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Pepper Pad 3 Speeds Web Browsing

Pepper Computer has announced the Pepper Pad 3, a new version of its two pound, handheld wireless Web player. Manufactured by Korea’s Hanbit Electronics and running Linux Kernel 2.6m the Pepper Pad focusses on media and connectivity applications and tries to put “digital convergence” in the palms of your hands.

Built in part from open source software and powered by an AMD Geode LX800 processor, the Pepper Pad features a 7-inch 800 by 480 LCD screen, a 20 GB internal hard drive, a full QWERTY keypad, built-in speakers, built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth, and USB, a Web cam, and offers wireless Web browsing, photo viewing, live streaming of music and videos, remote control capabilities, plus voice communications.

The Pepper Pad can be used to surf the Web, process email, participate in instant messaging, plus download and stream music and movies. UPnP capabilities mean the Pepper Pad can be used to control PCs, TVs, CD and DVD players, set-top boxes, and other devices.

The Pepper Pad significantly predates Microsoft’s current so-called UMPC initiatives, and, being built on Linux, isn’t tied to a great deal of proprietary systems, applications, and code.

Hanbit licensed Pepper’s hardware and software designs in December 2005, and the Pepper Pad 3 is less expensive, smaller, and lighter than previous models. “Pepper has had the advantage of four year’s experience to fine-tune the Pepper Pad 3 to the specific consumer requirements for a handheld Web player,” said Do-gyun Lee, CEO of Hanbit. “They were able to build that knowledge into the third version of the Pepper Pad, resulting in an elegant, powerful product precisely aimed at today’s market.”

“Hanbit’s implementation of our design reflects the company’s combination of manufacturing innovation and excellence,” said Len Kawell, CEO of Pepper. “We’re very pleased that Hanbit has been able to go from licensing agreement to commercial production in such a short time.”

It remains to be seen whether customers will warm to the Pepper Pad over UMPC designs from manufacturers like Samsung and ASUS

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