It's better than a Tablet PC, and it does VoIP too!

Here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I've just seen a demonstration of the new Tronic PMG (Portable Multi-Media Gadget).Viewed from afar, in its inatimate state, the 8.

Here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I've just seen a demonstration of the new Tronic PMG (Portable Multi-Media Gadget).

Viewed from afar, in its inatimate state, the 8.4-inch screen PMG looks like a Tablet PC. While there are some similarities, the PMG does more things better and more efficiently than its apparent doppelgangers. This beaut is the real deal for those of us who want portability, usability, and both VoIP and the fastest Wi-Fi capability all in one package.

I usually don't reproduce spec sheets here, but some highlights will help depict what I am raving about here.

The PMG has built-in 802.11g (and b, if you really need it), Bluetooth, an Expansion I/O for microphone and earphone jacks, a 1GHz VIA Eden processor, up to an 80 gig hard drive, 16-bit stereo sound, and a Lithium-Ion battery with up to three hours of life.

Oh, did I mention VoIP? Yup. The model I saw demonstrated had Skype loaded. Other softphone products would work as well. To use PMG's VoIP capabilities in a mobile setting, you just hook up your earphone and microphone into their respective jacks, find a hotspot or go online to your WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider), and then fire up your softphone software.

The $1,199 Tronic PMG should be on sale in several weeks. Look for it at the usual big-box computing and consumer electronics retailers, as well as online. In fact, that's why the Tronic folks are at CES: to get the brick-and-mortar crowd jazzed up.

As I am.

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