Editorial: What To Expect from the Consumer Electronics Show

The 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show will kick off on Tuesday in Las Vegas and last through the week. As its name implies, the focus for this show is on home users, not businesses like many of the large computer trade shows.

Many companies like to make announcements at shows like these so they are close-mouthed about their plans for the show. However, a few educated guesses can be made.

Sony's entertainment-oriented handhelds are targeted almost exclusively at this market. Add in the fact that both the N610C and the S320 have apparently been discontinued and it seems very likely that the company will be announcing replacements at the CES.

Rumor has it that Sony will be releasing the S360 to replace the S320. This new model will have 16 MB of RAM, an updated OS, but otherwise be quite similar to the S320. It's also entirely possible that Sony will take this opportunity to announce the T615, a U.S. version of the T600, with a hi-res color screen and 16 MB of RAM. This is the N610C's replacement.

In the past, Sony has generally announced its handhelds several weeks before they were actually available.

Sony won't be the only company with a strong presence at the CES. Handspring will also be there and will certainly be showing off the Treo line of wireless smartphones which is expected to be released the week after. The Treo was one of the big hits at Comdex in November. Handspring is concentrating almost totally on the Treo so it is unlikely that it will be making any other big announcements.

Don't expect Palm Inc. to miss the show. However, predicting what it will do it a bit harder. They will certainly be demonstrating the Bluetooth SD card because they have been doing that for months. Whether they will announce a release date for it is a different story. One piece of evidence is that one of their three booths at the show is devoted to just Bluetooth. Another is that Toshiba is already selling it in Japan.

It's possible but less likely that Palm will be announcing and demonstrating its wireless handeld, probably called the i705. It's targeted more at enterprise users than home consumers so it doesn't really fit the tone of the CES.

While the handheld manufacturers will be there, many of the smaller Palm-related companies will be staying home. A quick search for a few of the important Palm software and peripheral makers turned up few attendees, though some of these may have some space in the larger companies' booths. A few notable exceptions include RhinoSkin, Navman, Copytalk, Targus, and Motient.

Thales Navigation, who makes the Magellan line of GPS products, Rand McNally, and Palm are going to announce "a GPS solution with advanced technology and affordability previously unavailable to consumers." Exectly what this is isn't yet clear, though it could be a new GPS module for Palm's Universal Connector, which has been rumored to be in development for some time.

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PalmSource in Feb...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 12:14:52 PM #
Palm likes to roll out new product during their PalmSource get togethers so I suspect they will hold the 'i705' till that first part of Feb this year.

Although... Handspring didn't wait for PalmSource.

RE: PalmSource in Feb...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 1:36:34 PM #
The i705 is going to be released at the end of this month. Most likely on the 28th.


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 12:16:40 PM #
Is Handera even going to bother to show? They haven't had anything new in quite some time, they haven't come out with 4.1 for their existing devices, and as far as anyone can tell they don't have anything in the works. Is this company going down?

I love my 330, but I'm beginning to wonder.

RE: Handera?
Ed @ 1/4/2002 12:28:25 PM #
HandEra does not have a booth at the CES.

However, they haven't totally disappeared. Just last month they released new drivers to allow the 330 and TRGpro to use 802.11b CF cards.

News Editor

RE: Handera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 1:16:43 PM #
Ed -- I can't find these drivers new drivers for 802.11 CF support - can you provide a link??

RE: Handera?
Ed @ 1/4/2002 1:20:31 PM #
Here you go:

You can read more about it here:

News Editor

RE: Handera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 2:23:13 PM #
Yeah! What happened to OS 4.1 for the 330? I believe I remember something about it being available fall of 2001!

At this rate OS 5 will be out before they release OS 4. That is too bad, OS 4 could do some amazing things on the 330 if they had actually done it.

I wonder if they will come out with any more handhelds or if they are just slowly sinking away.

RE: Handera?
Dark @ 1/4/2002 10:57:50 PM #
I think the reason why HandEra doesn't have a booth at the CES is not because they don't have a new device to show but simply because they are targetted at the business and enterprise class.

http://www.palmvenue.com - Where Palm OS users and developers meet.

RE: Handera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/5/2002 8:07:14 PM #
"I wonder if they will come out with any more handhelds or if they are just slowly sinking away."

My vote (unfortunately) is slowly sinking away...

Too bad, the 330 was revolutionary in its time.

RE: Handera?
LarryGarfield @ 1/6/2002 8:13:44 AM #
"Revolutionary in its time"? It's less than a year old. ;-) Just because Sony discontinues a product every other week doesn't mean other companies have to. (And given the flack that Sony keeps getting in the User Groups for their fast product cycles, it's probably better that the other companies don't follow that lead.)

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA
RE: Handera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/6/2002 8:49:02 AM #
HandEra doesn't go to CES; it isn't their market. If you owned one, you would know they've done quite a bit since its release (which wasn't very long ago). Drivers for various new CF cards and software improvements (both of which are important for current as well as future products). They've announced some interesting partnerships and are developing new things. HandEra doesn't need to release a new model every month. The 330 still has more features and more useful, cost-effective expansion options than any other Palm in its price range. I have no doubt their next model(s) will be equally impressive.

RE: Handera?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/6/2002 7:56:30 PM #
Agreed to both of the above. The HandEra 330 is less than a year old; look at the Palm Vx's cycle and say it was revolutionary in its time. Yeah, you know what? People still snatch those up when they can. Sony feels their high-end market can snatch up a new device every other week and be able to handle the deficit in their pocket. Look at any Sony user group and they'll disagree with Sony. This is like trying to compare Dell with the white-box computer store around the corner; HandEra is much smaller, and they can't put so much money into Research and Development as Sony can. Sony makes everything from car stereo speakers to televisions to the CLIE.
Plus, the 330 is still a great choice for any business user. Sony decides to stick (no pun intended) to their proprietary Memory Stick and shove it down their users' throats. HandEra gives you an SD slot and a CF slot. Look at any Windows CE device and CF is the standard. Palm is trying to make SD the standard. The HandEra is the bridge between the Palm and the Pocket PC, assuring some form of compatibility. The HandEra was advanced when it came out. It still is ahead of the competition. In a couple of months it will still be mainstream. It's a great device, it works fine; why try to fix something if it isn't broke.

Eston Bond
CEO Pine Tree Software


Coyote67 @ 1/4/2002 1:47:12 PM #
Targus will probably pimping their keyboards and their new webcam/digi cam module. Has anyone played with this in person yet?

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

T615c info required of Ed

ethan @ 1/4/2002 1:51:16 PM #
Hey Ed,

I was wondering if you could tell me as much as you about the T615C, because it really is at the utmost interest to me. And i have been researching as much as i can how this. I want to exchange ideas on this product.
-thanx man

RE: T615c info required of Ed
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 3:20:02 PM #
http://www.cliesource.com -- click on T-series and you can read all the latest discussions.

Also see http://www.spug.org for their T600C (from Japan) review.

All of us are awaiting this goodie.

RE: T615c info required of Ed
Ed @ 1/4/2002 4:09:52 PM #
I've already written everything I know on the T615C. I promise I'm not holding anything back.

Here's some relevent info.
T615C in Best Buy's System

I believe it will essentially be the same as the T600:

plus, there's discussions about it all over our Sony Forum:

News Editor

RE: T615c info required of Ed
pontif @ 1/4/2002 5:28:39 PM #
Well, the T615 is just an english version of the T600C.

A full review of the T600C can be found here:

The T600 Innards can be seen here:
(The text is Japanese, but you can still enjoy the pictures.)

RE: T615c info required of Ed
ethan @ 1/5/2002 6:57:43 PM #
I know most all of which is available online but one question is the processor technology. Is it going to be 33mhz or 66mhz? Will it have a FULL version of Documents to Go 4.0(word,excel)? What is the MIDI sound converter for?

RE: T615c info required of Ed
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/5/2002 10:27:49 PM #
T615 will use 33mhz and comes with the Standard version of Documents To Go (so it does support word/excel, it's the same as the t415 and the m500/505)

The Midi Convertor lets you convert midi files so it plays on the T615 for alarms. (It has a real speaker just like the T415)

RE: T615c info required of Ed
ethan @ 1/6/2002 12:06:00 AM #
where did you find that? the english version might be different you know. thanks though

RE: T615c info required of Ed
ethan @ 1/6/2002 4:00:29 PM #
What do you think Ed?

RE: T615c info required of Ed
Ed @ 1/6/2002 4:53:06 PM #
If past performance is any help, for the most part Sony hasn't changed its other models when bringing them to the U.S. besides what is necessary for the language conversion. However, it did allow the N710C to play MP3 files when the N700C couldn't. But that is a software rather than a hardware change. Anyway, I'm sticking with the assumption that the T615C will be almost the same as the T600C, so I don't expect a faster processor. Hopefully, we'll know soon.

News Editor


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/4/2002 3:56:18 PM #
Anyone see this thing? at Spymac.com.

I looks real real.

RE: iWalk?
Coyote67 @ 1/4/2002 4:01:26 PM #
It has been confirmed to be a fake if I remember correctly.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: iWalk?
Ed @ 1/4/2002 4:08:03 PM #
Please continue this with the rest of the iWalk comments:


News Editor

When are the facts of the T615...!!!!!

ethan @ 1/8/2002 3:52:06 PM #
My question to Ed or anyone out there is when are the results( as in the info of T615) going to be released this week at CES. Thanks. waiting kind of impatient for this info this week.

Cracked Crystal Ball
Ed @ 1/8/2002 4:19:03 PM #
I hate to say it but it looks like many of my predictions for the CES aren't coming true. Now you know why I didn't write the predictions for all of 2002; I couldn't even get the ones for a show happening in four days correct. If Sony was planning on introducing the T615C and/or S360 this week, I think they'd have done it already. Same goes for the Bluetooth SD card. Darn, and it made such sense, too.

I hope all these will be out soon but it looks like we'll all have to wait a bit longer.

News Editor

RE: When are the facts of the T615...!!!!!
ethan @ 1/8/2002 4:51:01 PM #
Why is this?

RE: When are the facts of the T615...!!!!!
ethan @ 1/8/2002 4:51:35 PM #
Ces just started!



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