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Gadgets to look forward to


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 15, 2001

LAS VEGAS -- How long until Christmas?

With gadgets everywhere, the annual Consumer Electronics Show gave an advance peek at products that are sure to end up on somebody's holiday wish list.

SMaL Camera Technologies’ Ultra-Pocket Digital camera.
Here's a sampling of items that caught our eye:

From video to audio to the Web, the DMC 100 Digital Media Center from Harmon/Kardon and ZapMedia offers a multimedia entertainment center in a unit about the size of a VCR.

It plays DVD videos and music CDs, connects to the Internet and has a 30-gigabyte hard drive to store Internet music and video and software to create personal playlists. And it can be controlled from the comfort of a couch with a remote control. The rollout is expected by spring, with a price tag of $899.

Life after PC?
The personal computer isn't going anywhere, Intel and Microsoft argue. Rather than being replaced by handheld devices and Internet appliances, the personal computer will become "the center of that digital universe."
Sony highlighted the entertainment uses of its e VillaNetwork Entertainment Center. The $500 device, expected on the market in April, will have a 15-inch monitor, keyboard, mouse and Internet service ($21.95 a month). It offers Web surfing, listening to Internet radio, viewing videos and photos and accessing customized news and other information.

The Olympus Camedia E-10 introduced a 4-megapixel digital camera, with a high image resolution and a high price of $1,999. On the other hand, Toshiba's PDR-M65 camera is 3.3 megapixels, but with a $599 price tag. And then there is the Ultra-Pocket Digital from SMaL Camera Technologies. It's the size of a credit card, though no price was available.

Casio’s Pathfinder Satellite Navi
Panasonic previewed a DVD camcorder that records up to two hours of video on a disk, not tape. While its price and release date were not announced, it's likely to be expensive. Panasonic also featured its e-wear in fashion shows, showing how audio products will blend with, maybe even plug into, clothing.

Last year, Casio had watches that played MP3 music or took digital photos. It expanded the field this year with its Pathfinder Satellite Navi, a watch with Global Positioning System access so you'll always know where you are. It should be on the market soon with a $499 price.

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