GMate to update Yopy Linux PDA

GMate Inc., the company behind the Yopy personal digital assistant (PDA), is putting the finishing touches on a new version of the Linux-based device.

The Yopy YP3500 is expected to be available first in GMate's home market of South Korea through a tie-up with local cellular carrier SK Telecom Co. and will go on sale there sometime in the next two months. Officials declined to comment on when the device would be available overseas but promised more details would be available soon.

The new YP3500 sports a slightly updated look to the current model, although it retains the clamshell design and is roughly the same size, according to company documents obtained by IDG News Service. The most obvious visual change is the addition of a QWERTY keyboard in place of the previous 40-key keypad, although several changes have been made inside the device.

The largest of these is a doubling in the amount of RAM to 128MB and of ROM to 32MB. A front light has also been added to the 3.5-in. color LCD, which will make it much easier to see both in daytime and at night, and a higher-power rechargeable battery has also been fitted to help power the display light.

Like the first version, the new Yopy will be based around an Intel Corp. StrongArm processor running at 206 MHz. It will run the ARM Linux operating system and X Windows.

Simultaneous with its launch through SK Telecom, a companion Code Division Multiple Access backplate will also be put on sale that, when clipped onto the back of the Yopy, will provide wireless data access through SK Telecom's network.

The Yopy YP3000 first went on sale around the beginning of this year after appearing at Comdex 2001 in Las Vegas in November. The company currently sells the Yopy YP3000 via its Web site for $399. The clamshell PDA is an update of an earlier model from GMate that first appeared at the CeBIT exhibition in 2000 but was never put on sale.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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