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VTech Information Assistant
by Rick Smith (April 19, 1999)

Spring Comdex 1999 Coverage
Microsoft announces top 75 ISVs!
Monday's Keynote Addresses
Vtech's New PDA on Display
Equal Access 99 Benefit
Palm-Sized, Hand-Held Devices Conference

At Spring Comdex 1999, in Chicago, Vtech Information displayed their new Helio digital assistant, which will be available exclusively on the Internet, in mid-June of this year.

The $199 Helio, which runs on Vtech's proprietary HeliOS 1.1 in its docking cradle.
The 6 ounce Helio, available in 5 colors, includes a Voice Recorder, To-do list, memo jotter, phone book, scheduler, email, sketch pad, calculator, expense manager and PC synchronization software. CIC's Jot character recognition system and "soft keyboard" is used for stylus input. The display is 160x160, 16 level gray scale with blue-green electro-luminescent blue-green background. It uses 2 AAA alkaline batteries that last for 30 days of normal use and 15 hours of continuous operation. (Duracell Ultras are recommended.)

Helio, turned at a 45 degree angle and packed into a "carrying case" that transforms the Helio into a palmtop unit with keyboard and ports.

This seems to be a very unique model due to:

  • its ability to transform itself from a palm table to a palm "laptop".

  • the development kit will be available for FREE and interesting applications will be available for sale on Vtech's e-commerce Web site.

  • the unit will be for sale ONLY on the Internet.

    Copyright 1999 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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