O2 has launched a wireless handheld aimed specifically at the education sector, which it said can be used by students to read electronic books and complete assignments while out on field trips.
Unveiled at the BETT exhibition in London, the XDA Flint is largely a rebadged version of HTC's Advantage. This is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device with a larger than usual 5in touch screen and detachable Qwerty keyboard.
The XDA Flint has quad-band voice support, and HSDPA and Wi-Fi for data connections. It is "perfect for students and teachers who need to stay in the loop while on the move or away from their learning environment", according to O2 business sales director Ben Dowd.
Like many other Windows Mobile devices, the XDA Flint carries Microsoft's Office Mobile suite of applications, which includes versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also has 16GB of Flash storage, Bluetooth, built-in GPS hardware and a 3-megapixel camera.
O2 said that education is a key sector for its corporate business, and that the new device provides the ideal platform to access, store and transfer classwork, homework and study via a number of channels.
However, the XDA Flint appears costly when compared with rival devices such as the many netbook portables now on the market, and it does not even come with an e-book reader application as standard.
This can be added by O2 prior to delivery if specified, as part of the company's policy of working with customers to create bespoke learning solutions to suit their needs.
Pricing for the XDA Flint starts at £447, but this will vary depending on the volume of units bought, the airtime contract and the level of support required.
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