Kiosk Newsbit


July 8, 1999

Network World via NewsEdge Corporation :
CONCORD, MASS. - The latest computer from
handheld pioneer Psion doubles memory and
performance and comes equipped with
optional software to run Java applications. 

The Psion Series 5mx uses an ARM Reduced
Instruction Set Computing processor that
delivers twice the speed of the previous
Psion handheld offering. The device weighs
12.5 ounces and can run for up to a month
on two AA batteries. 

The 5mx represents a major effort by the
U.K. company to attract users and grab a
piece of the U.S. market. Psion has been
successful in Europe selling a line of handheld
computers, all based on the 32-bit Epoch
operating system. The company's U.S.
operations are based in Concord, Mass. 

Epoch software is developed by Symbian - a
joint effort of Psion, Ericsson, Motorola and
several other large companies. The software
is considered to rival 3Com's Palm operating
system and Microsoft's Windows CE. 

The 5mx supports 16M bytes vs. 8M bytes in
the previous Psion device. For the first time,
a 4M-byte Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is
included as an installation option on the
accompanying compact disk. Today, the JVM
lets Psion Series 5mx users view Java applets
via the built-in microbrowser. As more Java
applications are written for this class of
devices, users will be able to download the
applications to the handheld computer and
run them. The browser now supports frames,
along with Post Office Protocol 3 and Simple
Mail Transfer Protocol. 

Also new is the Internet e-mail package
included in the 5mx's read-only memory,
which lets the Psion device synchronize with
Internet e-mail servers. The product includes
a send-receive fax application and Internet
Message Access Protocol 4 server support,
as well. The 5mx can use any standard
desktop modem or an array of PC Card
modems. New infrared technology lets users
move files to and from devices such as Web
phones, which combine a cellular voice
handset with an Internet interface. 

The handheld connects to desktop PCs for
file transfer and data synchronization using
the PsiWin connection program. A converter
library automatically makes the 5mx
compatible with file formats for Lotus
SmartSuite, Microsoft Office and other
applications. Built-in applications include a
word processor, spreadsheet and database. 

Available now, the Psion Series 5mx has a list
price of $549. 


Thanks Kinetic!

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