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HP boo-boo reveals iPaq's vital statistics

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A slip-up on HP's UK website is revealing some interesting clues on the direction the company is taking with its iPaq mobile computers.

A slide show, which was available on Thursday but quickly removed by Friday morning, revealed two new hw6700-series Mobile Messenger devices - the hw6710 and the hw6715 - with a 1.3 megapixel camera. The new family of personal digital assistants offers the same functionality as HP's hw6500 series, HP said on the website.

The new iPaqs, however, only support a miniSD slot. That could be troublesome for iPaq owners who use larger-size SD cards. The hw6500 supports both miniSD and SD formats.

Prices were not disclosed but the new iPaqs are expected to ship in January, according to the slide show.

Gartner analyst Todd Kort said: "It is certainly early in the stages for HP to make a full shift to miniSD on its PDAs but it is certainly the direction HP needs to be going because everyone is looking to keep the weight of these devices down."

The mobile-phone market has already started the transition to miniSD, which is currently available in storage capacities of 1GB, Kort noted.

The new iPaq is also one of HP's first PDAs to use Microsoft Windows Mobile 2005 software, phone edition, though Kort points out that it will more than likely be used as a data device rather than a communications one.

According to the slide show first seen on enthusiast sites such as Dave's iPAQ, the new iPaq measures 2.79 inches by 0.8 inches by 4.6 inches and weighs 5.8 ounces. The family runs on a removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The device sports an Intel PXA 270 processor with top speeds of 312MHz. The hw6700 iPaq is also equipped with 192Mb of total memory, which is split between 128Mb of ROM and 64Mb of SDRAM.

The devices also use five separate wireless technologies: GPRS, GSM, EDGE with 802.11g, Bluetooth and GPS, with navigation service provided by TomTom (plus one city map for free).

The hw6700 family could fill a need for HP to sell more wireless-enabled PDAs to business and mobile users, Kort said. The company currently ranks third in overall device shipments behind Research In Motion and Palm, according to the most recent PDA shipment report published by Gartner.

An HP representative declined to discuss unannounced products.

By Michael Singer

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