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Toshiba adds VoIP to handheld

The company launches two updated Pocket PC handhelds, including one business-oriented model that features built-in wireless networking with voice over Internet Protocol capabilities.

Toshiba launched on Thursday two updated Pocket PC handhelds, including a business-oriented model that features built-in wireless networking with voice over Internet Protocol capabilities.

The company's Pocket PC e400 and Pocket PC e800, based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile for Pocket PC 2003 operating system, are also thinner and lighter than their predecessors.

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The e800 pairs 802.11b wireless networking with VoIP capabilities, allowing owners to make phone calls via the handheld while inside a wireless hot spot, Toshiba said.

The handhelds are designed to boost Toshiba's ability to compete with new models from rivals such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Palm. Each of the three companies has recently launched wireless handhelds.

Toshiba ranked fifth in handheld market share during the second quarter--behind No. 1 Palm, No. 2 HP, No. 3 Sony and No. 4 Dell, according to IDC.

The most noticeable feature of the Toshiba's e800 is its 4-inch display, which is bigger than the screen found on its predecessor and on most competing models. The e800 comes with a 400MHz Intel PXA263 XScale processor and 128MB of memory. It weighs 6.8 ounces. Toshiba says it was designed with business use in mind.

arrow VoIP calls on
Wi-Fi networks
will likely drive
adoption of both
play audio

The more consumer-oriented e400 offers a 3.5-inch display and comes with a 300MHz Intel PXA261 XScale processor and 64MB of memory. It weighs 4.6 ounces.

The e400 and e800 handhelds are priced at $299 and $599, respectively, and are available directly from Toshiba and through distributors.

Retail versions of the handhelds, dubbed the Pocket PC e405 and e805, include the same features and carry the same prices. They are available at retailers such as CompUSA and Best Buy, Toshiba said.

The new handhelds replace Toshiba's Pocket PC e355 and wireless Pocket PC e755.