Mobile Roundup: CTIA and beyond

Summary:This is an experimental post. Tell me what you think.

This is an experimental post. Tell me what you think. As much as mobile technologies are one of my favorite areas to cover in depth (I personally believe that it takes real-world, long term tests to really vet smartphones, notebooks, PDAs, etc.), I have to recognize that I'm only one person who can't possibly give every device that comes out the attention it deserves.  As it turns out, I'm on a special email distribution list here at CNET Networks -- one that alerts me to every review the reviews team cranks out and the number of mobile reviews is quite impressive.  So, why not connect the dots by providing you with an periodic index to them? Here's an example of what I had in mind:

  • Sony's VAIO N series of notebooks due in October: In addition to predicting their availability in colors humans actually like, Dan Ackerman says the new lineup will sport Core Duo CPUs (what new notebooks won't?), big screens (15.4 inches), a/b/g Wi-Fi, and some $1,000 models.  Personally, I've always seen the Vaios as MacBook/PowerBook killer. Back when I was doing some serious audio/video editing, they were one of the few Windows notebooks with FireWire interfaces.  But, if I recall, it wasn't a 6-pin one (capable of powering a FireWire device like the PowerBooks could). Only a 4-pinner (meaning the FireWire device needed its own power source).  Will the Ns live up to Sony's multimedia tradition?
  • Europe-only Palm Treo 750V makes debut: From CTIA, Bonnie Cha gives us a quick look at the latest Windows Mobile 5 device to come out of the folks at Palm.  The 750V apparently improves on older designs by elimating that ugly antenna and rubberizing the back so it doesn't slip out of people's hands. Based on how Windows Mobile 5 showed itself off in Motorola's Q, I'm looking forward to Windows Mobile 6 (I made that product name up).  Fellow blogger Matthew Miller has a write-up on this puppy too.
  • Getting a rise out of Moto's Rizr (pronounced rise-er): Kent German, who is also at CTIA, shows us how Motorola has parted from its conventional industrial designs and built a phone that reveals its keypad in the process of sliding open (or rising open).  Kent interview Moto's John Wernecke who draws attention to the phone's digital imaging capabilities. He doesn't mention it, but the camera goes up to 2 megapixels (eeek.. 2 megapixels in a camera phone?). To take a picture you hold the candy-bar shaped phone in "landscape" mode (where th long sides are horizontal). I'm not sure if the shutter release buttons are on the top edge (where a camera phone optimized for taking pictures might put them). According to Wernecke, after shooting a picture, you can also edit (actually touch-up), crop, and send the photos over the air.
  • Motorola gets crazy with Krazr: Pronounced Craze-er, the Krazr resembles the Razr but is thinner, is encased in quartz (looks very glassy), and can store the sort of information for it's 2000-contact capacity phone book that you'd expect from a PDA (eg: email addresses, street addresses, etc.). All we know is it's coming out some time in the US (and T-Mobile or Cingular will probably get it first). 
  • 2 megapixel camera/phones? That's nawt a camera phone! Nokia's N93 with a 3.2 megapixeler? Now that's a camera phone (that doubles as a camcorder). It's big. It can work with Office documents. It supports Bluetooth. But like many of the other devices being shown at CTIA, ain't available in the US just yet.  The N93 also has a TV-out feature that Matthew Miller gave some attention to two weeks ago.
  • Microsoft to sing the Zune tune tomorrow? That's what James Kim (who got the news from the Seattle Weekly who got it from Engadget) had to say about Microsoft's video iPod killer that supposedly comes with a 3.5 inch screen and Wi-Fi.
  • Perfect for Paris Hilton (or your favorite Diva): A Dolce & Gabbana branded Motorola Razr V3i.  Same old V3i (plays music, supports Bluetooth, has a 1 megapixel camera), but comes with D&G's trademark gold finish and a D&G lanyard (Kent calls it a dangle) and it'll set you back 500 cool ones.  Oooh.  Aaaaah.  Yuck.
  • Sony's PSP3 wins slugfest versus Nintendo DS Lite: Check out the beta of CNET TV and how Veronica Belmont, who grew up as a Nintendo girl, referees a prize fight between these two superstar mobile gaming systems and gives the Sony the nod in a split decision of sorts.  OK, so, the real superstar is Veronica.
  • Dimmed "Outlook" for Cingular 3125, but the teenagers might eat it up: Bonnie Cha points out how a standard phone keypad and Windows Mobile 5 make for a bad marriage when it comes to the messaging capabilities of Pocket Outlook (built-in).  A qwerty thumbboard will do the trick. But, hey, the kids will love it.  My son can text message on his standard phone keypad faster than I can type on my notebook computer (well, not quite, but it is scary how fast those kids type... you know.. to text message the correct answer to question #6 on the history exam.... in essay form).
OK, that's my first roundup.  I left out digital cameras.  There were a bunch of them.  Let me know if this is useful, and if so, if I should include the cams too.

Topics: Mobility

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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