Welcome to Reviews OnLine: MobileFocus
by Rick Smith (November 12, 2000)


The latest in mobile technology is being demonstrated at this event before the Comdex show floor opens.

Here is a list of some of the event sponsors:

Eartha Systems
Interact Commerce
Kyocera Wireless
Thinque Systems
Twin Paradox

Casio Cassiopeia E-125 Pocket PC
Want a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) that is more colorful that the grey electronic “scratchpads” your friends have? Run applications that look more like the Microsoft Office applications that you use on your Windows PC? Use videos for effective visual presentations from your PDA? Play tunes on a PDA while you read and write your E-mail? If you say yes, Casio has the answer with their new Cassiopeia E-125 Pocket PC.

Intended primarily for the business user, this E-123 Pocket PC includes business software applications and the ability to connect wirelessly along with video playback and E-mail capability. The key feature is that important business spreadsheets can not only be carried as “view-only” documents, but can be run and manipulated as well.

Another unique feature of the Cassiopeia is the “Action Control” dial mounted on the left side of the unit. It enables you to easily scroll the screen, select menu items and to perform other operations, simply by rotating and pressing the dial with your thumb. The front “Cursor Button” makes cursor movement much more intuitive by working like PC arrow keys.

Since this device has a vivid color display, the Casio E-125 can display JPEG still images from digital cameras. A slide presentation can also be created from these images and shown directly from the E-125. By using an optional digital camera card, both still and moving images can be captured directly on the Cassiopeia and played back. Mobile Video converting software is included to convert popular video formats, such as MPEG-1, AVI and QuickTime, so they can be played back on the Cassiopeia. The mobile calendar software also makes use of this color display by effectively differentiating the appointments using color.

The new Cassiopeia E-125 Pocket PC also:

  • downloads data from an office PCs or servers a faster throughput speed due to the USB (universal serial bus) equipped cradle connection. (Standard serial is also available.)

  • includes Microsoft Pocket Word and Microsoft Pocket Excel.

  • uses a 240 x 320 Dot Hyper Amorphous Silicon thin film transistor (TFT) 65,536 color LCD screen. This low-power LCD is designed for the precise reproduction of both text and images, including motion video and still images.

  • is equipped with a CF Type II (the thicker one) card slot. This can be used for easy addition of increased memory, digital camera cards, modem cards or LAN cards.

  • communicates wirelessly using a mobile phone. With Casio’s CDMA communication cable, in conjunction with a data compatible CDMA phone and cable, you can wirelessly access the Internet with the E-125.

  • is compatible with IrDA 1.2 infrared communication standards.

  • plays both MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) music formats. Both a mono internal speaker and stereo headphone 3.5 mm mini-jack are built-in.

  • features easy E-mail Setup. Included software can copy PC e-mail settings (DNS, POP, ID, etc.) to the Cassiopeia’s settings. E-mail is compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Outlook Express 5.0.

  • uses a 150 MHz RISC VR4122 CPU with 32MB of memory.

  • weighs 250 g. Runs approximately 8 hours on the Lithium Ion battery. 


    Documents To Go Professional Edition
    Modify Office Docs on Palm
    The latest office-in-your-pocket product from DataViz goes beyond just viewing desktop documents on your Palm PDA by allowing you to actually update Word and Excel documents on the handheld device.

    The word-processing component of Documents To Go Professional supports rich editing features you'd expect in a desktop application like bold, italic, underline, justifications, indentations, numbered or bulleted lists.

    However, DataViz has taken the spreadsheet application beyond the basics you'd expect on a Palm. Not only can you edit cells and recalculate a single page spreadsheet, you can import more complicated multi-page workspaces as well.


    - View/edit Microsoft Word and Excel files
    - Formatting features:
        bold, italic, underline
        justifications, indentations
        bullets and numbers.
    - Spreadsheet features:
        multiple sheets
        editing and recalculation
    - Requires Palm OS 3.0  


    Dell Inspiron 8000 Notebook
    Hollywood style, Backlot Features
    "The name's Storm...Storm Grey."

    Even the colors of the new Inspiron 8000 notebook sound like a movie line.

    That's appropriate given all the multimedia ins and outs on this 600 MHz notebook. For starters, the Inspiron can drink raw digital video straight from a FireWire (IEEE 1394) hose, edit it into shape using included Dell Movie Studio software, and then spit out a finished masterpiece directly as pristine S-Video.

    If you are feeling less creative, you can always kick back and play the latest Bond flick on the optional 8x DVD player and enjoy the sound provided by the included Harman/Kardon designed audio components and speakers. Or, you can pipe digital audio straight into your home theater system.

    A particularly nice feature is the 2nd modular bay that lets you plug in an additional CD-RW or Zip drive. Other standout features include a 14.1" SXGA+ LCD display driven by a high- powered 32MB 4X AGP Mobility M4 chip set from ATI and optional color palm rest inserts.


    - Starts at $1,899
    - 600-MHz Intel Mobile Celeron
    - 64 MB of SDRAM
    - 14.1-inch SXGA+
    - 4X AGP ATI Mobility M4 (32 MB video RAM)
    - 5 GB1 hard disk (up to 32GB)
    - 24X CD-ROM, 8X CD-RW or 8X DVD
    - S-Video, composite video out
    - Harman/Kardon audio
    - 56K V.90 modem and 10/100 Ethernet communications
    - IEEE 1394 port (FireWire, digital video)
    - digital audio out ports
    - optional palm rest inserts:
      Tahoe Blue, Storm Grey,
      Golden Yellow and Royal Purple
    - 2nd modular bay for floppy, zip, CD, hard disk, Zip 


    Miracle paper meets magic pen
    Post-It(R) Notes with a brain
    Those sticky notes that took over the business world my be about to get the brain transplant they need to take over the digital world.

    This could be big, folks. So, follow along here (this may take some explanation):

    First, some extremely clever chaps from Anoto (we've written about them before) came up with an idea for paper that is peppered with a nearly invisible, seemingly random pattern of dots. They then build a teensy little scanner into a smart pen that reads the pattern as you write or draw, so it always knows precisely where you are on the paper. Whoala! A digitizer, without the pesky tablet.

    Of course, all your cool drawings and writings wouldn't do you much good bottled up inside a smart pen. So, the radio wizards at Ericsson helped Anoto incorporate BlueTooth technology into their pen to let all that inspired data out, without wires.

    Finally, 3M knows a bit about applying cool science to paper, so it quickly saw the potential of marrying Anoto's magic pen with their magic paper (i.e. Post It(R) Notes).

    The result of this 3-way collaboration?

    3M sticky notes and note paper that, thanks to the Anoto Pen, remember what you write on them and transmit all this inspired note taking wirelessly to your Ericsson phone or BlueTooth-equipped PDA or laptop.

    Best of all, you might not have to wait all that long, for this science-fiction scenario to become retail reality, since the Anoto is already in production and BlueTooth devices are starting to emerge. 


    Intel Deep Forest
    Concept desktop PC
    What looks like a sixties lunchbox, but has phenomenal computing power? The answer is Intel’s concept prototype of a small, high performance computer system code-named “Deep Forest”. This design combines the power of the Intel Pentium 4 architecture in a space saving chassis. It features high performance graphics for Internet access and multimedia applications.

    The most unusual feature of the Deep Forest is that chassis is sealed. Manufacturers can configure options using the low profile AGP4X slot and CNR card slot. End users can attach up to seven USB devices directly, without requiring a hub.

    The Intel Deep Forest concept desktop PC also:

  • can be operated either horizontally in a desktop configuration or vertically as a micro tower. It’s the user’s choice.

  • has a built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN connection

  • displays graphics with the low profile ATI Radeon AGP4X DVI compliant graphics adapter

  • manages its power consumption and can “Suspend to RAM”. It is ACPI 1.0b compliant.

  • was jointly developed with Hewlett-Packard

  • proves that high performance can be packaged in a small chassis

  • utilizes a front to back airflow, which helps cool the 1,500 MHz Pentium 4 processor. Fan speed is actively controlled.

  • features the Intel i850 chipset

  • is powered by an external 25V, 120W power supply

  • measures about 10"x 13"x 4" 


    Microsoft Tablet PC
    While only a prototype, this Tablet PC is an example of a full fledged PC, running "Whistler", Microsoft's next generation OS similar to Windows 98 or 2000 today. It has a 10 gigabyte drive, a 500+ MHz Transmeta processor, 128 Mb of RAM, USB ports, wireless networking and is capable of running full-sized Microsoft Office applications. It consists of a thin flat panel display with the entire computer sandwiched underneath. It not only reads native file formats, it can edit them as well, since it has just as much computing power as a standard tower, but in a much lighter weight package. It is NOT simply an Internet Appliance, but can function as your ONLY computer capable of performing work instead of being a satellite data terminal like most PDAs.

    Bill Gates spoke about this at his Keynote Address at Comdex Fall 2000.



    Sony PictureBook Climbs Aboard The Transmeta CPU Express
    High Performance and Long Run Times Promised
    In a significant move, Sony Corporation has announced its category creating, high performance, ultralight 2.2 pound VAIO C1 PictureBook notebook computer will be powered by the Transmeta 600 MHz Crusoe processor. This processor is built for low power consumption using 18 micron CMOS technology.

    This is the first consumer product to use the long awaited Crusoe processor. This latest version of the Sony Picturebook, with state of the art Transmeta technology, should open up a wide range of new applications and opportunities in various industries. The use of this processor may signal Sony's intention of releasing of more revolutionary mobile products in the near future.

    The Crusoe TM5600 processor is capable of running at speeds up to 800 MHz in the near future, while reducing power consumption over previous Transmeta and other competitive processors. This should significantly increase the battery life of the Sony C1 from the current 1 to 6 hour range to a 2 to 10+ hour range, depending on battery pack configuration and computing tasks. By using less power, users gain in several ways. Devices can be made smaller and thereby increasing their mobility since battery packs could be made smaller and large heat sinks and cooling fans can be eliminated. The devices will also run at a cooler operating temperature, since the processor won't generate as much heat.

    With a base price of $2300, the new VAIO PictureBook C1VN ultra notebook features the Crusoe 600 MHz processor, with a Level 2 cache of 512KB, 128 megabytes of SDRAM and a 12 GB hard drive. During our testing of Intel powered PictureBooks, we have found the unit to be fast and extremely stable. We also find that the Picturebook series is extremely well designed, highly adaptable, easy to use and perform at high levels in both normal and demanding real world conditions. The new Crusoe processor offers the promise of extended power and cool temperatures to an already cool design. I wonder if a new operating system option is in the Picturebook's future as well.

    The popular progressive scan camera is still built-in and with Transmeta's latest processor technology, I feel these units should fly off the shelves even faster. 


    Xircom Rex 6000 MicroPDA
    Want a small portable digital assistant? Think the Palm is too big? Want one that weighs under two ounces and can easily fit into a shirt pocket? Retails for under $150? The Xircom Rex 6000 provides this and more.

    With the same dimensions as a PCMCIA/PC Card adapter, the Rex 6000 combines an LCD screen, a pen stylus and easy to use application software. These applications include a calendar, address book, to-do list and memo pad. You can store thousands of contact names and numbers and the Rex can notify you of upcoming appointments, meetings and events. Because of its sleek design and miniature form factor, it’s easy to carry around with you ALL the time.

    Synchronizing the Rex and a PC is also quite easy. Simply insert the Rex directly into a lapbook PCMCIA/PC Card slot or place it into a USB cradle connected to your PC. It can then synchronize with Microsoft Outlook or other PIM software packages.

    Xircom has also created REX.net, a one-stop Internet information service that contains Web content that can be easily transfered to the Rex, during synchronization. News, stock quotes, sports scores and weather reports will be available for download.

    The Xircom Rex 6000 also:

  • has a 240 x 120 pixel black and white LCD touch screen with stylus

  • features a chrome finish

  • contains 2 MB of memory

  • has seven hot keys for quick application switching

  • uses five navigation buttons for easy one-handed operation

  • run for up to 6 months on a single battery

  • weighs 1.4 ounces (40 g).

  • Measures 3 3/8" x 2 1/8" x 3/16" (8.57 cm x 5.40 cm x 5 mm) and fits inside a standard laptop PCMCIA/PC Card slot.  


    Want to see all this page in a more compact form? View the linked version of this article. It's a smaller download than this page, and each product's information is only a link away.

    Copyright © 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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    Product Briefs
    Desktop PCs & Servers
      Ergo Thunder Brick 2
    Eizo FlexScan Displays
    Future Power epower
    HP NetServer LXr 8500
    Meridian Snap! Server
    Digital Cameras
      3Com HomeConnect
    Agfa ePhoto 780c
    Canon A5 Zoom
    Kodak DC265
    Minolta 3D 1500
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    Sharp VN-EX1U MPEG4
    Toshiba PDR-M4 & M5
    Notebooks & Mobile
      3Com Palm VII
    Fosa Mini Notebook
    Pionex Elite
    Quantex Celeron Laptop
    Sharp Actius PC-A250
    Sony F250/F290 Notebooks
    Talontek MPC-2000
    Mobile/Wireless Communications
      3Com 56K GSM Modem
    Novatel Merlin Modem
    Xircom Ethernet CompactCard
    Mobile Software
      Etak Traffic Touch
    DataViz Documents To Go
    Softbook E-book System
      Agfa SnapScan Touch
    Visioneer Strobe Pro
      Brother MP-21 C Portable
    Tektronix Phaser 780
    Xerox 480cx
    Software & Books
      Avid Cinema for Windows
    Caere PageKeeper Pro
    Corex Area Code Fix
    Docent Outliner
    Macmillan Office 2K Books
    Paragon FoneSync
    Symantec pcAnywhere 9.0
    Sybari Antigen 5.5
    V-Communications AutoSave
      InFocus 330
    Mitsubishi S120
      Club Photo
    Intelliquis Traffic Builder
    NETSilicon NET+Works
    Panasite Web Builder
      Calluna 250 Mb PCCard
    Castlewood 2.2Gb ORB
    Iomega Clik!
    Teac CD-W 54E
    Batteries & Power
      Duracell Ultra Battery
    Electrofuel PowerPad
    Eveready Energizer ACCU
    Graphics & Video
      Belkin USB Video Bus
    Daeyang VR Headset
    Kodak/Intel Picture CD
    Nogatech USB TV
    Number Nine SR9
      Logitech Cordless mouse
    Raritan Switchman
    Targus USB MiniMouse
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