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Dell to debut handhelds at Comdex

The computer titan is looking to put the squeeze on handheld makers with the introduction of two of its own devices Nov. 18.

Dell Computer is looking to put the squeeze on handheld makers with the introduction this month of two of its own handhelds.

A company representative Monday confirmed that the Austin, Texas-based computer maker will release its handhelds Nov. 18 at the Comdex Fall 2002 trade show, but declined to comment further on specifications or pricing.

But sources close to the company said it will offer two devices, one for $199 and another for $299, which will fall under a new product line called Axim X5.

A sneak peek of the devices, including the name and the launch date appeared on Dell's Web site Monday.

According to an internal Dell document leaked onto the Web last month, the devices will also feature Secure Digital and Compact Flash expansion slots, a 3.5-inch transflective TFT (thin-film transistor) screen and a jog dial. The document was confirmed to be from Dell, but the specifications might not be final.

One significant difference between the two devices is the processor. The $199 Axim will use a 300MHz Intel XScale chip, while the $299 device will use a 400MHz Intel XScale chip, sources said.

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CNET Hardware takes
a look at an Axim X5.

Dell has repeatedly said it would enter the handheld industry as part of its expansion into new markets. But while competitors have cut prices to prepare for Dell's entry, analysts say their efforts may be trumped by Dell's even lower prices.

ViewSonic recently announced a $299 Pocket PC-based device, and Hewlett-Packard has said that it is aiming for the midrange market with at least one new device for the holiday shopping season.