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Comdex Fall 2002 Report
8 Pages - 1/8


Another exciting year of Comdex is knocking at the door, the biggest North American technology show showing off tech innovations from every corner of the world. Small, medium and big businesses take advantage of this yearly event in Las Vegas to introduce their latest products. We were on the show floor from Monday through Thursday and hereís our little overview of some of the latest news in the tech world.



DELL

DELL made some nice headlines at Comdex 2002 with their brand new AXIM X5 Pocket PCs. Two different versions are available, while they share the same exterior design, the advanced version features an Intel  X-Scale Processor at
400MHz,64MB of SDRAM Memory and a 48MB Intel StrataFlash ROM memory compared to the basic version that has a slightly slower Processor running at 300MHz, 32MB of SDRAM and 32MB of ROM Memory.


Both models feature a 3.5Ē QVGA TFT 16bit touch sensitive display, Integrated Compact Flash Type II - Secure Digital / MMC card slots for more flexible expansion for optional wireless cards, peripherals or memory. The units feature a very stylish and feature wise stand, offering a battery charge slot accommodating a 1440mAh or a 3400mAh battery. The Advanced version is now available at 299$ USD while the basic version is retailing for 199$ USD, quite an attractive price for a product of this kind.

AMD


Not much was going on at AMD this year, however we did get confirmation that their road map will be going as planned, while thereís tough times going on for them at the moment, the work seems to be progressing as promised. Update: It was announced that Clawhammer will go by Athlon 64 as official name.


Oleg Mitskaniouk (Target PC) and Carl Nelson (Hardcoreware) holding a working hammer sample.

























FIC


Just like most of the major players in the mainboard market, FIC didnít have a booth on the show floor, like last year they opted for a private hotel suite where they weíre demonstrating some of their latest products.


They had an ATI 9700 PRO card that once available will be stock overclocked, while we didnít get too much details by how much it will be running higher, they confirmed that they are targeting a 8%+ increase in average.


In this picture you see the brand new FIC boxes, with a slimmer and more professional look these boxes will be a big improvement over FICís previous design.

FIC had an interesting PC/DVD unit in their room. Basically itís a complete computer system running on the VIA C3 Processor but whatís different is that this unit wonít be coming with a Hard Drive and will still be able to play DVD movies. FIC has integrated a DVD player in its bios making it possible to playback DVD movies without even having any operating system. Featuring composite video output this little box is basically a stand alone DVD player.

Its working just like the BIOS setup of the computer system, to start the DVD player, you have to press a key while the PC boots and it will automatically prompt you to the player. Other good news is that you can install an IDE hard drive to the system and use it as a complete computer system. This product will be retailing for around 120$ USD, quite an attractive price I would say.


FIC Hammer system

In the motherboard section, FIC had a board featuring the VIAKT400A, which is a dual channel DDR solution for the Athlon XP. FIC had also a total of four working hammer boards which one of them was based on the NVIDIA Crush K8 chip. In addition we spotted an early sample of the FIC VL31 board which is based on the Intel Springdale chipset and is designed for the upcoming Pentium 4 Prescott Processors. The Springdale will be released in the first quarter of 2003 and will have support for Dual Channel DDR 333, AGP8X and the new ICH5.


SlateVision Tablet PC


Working on the SlateVision

In addition, FIC was showing off their Tablet PCís. Their FIC SlateVision Tablet PC features the Windows XP Tablet PC Operating System. The SlateVision Tablet PC offers a type II PCMCIA Card Slot with Card bus support for further expansion. The unit comes standard with onboard 56K Modem, 10/10 Ethernet LAN and 802.11b Wireless LAN. Other features include USB 1.1, IEEE 1394 and IrDA 1.1. The SlateVision† has a 4.5hrs battery life and will soon be featuring the Crusoe TM5800 CPU at 1GHz †FIC has strong plans for the SlateVision as the company plans to have offers at big retail chains such as Best Buy, Fryís and CompUSA with prices around 1300$ USD.





















MSI

Pretty much like last year, MSI had a big suite at the Venetian showing off their latest products.


MSI mainboards at their suite




This is MSIís 850E Max2 Motherboard spotting support for two RIMMs of 4200 memory. In other words a dual channel PC1066 implanted into a single module



An interesting† Pentium 4 solution they had was the 845PE Max2 Mainboard, as the name already says much, this one is powered by the Intel 845PE chipset supporting the 533MHz Pentium 4. In addition it has optional support for IE1394, ATA133 RAID and as standard features a 5.1 channel H/W audio with optional MSI 5.1 channel DVD software




In this picture Philips Tsai (Marketing Manager) is holding the MSIís SiS 655 mainboard which will be available around January 2003


GIGABYTE


Gigabyte had their Hammer boards on display. The first one is based on the VIA K8T400 chipset consisting of the 8235 south bridge and K8T400 North Bridge. Their second solution is based on AMDís 8151 chipset which is based on the 8151 North Bridge and 8111 South Bridge




















ECS

Situated just a few seconds from the MSI suite, ECS had some interesting showings on the show floor.

A little look at some of the many motherboards ECS had on the floor.


The ECS K8 solution based on the SiS755 Hammer chipset


This is their Pentium 4 solution based on the Intel 845PE chipset


SOLTEK

Soltek was one of the very few mainboard companies who actually had a booth at the convention center.


Soltek Mainboards on display at the convention center.


A small factor Soltek (SL-85DRV5) Pentium 4 solution based on the VIA P4X266E chipset.



This is the Soltek SL-KT400-R Mainboard based on the VIA KT400 chipset. This particular model is built on a purple PCB.



This is a sample Soltek Hammer board powered by the SiS755 chipset


















SiS

We visited SiS at their Hilton Suite, they had some interesting products.


The SiS R658 reference board that is currently under development. SiS is currently putting its final touches on the R658 and will soon be available.



The SiS hammer chipset in full action.


The new SiS 648 Chipset in action at the SiS suite.


ABIT

Abit had a nice suite at the Hilton Hotel with much of their current and upcoming products.


ABIT boards on display


This is ABITís Granite Bay motherboard named the GB7.


Pictured is the ABIT nForce2 solution named NF7, this particular product uses the nForce2 MCP-T and nForce2 SPP.



















Comdex Parties organized by companies

The Digital Focus Party was held on Sunday night and was quite fun. Several Dozens of companies we're on the show floor showing off their latest products.


In this picture from upper left, Nigel Woodford (TheTechZone), Ryan Hoffman (CoolTronics), Carl Nelson (Hardcoreware), John Chow (TheTechZone), Lindsey Davis (TheTechZone) and at last Oleg Mitskaniouk (TargetPC).


Shot of the MobileFocus Party


Tyler Dickman (Cooltronics) and John Chow (TheTechZone) showing off their gifts at MobileFocus.



Oleg Mitskaniouk (Target PC), Nigel Woodford (TheTechZone) and Carl Nelson (Harcoreware) discussing Dell's X5 Pocket PC at their own Party that took place later Sunday.


Just like last year, the CDW was a very nice and relaxing event. Everybody from Cooltronics, TheTechZone, Hardcorware, Neoseeker and Target PC we're present.



The Cooltronics/TheTechZone Party was quite a fun event. Allot of representatives from companies such as Abit, Soyo and MadOnion we're present not to answer question but just take a drink and relax from work. Tyler Dickman and John Chow have done a great job on this little party, I'm looking forward for the next event in January 2003 at CES.


PC Mall party at Studio 54


The PC Mall party which took place at Studio 54 was just a blast. Everybody from Target PC, TheTechZone, Hardcoreware, Neoseeker and dozen of other sites and magazines we're on the show floor to party.



Pocket PC Party


The Pocket PC event was the last party for us. We met several familiar names in there which include Karen Thomas - President and CEO of Thomas Public Relations and David MacNeill - Executive Editor for Pen Computing Magazine. In this picture from lower left is David MacNeill - Executive Editor for Pen Computing, Karen Thomas - President and CEO of Thomas Public Relations, Oleg Mitskaniouk (Target PC), Lindsey Davis (TheTechZone), Carl Nelson (Hardcoreware) and John Chow (TheTechZone).


Summation

First I would like to point out this year Comdex was somewhat different from the past 2 years we weíre present there. The show was mostly dominated by major companies such as Samsung and Toshiba, the rest of the guys were not even to be seen on the floor. Most companies have been showing off their products in private hotel suites . In addition to the absence of several companies, attendance was dramatically down as well, I just canít see Comdex to be what it was two or even one year ago.† While the air of this yearís event has changed, we still enjoyed our experience and it definitely gave us the opportunity to expand our horizons one step further. Will there be another Comdex next year? I don't know, but I sure hope it won't continue to fall.

Special thanks to Nigel Woodford for taking the time to sort out some of the Comdex pictures.


Oleg Mitskaniouk
02/11/25










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