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3GSM: Toshiba brings notebooks and phones together

Toshiba's first Windows Mobile phones enhance security and add extra features to your notebook too.

Toshiba used the opening day of the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona to signal its entry into the smartphone market by launching its first Windows Mobile phones.

The G500 is a smartphone running Windows Mobile Standard, while the G900, with its slide-out QWERTY keyboard and three inch VGA screen will be one of the first phones to support the recently-launched Windows Mobile 6 operating system.

Both phones have features familiar from Toshiba's Satellite and Portg lines, such as a fingerprint sensor for enhanced security that can also be used to tap and scroll to aid application navigation.

The software included with the new devices also works with a notebook PC over a Bluetooth connection meaning that users can turn their phones into remote controls to drive a PowerPoint presentation or to type a text on a notebook if they can't answer a phone call and want to explain why.

Those with a Toshiba notebook with an accelerometer that locks the hard drive if it detects sudden motion are already aware that this can be used as a security device, triggering an alarm if the notebook is moved. With the new phones, instead of turning the alarm on by hand you can set it to arm automatically if your phone gets out of Bluetooth range and to disarm when you're back in range so you don't set it off accidentally when you start work again.The G900 acts as a USB host so you can plug in a USB flash drive or even an external hard drive or digital camera to access files and photos, using the supplied adapter.

Both the G500 and G900 are 3G phones, offering the faster 3.6Mbps HSDPA where networks support allows, EDGE where 3G isn't available and 802.11b and g.

The devices also include a voice over IP (VoIP) client which, while initially available only for Toshiba's SME VoIP PABX, will be extended to support other VoIP systems in time. Secondary VGA cameras mean you can use 3G for video calls.

Both phones are expected to be available unlocked from direct suppliers and through the mobile networks within six months.

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