Casio revs CE-based handheld

The Cassiopeia E-11 features more memory, uses Microsoft's Windows CE 2.0 operating system, and sells for $399.

Casio has introduced its latest palm-size device, a handheld personal assistant based on the newest version of Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.

Casio's palm-size PC, which was introduced last November, has had

a hard time making headway against the popular and more established PalmPilot from Palm Computing. Owners of traditional electronic organizers, hesitant about inputing information into palm-size PCs with a stylus, have also been slow to buy CE devices, according to Matthew Red, an analyst at ARS.

"I haven't heard at the retail level a whole lot of excitement about palm-size PCs," Red said. "The retail market has been dominated by the PalmPilot."

Even so, Casio makes the No. 2-selling, CE-based handheld, the Cassiopeia E-10. It ranks below the top-selling CE-based device, Philips' Nino, according to retail market research from PC Data.

"With continued funding from Microsoft, the price point [for CE-based devices] will come down," Red said. "It will eventually grow into a viable platform."

Like the E-10, the E-11 features a backlit LCD display, serial port, and microphone and speaker for audio recording and playback, as well as a cradle, which allows automatic data synchronization with a PC. The new E-11 features 8MB of usable memory, instead of the 4MB the E-10 offers, as well as 4MB of ROM memory.

The new palm-size PC runs on Microsoft CE 2.0, and includes personal information management software that can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook.

The Cassiopeia E-11 will ship later this month for $399.