Dell to offer $199 PocketPC

Dell has been talking about bringing a $299 PocketPC to market for some time, but now it appears that they also have a $199 model in the works. C|Net is reporting that Dell will unveil this even lower-priced PDA at Comdex next month.

There's no word on the specs of Dell's $199 PocketPC other than a 300MHz XScale processor, but if the device follows other available PocketPCs, it should have robust multimedia functionality, expansion card capabilities, a pretty decent screen, and less-than-impressive battery life. A $199 PocketPC is unlikely to compete directly with Palm's new $99 Zire PDA, but more expensive PDAs will surely feel the heat.

Pressure from Dell should force other PocketPC manufacturers to drop prices, at least a little, but that's not all. Palm-based PDA manufacturers, who have traditionally used low prices to skirt the Palm platform's lackluster multimedia capabilities, now have additional motivation to add features. Still, part of me longs for the focus of PDAs to be lighter devices, smaller and thinner form factors, and better battery life.

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