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BEING MOBILE: 2 Days in Hong Kong in search of a Windows Mobile device
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - on Sunday, 17.10.04 - 12:46:43 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 11265x
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My Hong Kong schedule was quite hectic. As soon as we got to Hong Kong, we only had enough time to have a quick lunch and had had to hurry down to the Convention Center. The exhibit was quite huge with various products on display from TV sets to Refrigerators and DVD players to USB flash drives and MP3 players. I saw a lot of various electronic products there such as clocks and medical equipment. I was told not to expect to see any Windows Mobile powered device in the Hong Kong exhibit and it was quite true. I didn't see anything there except for a couple of Windows CE.Net powered devices.

There was just an abundance of the cheapest electronic wonder available to mankind today... the USB flashdisk. They were just everywhere ranging from the aesthetically designed ones to the most basic dull looking ones. Of course a step up would be the MP3 player based on the USB flashdisk which apparently was also everywhere. It was also nice to see that all the MP3 players would also play WMA encoded files. Next up were the Personal Video Players. Of course we've seen the usual which play MPEG-1 files, but the ones I saw go several steps further where they somehow jump into the Portable Media Center arena, without being Windows Powered at that. They would play various codecs including DivX and WMV aside from the usual MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs. Some of them even boast of having CF and SD card slots integrated and there are versions with TV tuners built-in.

There were a handfule of mobile devices there and most of them were basic mobile phones, GPS devices and the like. What was quite interesting was that there were also a bunch of Bluetooth dongles and headsets as well as hands-free kits available.

The most interesting for me would probably be the second day where I happened to stuble upon a company that makes 2 Windows CE.Net powered handheld devices. One in HPC form and the other in Tablet form. Both devices had built-in GPRS connectivity and the basic ports needed.

The Smartbook G138 uses a 206MHz SA1110 processor with 128MB RAM and 32MB ROM. It comes with an 800x480 7-inch 16-bit TFT screen. The GPRS functionality comes from a built in module. It also has a CF type II slot and ports for LAN and USB.

The Smartbook G168a though comes in Tablet form. This has a better processor as it uses a PXA 255 at 400MHz and a larger ROM at 64MB.

As it is the Smartbook G168a is already capable of some expansion via the SD slot. It has a microphone and headphone jack and a USB port on one side where the stylus is also located. The Smartbook G168a has a connectivity option in the form of a small docking platform which adds ports to the device for LAN, serial connection, monitor, an extra USB port and keyboard.

Nothing was quite as refreshing as an open area where there was some sunlight. The end of the day was something we welcomed as it meant that we could go back to our hotel to rest. The trip back to the hotel though was quite interesting as the Hong Kong evening was quite interesting. On our way back to the hotel as we emerged from the MTR, we were welcomed by huge neon signs and busy streets. Stores were open and people were just everywhere. This is where I noticed that a good number of people here have MP3 players and they use them. Everywhere you look around, there will always be someone with an MP3 player hanging around their necks.

I went around the stores scouting for stuff, although I didn't stray too far away from my hotel, I was able to find some new iPAQs on sale. The hx4700 is available for HK$4980, the rz1717 is available for HK$1880, the rz3715 is available for HK$4080, and the rz3417 is available for HK$3580.

BTW, food here is great...

I'll keep you all posted about what's in China.

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo


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