Today, Dell will release the Dell Axim X3, the company's second-generation Pocket PC product line, which fills gaps in the company's handheld strategy. One low-cost Axim X3 product will especially appeal to consumers, the company told me, and another Axim X3 product will offer integrated Wi-Fi, the 802.11b wireless standard, capabilities that let it connect to wireless networks. Dell will sell the new thinner and lighter products alongside its existing Axim PDA, known as the Axim X5.
   "The Axim X3 is a totally new product, featuring a new style," Gervaise Nix, Dell's Axim product marketing manager, told me recently during a product briefing. "It's the thinnest and lightest PDA with integrated 802.11b hardware." The Axim X3 is available in two configurations, both of which are based on the Intel PXA263 processor. The low-end version features a 300MHz processor, 32MB of RAM, and 32MB of ROM and will retail for about $229. The high-end model, available with a 400MHz processor, 64MB of RAM, and 64MB of ROM, features a brighter screen, a cradle, and integrated wireless capabilities and will retail for about $380.
   Since Dell entered the PDA market in late 2002, the company has swept aside much of its competition. Dell's Axim products are currently the number-two selling Pocket PC devices, behind only HP, which picked up the popular iPAQ line of products in its merger with Compaq. When you factor in all handheld devices, including those that run on the Palm OS, Dell is number four worldwide. The company's success with handheld devices is hard to ignore, and Dell says it's now quickly gaining on HP.