CES 2001 Editors Choice Awards

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the biggest yet.  One of the most exciting things was the ever-increasing convergence of the Electronic marketplace, with the Computer Market.  Building after building, booth after booth, a whole lot of great stuff.

How does BizNet sort out the good, from the great?  The great from the Award Winning?  For the most part it is fairly easy.  Most of the following Award Winners got the award because they achieved one thing.  After seeing the product, my only comment was "I want one, no I must have one, or two, or..." You get the idea.

For More Information on CES:


Now on to the Awards!

In no particular order the winners are:



For their new product the Instant Power Charger!

Using Air Zinc technology this is a disposable battery pack that can be used to recharge (up to 3 times) your Cell Phone battery at anytime in any place.  In other words, you don’t need an electrical outlet, or even a charger, because this baby does the job all on it’s own. They also make a unit for recharging PDA's.

One For All


For their new Clock Radio ACR 2000

Now this is the best thing to come into the Bedroom since the TV.  This unit is not only a great Clock Radio (dual Alarms, Battery Back up, and more) it is also a bedside remote control for the TV.  Finally a remote for the Bedroom that won't get lost in the bed!



For their soon to be released MURS-25 two way radio.  This is a full 5 watt two way radio with up to a 5 mile range.  In addition, the unit can receive important announcements from NOAA about different emergency conditions.  From weather to tornado warnings.  And best of all. No FCC License is needed.  Just buy it, turn it on and talk!



In addition to just loving the name, this company gets an award for a new twist on an old idea.  The lost and found.  Log on to the web site  get some great lost and found stickers, then if anything is lost with one of these stickers on it, you stand a better chance of getting it back.

Mascot Metropolitan / Tutto Company


In addition to making a great PDA case this company gets an award for their line of rolling luggage.  Now this is not your ordinary tipping over box on wheels stuff.  This company has their design together.  In fact it's patented.  But better then that if your looking for a rolling bag that really works, you found it.

PALM, Inc.


PALM not only impressed us so much, that they won this award for literally inventing the PDA market, we wrote a feature article on the company!  So, read about them in this issue.

Chaney Instrument Company 


Does anyone really know what time it is?  With one of the award winning watches from this company you will.  Under the Atomix brand name this company makes a line of wristwatches that set the right time automatically.  It's Magic!.  No, just technology.  Check them out today, and you will always know the right time.



Wow, this company has come out with an ultimate Digital Camera.  The VPC-SX550MD is it.  Talk about wanting one.  This baby is the first camera to record at  VGA resolution!  Check out some of these features:

Yah, this is a "still" digital camera, but don't let that stop you from shooting video with it!

SMaL Camera Technologies


O.K. this is not like the camera from Sanyo. It's not got a lot of bells and whistles on it.  So, why give it an award?  Because this baby is major small.  Check it out.  It is about the size of a credit card!  Now tell me you don't want one.



With the new 750NAV system from Magellan you can have a great GPS Navigational unit in any car..  Forget car..  This unit is so portable you can put it in anything you driving in.  Car, Truck, what ever.  And yes not only do you get street level mapping, but directions two.

Check it out today



Truth be told I went to see Iomega to check out their CD-RW drives.  Now I was not disappointed.  In fact just for it's styling we have to give the new Predator CD-RW external drive and Award!  This thing looks like it came from outer space.  Every collage kid (and a lot of "adults" ) will want one.  That said I also looked at their  FotoShow Digital Image Center.  At first look I was not very taken with it.  So why mention it.  Because it to is getting a CES Editors Choice Award!  Why? This thing is great.  Once they sat me down and showed it to me, I knew they had a winner.  In addition to functioning as a 250 MB drive, and compact flash reader.  This baby is a great stand alone (as in no computer needed) video display system.  Check out one at your locale retailer.

Wireless Marketing Corporation


You know the products this company makes by the better known names of Coleman and First Alert.  At CES they showed their WX-87 radio.  In addition to being a great weather alert radio, this unit has the Award winning feature of incorporating a remote temperature display.  So, from sitting in the comfort of your home or office you can see the temperature of up to three different locations

Kenwood Communications


Now, at CES there was no shortage of company’s showing those hot little FRS radios.  Kenwood was no exception.  So why are we giving Kenwood an Award?  Because of a really neat feature they have on their radios.  It is an in-range/out-of-range indicator that lets you know if the folks in your group are getting out of range or are still in range.  With this feature you can't accidentally wander out of range.  In addition their LH-14 radios have a built-in voice scrambler, so even if another person has a radio set to the same channel as you and your group, they can't eavesdrop.



I love this company.  I have had a Plantronics headset on my ear for over 15 years.  I could not imagine life without it.  At CES it was great to meet the woman in charge of the design team for the Mirage (my favorite headset in the world).  But that's not what this award is for. Plantronics gets this Editors Choice Award for their forth-coming BlueTooth headset.  I can't wait to get my hands on one!



After checking out Belkin at CES it would be very easy to give one of their products an Editor Choice Award.  They have some great products.  Their USB lineup is intense.  However, what impresses me the most is what this company has done with itself in the last years.  Belkin used to be known as a maker of cheap power strips.  A company with nothing special.  Boy!  Talk about night and day.  Belkin is now a great company with great products.  No cheap junk here.  Just great innovative products and very fair prices.  BizNet is proud to bestow its Editors Choice Award on the entire company!



Last year this company came out with a great line of Home Networking cards that simply let you network your computers over your household telephone wires.  If a room had a telephone jack, it had a network connection.  The system works great.  This year they have something even better.  Let’s face it.  Not every room has a phone jack, or they don't have the jack where you want it.  But every room has a wall plug.  A wall plug?  Yes, now thanks to Diamond you can Network your computers over your household wiring!  And for that Diamond gets the Editors Choice Award



This company has an award winner in its new product the SASO.  This is a net little unit that can be used by itself or attached to a PALM.  The unit is a great voice recorder and MP3 player.  Unlike some of the other digital voice units on the market, the SASO lets you take control and manage your voice files.  Not only that, but this unit will hold up to 40 hours of voice recordings!  Check out this unit at the company’s web sit.

Cobra Electronics


Now this is a well-known name.  Cobra makes some kitchen radios, inverters, and radar detectors.  In fact in this issue you can read about the long term testing of one of their units (not one fails signal). Cobra has come out with a 2-watt version of its FRS radios giving up to a 5-mile range.  One of the big announcements was that Cobra took over Lowrance Electronics (fish finders).  Reviewing the new line-up of radar detectors it was easy to see why Cobra is the #1 brand.  It looks like they’re going to stay that way.  BizNet gives Cobra the Editors Choice Award for making an incredible line of radar detectors.  If making a great detector was not enough, they have such extras as weather alert, voice recording (memo), compass, road hazard / emergency vehicle warning system, and more.  Check out the whole line-up at the company’s web site.

Sybersay Communications


This company has an extremely nice cellular earpiece that sits comfortably on your ear, with a clear sound tube carrying the sound into your ear.  Users of the unit are not as obvious as the more traditional (and less comfortable) headsets.  Their Earlite 650 also has some great noise canceling technology.  Check back on this company’s web site for their upcoming wireless headset.



Wow, talk about your cordless phones.  Most manufacturers brag about the range of their cordless phones in yards.  EnGenius does it in miles!  This system can be as basic as 1 line, 1 phone, or as big as 4 lines, 36 phones.  In addition to being an incredible cordless phone, each handset functions as a two-way radio.  Think of it as a bit like having a Nextel (phone and radio in one) phone for your home or office.

SSI Computer Corp. 


What caught my eye about this company was their cordless headset the SI-8330.  This is a very small headset that just sits on your ear and needs no wires to connect it to your phone (an adapter does attach to the phone).  This unit is made to use on a PC phone, Cell Phone, or Home phone.  Now that was what caught my eye.  Now for the Award winner.  This company also has a great little digital camera that goes on your key chain.  Now that’s small!  The NEDIO Has a built in rechargeable battery and can take up to 80 pic’s.   Not bad for something you can put on your key chain.



What first attracted me to this company’s booth was a neat Video entry system called the “Video Entry System”.  If you have ever seen the one marketed under the “Airphone” name then you know what this system does.  It lets you see and hear who or what is outside your front door.  With the two-way intercom you can also talk to the person.  From what I could see the main difference between this one and the Airphone unit is the price.  This is a lot less.  Now as nice as this system is, it’s not the award winner.  It was edged out by the IntelaVoice switch this company has.  This is a simple voice activated switch (soon to be a wall switch) that you plug into the wall.  You then plug anything you want into it.  Like a coffee pot.  You can now walk into the kitchen and say “coffee now”, and on goes the coffee pot!

Brother International


Now, Brother makes a lot of really neat stuff (see last month’s story on the Quarto phone system), but after spending time at their booth, what won this award was their Coollaminator XL-1200.  What makes this unit a winner is its unique cartage system.  Get this; they make a cartage system with a magnetic backing.  You can make your own magnetic signs!  As the unit uses a 12-inch wide roll you can make signs 12 inch wide by up to 30 feet!  Now that’s totally cool.



Now this is a unique company.  A quick look around this company’s web sit will show you that whatever this company makes, it does it with style.  Now if you think Terk is obsessed with style you should talk to them about what goes into the design of making their stuff work.  This company really truly does it’s best to not only have the best-looking products, but the best functioning too!  At CES, Terk was showing off a great line of auto Cell phone antennas.  When these things hit the market later this year they are going to be hot.  Terk gets the Editors Choice Award for putting only the best form and function into everything they make.

Oregon Scientific


When I walked into the booth of Oregon Scientific at CES, I knew they would end up an Award Winner, but for what?  Boy this company has a lot of stuff.  From Interactive toys and games for preschoolers, to PDA’s to wristwatches.  Now that’s a lot of neat stuff…  and a lot off stuff for all age groups.  If you’re looking for something to stimulate your Child’s mind, or a great executive gift, this is the company to go to.  For having such a diverse and exciting product line, BizNet gives Oregon Scientific the Editors Choice Award!

MedTrak Electronics inc.


Med, what?? Never heard of them.  Well I can tell you that you will be hearing a lot about this company.  For now this is what they say: “MedTrak Electronics, Inc., a wireless technology application development company specializing in portable tracking and consumer medical monitoring markets…”  The products they were showing were “KIDTRACKER, ADULTGUARD PETWATCHER, WATERGUARD, PERMATEMP , PERMATEMP II, and PERMATEMP PLUS”.  The what’s??  Let put it this way.  Among other things this company found a reliable and cost effective way of using Radio Directional finding, for tracking down your kid, the family dog, your grandpa, or almost anyone or anything you attach the unit to.  Now that’s Award Winning Stuff!



Hey it’s raining cats and dogs outside.  Lets grab the digital camera and take some pics!  What? are you nuts!  Take an expensive digital camera anywhere near water! You’ve got to be crazy!  Not if you saw what Kodak was offering at CES.  The DC5000 Zoom Digital Camera can take it.  This unit is made for the rough life.  From taking family outing photos in the snow or rain, to the needs of law enforcement.  This baby has a class 4 weatherproof body!  If that’s not enough, try the oversized controls so you don’t even need to take your gloves off.  Now that’s an Award Winner!



Want a great multi-media projector, but got no place to put it.  Then you don’t know about the InFocus Home Projector.  This little guy will go anywhere.  A tabletop.  The Ceiling. And ready for this, you can even put it up against the wall!  It comes with a great connector system letting you plug in just about anything, like the DVD, VCR, Tuner, Computer, Game player, and more.  Cables, cables, and more cables.  Not with this bad boy.  It all works on just one cable going to the Projector.  Now that’s an Award Winning Combination



O.K.  You heard me go on and on about the really neat cordless headsets that are now out on the market, well this company blows them all away.  ArialPhone makes a Voice Based Wireless Earset.  A Voice Based Wireless Earset?  Yeh, it’s just like a cordless headset, but the base is a complete phone.  But the real kicker is the whole thing is voice controlled!  Beam Me Up Scotty!  The future is here!  Check it out; a lightweight phone that sits on your ear.  You can just walk around the house or office, and never touch the phone.  All you have to do is tell it whom to call!



Xerox has a new motto for its printers ‘Work faster with a smarter breed of inkjet”. Their new WorkCentre M950 will make a believer out of you.  For less then $400.00 you get a Network able Color Printer, PC Fax, Flatbed Scanner, and Copier, with a 20 sheet document feeder all in a nice space saving package.  This is a killer Unit for the SOHO Market.



I have always thought this company’s packaging was cute with the packages that looked like film boxes but had the wording “Digital Film” on them.  But, hey a Smart Media is Smart Media when it comes to Digital film.  Not So!!!  As I came to learn at CES, Lexar Media puts a lot into their Smart Media cards to give you more.  Their new cards go up to 32 Megs.  They make cards to optimize all the futures your device has.  From High speed to USB support.  Check out their full line on their web site.



As usual Olympus had lots of attention getting goodies at its booth.  But the most impressive were two of its new digital cameras.  Both offering World’s First.  The Camedia E-10 is the world’s first 4 Megapixel camera.  Boy, that’s 12MB per picture.  Now that’s high resolution.  But the most amazing thing is the price.  It’s under $2,000.00.  Look, I know $2,000.00 is not pocket change but let me tell you, when it comes to pro equipment, $2,00.00 is cheap.  The other Winner is their Camedia  E-100  RS Camera.  Yeh, the Camedia E-10 may be top dog in the resolution area but let it try to knock out 15 pic’s in one second!  For a Digital Camera that’s amazing.  And at 1.5 Megapixel the resolution is very nice.  Way to go Olympus!

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