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USR wants to be your co-Pilot

In its latest iteration in the emerging market for handhelds, U.S. Robotics announces two new models of its Pilot personal information manager.

In its latest iteration in the emerging market for handhelds, U.S. Robotics (USRX) today announced two new models of its Pilot personal information manager (PIM) and organizer.

The PalmPilot Professional, intended for corporate users, and the PalmPilot Personal, a more inexpensive device targeted at mainstream consumers, are designed as companions to PCs and are able to synchronize data over TCP/IP networks or with a snap-on modem.

Both models offer users the ability to manage their schedules and send and receive email, as well as keep track of expenses. The Professional model has 1MB of memory, twice as much as the Personal version, for more data-intensive operations.

The original Pilot 1000 and Pilot 5000, introduced last year, can be upgraded to the new software features and to 1MB of memory through a user-installed upgrade card and PC software for $129.

"By adding the email and network capabilities at a price point [similar to the original models], U.S. Robotics has played an instrumental role in moving the handheld category into a mainstream consumer market," said Dataquest analyst Mike McGuire in a statement.

The PalmPilots include email, expense tracking, and enhanced PIM software, as well as backlit screens. The Professional version is priced at $399 and will be available at the end of the month. The Personal model with 512K of memory costs $299 and is available immediately. The snap-on modem is an additional $129.

The handhelds were designed and marketed by Palm Computing, a subsidiary of U.S. Robotics.