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Garmin Introduces iQue 3600 Palm OS 5-Based PDA

Outdoor communication and navigation device maker Garmin introduced at the International CES a Palm OS 5-based PDA that combines all the features of the Palm system with an integrated GPS.

The iQue 3600 will ship in the second quarter with a $589 suggested retail price. The company hopes the device will help break it into the mainstream CE market so it does not have to rely on the marine, aviation and outdoor consumer.

The iQue 3600 looks like a standard PDA and unlike Garmin’s outdoor products is not ruggedized. It comes with an integrated flip up GPS antenna and is bundled with mapping software. The mapping software gives text and voice direction and contains addresses and directions to points of interest such as hotels, restaurants and gas stations.

The iQue 3600 is based on a Motorola Dragonball processor that will run between 150MHz and 200MHz. It has 32MB of internal memory and an SD card slot. The device can also play MP3 files and act as a voice recorder. Because it uses the Palm OS it delivers the same functionality as any other Palm device. The device will connect to a PC through Palm’s usual hot synchronization dock.

In other CES handheld computer news, Sony debuted its first PDA with a built-in 2-megapixel digital camera, claiming the unit is one of the few to combine a no-compromise camera with a PDA.

The company’s new top-of-the-line CLIE also has built in Bluetooth and an optional Wi-Fi expansion slot. The camera segment features digital zoom, built-in flash and a swivel mount 220 by 480 color screen. Other features include built-in MP3 player, voice recorder and 16MB of memory. The CLIE PEG-NZ90 is expected to ship at the end of February at an estimated price of $800.