The local PDA scene is about to be shaken up by the arrival of Handspring and its Visor range of models.
Built by the team that originally built the market leading Palm Pilot, and running the latest Palm operating system and applications, Handspring should prove a challenge to the recent surge in popularity of Compaq’s Microsoft CE 3.0-based iPaq devices. Both Handspring and the iPaq have snap on components that increase the device’s functionality. A GSM cellular phone module will be available for the iPaq shortly but currently Compaq offers a range of memory expansion modules.
The Handspring range of modules includes gaming packages, an MP3 player, a GPS locator unit as well as electronic books, digital camera, video camera and also additional memory units, although initially only a memory pack and backup module will be available.
Handspring offers five versions of the Visor starting at $699 for the Visor Deluxe. A recent release, the super-thin Visor Edge, is 1.1cm thick. All models available in New Zealand come with 8Mb of RAM as standard.
Vodafone New Zealand will act as distributor for Handspring, with Brightpoint New Zealand acting as reseller and service centre. Vodafone hopes to be able to make the GSM module available "some time this year".