Philips Velo

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Philips Velo
Developer Philips
Type Handheld PC
Release date 1997
Introductory price $599.99
Discontinued 2001
Operating system Windows CE
CPU 36.86 MHz Philips MP3910PR31700
Memory 4 MiB
Display 480×240, 2 bits per pixel, 4 grey shades

The Philips Velo was a Handheld PC.

The initial Velo 1 was a PDA device released by Philips in August 1997. The device was typical of the HPCs at the time, being powered by two AA batteries of a rechargeable NiMH battery pack. The device had a green back-lit 5.1-inch resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 480×240 pixels at two bits per pixel which allowed for the display of four shades of grey. It originally shipped with Windows CE 1.0, with a ROM upgrade to Windows CE 2.0 that customers could order for $99.99. Expandability was via two internal 'miniature' expansion slots, as well as a PCMCIA slot in the docking station.

The standard model included 4 MB of RAM and 5 MB ROM. An 8 MB model with NiMH battery pack was also available for $839.99 with a free upgrade to Windows CE 2.0 when it was available.

Unlike most other HPCs, the Velo 1 included a built-in low-power software modem, where most other devices required a PCMCIA card modem. PCMCIA cards quickly drain batteries, so the low-power software modem helped eke out battery life. The modem operated at 14.4 bit/s. Other communication features included an infrared (IrDa) port and serial port, both capable of a maximum transmission rate of 112,500 bit/s.

The MIPS processor in the unit made its performance snappy compared to other devices, such as the HP 300LX or HP320LX.

The Velo 1 was soon replaced by the Velo 500, which included more RAM and ROM and a much faster MIPS processor running at 75 MHz. The Velo 500 had a widescreen resolution of 620×240 pixels, which was becoming the norm. Not only did the screen feature more horizontal pixels, it now displayed in four bits per pixel, allowing 16 shades of grey to be displayed. It featured up to 24 MiB of RAM as well as an upgrade to the software modem, which operated at 28.8 bit/s, a digital voice recorder and shipped with Windows CE 2.0.

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