CDMA 1xRTT networks when they're released nationwide this summer. The 7135 will be available in the fourth quarter and will cost around $500.

"Voice is still the killer application, and our device has been tailored for voice first," Goetter said. The gadget's design is more like that of a phone than a PDA. It's foldable and has a keypad, and its size is phonelike too. It measures 3.97 inches by 2.43 inches by 1.17 inches and weighs 6.6 ounces.

"Other (similar devices) are very much PDAs first. We're coming at it from a phone-centric standpoint," Goetter said.

The 7135 features a color screen, Global Positioning System technology, a Secure Digital expansion slot with input and output capabilities, and a built-in digital audio player. The device comes with 16MB of memory and runs version 4.1 of Palm's operating system.

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Sony's $400 Clie PEG-T665C also uses version 4.1 of Palm's operating system and comes with 16MB of memory. The Clie PEG-T665C comes with remote control software and an enhanced infrared port that allows the device to command consumer electronics products, such as DVD players, TVs and VCRs from up to 15 feet away.

The Clie PEG-T665C comes with a Memory Stick slot and Motorola's 66MHz Dragonball Super VZ. It will be available in July. Sony is taking preorders on its SonyStyle Web site.

Unlike Kyocera's 7135 and Sony's Clie PEG-T665C, HP's new iPaqs run Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 operating system for handheld devices. HP released the $649 iPaq H3950 and the $749 iPaq H3970. Both devices began shipping this week and will be widely available in July.

The new HP iPaqs also feature remote-control software from Universal Electronics. Universal announced last Tuesday its Nevo software designed to turn handheld computers into remote controls. The software, in conjunction with a more powerful consumer infrared port, can control up to 20 categories of home electronics devices. The consumer IR port transmits remote signals farther than common IR ports. IR ports are typically used in handhelds for beaming information, such as contacts, over a short distance. Sony Electronics is also using remote control technology in its Palm OS-based Clie handheld line.

Reader Resources
Kyocera 7135 info

The iPaq 3950 and the iPaq 3970 come with a Secure Digital expansion slot, a "transflective" display--a new type of display that's supposedly brighter--Intel's 400MHz XScale PXA250 processor, lithium-polymer batteries, and 64MB of memory. The HP iPaq 3970 will come with 48MB of flash memory, and the HP iPaq 3950 will come with 32MB of flash memory.

The iPaq 3970 comes with built-in Bluetooth, a short-range wireless networking technology for portable devices.

HP also announced the availability of its $999 HP Jornada 728 Handheld PC with 64MB of memory. The Jornada 728 comes with a 206MHz Intel SA1110 processor and a built-in modem.