Online retailers let slip Toshiba, Palm PDA plans

If you are in the market for a new PDA (personal digital assistant) and considering a model from Toshiba Corp. you might want to hold off on your purchase. Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. has published details of two as-yet unannounced models from the Japanese company.

Only basic details were included in the Amazon.com listing, which at deadline was still available on the site.

The e405 is based around Intel Corp.'s PXA261 XScale processor running at 300MHz with 64M bytes of RAM while the e805 has a PXA263 processor also running at 300MHz and 128M bytes of RAM, according to Amazon.com. Prices and pictures of the PDAs were not displayed.

The PXA261 and PXA263 chips are newer models of XScale processor than the PXA255 that is currently used in the four Toshiba PDA models on sale in the U.S. Compared to the earlier chip, the newer processors are not vastly different. Improvements include more flash memory stacked in the chip package and a few improvements to interface controls.

A much bigger difference will be seen by users in the amount of memory used in the e805, assuming Amazon.com's data is correct. At 128M bytes according to the online retailer, its double the amount of RAM available from any of Toshiba's existing models all of which have 64M bytes of RAM.

Additionally, Amazon.com said both new PDAs will support IrDA infrared, have a slot for Secure Digital (SD) and SDIO interface cards and the e805 will also have a Compact Flash card slot.

Toshiba in Tokyo wouldn't confirm if the details on Amazon.com's Web site are correct or if it was planning to launch these new PDAs.

Toshiba wasn't the only company to have upcoming PDA products pre-announced by retailers this week.

A listing on a German retailer's Web site suggests that Palm Inc. will release a new digital camera module for its PDAs sometime between now and October. The module, which can swivel around and is fitted onto the end of a SD card for use with SDIO-compliant PDAs, is a 1.3-megapixel model capable of up to 1,280-pixel by 1,024-pixel resolution.

The online retailer, Bluehand, listed the camera on Thursday as costing

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