FIC is coming out with a Crusoe-inside wireless webpad called the Aqua 3200 WebPAD. It appears to have all the features of the Pocket PC (color, high-res screen, MP3, etc.) and wireless internet access right out of the box. I can't tell what OS it will be using. I assume that it will be MobileLinux (developed by Transmeta's Linus Torvalds), but I remember reading somewhere that FIC licensed BeIA at some point.

Unfortunately it shares one of the PPC's achilles' heels: a short battery life. At 5 to 6 hours, it'll have to be a lot less expensive than the PPC to do any better in the marketplace, even with wireless web access.

What I find interesting is how this might relate to (very unsubstantiated) rumors that Handspring's next product will employ a Crusoe CPU. I can't imagine that Jeff Hawkins would build a device with a similarly short battery life. But get this: the Aqua's Crusoe 3200 chip runs at 300-400 mhz. Most StrongARM-based PDA's run around 8 to 10 hours at 170-200 mhz. I wonder just how much Handspring can lower the speed of the processor to increase the battery life. Transmeta has an power optimization process called LongRun that allegedly allows a Crusoe laptop to run for a full day on a single battery charge. This may be just what's needed to push beyond the Visor's current technical constraints that limit their ability to add PPC-like features while still maintaining a Palm-like battery life.

[This message has been edited by Gameboy70 (edited 06-11-2000).]