Handspring has announced that it will launch its first high-end personal digital assistant (PDA) to resellers and retailers nationwide next month.
Aimed at business users rather than consumers, the Visor Edge weighs just 4.8 ounces, offers 8Mb of memory and is based on Motorola's 33Mhz DragonBall VZ processor. The metal case comes in silver, blue or red and includes a flip-up metal cover.
The Edge features a detachable version of Handspring's patented expansion slot, which includes 'snap-in' phone, camera and modem attachments designed to keep the device's weight and size to a minimum.
Jeff Hawkins, chief product officer at Handspring, explained that, although the Edge's removable expansion slot would be backwards-compatible with all available Springboard modules that support Palm OS 3.5, it will not replace the standard Springboard slot featured in the company's existing Visor PDAs.
"We will support all developers for both Springboard and the Visor Edge's detachable expansion slot," he said.
The Palm OS-powered device also has an increased battery life. The company claimed that it is capable of lasting up to three weeks on a single charge, based on regular daily usage, thanks to the lithium ion battery fitted as standard.
In addition, the Edge has two features not seen in other Handspring models: the Silent Alarm and Fast Lookup functions.
Silent Alarm allows users to be notified of calendar information such as meetings and appointments, with a flashing screen notifying the user of important information. The Fast Lookup option searches the device's contact information to look up addresses and phone numbers of associates stored within its memory.
The Edge is PC and Mac OS compatible and will be available in the US from the end of March. In the UK, the device is expected to retail at £329.
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