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PalmOne to Introduce PDA Packed With Flash Memory

From Associated Press

Hand-held computer maker PalmOne Inc. plans to unveil today a new memory-packed personal digital assistant that can double as a portable USB flash drive.

In its continuing fight against competitors closing in on its market lead, Milpitas, Calif.-based PalmOne is capitalizing on the popularity of so-called USB drives, which mostly come in packages smaller than cigarette lighters but can store large amounts of data that once required hundreds of floppy disks.

PalmOne’s new Tungsten T5 hand-held PDA has 256 megabytes of built-in flash memory, of which 215 megabytes will be available to the user and the remainder reserved for internal applications. The T5 will be available Nov. 3 with a suggested retail price of $399.

The T5’s flash memory means users will be able to play digital music or video files right off the PDA instead of having to keep them stored on a separate memory card accessory.

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A new “file transfer” feature will allow a user to easily drag and drop one or two documents between the user’s PDA and desktop computer without having to go through the entire data synchronization process.

Because flash memory retains data without the need for a power source, the Tungsten T5 has a larger backup memory than any of its counterparts and rivals, so users no longer will face the problem of losing data when their batteries run out.

“It’s a solid product that I think will be popular,” said Ken Dulaney, an industry analyst with market research firm Gartner G2. “It has what PalmOne needs to do to maintain its client base.”


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