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HP Unveils Revamped Business Devices

At long last, HP redesigned its mobile product lineup and lifted the curtain on a batch of new business-class smartphones, PDAs and navigators.
At long last, HP redesigned its mobile product lineup and lifted the curtain on a batch of new business-class smartphones, PDAs and navigators.At an event in NYC last night, HP officially announced its new range of mobile products, including new iPAQs, GPS units and laptops. The laptops are certainly enticing, but the iPAQs are particularly interesting for a few reasons.

Of the devices announced, two are full-fledged Windows Mobile 6 Professional smartphones, the iPAQ 900 Series Business Messenger and iPAQ 600 Series Business Navigator. They share many of the basic specs, including Wi-Fi, A-GPS, 3-megapixel cameras, Bluetooth and microSD slots. The 900 looks somewhat like a BlackBerry or other QWERTY-equipped device, and the 600 resembles a regular candybar phone. The 600 has a nifty touch-capacitance scroll wheel built into the numeric keypad, allowing you to zoom the selector all around the screen by twirling your thumb. It also comes with a large 2.8-inch screen that can switch between portrait and landscape modes like the iPhone. But what really sets these two smartphones apart is their cellular radios.

Unlike the iPhone, the 900 and 600 Series are both outfitted with quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band WCDMA/HSDPA radios. So they'll support some of the 3G networks in the U.S. That's a good first step for a smartphone. What's really astounding is that they are both capable of 7.2 M/bits per second HSDPA connections. There are very few devices on the market capable of utilizing those network speeds. Most still fall into the 1.8 and 3.6 M/bit per second range. This incredible wireless data speed will certainly enable business-y types to get work done quicker when out and about.

The three other mobile devices showed off at the event are two standalone PDAs and a personal navigation device. The PDAs are incremental updates to previous generations of iPAQ handhelds, but the navigator devices had some cool features, such as media playback and 3-D graphing of cities. The 3-D was a little on the slow side in demos I saw, but the rendering of surrounding buildings is excellent for those who navigate better by landmark than by street names.

In all, the refreshed product lineup shows HP's commitment to the business user.

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