Now, heres a brilliant solution for those folks who have thrown out their land lines for cellular. Thats more people than you might think: The CTIA estimated last year that about 10 percent of wireless phone users have replaced their land lines and that 30 million to 40 million additional lines will be shut off in favor of mobile over the coming years.
The Dock-N-Talk from Phone Labs Technology Co. Inc. lets you use any standard POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) phone with your cellphone. Plug in up to 150 different types of cellphones into the base station in the middle of the picture, simply plug your home phone into the unit, and youre good to go.
Even better, for homes with multiple POTS phones in different rooms, you can connect the dock to your wiring network and access your cellphone from any room in the house.
The device itself, which is available now, costs $140. A phone-specific cradle costs another $15, while a Bluetooth connector costs an additional $70.
If youve booted your landline, this seems to be an ideal way to use cellular at home. Were looking forward to testing it in the future.
TomTom and MIO
The folks at TomTom BV are known for what is probably the best GPS (Global Positioning System)/Palm combo device on the market. The reviewers at PC Magazine Labs even gave it an editors choice. But at CTIA, they rolled out the new TomTom Go, an all-in one GPS device that can easily be mounted into any car. Designed for ease of use, its a simple, all-in-one solution.
It runs off of a cigarette lighter but also includes a built-in battery, so you can take it with you when you leave the car. Maps are stored on an included Secure Digital card, and the bright, 3.5-inch screen is easy to read. It includes a built-in speaker for voice directions as well as on-screen navigation. At $899, the device is pretty pricey. Well see how well it works when it ships in July.
Garmin Ltd. has been selling GPS integrated into a PDA for almost a year, but it runs the Palm OS only. Now Mio, a division of Taiwanese computer company Mitac International Corp., is offering GPS built into a Pocket PC. The Mio 168 costs around $500 and started shipping recently.
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