Dell's handheld plans slip out on the Net

A rumor Web site in France has let the cat out of the bag over Dell Computer Corp.'s plans to offer a handheld computer.

The Web site PDAFrance.com this week posted images and internal Dell documents that provide details about the company's yet-to-be unveiled handheld. Dell Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the documents, although company spokesman Jess Blackburn said the product specifications revealed were not final.

"I'm not suggesting that it is final or absolutely reflective of the product we will be launching," he said.

According to information on PDAFrance.com, Dell's handheld will run Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC operating system and use 300MHz and 400MHz Xscale processors from Intel Corp. The device will also include slots for Compact Flash and Secure Digital (SD) cards.

At Dell's request, the documents and images have since been removed from the site. "Given that it was information that we would deem confidential and internal, we did ask that it be removed," Blackburn said.

Dell officially announced plans to enter the crowded PDA market in August during its earnings conference call with analysts and reporters. It confirmed plans to release a product before the end of the year but has been largely secretive about the details.

Some reports have surfaced that the Round Rock, Texas, company has been working with manufacturers in Taiwan on the device.

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