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Peripherals Anchor PC Expo

A wide variety of new products will debut at PC Expo starting here tomorrow.

While top-tier PCs will once again be absent from the Jacob Javits Center show floor, the number of new peripherals, PDAs and digital cameras are up dramatically from last year.

Fujitsu will debut a desktop replacement notebook series at the show and have on display two new lines that were introduced in the past two weeks. Being announced this week is the C Series multimedia notebook. The line’s entry-level model has a suggested retail price of $1,499 and a combo DVD/CD-RW drive. Its ship date has not been set. Announced two weeks ago is the B Series mini-notebook. It features a 10.4-inch TFT LCD touchscreen that has just started shipping with a $2,199 suggested retail price. Earlier this month the company unveiled and started shipping its S Series of thin, light notebooks that start at $2,399, and have a DVD/CD-RW drive and 30GB hard drive.

UMAX will introduce a line of high-end PCs and start shipping this week the Astra4400 scanner. The unit has a $129 suggested retail price and offers 1200 x 1200dpi resolution. Other features for the single-pass scanner is a USB interface and 48-bit color processor.

Imation will have several new products at the show, including two CD burners and a USB flash memory card reader. The first CD-RW drive, dubbed the Burn-R Combo, uses the smaller, 80mm or 185MB blank CD-R media. It is battery powered and will ship next month with a $299 suggested retail price. The second model uses full-size media and has 16x write, 10x rewrite and 32x read speeds and has a $169 suggested retail price. A ship date was not announced. Imation also bows the FlashGo USB flash memory card reader. It handles all existing card types and will ship later this year with a $19.99 suggested retail price.

Actiontec will announce its Wireless-Ready Multimedia Home Gateway. The device allows multiple users to share one broadband connection, peripherals and files. The 802.11b transmitter has a 330-foot range and will support the upcoming 802.11a specification. It is expected to ship in August and carry a $149 suggested retail price.

Logitech will add a new cordless optical mouse to its PC peripheral line. The mouse, shipping in August or early September, is expected to have a $49.95 suggested retail price.

Panasonic will show its DVDBurner, which has recently been reduced to $600, at the DVD Pavilion.

LaCie also will be there with its DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM/R drives.

TEAC Americawill have two new portable CD-RW drives, one of which has a built-in battery power supply. TEAC will show a 16x CD-RW drive and the company’s first portable DVD-ROM drive. The first two CD-RW drives are expected to ship in the near future. Availability and price have not been reported on the latter two products.

CPU upgrade kit maker PowerLeap will be on hand with its line of replacement microprocessors that can take an obsolete Pentium 486-powered PC and bring it up to current standards.

Connectix will show its Virtual PC for Windows software that allows a Windows user to use several different operating systems on a single computer. Virtual PC is intended for business environments.

In addition to new digital camera offerings (see story pg. 31), Olympus also announces two new digital voice recorders. The company touts its new DW-90as “the first digital voice recorder with PC connection under $100.” It features 90 minutes of recording time, USB connectivity, a unidirectional/telescoping microphone, three folders for voice file management (up to 100 messages per folder) and three recording modes. It will ship in August with a suggested retail price of $99.

The other model, the DM-1,is a digital voice recorder and MP3 player in one. The DM-1, now available for a $349 suggested retail price, supports removable SmartMedia cards for up to 22 hours of voice recording time or more than one hour of MP3 or WMA music recording time on the included 64MB SmartMedia card.

The DM-1 includes three folders for voice file management, capable of storing up to 199 messages per folder. The DM-1 has 2 recording modes, and uses Digital Speech Standard files, which are 12-20 times smaller than standard WAV sound files, and are optimized for voice applications.