2003 Report - Las Vegas
At our first invitation at
Piero’s on Tuesday I came across an interesting product at the White Box Robotics.
We found this futuristic looking gadget looking like some kind of robot. After
speaking to their management, minutes later we started getting the whole image,
a brand new look and use for a computer; its computer case
Since the very year
2000 it became a tradition around here at Target PC to provide yearly coverage
from the one and only Comdex show taking place every single month of November
in Las Vegas. Reuniting the consumers, buyers, media
and the rest of the industry in one place where they could find out about
the latest developments on today’s hottest technologies/products and share
their opinions. Without doubts the biggest IT show in North America.
Most of our readers know that every single year we had detailed reports touching
every aspect of the present developments on the industry, it doesn’t matter
if it is a simple new gadget or a top of the line processor, we all knew Comdex
would be the place to find out the latest buzz and without doubts it was.
However severe changes have been noticed these last two years at Comdex, without
even talking about last year’s, 2003 was definitely giving the impressions
that 2004 might end up to be nothing but a ghost show.
from TOP (Comdex)
Target PC Team
From what I can personally notice here is that Comdex of what was known as
the biggest trade show in North America is becoming nothing more than a basic
IT show. Attendance was estimated slightly above 45,000 people, compared to
the huge 200,000 people in the past years.
White Box Robotics
Codenamed the 912 platform,
this project is under development and is scheduled to be out sometime in 2004.
The 912 is a new concept for the hobbyist and educational robotics industry.
The goal behind this product was to build an affordable, incredibly flexible
and visually stunning robotic platform, while we just saw the prototype in
a non working environment; I was quite impressed with its features and capabilities.
Weighting about 25lbs, spotting aircraft quality, laser cut aluminum chassis
construction definitely gives this unit a solid rugged look.
The 912 features two removable hardware mounting trays and eight 5.25 drive
bays for mounting of industry standards pc hardware. The drive system of the 912 features
a dual 12volts stepper motors with solid front and rear roller assemblies
and its own independent suspension system, quite cool. The basic 912 system
should be available for about 1300 – 1500$ next year.
Media Ready 4000
The media ready 4000 got
my attention right away upon hearing about it a few weeks before Comdex, how
does an all in one home theater system sounds with the addition of a the most
common personal computing and internet features. With the Media Ready 4000
you can email, surf the web, stream media, listen to music and use consumer
electronic features such as karaoke, MP3, CD/DVD play back for your TV set.
Media Ready 4000
Media Ready offers a on board
disk drive storage, Ethernet 10B/100BT wired and wireless connectivity, USB
2.0 and 1394 Firewire hookups giving you the possibility to store and or access
your digital music movies, photos from its integrated storage source or via
one or several computers connected to your network, just imagine the possibilities.
But that’s not it; you also
get 5.1 digital surround, picture in picture capability, a full sized keyboard
and several other features making the Media Ready Unit an entertainment computer
for your Home Theater system. The Media Ready is running on a 1 GHz VIA C3-2
Processor powered by the VIA CLE266 chipset featuring a MPEG2 decoder and
integrated UniChrome 3D/3D graphics and at last everything is stored in its
internal 20GB hard drive.
Mad Dog Multimedia
While we have never heard
of Mad Dog Multimedia before, my first impression of them was quite positive.
I found some interesting products at their booth and we should be putting
some of them for review in the next few weeks on Target PC.
Mad Dog was displaying their
whole product line at this year’s Comdex. Their NVIDIA based cards we’re on
the display. The high end version was the DOMINATOR FX 5600 Plus AGP 128MB
going all the way to the PROWLER MX440 SE-PCI which is a PCI based video card
based on the NVIDIA MX440 SE chipset focused for the low end market.
Optical Storage is their
other main focus, they we’re displaying their latest OPTICAL solutions. Some
of them that caught my eye was their DOMINATOR 52x24x52
drive which has quite an interesting price tag compared to its competitors.
Another version of the DOMINATOR 52x24x52 is available under an external form
supporting USB 2.0. At last is the DOMINATOR 6in14X DVD-R/-RW Internal Drive
which is a 4X DVD writer, 16x CD Writer, 2X DVD-RW, 10X CD CD-RW, 12X DVD-ROM
and a 40X CD-ROM.
Touching Multimedia Mad Dog
was quite proud of their newest ENTERTAINER DSP 8 Channel Sound Card featuring
a TRUE 24-bit audio engine, 192 kHz sampling rates, providing up to 8 independent
audio channels and supporting dual S/PDIF connectors. Their ENTERTAINER DSP
8 Channel will be setting new price standards in the PC Market.
ECS Elite Group
I got the chance to meet
up with ECS’s Product Manager (Allen Graham Huang) to discuss some of their
latest notebooks; they had some really interesting products on the show floor.
First I would like to discuss
their newest G900 Laptop which is one fully packed system. The G900 features
a Pentium 4 3.4GHz Processor with Hyper Threading technology running at 800MHz,
a 17” WIDE SCREEN TFT and an ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9600 graphic card with 128mb
of memory, quite a powerful combination. G900’s multimedia functions with
remote control lets you select among using its DVD player, music Player and
the built in TV tuner. A 5.1 system is a standard with its 5 built in speakers.
Other features include Wireless LAN and Gigabit Ethernet onboard
Another laptop that caught
my eye in their show room is the Green 320 which a product focused on the
very budget line. The Green 320 features a 1Ghz VIA C3 Nehemiah Processor,
14” XGA display, shared memory architecture with 3D graphic engine, 4 USB
2.0 ports, AC97 2.1 compliant sound with 2 built in speakers, 10/100 Ethernet,
56K V90 modem, standard battery of 1.5hrs and at last a DVD-ROM/CDRW drive
built in. While it looks like an average budget laptop what makes it interesting
is its upcoming price tag of around 500$ USD.
While this year’s show was
nothing compared to the previous years, we still managed to find some interesting
products around the show floor and get some new contacts around the industry,
it was definitely a good trip. I don’t know how everything will end up being
for Comdex 2004; hopefully their management will find a solution that will
work out both ways. If things don’t work out I have a feeling that the Consumers
Electronics Show taking place in every January in Las Vegas will be getting a deeper interest for
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