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Handheld offers 8-inch screen

LG Electronics' new device features a display and keyboard large enough for typical computing functions, as well as the fastest chip yet.

LG Electronics is introducing a handheld computer with a display and keyboard large enough to allow it to be used for typical computing functions, and a processor that's the fastest yet for this category of device.

The Phenom Handheld PC Ultra features Microsoft's Windows CE 2.0 operating system for handheld devices, which runs simplified

LG's Phenom
LG's Phenom Handheld PC Ultra
versions of word processing, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and scheduling and email software.

The 1.87-pound Phenom features a large, 8.25-inch screen--the biggest for a handheld computer--a built-in VGA port for PowerPoint presentations, and a 28.8-kbps modem, which qualifies it as a "companion notebook," according to Dataquest mobile computing analyst Mike McGuire.

The Phenom Handheld PC uses a powerful Hitachi 100-MHz SH3 RISC processor, which is faster than previous SH3 processors, putting it into the same league as Intel chips.

"Companion notebooks are not meant to supplant or replace notebooks," McGuire said. "They are a mobile device to take desktop data and view it, or present it. We think it's going to be an 8 million unit volume by 2001."

Devices like this may be a more attractive product to notebook consumers, McGuire believes, because they complement PCs at an affordable price. "There are a lot more desktop users than true mobile professionals," he said. "They might want a mobile device, but they think even $1,500 is too expensive."

Windows CE devices are less expensive than notebook computers because they use cheaper screens, dedicated memory instead of a hard drive, and cheaper processors.

The Phenom will be available in April for under $1,000.