Comdex 99 Coverage Part 2

by Jason Clark on November 19, 1999 9:06 PM EST
Another year, another Comdex. After putting more miles on my shoes than the average radial tire does, I think Dr. Sholls should set a booth up at the show. Compared to last year, attendance seems to be down; some companies that had booths last year didn't this year. Why? Well for one thing, the cost in getting a booth is not cheap - you are looking in around the six-figure range. Besides the cost, companies don't seem to get the return necessary to justify spending that kind of cash.

AnandTech had a good presence there with me, Sam Mayes, Mike Andrawes, and of course, Anand in attendance. Surprisingly, we rarely saw each other as we were quite busy walking around, checking out the goods, and establishing some contacts so we can keep bringing you more variety in product reviews. I personally focused on the multimedia area, as well as a "show 'n tell" with Videologic, where we talked about their speakers, and about the Neon 250 (which we will be reviewing soon). Aureal will also have some new speakers coming out early next year. The Aureal XL series will put out around 210 Watts RMS and feature a head phone connector. We tried to speak with someone to get a little more indepth information, but no one was available.

Creative Labs
The first interview I had was with Creative Labs. We spoke to Jim Carlton, the Senior Brand Manager at Creative. Creative showed off three of their new products at the show - the WebCam Go and their new broadband technology modems. The Webcam Go is quite neat actually. It is essentially a WebCam 3, but mobile. So what you end up with is a webcam that sits on top of your monitor, like the conventional web cams; and, you can unhook the USB cable, fold it up, and it will take stills :) Very good idea. Now, it's not a digital camera - it really wasn't intended to be anyway. It does not have a flash, nor does it support additional memory storage. But for those of you in the market for a webcam, I would take a look at this unit. We will of course be reviewing this unit soon. At the show, Creative had it and the SoundBlaster Live Platinum on special: $69 for the WebCam Go, and $99 for the SoundBlaster Live Platinum. Very good deals, if you ask me. Creative, of course, has other product ideas up their sleeves, but we will just have to wait and see what they are.

WebCam Go

WebCam Go Specifications: (Courtesy Creative Labs)

When used as a desktop PC camera:

* Capable of 16.7 million colors, live video capture at up to 30 frames per second at a resolution of 352x288, and up to 15 frames per second at 640x480
* Supports still image capture at 160x120, 176x144, 320x240, 352x288, and 640x480
* Focusable lens with a range of 6 inches to infinity
* Snapshot button on top of the camera captures an image and automatically displays it on your screen
* Connects to your PC's USB port. 6' USB cable included.
* Includes drivers for Video for Windows, WDM, and TWAIN

When used on the go:

* Capture still images in 16.7 million colors at 320x240 or 640x480
* Four image capture modes: standard, multi-frame, time delay, and time delay multi-exposure
* 4MB of internal memory stores approximately 200 images at 320x240 resolution or 90 images at 640x480 resolution - no diskettes or memory cards to lose
* Two AAA alkaline batteries (included) last for approximately 300 snapshots
* Three-position fixed focus lens with settings for 10 feet to infinity, 3 to 5 feet, and 6-8 inches
* Optical viewfinder
* Configurable auto shut-off saves battery life
* Black and white LCD displays number of frames left, mode indicator and low-battery warning
* Audio confirmation of image capture
Linksys, Altec & Conclusion
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