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Comdex roundup PDAs, mobiles, wireless and gizmos

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Part Two

PDAs and Communicators

Psion was showing the Netbook, which has been in an extended development/deployment situation in Europe for over a year now. This, plus the company's recent merger of Psion Enterprise with Teklogix, surely signals a US push for the EPOC-based PDA.

As regards new products, Psion has a number of Bluetooth products coming out, one of which is a Bluetooth PC Card that'll allow the netBook to go wireless. Another is a USB Bluetooth device for the PC that lets it talk to the Bluetooth card. And finally, there's a Bluetooth earpiece/mic, which goes with the next rev PDA/pager/phone device Psions.

Handspring's Springboard is coming up with new add-ons, the most notable being Geodiscovery's GPS Springboard module, the Geode. The unit itself is a little bit bulky but it contains space for two AA batteries and two MMC slots. The MMC slots are provided because maps can be quite large (especially city maps).

Cardaccess, the maker of the popular 56kbps thinmodem, has updated it with 8MB of Flash memory, effectively doubling the capacity of the Visor deluxe. They also will be offering an Audible player, which will have four hour playback capacity with special voice-optimized compression. Other interesting Springboards being offered include: voice recorder, CDMA wireless module, various Minstrel-based wireless ISP solutions, and a Bluetooth module. Finally don't forget Handspring's own Visorphone, which (unsurprisingly, given the name) turns your Visor into a cell phone.

Audio gizmos

Aside from those of us living in small apartments or dorm rooms, few people actually enjoy congregating around their PCs for traditional entertainment purposes better suited for a stereo or home theater setup. To help solve this problem, Turtle beach has designed two innovative new products for routing PC audio around the home, the Sonic Link and the AudioTron.

Utilizing a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter, Turtle Beach's Sonic Link can beam MP3 and WMA audio anywhere around the house. Users simply need to deploy the RF receiver anywhere within 100ft of the PC to access the audio streaming through the air. External speakers can be connected to the receiver via either speaker jack or RCA connector.

To facilitate music playback, the Sonic Link comes with a universal remote that controls everything from simple volume control to advanced play list selection. In addition, the remote also works as a 3-in-1 remote with the ability to operate any modern TV, VCR, DVD, or stereo system. Powered by a 2.4GHz signal, the remote easily goes through walls and should be effective up to 100ft.

For users looking for a high quality, PC/Internet based home audio system, Turtle Beach offers the AudioTron, a wired solution for routing audio around the home. Using a HomePNA phone line network or ethernet network, the AudioTron is able to scan hard drives on the network and stream digital audio files off of them.

Enjoy your favorite MP3s from the living room. While audio files are stored on local PCs, the AudioTron does perform the actual decoding on-board. There is full support for all file formats, from basic .wav files to MP3s of any bit-rate encoding along with support for ID3 tags. ®

Comdex Roundup part 1 - mobos
Comdex Roundup part 3 - graphics and weird stuff

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