In a bid to build its share in the PDA market, Apple has introduced a fresh version of its Newton handheld computer and has also launched a laptop aimed at the business and educational markets.
The Message Pad 2000 comes with access to electronic mail and the Web, and will cost less than $1,000. The educational product, a low end laptop called the Emate 300, costs less than $800.
The Newton devices are driven by chip technology from Arm, which Apple part-owns, using a 160Mhz device called the Strong Arm, built by Digital Equipment. Apple pulled in 250 developers and 300 systems integrators to declare their support for the Newton. The unit comes with five megabytes of Ram and eight megabytes of Rom, has a 16-level greyscale display, a microphone and a speaker. It supports optional PCMCIA cards.
The Message Pad 2000 weighs just under 1.5 pounds and Apple claims the unit will last on one set of AA batteries for between three to six weeks.
Some software is bundled with the device. The operating system will communicate with both Mac and Windows PCs and it includes browser and scheduling software.
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