by Rick Smith (January 6, 2001)
Here are some hot products we found at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, the Riveria and elsewhere during the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
3Com Kerbango Internet Radio
Hooked on streaming audio? Well, this new piece of audio equipment will bust your habit out of the home office and into the family room.
Kerbango is a slick, little boom box with a difference. Just twist an attractive blue knob on its retro-futurist case and you can tune the Internet radio station of your choice.
On top of that, you can set Kerbango's clock/radio style alarm to wake you with your favorite Cowboy-Techno grooves. Or, if you prefer to stay off-line, Kerbango will queue up MP3 tunes grabbed from your PC.
Tunes Internet radio stations
No PC required
AM/FM Tuner, antenna
Also plays MP3 files from your PC
Stereo, 2 watts per channel
320 x 240 LCD display
Web-synched clock w/ snooze alarm
Instant Messaging support
80 MHz PowerPC 32-bit processor
8 MB DRAM
8 MB Flash Memory
modem, Ethernet, and USB connections
Supports G2, RealAudio, and MP3
3Com - Audrey
Family-Friendly Internet Appliance
The word "information appliance" has been overused lately but 3Com just introduced a device worthy of the name. Audrey is a comfortable, tablet sized device designed to be as obtrusive as a toaster (only a bit more stylish).
Like a toaster, it comes on instantly, connects to services you already own, and serves up tasty slices of bread-and-butter functionality to the whole family, including a shared calendar, address book, and "channels" of Internet content.
Unlike other such offerings, Audrey can use your existing ISP and e-mail address, using its internal 56K modem or an optional DSL/cable-modem adapter. And, you are not limited to browsing watered-down "web clippings" but can browse the entire Web and set up your own "channels" available to you at a turn of Audrey's channel selector knob.
Another real convenience is Audrey's ability to accept a variety of input. You can compose e-mail or jot notes in the calendar using the included pen stylus, or record voice notes, or (if you prefer) type on its infrared keyboard.
All these features add up to a device that could easily inspire casual connectivity that the whole family will share and take for granted.
- Use existing ISP, e-mail address
- E-mail, web browser
- Web browser w/ channel selector
- Shared family calendar, address book
- Synchronize w/ up two Palm PDAs
- Stylus for drawings and hand-written message
- Infrared keyboard
- Voice recording for message, e-mail
- Stereo speakers
- 56K modem (cable/DSL requires Ethernet adapter)
- Automatic software updates via Web
- Five colors: ocean, meadow, sunshine, linen and slate
- Two USB ports (for printing)
If you are facing data overload and require better data management, you will welcome the innovative and high capacity modular drive platform from Iomega - the Peerless Drive System. This approach is important for the following reasons:
Addresses major needs in numerous business and consumer vertical markets.
Growth in the rapidly expanding digital music and digital imaging marketplace requires ever increasing removable capacity. This revolution is just starting.
Modular design is usable for both PC and Macintosh users and appears to offer good scalability at affordable costs - about a penny a megabyte according to company. Relocation of the hard drive electronics from the disks to a base station is said to be a first in the hard drive industry.
Read/write heads are fully sealed to eliminate dust contamination.
Security is addressed by using chip based identifier technology which protects against unauthorized attempts to read information.
The Peerless drive also:
offers 5, 10 and 20 GB capacities using proven hard drive technology
retails for $249. Peerless disks should retail for $129 (5 GB capacity), $159 (10 GB) and $199 (20 GB).
has a usable size and shape (about the same as a PDA - 5 inches tall by 4 inches wide)
has transfer rates in the 15 MB/sec range.
It should be shipping by the middle of 2001.
Kodak Advantix Preview
bridges digital and film worlds
With one foot in the digital domain and the other in advanced film, the Kodak Advantix Preview camera provides an excellent blend of these two imaging technologies. One of the key advantages of “shooting” digital is the ability to immediately SEE the image you have taken and this latest Advantix camera provides this capability to film picture takers.
During the preview mode, you can decide how many reprints are desired, if any, and that information is stored magnetically on the film. During processing, the selected number of each print is automatically produced. Even if zero prints are selected, the image is still permanently stored on the film negative and can be easily reprinted.
Kodak has also eliminated another problem with film photography - changing the film speed partway through a roll of film. To solve this with film today, and without wasting film, you either have several cameras or interchangeable camera backs, each loaded with a different film, to be able to change film speed. Now, this Advantix camera lets you change film, in the MIDDLE of the roll, and reinsert it later, WITHOUT losing any images!
This camera provides a wonderful transition camera for anyone who wants to start getting “into” digital, but isn’t ready to take the full plunge. I feel this camera would be great on outdoor trips, since having a bag full of film is much simpler than dealing with image downloads in the field. When you get home, you can order Picture CDs from Kodak, so you can easily have digital images, prints and long lasting film negatives.
The Kodak Advantix Preview camera also:
is the world’s first camera to add preview to an Advanced Photo System (APS) camera
has a zoom lens and state-of-the art flash
features easy point and shoot capability
is reasonably priced at around $300.
If the two new consumer cameras Kodak is introducing this summer were roommates, the DC5000, would be the likeable, rugged outdoors type (below). Its opposite, the DC4800, would more be the the smart yet approachable type. Read about it here.
Do you ever feel guilty about taking a piece of expensive electronics out of its padded bag and into the elements? Afraid your boss and/or spouse will kill you if your technical marvel is wrecked by a raindrop or sandbagged by a sand grain?
Someone at Kodak must have felt your angst, because they just introduced the multi-megapixel camera for you.
The DC5000 is a rugged, weather-proof device that doesn't skimp on technical specs despite its thick hide. The camera includes solid features like 2X optical zoom, built-in flash with red eye reduction, removeable CompactFlash and both an LCD and optical viewfinder.
Best of all, the camera's many options and functions are accessable via oversized controls designed to be workable by large or gloved hands.
So, if you dispaired that digital cameras couldn't weather the dirt and drizzle of your typical photo opportunities, Kodak's DC5000 might be your rugged ray of hope.
- Weather-proof construction
- Oversized controls
- 2.0 megapixel (1760 x 1168)
- 2X optical zoom (30 - 60 mm)
- 3x digital zoom
- Flash: Strobe w/ red-eye reduction
- Media: CompactFlash
- Viewfinder: 1.8" LCD and optical
- PC interface: USB, serial
- Shutter speeds: 1/2s to 1/755s
- Effects: B/W, sepia, borders
- Video: NTSC/PAL
- Power: 4 AA batteries
- Dimensions: 140mm x 89mm x 83mm (WxDxH)
- Weight: 459g (1 lbs) w/out batteries
Kodak DC4800 Digital Camera
Handy Yet Powerful
If the two new consumer cameras Kodak is introducing this summer were roommates, the DC4800 below would be the smart yet approachable one. Its opposite, the DC5000, would be more the likeable, rugged outdoors type (read about it here).
If you want a smart digital camera that doesn't require much of you at first, but has hidden depths to explore, the DC4800 could be your favorite of the two.
First you'll notice the unintimidating form factor, a relatively compact camera that looks a little like those sturdy German SLRs of the 60's. Unlike those cameras, however, the DC4800 has (if you chose) all the automatic features you would expect from a modern camera.
Whether you chose more control or less, you get serious resolution (3.1 megapixels) and decent 3x zoom lens with a nice, wide-angle view when zoomed out all the way. Of course, you get both an LCD and optical viewfinder, video output, built-in flash, and your choice of picture resolutions.
Get past its friendly features, though, and what sets this new camera apart (besides its generous pixel count) are its serious photographic specs.
For instance, its light gathering ability approaches that of ISO 400 film. Another SLR-like feature is its wide shutter speed control, from 1/1000th of a second to a full 16 seconds. You can finally take that river-of-blurring-headlights-at-night cityscape you always wanted to capture.
Taking together, the DC4800's automatic conveniences and photographic range might make this a friendly digital camera whose deeper qualities you could grow to respect (and really use).
- 3.1 megapixel (2160 x 1440)
- 3X-optical zoom (28 - 84 mm)
- 2X digital zoom
- 1.8" LCD and optical viewfinder
- PC interface: USB
- Image formats: lossy JPEG or uncompressed TIFF
- Shutter speeds: 1/1000s to 16s
- Effects: saturated, neutral, black- and-white, or sepia
- ISO settings of 100, 200, and 400
- Flash: Strobe w/ red-eye reduction
- Time between shots: 2 secs per picture
- Video out: NTSC or PAL
- Burst frame rate: 2 to 5 fps
- Power: Lithium-ion battery (charges in camera)
- Dimensions: 120mm x 65mm x 69mm (WxDxH)
- Weight: 320g (11.45 oz) w/out batteries
Samsung YEPP MP3 Players
Fit in the palm of your hand
The latest MP3 players from Samsung are the Hip-Hop YEPP and the Techno YEPP. They are both smaller and sleeker than the previous models, YEPP E-32 and YEPP E-64, introduced earlier this year. Both feature USB interface capability for faster downloads from your computer to the player. Both are PC and Mac compatible.
Hip-Hop YEPP is the smaller of the two and weighs only 1.7 ounces. It is one of the smallest MP3 players with removable memory and has dimensions of 3.2" x 2.4" x 0.97". It is shown above.
Techno YEPP is weighs slightly more (2.6 ounces) and has similar dimensions (3.3" x 2.6" x 0.75"). It has a silver color and a most unusual round LCD screen. The Techno YEPP is shown just above.
Both models also:
include a four mode equalizer with 3D sound effect
use Smart Media memory cards for expansion (32 mb or 64 mb)
are bundled with RealJukebox software and dozens of music titles
utilize CDDB technology to display track titles of music files
use a wired remote that attaches to the headphones so that volume and song selection can be changed while the YEPP remains in your pocket or bag
have two different versions, depending on internal memory: 32 mb and 64 mb
The 32 mb Hip-Hop YEPP is $169.99 and the 64 mb is $249.99. The versions of the Techno YEPP are $20 more than the Hip-Hop model with equivalent memory.
Samsung SDC-80 Digital Camera
Make a fashion statement while taking pictures
The SDC-80 is Samsung's latest digital camera. It is designed to be easy to use and kid friendly. It is available in four different colors representative of the seasons: Green (Spring), Blue (Summer), Orange (Autumn) and White (Winter). Because the colors are translucent, you can "see inside" the camera and view the digital electronic circuitry. This wild "retro" design should please both adults, teenagers and kids.
This Samsung SDC-80 digital camera also:
comes equipped with a 1394 connection
has 4 mb of internal flash memory
expands memory capacity with Smartmedia "Mini" card memory
has an 850K pixel, 1/3" CCD image element with f 2.8 lens
outputs either NTSC or PAL
is compatible with both PCs and Macs
uses a rechargable Lithium-Ion battery
includes Macro capability
has a detachable flash
uses a 1.8" LCD screen for preview
retails for $249 and is available now
Samsung Photo YEPP MP3 Player
The Photo YEPP, part of Samsung's MP3 player family, can store still images with text, as well as MP3 files.
has a lightweight design
plays back audio without jitter, due to all digital recording. No moving parts (unlike a portable CD player).
interfaces to computer via USB
uses removable SmartMedia memory cards (comes with 32 meg card)
is powered by a rechargable Lithium Ion battery for longer play time
includes a wired remote control, earphone and carrying case
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.
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.