Welcome to Reviews OnLine: ShowStoppers
by Rick Smith (June 8, 2000)


At the official evening media reception at PC EXPO, Wednesday, 28 June, 6-10 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis, in New York City, has the following sponsors.

AIM Technologies
Buffalo Technologies
Casady & Greene
Dantz Development
Go Figure
Internet Wire
Litronic Inc.
Matrox Graphics
Monte Cristo
Uniq Studios
V Communications

Read our previous coverage of
ShowStoppers at Fall Comdex
and ShowStoppers at PC Expo.

Belkin AeroCruiser Mouse
Custom colors, flying wing design
Mice don't have to be boring, commodity devices, according to Belkin. They've just introduced the AeroCruiserTM mouse line that jazzes up the one doodad you probably spend the most "hands-on" time with.

The 2-button, scroll-wheel mouse resembles a colorful beetle flexing its translucent wings. The bold design sprouts a curved, wing-like palm-rest just below the buttons that arches dramatically over empty space above the body of the mouse.

This design requires a decision from you since each AeroCruiser ships with graphite and grape colored wings to choose between. Or, for $5.99 you can pick up a pack of more fruity colors: blueberry, strawberry, and orange.

Along with this ability to cater to your personal style, the new mice offer useful functions such as one-touch zooming and 8-way scrolling (i.e. adds diagonals). Both features could be real time savers for graphic artists working on large layouts and serious websurfers.

Sure, a mouse is just a mouse. But, Belkin's AeroCruiser gives you a smart, stylish alternative to your typical mousy mouse at an affordable price.

- 2-Button
- 2 snap-on wings: graphite and grape
- Interface: USB or PS/2 (Mac or PC)
- $24.95

- Multiple browsing speed
- One-touch zoom
- 8-way scrolling (w/ diagonals)

- $5.99 wing pack: blueberry, strawberry, and orange 


Compaq Presario 1400 Series Notebooks
Colorful, Affordable, Portable
Compaq unveiled the new Presario 1400 series of notebooks that sport a sculpted, translucent design in your choice of swappable color overlays: Emerald Green, Ruby Red, Amber Orange, Sapphire Blue and Amethyst Purple.

Another nifty feature (also aimed squarely at the back-to-school crowd) is one-touch digital audio playback that lets you jam to a groove even when the notebook is closed.

- Intel Celeron cpu
- 566 MHz to 600 MHz
- 64MB
- 6GB hard drive
- 13" DSTN or 13.3" TFT
- MP3 Player
- Color Kit options: choice of 4 colors
- Starts at $1499 


Intel DotStation
Turnkey Web appliance
Intel is promoting its new, turnkey Web appliance for service providers called the DotStation. It is basically an iMac-like device that e-commerce institutions or ISPs can give away, sell or lease to their customers.

In true, thin-client tradition, the DotStation won't include a CD-ROM drive or removable storage of any kind but can be remotely updated via the Web. But, otherwise, the DotStation is hardly crippled since it includes a 300 or 500 MHz Celeron and a 4.3 GB hard drive.

Another interesting feature is that the DotStation includes not just a 56Kbps modem but a built-in telephone. This suggests some interesting possible markets for the device. For example, your broker might give you a "free" DotStation that just happens to boot up showing your fluctuating portfolio. The built-in phone then becomes your instant hotline to the broker for conducting vocal trades.

Whatever its application, the DotStation is an interesting development showing that Intel is waking up to a whole Web-centric, non-Windows world.


- Availability: Fall 2000
- Price: Unannounced
- Software: custom version of Red Hat Linux
- CPU: Intel Celeron (300 MHz to 400 MHz),
- RAM: 32MB
- Storage: 4.3GB hard disk
- 56-kbps modem
- Keyboard w/ integrated track pad
- 14" CRT 1024x768 (800x600 for web browsing)
- Built-in telephone
- Remote updates and trouble-shooting 


Kodak DC5000
Rugged Resolution
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
- CompactFlash
- 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 


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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