Mobile computing is getting smaller and smaller. Some of the new notebook PCs being launched by Gateway 2000 and Dell are almost as powerful as many desktop machines.
However, if you really want to travel light, the new range of hand-held machines look increasingly attractive.
With the launch of the new Windows CE2 operating system, the higher-end models can now support full-colour screen and highly effective internet access.
Hewlett Packard's new 620LX includes 16MB of memory, 10MB of CD-Rom and will display 256 colours at 640×240 resolution.
It has one PCMCIA type-two slot, infrared and RS232 serial ports and a compact flash card slot. The good news is that it weighs a mere 586g.
Also included is a suite of pocket versions of Microsoft applications so you can use the tools you are used to – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – while on the road.
An increasing number of IFAs have been calling me and asking for advice on hand-helds. Although I have not had a chance to try this unit, it certainly seems a powerful package and does support Win dows CE.
I think this last point is particularly important. Some of the other providers in this area, such as Psion and 3COM with their Palm Pilot, have opted for their own special operating systems.
I believe this is a major mistake and in the long run users will be better off opting for a system which can run a proper version of Windows. The 620LX retails for around £800 including VAT.
For more details, phone Hewlett Packard: 0990-474747.