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New E-Mail Handheld
by Rick Smith (January 6th, 2000)

VTech Industries and SkyTel have announced a strategic partnership to develop an information appliance that combines Internet e-mail and wireless messaging. To be called the VTech Imprompt2, (read this name out loud - it is very clever) it promises to be an easy to use, easy to carry, affordable, wireless information appliance. This device can receive e-mails wirelessly or via a modem, with or without a PC, through vtechworld.com, VTech's service provider.

Users can elect to receive wireless notification that they have e-mail in their inbox, or they can select an enhanced service plan which can give them instant reception of actual e-mail messages. This device can connect to any RJ-11 jack without requiring a new dial-up number or changing the "Dialing Properties". VTech's email service also can provide an e-mail filter to keep out unwanted e-mails and a sender "buddy list" which can notify users when a message from a specific sender has arrived at vtechworld.com. This portable device can store more than 500 e-mail messages and can send and receive messages from any e-mail address.

Service plans start at under $10, with flexible rate plans for both wireless and wireline services. Imprompt2 will begin shipping in April 2000 and will sell for a suggested price of under $200. It runs on two AA batteries for up to a month (this is better than most any CE device) and will carry a one year warranty. Additional accessories will be an address book, e-cards, calculator, games (golf, arcade classics) and a clock .

Imprompt2 adds affordable wireless capability to the other email appliances (e-Mail Express, e-Mail PostBox and e-Mail Traveler) in Vtech's product line. Another division of VTech creates the Helios. (Read our initial coverage and first look) at the Helios. SkyTel will provide the wireless messaging and information services for the Imprompt2. I think the ease of connectivity is the most important feature of this device. I think we all know people that have spent hours fiddling with modems and software in their quest to get their e-mail remotely.

Copyright 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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