Springtime for CeBIT
CeBIT 2007 is kicking off in unprecedentedly clement weather for Hanover in mid-March — sunshine, gentle zephyrs, blossom on the trees. It's enough to put a spring in the collective step of the tech journalist pack as they tramp the 26 exhibition halls in search of news and photo/video opportunities.
The exhibition halls are full of frantic last-minute activity, as stands are built, equipment installed and tested, and marketing spiels rehearsed. We shall return to NEC's stand once it's finished.
Cars and notebooks
As is now traditional, ASUS has a sleek-looking Lamborghini prominently displayed on its stand — along with the latest models in its complementary line of notebook PCs.
ASUS is showing a military-grade Tablet PC. This IP54-compliant rugged notebook has a sunlight-readable swivelling 13.3-inch touch-screen, a backlit keyboard, integrated Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth and GPS plus optional wireless WAN connectivity. It's powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo processor.
The ASUS W5Fe has an auxiliary SideShow display that integrates with Windows Vista via Gadgets. The SideShow display can be activated independently of the main system, providing a shortcut to information such as appointments, phone numbers, addresses and email messages. It can also be used to view photos and play music.
Another Ultra Mobile PC
We reviewed ASUS's R2H back in December 2006, and its successor (like the military-grade Tablet, currently without a model name) is here at CeBIT. This one is a convertible device, from clamshell to tablet, has a 7-inch 800x480-pixel TFT screen, includes a camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and weighs just 950g. We'll be checking out more second-generation UMPCs later on, so we'll keep you posted.