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Mitac unveils Bluetooth-connected Linux-based PDA

Mar 22, 2001 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

ZDNet UK editor Will Knight reports that Taiwan manufacturing giant Mitac unveiled a new Linux-based PDA at CeBIT this week that features Bluetooth connectivity and is expected to sell for under $200.

The Mitac CAT PDA, a handheld computer powered by the Linux operating system, will go into mass production with a view to selling on the Taiwanese consumer market in the next three months, the company confirmed at the CeBIT computer show in Hanover on Thursday. The product will come with a multilingual distribution of the Linux operating system developed in Taiwan by Linpus, and will feature Bluetooth connectivity, a perk that was also demonstrated at CeBIT. Mitac executive Lon Cheng also revealed that the product will be priced between $150 and $199.

Mitac's CAT PDA joins a long list of mobile devices communicating over Bluetooth at this years show. The fledgling shortwave radio technology designed to eradicate the need for wires connecting computers and peripherals, is seeing considerable acceptance among manufacturers.

Fellow Taiwanese firm Linpus also launched its version of Linux operating system (used in the Mitac CAT), which it boasts provides full support for a number of Asian languages including Chinese, Korean, and Japanese along with software tools for developing PDA applications for Linux. The Linpus Linux Internet Appliance Software Development Kit (SDK) for Linux is designed to encourage developers to create PDA applications. Mitac demonstrated the CAT PDA with a window manager, calculator, dictionary, memo pad, address book and scheduler.

Summary of features

  • CPU — 66 MHz NEC VR series processor
  • DRAM — 8MB system memory
  • Flash — 4MB built-in, expandable via CompactFlash slot
  • Display — 4.1-inch, 240 x 320 pixel, monochrome backlit STN LCD touch-screen
  • Connectivity — IrDA, RS232, USB, Bluetooth
  • Multimedia — MP3 player, voice recording and playback, alarm notification
  • Battery — 600mAh Li-Ion Battery has 30-day
  • Size — 130 x 81 x 15 mm (HxWxD)
  • Weight — 140g
  • PC Connection — cradle for recharge & hot sync
  • OS — Embedded Linux, with TCP/IP, PPP, “simplified” POP3, Bluetooth Object Management, . . .
  • PIM apps — address, calculator, schedule, date book, memo pad, todo list, mail, . . .

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