Panels Lead Comdex Product Parade

By Michael R. Zimmerman  |  Posted 2002-11-19

Panels Lead Comdex Product Parade

LAS VEGAS—It may not be as crowded as years past, but that didnt slow hardware vendors and software developers here at Comdex 2002 from pumping out new products.

One technology that garnered a lot of attention this first day of the annual tech fest was flat panel desktop displays. BenQ Inc., CTX International Inc. and ViewSonic Corp. were all on hand with new big and bold products.

But panel technology was just one of the themes resonating here. Also emphasized was mobility and security. Adding to the product feeding frenzy in these areas was Iomega Corp., which announced its new Mini USB Drive; and Security Software Systems Inc., which upgraded its popular Policy Central software with added features for creating in-depth profiling and released a network version of its Cyber Sentinel online and e-mail monitoring software.

BenQ, formerly Acer Peripherals and the second largest supplier of LCDs in the world, released the FP591 15-inch flat panel desktop display. The FP591 supports 500-nits super brightness, allowing for exceptional video support of TV and DVD/VCD movies, officials from the Taipei, Taiwan, company said. The company also released the SL705X digital projector that supports digital compression and dithering up to 1,280 by 1,024 resolution. The 3.8-pound device can display onto screens of up to 60-inches and up to 6.6 feet away. The company also shipped the Blue Jay optical storage unit for added, mobile storage. Check out more at

CTX, another stalwart Taiwanese display manufacturer, used Comdex to launch a new line of flat panel desktop units ranging from the $473 S730 17-inch TFT, to the 23-inch H2300 panel that sells for an estimated street price of $2,411. The Taipei-based company also released its PS-5140 digital projector for an estimated street price of $1,559. For more on these and more new CTX products go to

While ViewSonic didnt release a new display, its forthcoming Smart Display was the talk of the town. First mentioned and touted by Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, Sunday night in his keynote address, the display is a large flat panel equipped with wireless connectivity. As such, users will be able to detach the unit from its desktop pedestal and roam about the home or office, officials from the Walnut, Calif., company said.

Unlike the Tablet PC-based tablets ViewSonic is building, the Smart Display is not a PC. Rather its a flat panel with wireless connectivity back to the desktop PC. Through a touch-screen, users will be able to navigate the Web, read e-mail, etc. For more on the upcoming product as well as the companys forthcoming Tablet PCs, go to

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Also on the mobility front, Iomega released Monday its new 2.5-ounce Mini USB Drive, which features a wide range of capacities from 64MB to 256MB. Because it is USB-powered, no external power supply or batteries are needed. The San Diego company also announced the Iomega Zip 750MB drive Monday. The device, which is available in USB 2.0 initially and FireWire or ATAPI soon, can also read and write to 250MB and 100MB disks. For more information on these products go to

And if youve ever wondered about the impact your employees non-business-related Internet and e-mail use may be having on productivity, Security Software Systems may have an answer. The policy monitoring software developer has upgraded its Policy Central product to include the ability to create usage profiles for individual employees, allowing employers to more efficiently monitor company policy violations and confront abusers. In addition, Policy Central version 2.0 features an optimized database that automatically stores screen captures. Policy Central automatically captures a users screen if he/she breaks a company online or e-mail or IM policy.

The Sugar Grove, Ill., companys Cyber Sentinel Network product allows companies to designate groups of employees for different policies, instead of creating one policy for all employees. Also included is a tracking feature that records every Web site a user has visited and a reporting tool that provides an historical analysis of a users Internet and e-mail or IM policy breaches. For more on these products, go to

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