Thursday, October 10, 2002
Home EntertainmentNew York Times on Windows XP Media Center Edition
Category: Home Entertainment

Excellent New York Times article assessing Microsoft's new Windows XP Media Center Edition, which is supposed to turn your PC into a home entertainment hub. By the way, there was a piece on Slate yesterday slagging off TiVo. It made a lot of solid points, but the timing is a little curious, since it's appearing on a site owned by Microsoft at exactly the moment when Microsoft is pushing this new version of XP designed to replace TiVo.
Read #

PeripheralsGizmodo Pick: Samsung's SyncMaster 241MP
Category: Peripherals

img_241mp.jpgNow this is my dream monitor: Samsung's flagship display, the SyncMaster 241MP, which has a 24", widescreen, 1900x1200 resolution screen. It's got a built-in TV tuner, is HDTV-ready, and even comes with speakers. The price tag: $4,500. But are you really all that shocked?
Read [Via EnvyNews] #

PDAsViewSonic's Pocket PC: A Palm Killer?
Category: PDAs

viewsonicpc.jpgZDnet reviews ViewSonic's Pocket PC and declares that with a retail price of just $299, this lightest of Pocket PC's might prove to be a very serious rival not just to the rest of the Pocket PC market, but to Palm, Handspring, and Sony as well. But don't count the Palm platform out yet. Apart from the huge numbers of people use a Palm-based handheld, don't discount the fact that the Palm OS does a pretty good job of accomplishing most of what a PDA is supposed to do. And if the new Zire is any indication, Palm understands the importance of the low end of this market.

Regardless, the most immediate impact of these new ViewSonic and Dell handhelds won't be on Palm, Handspring, and Sony - it will be to drive margins down in the Pocket PC business, something that has already happened to a large extent in the Palm market.
Read [Via PocketPCThoughts] #

PDAsA Wireless Keyboard for PDAs
Category: PDAs

wirelesslink.jpgNow here's where being cordless comes in handy: a wireless, folding keyboard for PDAs from Micro Innovations.
Read Amazon
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PeripheralsMouse Roundup
Category: Peripherals

opticalmouse1.jpgA nice, but not particularly in-depth, survey of the dizzying array of options out there when it comes to mice these days: corded, cordless, optical, etc. I've recently just made the switch to an optical mouse (Microsoft's Wheel Mouse Optical, pictured at right), but can't bring myself to buy a cordless one just yet, especially since I can't remember there ever being a time when my mouse having a cord was a problem.
Read Amazon - Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical #

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
CellphonesWait a Second...
Category: Cellphones

siemens_sx56_01.jpgYep, that does look exactly like T-Mobile's Pocket PC Phone. But it's not. It's the new SX56 Pocket PC Phone from Siemens for AT&T Wireless. The SX56 uses the same exact reference design as T-Mobile's Pocket PC Phone, and has the same 206 MHz Intel processor, 32MB of RAM, and 12-bit display. Same big retail price too: $549.99.
Read #

PDAsThe Coming Pocket PC Price War
Category: PDAs

Looks like the two new handhelds from Dell are going to be priced at $199 and $299, which can only mean one thing: a Pocket PC price war. Finally.
Read #

PeripheralsLCD TV/Monitors
Category: Peripherals

envision.bmp
Reviews of a couple of new LCD monitor/TV combos, the 17-inch EN-7500 LCD from Envision Peripherals (pictured at right), and the 18.1-inch Xenon 1810E from Elegreen. It looks like these hybrid displays are starting to really take off, but how come both of these models come in a 5:4 aspect ratio instead of a 16:9?
EN-7500 Amazon
Xenon 1810E [Via EnvyNews] #

Home EntertainmentPortable DVDs: More Luxury Than Necessity
Category: Home Entertainment

LA Times article examining the curious state of portable DVD players and the lack of demand for them. There's one simple reason why they haven't caught on - people can watch movies on their laptops. Still, once the prices for these come down and they cost around $100 (and prices are falling - some portable DVD players cost as little as $325 or so) I suspect that a lot of people would rather bring one of these on vacation with them rather than lug around a laptop.
Read [Registration Required] Amazon #

Home EntertainmentFinally, a DVR With a DVD Burner
Category: Home Entertainment

A DVD/DVR combo from Panasonic that might just be the Holy Grail for disgruntled TiVo owners. The DMR-HS2 has a 40GB hard disk for recording up to 52 hours of television, and a built-in DVD burner for archiving shows to DVD-R when you the hard drive runs out of space. Great news for anyone trying to build up a collection of Simpsons episodes (something that isn't easy to do with a TiVo), but you can be sure that the networks and studios are not going to be very happy about it being easy to make digital copies of its shows.
Read #

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
PDAsUPDATE: Leaked Dell PDA Specs
Category: PDAs

Lots of buzz about the new Dell Pocket PC today. CNET reports that leaked specs have turned up that describe the new handheld as having Secure Digital and Compact Flask expansion slots, a 3.5-inch transflective TFT display, and a jog dial. Not much more info available, such as price or memory. How long until some photos of the Cartera (as it's rumored to be named) are leaked as well?
Read

UPDATE: Anil writes in that some leaked "pre-production renderings" from a Dell PowerPoint presentation turned up a couple of days ago.
Read #

PeripheralsDisappointing Gadget of the Week: Viewsonic's airpanel 100
Category: Peripherals

viewsonicairpanel.jpg80211-planet.com reviews ViewSonic's airpanel 100 wireless monitor. A wireless monitor sounds great, since you'll have one less cable to plug in, right? Calling the airpanel 100 a wireless monitor is something of a misnomer, since with it's 10.4 inch LCD touchscreen, 128 MB of RAM, 206 MHz processor, and Windows CE .NET operating system, it's more like a very disappointing Tablet PC. Except that unbelievably it doesn't even have built-in 802.11b - you have to get your own PC card for that. For a thousand dollars, you're much better off spending a little bit more money and getting a Tablet PC when they debut next month.
Read Amazon #

Laptops/PCsThe Best Laptops for Under $1,500
Category: Laptops/PCs

toshibasatellite.jpgTechTV on the best laptops for under $1,500. Their pick: Toshiba's Satellite 1405-S151, which for just $1299 has some pretty impressive specs: a 1.2MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive, and a CD-RW/DVD combo drive. Read Amazon
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PeripheralsWireless Webcam from Logitech
Category: Peripherals

wirelesslogitech.jpgLogitech plans to release a wireless webcam with a resolution of 510X492. Curiously, the Logitech QuickCam Cordless uses RF rather than 802.11b or even Bluetooth.
Read #

PDAsWaiting for the Dell Pocket PC
Category: PDAs

David Berlind of ZDnet on why Dell's Pocket PC will almost certainly be worth waiting for.
Read #

Home EntertainmentControl Your Robot With Your Cellphone
Category: Home Entertainment

From Fujitsu, a new robot that can be remotely controlled by cellphone. The Maron-1 is designed for home security and can operate household appliances as well.
Read [Via Slashdot] #

PDAsZire: The Mass Market Palm
Category: PDAs

zire_small.jpgCNN.com on how the Zire, Palm's new budget handheld, is being aimed at students, housewives, and other non-business users. The price is right ($99.99), but I suspect that budget handhelds won't take off with the general public until they are more than just fancy day planners. They need to have wireless Internet as well, something that won't happen for a few more years at least.
Read Amazon #

Monday, October 07, 2002
Laptops/PCsA Tablet PC for the Education Market
Category: Laptops/PCs

tablet_normal.gifChris from TabletPCTalk points out a new Tablet PC for the educational market from British company RM. It has a 10.1" display, integrated 802.11b, a 733MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, and a 20GB hard drive. The Teacher's version even has a biometric fingerprint scanner to protect it from being used by "inquisitive" students.
Read [Thanks, Chris] #

PDAsForget Fiber Optics
Category: PDAs

Not sure whether this is such a good idea, but researchers at NTT DoCoMo have figured out a way transmit data between PDAs by having it pass through, now get this, the human body. And quickly too, at about 10 megabits per second. Anyone else both freaked out and impressed by the fact that our bodies have higher bandwidth than a T-1 line?
Read [Via Slashdot] #

Laptops/PCsYes, the Gadgets Are Better in Japan
Category: Laptops/PCs

Great article in the San Jose Mercury News about retailers like Dynamism and TKNY (which is just a few blocks from my apartment!) that import crazy gadgets and super-slim laptops from Japan that will never be officially released here in the US.
Read [Thanks Jon!] #

PDAsPalm vs. Pocket PC
Category: PDAs

pegnx70v.jpgInfoSync piece comparing the relative merits of Palms versus Pocket PCs in light of the release of the Sony's new CLIE PEG-NX70V handheld [pictured at right], which is the first Palm with hardware specs that rival a Pocket PC, as well as the first to run Palm's new OS 5.
Read Amazon #

PDAsVeo's New Line of PDA Cameras
Category: PDAs

veosdcam.jpgA new line of digital camera attachment for PDAs from Veo called the Photo Traveler. These pop into an SD or Compact Flash slot. They're priced to go on sale later this month at $99.99, and with 24-bit color and 640x480 resolution, it looks like they'll take pretty decent pics for a PDA camera.
Read [Via PalmInfoCenter] #

Peripherals130 Million MP3s on One Disk
Category: Peripherals

Speaking of memory, the BBC is reporting on a breakthrough in using individual atoms for memory storage that could eventually result in CD-ROMs that can store 650 million megabytes of data. That's 130 million MP3s, which is probably more than every song ever recorded.
Read #

Peripherals1GB Secure Digital Memory Cards on Their Way
Category: Peripherals

Matshushita's developed a 1GB version of its Secure Digital line of memory cards that should be out in about a year. They've also got plans for a 2GB card by 2004, and a road map for future development that projects a 16GB card within a few years.
Read [Via EnvyNews] #

PeripheralsExternal CD-RW Drive Roundup
Category: Peripherals

hpdvd.jpgWith prices dropping, CNET thinks it's the best time to buy a DVD-RW drive. They survey several of the drives out there, including HP's new DVD200i drive [pictured at right].
Read Amazon #

Home EntertainmentThe Ultimate Universal Remote?
Category: Home Entertainment

A new universal remote control from Philips called the iPronto which doesn't just control your entertainment center - you can also access the Internet with it over an 802.11b connection and use it to control appliances around the house. And for all you Casanovas out there, you can even program the iPronto to dim the lights, close the drapes, and light the fireplace all at the touch of a button.
Read #

Saturday, October 05, 2002
WirelessDeal on SMC's Wireless Access Point at Amazon
Category: Wireless

smcWAP.jpgIt's amazing how much the price of wireless networking gear has dropped in just the past year: SMC's Wireless 4-Port Cable/DSL Router with Print Server is just $98.95 at Amazon after rebate.
Amazon #

CellphonesUPDATE: Sony Ericsson
Category: Cellphones

T68I_120_1.jpg CNET roundup of the current and future models in Sony Ericsson's line of cellphones. Their T68i cameraphone (pictured at right) which just came out last month, is expected to be a big hit in the UK, and sells over here for just $49.99 with activation.
Read Amazon

UPDATE It seems that the T68i isn't for sale at Amazon anymore, not sure what happened, but if anybody knows, write in and let me know. #

Digital CamerasLuminous Landscape: Film's Lost the Battle
Category: Digital Cameras

1ds-small.jpgThe Luminous Landscape has an extensive review of Canon's new 11 megapixel digital camera, the EOS 1Ds. Comparing it to 35mm, they conclude that "film has definitively lost the battle".
Read [Via Slashdot] #

Friday, October 04, 2002
Laptops/PCsThe Vaio W: Sony's All-in-One
Category: Laptops/PCs

vaiow.jpgSony's bringing the Vaio W all-in-one desktop PC, which is popular in Japan, to the US. Not sure what the big deal over all-in-one desktops is. If you really just want something unobtrusive, just get a laptop. Still the W looks pretty cool, and if sales of the iMac are any indication, a lot of people want something simple and elegant on their desks.
Read #

Home EntertainmentLearn How To Convert Your VHS Collection to DVD
Category: Home Entertainment

Tom's Hardware Guide, with a very in-depth on everything you need to know to transfer VHS and 8mm tape to DVD, from the hardware you're gonna need, to the actual process itself.
Read #

Home EntertainmentTake Pictures with Your Nokia Camera Phone, Then Look at Them on TV
Category: Home Entertainment

Nokia has a new satellite digital television receiver with built-in Bluetooth. Why would this be useful? Well the Mediamaster 230 S is designed to work with any Nokia's new Bluetooth-enabled camera phones, so that you can transer images to the receiver and then look at them on your television. Comes out in Europe by the end of the year.
Read #

Home EntertainmentQuick Links - Friday, October 4th
Category: Home Entertainment

Slashdot reviews the new T-Mobile Sidekick. Cmdr Taco gives it the thumbs up. Read

Everything USB reviews Microsoft's new Wireless Optical Mouse Blue. Read Amazon

Tom's Hardware Guide puts the new iPod for Windows to the test. Read Amazon

Kodak and Sanyo are demonstrating a prototype of a 15" Organic Light Emitting Diode display. OLED displays promise eventually to look better, cost less, and use less power than LCD displays. Read

Via InfoSync, a case for a handheld that unfolds into a full-sized keyboard. Read
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CellphonesA Cellphone that Knows When to Ring More Loudly
Category: Cellphones

A first-look at Hitachi's new color-display P300 cellphone that runs on Sprint PCS's new high-speed Vision network. What's really interesting about the P300 is that it has an optical sensor so that the phone can tell when it's hidden away in a pocket or a bag, and automatically ring just a little but more loudly.
Read #

Home EntertainmentDigital Light Projection
Category: Home Entertainment

plusheDLP.jpgTechTV on Digital Light Projection, or DLP, which with a resolution of 1280x848, is supposed to be the hottest thing in home theater technology at the moment. Their pick for an "affordable" DLP projector: the Piano HE-3200 from Plus.
Read #

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