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Compaq revises handhelds

Compaq rolls out a revised model for the growing handheld computer market, introducing a midrange model for $599.

Compaq (CPQ) rolled out a revised model for the growing handheld computer market, introducing a midrange model based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.

Compaq's C-Series 810, which comes with a monochrome display, a 33.6-kbps modem, and some stripped-down Microsoft applications, is available for $599. Designed for stripped-down office productivity applications as well as email and Web access, the device can synchronize data input on the road and files stored on the user's main personal computer.

The model takes the world's largest PC manufacturer further into a segment that could become an 8-million-unit market by 2001, according to International Data Corporation. Earlier this month, Hitachi, LG Electronics, and NEC all introduced large-screen models that are seen as a harbingers of the "companion PC," a device that's smaller and lighter than a notebook and used for more limited purposes.

The 810 comes with a MIPS processor and 8MB of memory as well as Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket PowerPoint, Pocket Word, and Pocket Excel. Users can either touch-type or employ a stylus.