New York - PC Expo: Show will reflect PC evolution

Corporate IT managers attending PC Expo in New York this week will be able to get their hands on a wide range of PC products, from a new office suite to digital cameras to notebooks.

Few of the products expected to roll out at the annual trade show in New York, however, will break new ground. Most are upgrades or new products based on long-emerging technology, such as the USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard. In the software arena, Lotus will release an upgrade to SmartSuite. Code-named Millennium Edition, the upgrade, which sells for $349 (£214) will include SmartCenter, a new feature that gives users quick access to recently used files and Web pages, said company officials. Also included are connectors that enable the suite's applications to be used as front ends to software systems from enterprise resource planning vendors SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle. A flurry of USB peripherals, flat-panel displays and digital cameras will debut at the show, including the following:

Samsung will add to its SyncMaster line of flat-panel displays with the 13.3-inch 320TFT and the 15-inch 520TFT. The active-matrix displays will be sold at aggressive price points of $799 (£490) and $1,399 (£858) respectively, Samsung officials said.

LG Electronics plans to introduce a number of CRT displays, ranging in size from 15 inches to 21 inches.

Agfa will preview the ePhoto 1680, a 1.3 million-pixel digital camera that will be priced below $1,000 (£613) company officials said.

Umax Technologies will launch a 600-dot-per-inch, 36-bit color scanner priced below $500 (£306) sources said.

Notebooks will be spotlighted at Expo as well. Panasonic will show a new ruggedised notebook PC. The Toughbook 71 is built with a magnesium chassis and features an Intel 266MHz Pentium II processor, a 12.1-inch thin-film transistor display, 32MB of RAM and a 4GB hard drive for $3,499 (£2,146).

Umax plans to introduce an ActionBook 300 notebook, priced below $2,000 (£1,226), sources said.

New storage products will debut from Procom Technology which will introduce a disk-based, network-attached storage product. The NetForce 1000 can scale between 90GB and 900GB and supports RAID Levels 0-5. The device, which is compatible with Unix and Windows file systems, starts at $73,275 (£44,953) company officials said.

Dell will discuss plans for network storage, according to sources close to the company. Dell will detail new storage products based on Data General's Clariion technology that are expected by the end of summer.

In the Web arena, Sequel Technology an Internet resource management tool maker, is expected to make several announcements, including integration of its Net Access Manager with Computer Associates' enterprise management tool.

Aeneid will show its new Web application, Internet Research Assistant, an XML- (Extensible Markup Language)-enabled subscription service that acts as a search engine and adds XML tags to the data before placing the content in configurable files.

NetStudio is scheduled to announce the public beta of NetStudio 1.0, the company's Web graphics tool for non-professionals.