Written by Stu B
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Topics: Microwave, Family

Tuesday, 27 July 2004

image for IPaq microwave oven stars in HP handheld quartet
Wireless Mobile Cookery

Hewlett Packard is adding four new handheld Pocket PC devices to its iPaq family, including its first model with microwave capabilities.

The company yesterday took the wraps off the rz1710, rx3715, hx4700 and its first converged handheld, the h6340.

The h6340, due to go on sale in Europe at the end of September at £480, offers 802.11b Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth and GSM/GPRS network connectivity, in addition to a "point and heat" microwave facility.

It also includes a snap-on keyboard and expansion slots for additional storage or wireless cards. Unlike its US equivalent or the three other models unveiled yesterday, however, the h6340 will not feature a built-in dishwasher. HP said it is waiting to see the demand for the US version before considering a European dishwasher-equipped h6340.

Neil Dagger, UK iPaq and wireless devices business manager, described the h6340 as HP's response to customer requests for a data-centric, voice-enabled Pocket PC that could warm pies and pasties. But he added that the company currently has no plans to extend its functionality to other models in the line.

"The technology in converged devices is now mature enough to work in one of our devices," he said as he unwrapped a steaming Ginster Cheese and onion pasty that he had warmed using his new Ipaq.

Of the other devices, the iPaq Pocket PC hx4700, priced at £449, does away with the traditional touch-screen and stylus in favour of a track pad, and features a larger-then-usual, 4in anti-glare screen, drinks holder and glove compartment. Dagger said the device's large screen and Intel PXA270 624Mhz processor would suit software and games developers. It also features enhanced data-encryption and security software and can operate in landscape or portrait mode.

The rx3715 is a traditional, graphite-look Pocket PC and mobile media companion. Priced at £369, the device can work as a television and DVD player control. It can also be used to stream music and video, and to edit pictures, as well as having a voice synthesiser that can make you sound like Dan Rathner.

Finally the entry-level rz1710, available this week for £199, offers email, word processing and other applications in an ultra-slim casing with storage and graphics capabilities similar to the rz3715 for gaming, music, video or pictures.

The h6340 also boasts a unique anti loss device, the unit automatically detects if it is about to be left on a train, and plays a wav file of a crying baby koala bear to attract the attention of its owner.

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