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HP unveils Jornada handheld

The "Jupiter"-class device is similar in size to the OmniBook 800, the mininotebook the company discontinued earlier this year.

Hewlett-Packard today formally unveiled the Jornada 820, a wide-screen handheld computer powered by the Windows CE operating system that seems destined to fill the gap in HP's product line created by the demise of the OmniBook 800.

HP Jornada 820 Handheld
HP Jornada 820 Handheld

At $999, the Jornada is one of the first of a series of relatively large Windows CE devices that are expected to compete with notebooks, and especially mini-notebooks, according to various analysts.

Although the Jornada and other so-called Jupiter devices use the stripped-down "pocket" versions of Microsoft applications, the devices are better designed for portability. Batteries can last up to 15 hours in the Jornada, according to HP, far longer than the average battery life for Windows notebooks.

The machine also weighs only 2.5 pounds, less than standard notebooks, and comes with a respectable 8.2-inch screen. And, unlike standard Windows notebooks, there is no lengthy boot-up delay.

Jornada at a glance
Price: $999

Dimensions: 9.7" x 7.0" x 1.3"

Weight: 2.5 lbs.

Screen: 8.2"

Comes with: 56-kbps modem, 190-MHz StrongARM processor, Microsoft pocket apps.

Battery life: 15 hours

Sources: HP

"Handheld" in many ways is something of a misnomer for Jupiter-class machines. HP's Jornada, for example, measures 9.7 inches by 7 inches, or approximately two inches wider and three deeper than the company's current handheld machine. In size, the Jornada is actually closer to the OmniBook 800, a mininotebook that HP discontinued earlier this year.

The Jornada 820 comes with a 190-MHz StrongArm processor from Intel, 16MB of memory, another 16MB of memory that serves in place of a hard drive, an 8.2-inch color screen, and a 56-kbps modem. A 820e model comes without the modem.

In addition, the machine comes pre-loaded with pocket versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and voice recorder.