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New Notebooks, Headsets, Software And More! by Daniel P. Dern
Review by Daniel P. Dern
Event  
Date: 07 January 2011 /

The "CE" in "CES" stands for "Consumer Electronics," but there's also a lot of business-oriented desktops, notebooks, displays, printers, and more at the CES 2011 show in Vegas the first week of January -- plus a lot of consumery stuff from affordable to hyperpricey, and a handful of stuff that's hard to categorize.

Sadly, despite previous plans, I'm not attending the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. But, thanks to email, the web, and on-site agents, I've managed to keep up with some of the vendors, products and technologies. (See I'm Covering CES 2011 Remotely This Year... (http://www.tryingtechnology.com/)

Some of these vendors and products are aren't on the show floor proper, but only at press-and-analyst-only multi-vendor events like Lunch At Piero's, Pepcom and ShowStoppers; in their own hospitality areas; or at associated events like Storage Visions.)

Here's the first of several reports with brief looks at some of the thousands of new and current products being shown at CES 2011, based on information received by email. I.e., I haven't actually seen, touched, tried, or schmoozed with PR folks, product managers, or sales people about these products... yet.

In this report: products for business use (many of which consumers can also use).

PlanOn Systems, which offers the DocuPen portable scanner and PrintStik mini-printer, is introducing the SlimScan SS100, a MSRP $119.99 credit card-sized color scanner that, according to PlanOn, "fits easily into your wallet or credit card holder." (Not clear about "easily" -- from the video and picture, it looks a little too thick.) Whether this is more useful than the right smartphone app remains to be seen.

Phone Halo is introducing Protect, $59.95, consisting of an app for BlackBerry OS 4.5 and Android 2.0 phones, along with sensor tags you put on your wallet, keys, or other objects. If a tagged item is too far from the phone, or vice versa, the app sounds an alert.

Sideline is showing the CINQ, a lightweight 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 HD USB monitor, as an easy way to add another screen to your notebook, for the productivity that extra display space brings. $249 when available, $199 if you pre-order. Includes an SD card slot, will work with Windows and MacOS. (Similar products, give or take a feature, should be available now from other vendors, FYI.)

Lenovo announced over 20 new desktop, notebook/netbook and all-in-one desktop (display plus small-form-factor PC) desktop computers for business users, consumers, and prosumers.

Lenovo's new business-oriented ThinkPad Edge notebooks include the 12.5-inch-screen ThinkPad Edge E220, and 14-inch-screen E420S, a 12.5" with Lenovo's EE (Enhanced Experience) 2.0, and web conferencing including Dolby sound. Also announced, two updates to current Edge line products: the ThinkPad Edge E530, a 15-inch-display notebook, and the ThinkPad X120e, an 11-inch entry-level business ultraportable.

Iomega is launching Iomega Personal Cloud, a cloud offering providing remote access to an Iomega NAS, and file-sharing, aimed at small businesses and consumers. Also, new Mac-oriented hard drives, and other new direct-attached hard drive products.

Toshiba America Electronic Components was showing their new small-form-factor solid state drives (SFF SSDs), which have the capacity and performance for use in tablet PCs, laptops, mini-mobile and netbook PCs. Toshiba's demo will include dunking live SSDs into an aquarium. Toshiba will also be showing off their SD memory cards, which, according to the company, "offer the world's fastest read and write speeds in their class", making them ideal for applications like "high speed continuous shooting of high resolution digital still cameras, video, and high speed transfers of HD content."

Sprint and Novatel Wireless announced they will launch the MiFi 4082 mobile hotspot, for use on Sprint's 4G network, serving up to 5 WiFi devices. Available Feb. 27, 2011. $49.99 (plus taxes; after a $50 mail-in rebate) with a two-year contract. (Note, no-contract service is available from other vendors/carriers.)

Diskeeper Corporation will showing new features for the Q1 release of Diskeeper 2011, including improvements to its IntelliWrite, which prevents some file fragmentation -- up to 85%, the company claims -- from happening, and the new Instant Defrag, which "immediately eliminates fragmentation that is not proactively prevented by IntelliWrite."

Aliph, whose newest Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset (finally!) uses a micro-USB port instead of a proprietary cable, offers its free Thoughts iPhone app (which doesn't need an Icon to be used). Thoughts lets you send a voice message to an individual or a group -- anyone in your address book -- without needing to enter text. Voice messages can be up to one minute long, and there's an option to have them transcribed to text.

Jabra announced major additions to its line of VoIP-optimized headsets and speakerphones, and the company's latest in-car Bluetooth technology.

Dell announced its new Vostro 460 mini-tower desktop, designed particularly for small businesses, based on 2nd-generation Intel Quad-core i5 or i7 CPU, choice of integrated graphics or Nvidia or ATI graphics card, 8 USB 2.0 ports, room for up to 16GB of RAM, 3TB hard drive, and a Blu-ray drive and 7.1 HD sound. MSRP starting at $599.

Live Editions, a new ePublishing company, is showing its cloud-based publishing tools and ecosystem that "let authors, booksellers and even readers create, enhance, share and monetize what they are reading on any device", according to the company. Live Editions allows an ebook to include multimedia, comments from the publisher and/or readers, sponsor enhancements, and dynamic updates such statistics and news developments. Potential users for Live Editions include publishers, universities, independent authors, and book clubs. (I'll be checking this out myself, for some of my own short-short fiction!)

In my next CES 2011 report: Some Consumer Stuff!

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