Gateway and Microsoft both unveiled their long-awaited Transmeta-based webpads at Comdex, held last week in Las Vegas.
Webpads are internet access devices that interact with the system using either a stylus, a touch screen or a wireless keyboard to gain access to a range of services, such as email, instant messaging and web channels.
Both companies' machines will be based on Crusoe's power-saving Transmeta processor, giving the chip-maker a timely boost following IBM's recent abandonment of its Transmeta-based Thinkpad notebooks.
Little else is known about Microsoft's offering. Gateway's device, called the Connected Touch Pad, will run on a mobile Linux operating system and include a customised version of AOL's internet service. It features home networking technology from Broadcom that allows the device to connect at broadband speeds to other equipment around the home using traditional phone lines.
Gateway has also launched its consumer webpad in the US and plans to sell the system in Europe. However, the device, priced at $599, has yet to be given a UK shipping date.
Meanwhile, French mobile phone maker Sagem has launched a device that integrates high-speed wireless technology with Microsoft's Pocket PC platform.
The Sagem WA3050 combines data and voice capabilities in one device with support for GSM communications and GPRS mobile networks. It features a greyscale touch-screen interface and 16Mb of memory.
The device will be available in France this month, priced at about £600, and will be available in the rest of Europe during the first quarter of next year.
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