ASUS launches luxury A696 ultra slim GPS PDA

ASUS has launched the A696 ultra-slim GPS PDA which is described as a "power accessory".

The ASUS A696 is pretty skinny at 1.57cm but manages to incorporate full GPS functionality without a protruding antenna, and is encased in stainless steel with that now all-important anti-glare 3.5-inch touchscreen.

The A696 GPS capabilities come courtesy of Destinator Technologies' routing engine and navigation content and it boasts a QuickNav button making it quicker and easier to travel directly to a predetermined address or POI.

The A696 has wireless capability (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate speeds up data exchange with digital peripherals (phones, printers, etc.) by up to two to three times over conventional Bluetooth.

For PowerPoint lovers there is ASUS' user-friendly application "Remote Presenter" that can be used to link and control presentations on a computer via Bluetooth.

All data is stored in flash memory, so information remains stored even if all battery power in the handheld has drained away, there is also an SD card slot.

On first glance this looks like a nice gadget for an image conscious office worker, but the fact that the device only runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, rather than the more up to date 6, is a bit of a let down.

Pricing will be around the 200 quid mark and it should hit shops in the next 2 weeks.