CES 2008: Panasonic press conference

Naively hopeful for an announcement of a new UMPC or anything in the handtop/MID arena, Pocketables attended this morning’s Panasonic press conference at the Venetian.


There’s a chance that something of interest could be unveiled at tomorrow’s CES keynote or on the showroom floor, but given the amount of times all three speakers said the word "HD" today, I’m not holding my breath. There were some interesting new products shown, though, so it wasn’t a total loss. Have a look below.


Among the highlights of the new lineup was the world’s first 32GB SDHC card with class 6 speed specification, which will be formally launched later this month and currently has no official release date. It will be capable of holding 8 hours worth of HD video content that can be viewed on any number of Panasonic’s Viera series of high-definition plasma and LCD TVs. Most if not all of the new TVs, ranging between 26 and 103 inches, will have built-in SD slots and the company’s Viera Link technology to make controlling content easy and seamless.

A few items that do have relatively firm release dates include various camcorders (SD, HD, DVD) and Lumix digital cameras. The first units should be available for purchase beginning in March.


Later this month, Panasonic will be releasing the Strada GP50U, its first GPS unit. It has a 5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and an SD card slot for multimedia playback.


The woman presenting the new products didn’t seem very excited about the Strada, but she was quite thrilled by the Link to Cell, which uses a handset to connect to cell phones via Bluetooth so that poor reception is never an issue at home. She called it her favorite cell phone accessory because apparently, she gets very bad reception in her New York apartment.

Determined to "lead in Blu-Ray," Panasonic also announced a Blu-Ray disc player and a home theater system with built-in Blu-Ray and iPod integration.


My eyes glazed over while looking at some of the new devices, but I regained my focus when the DVD-LS86 portable DVD player appeared on screen. I think it was the word "portable" that piqued my interest. The unit has an 8.5-inch display and an astonishing 13-hour battery life!

And that was the Panasonic press conference. Much like CES Unveiled last night, nothing much to see. What I did take away from the event was that I won’t be taking notes with a pen and paper anymore. I thought it would’ve been easier than using my TZ for some reason, but I was wrong. I forgot how slowly I handwrite (and the fumes from my Sharpie weren’t pleasant).

We’re headed to the Samsung and Sony press conferences next. My hopes are high. Be back soon!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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