Fall 2002 Report
8 Pages - 1/8
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 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
Situated just a few seconds from the MSI suite, ECS had some interesting showings
on the show floor.
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 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
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
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 had a nice suite at the Hilton Hotel with much of their current and upcoming
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).
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
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
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.