Psion plans to enter the sub-notebook market in October with the release of its EPOC-based netBook, which will use the latest mobile IBM hardware and software.
The Symbian-designed EPOC operating system will embed IBM's MQSeries messaging software and its new DB2 Everywhere database, as well as providing support for IBM's 340Mb hard-disk microdrive, Psion told PC Week.
It runs on 100% Java and features a colour screen, an Intel SA-1100 strongARM processor, 64Mb RAM and 12-bit digital sound. A CompactFlash slot is included, as is a PC Card slot and RS232 serial port. It runs for 10 hours on battery power and measures 235 x 182 x 37mm.
The product was designed to compete with a range of sub-notebooks that run Windows CE (see PC Week's group test evaluations, p23).
Psion is expected to price the netBook at about £1,000, which is at the top of the range for sub-notebooks.
The product is the first in a range of Java-enabled mobile devices planned by the renamed Psion Enterprise Computing division. Psion said it plans to use the product range to enter new markets, including insurance, banking, health care and utilities.
Sub-notebooks are a relatively new category of machine designed to attract users who need access to information when out of the office but do not want all the applications that more expensive notebooks offer.
A Psion spokesman described the subtlety of the company's bid to make the netBook a business standard this way. "We plan to kick down the door of com-panies' IT departments," he said.
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