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New products dazzle at Gitex

Vijay Dandige
Filed on October 22, 2008

In Dubai's season of events, if there's if one that is truly awesome and, evidently, the most popular, it's the Gitex, Gulf Information Technology Exhibition.

In its 28th year, the Gitex becomes bigger and bigger each year, drawing in an ever increasing multitude of companies, exhibitors, distributors, vendors and crowds. It is at Gitex that each year the IT players, big and small, showcase their latest products, a veritable cornucopia of the largest, the smallest, the sleekest and the most advanced. Gitex 2008 is no exception. Here is sampling of some of the scintillating products on display at Gitex this year, products that are either recently launched or about to be launched in the Middle East markets.

Panasonic is showcasing the world’s largest TV, a 150 inch Plasma display panel. Forty six percent larger than its nearest rival, the latest huge TV delivers image quality with an 8.84 million pixel resolution (2,160 x 4,096), more than four times the 1080p HD specification (1,080 x 1,920). The prototype has a screen size equivalent to nine 50-inch PDPs with an effective viewing area of 11 ft x 6 1/4 ft. The 150 inch TV provides uniform images across the vast expanse of the screen and the same brightness as the 103-inch launched last year.

Soni Eriksson has launched its new XPERIA X1 mobile phone, a sleek device that combines communication with entertainment. It has an arc slider design, a 3 inch wide VGA display and metal body. Its other features include Windows mobile 6. 1, a 3.2 megapixel camera, Xperia interface, handwriting recognition, wi-fi enabled, push email, built-in GPS receiver, up to 400 MB internal memory, USB mass storage etc. It is priced at Dh 3400/-.

DTK Computer, a Taiwanese company, is showcasing its small laptop, eBook i10. As big as a normal hardcover book, the eBook i10 has a 10.2 inch LCD monitor, and comes preloaded with MS Windows XP Home. It weighs just 1.2kg and features Intel atom 16 Ghz CPU, 1GB DDRII expandable to 2 GB, 80 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, wireless for internet connectivity, 3 USB ports, web camera, card reader, touch pad etc. And this tiny laptop is priced at just Dh 1799. The company is coming out with even a smaller specimen, with an 8 inch LCD monitor, which is on display at the Gitex. “The price is not fixed yet, but hopefully it will be as cost effective as eBook i10,” said Ejaz Ahmed of DTK Computer.

ViewSonic Corporation, a company specialising in display technologies, launched their PJ359w projector. The portable WXGA 3LCD PJ359w, featuring HDMI 1.3 connectivity and supporting HD signals up to 1080p, is the first projector specially designed to be compatible with widescreen-format laptops. The PJ359w has a short-throw lens enabling large images to be projected from short distances in small rooms with short throw distances; from just 1.6m, it is possible to achieve a screen size of 50-inches. The projector retails at AED 3750/- and is available from all ViewSonic retailers including Emax, Sharaf DG, CompuMe and Plug Ins.

Fujitsu Siemens unveiled its new AMILO Pi 3540 notebook, a new breakthrough in processing power as it is based on the new Intel Centrino 2 platform, offering up to 4GB of RAM. The AMILO has proven to be 90% faster when it comes to encoding HD videos and a general performance increase of up to 50% when compared to its predecessors. Other prominent features include an eSATA port, a 15-in-1 memory card reader, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, a spill-proof keyboard and A+ panels that offers superior image quality. The notebook comes in black and white colours. The AMILO is part of a range of 13 new laptops launched by the company.

It looks like an iPhone but isn’t. It’s what Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs calls ‘the funnest iPod we’ve ever created.’ Apple introduced the second generation iPod touch featuring a thin contoured metal design, a 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, integrated volume control buttons, a built-in speaker for casual listening, a built-in accelerometer and other advanced sensors, and Apple's revolutionary Multi-Touch user interface. The new iPod touch 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models are available in the Middle East through Arab Business Machine Ltd, Apple’s authorised resellers.

Samsung Electronics unveiled two new compact digital camcorders, the VP-MX20, with its newly developed platform that enables higher video quality and a unique shooting mode that allows users to easily shoot videos ideal for uploading to YouTube, and the VP-HMX20, with a1080p mode with 30 frames-per-second recording capability. By selecting the web and mobile mode, the camcorder’s resolution is automatically adjusted to 640 x 480 and optimised for use on YouTube and most MP3 players.

Kodak launched its new i1860 scanner for high volume environments, where the workload is huge and the goal is to keep running through the second or even the third shift. The new machine scans 200 pages per minute, ensuring clear, sharp images. It can handle from minimum document size, 64 mm x 64 mm to maximum, 305 mm x 863 mm.