Not a lot of killer buzz coming out of CES yet

I know, the show has just started, but I have yet to see any ‘killer’ gadget emerge from CES 2007. Engadget, as usual, is all over CES, but a lot of other bloggers are swarming Las Vegas too. Gottabemobile.com reports on the OQO 02, the nicely updated ultra compact computer by OQO. It looks impressive, given that it has built-in WAN (Sprint EV-DO) capability, and a bunch of other refinements. It is, however, still very expensive at $2,000 a pop. Closer to $1,000 and I’d really be interested.

Also on the portable front, SlingMedia is revving up a release of its software for Slingbox access via the Palm 700p. JkontheRun contributor Kevin Tofel has the low-down here. The Slingbox is a great little device that allows you to place shift your television viewing. By place shifting, I mean you can watch whatever the Slingbox is hooked up to from a location that is physically distant from the location of the Sling. With the addition of a Palm client, I’ll be able to watch television from our DirecTV connection anywhere the Palm can pull down an EV-DO connection. Nice.

Michael Gartnberg of Jupiter Research explains CES 2007 nicely in his post:

The big theme at CES is integration and not convergence

This year, it’s all about how to integrate the diversity of devices that consumers are using into a whole that allows for the information and content they want to flow seamlessly from device to device.

One of these days I’ll find the time to make it to a CES. Until then, I’ll just rely on the great blogging that’s going on in Sin-City!

Gartenberg believes that Microsoft’s Zune is nothing to laugh at

 After the lackluster launch of the UMPC (Origami), a failure that had as much to do with the bulky form-factor as price, Microsoft is keying up another personal device for consumers.  Dubbed the Zune, most people have written it off already as an ‘also ran’ against Apple’s iPod.  Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research, however, seems to disagree:

OK, it’s pretty clear that the first iteration of Zune is pretty lackluster given where Apple and the rest of the market is. Underestimating Zune and Microsoft, however, would be a huge mistake. It’s not to say that this is a slam dunk for Microsoft but let’s look at the big picture.

Source: Michael Gartenberg – Underestimating Zune would be a huge mistake

All I can say is that the pictures comparing the two side by side make it obvious that the 1st generation Zune is pretty ugly, and bulkier than the iPod.  Microsoft is using a very aggressive pricing model ($249 for the current Zune), and clearly is willing to pump resources into this device to challenge Apple.  Maybe like the newest UMPCs, the second generation Zune will be attactive enough to own.

It’ll cost you $2,000 for a Samsung UMPC….what??

My pal Marc Perton writes over at Engadget that Samsung is going to sell their UMPC for approximately $2,000 in Korean. What!?!? This thing was supposed to be a sub-$500 machine! Ok, so Samsung will include a bunch of accessories for that price, but lets be realistic here. Can you imagine plopping down that kind of cash and not get a full fledged tablet PC?

UPDATE:  Engadget issued an update in which Samsung claims the actual price in the US will be closer to $700.  Also, it looks like Samsung will release this on May 1 at a launch party in the Bay Area.