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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [11.28.03]

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So... mean that's it?

Thanks Amanda from Future Looks for sharing this awesome pic! It just says it all ;)

Let's get this out of the way before I get into anything else. COMDEX was a snorefest. Any by all indications, it's going to stay that way (if it survives another year that is).

This being my first Comdex, I was expecting more. We've all heard the stories of the mile long taxi lines, the 200,000+ people that rampaged through the Las Vegas Convention Center, the elaborate displays that many top tier manufacturers construct to compete for our attention, and of course, the wild night life of COMDEX after dark. It is Vegas, after all.

However, I had also heard of how last year, there was a record low of 100,000 people attending what was once one of the industry's biggest week and how COMDEX was now under new management. Alright, that's not a problem...the new guys will turn COMDEX around, won't they?

Well, unless Jesus comes back, grabs a taco and calls a chariot, COMDEX 2003 will go down as the worst second coming ever. Whoever's running the show is shooting themselves in the foot. Previous versions of the event featured exhibits geared toward IT professionals as well as consumer electronics and mainstream computer equipment for the rest of us. Word on the show floor was that some manufacturers were told not to display their more consumer orientated products, which leaves just the boring stuff. While certain sources pin attendance at 50,000 to as much as 75, estimate of 30,000 is already optimistic.

Perhaps alienating people who aren't network administrators at IMBORING, Inc. wasn't a good idea. I mean, when's the last time you said "Hey!  Let's go party with Nick Burns! Our company's computer guy!" COMDEX is as much about partying as it is business.

But I Digress...

The week was not without highlights, though. Hell, even my flight down was great. Myself and our editor-in-chief Carl Nelson got an afternoon flight out of Vancouver's YVR, got exit row seats (twice) and spent out layover in otherwise boring Salt Lake City playing old school SNES games on his laptop. We even brought our own gamepads (yes, we're geeks).

While very few companies actually bothered to set up a booth, there were still quite a few that were present in Vegas, putting on exhibits in posh Vegas hotel rooms and halls as well as sponsoring some pretty swingin' shin-digs.

Let's begin with the always bling-blingin' DigitalFocus/MobileFocus party.

Held at the Bellagio, DigitalFocus continues to impress with the Biker Bash, which included a great spread of food, open bar and list of worthwhile exhibitors showing off their latest gear. Dell was in attendance as usual, in addition to Kingston, Logitech, Motorola, Sony, Nokia and various others.

No real new products of interest were on display, really. Dell showed us their new Wi-Fi enabled X3i Pocket PC and I was plenty impressed to pick one up since we have a deal going up here in Canada right now. I was much less impressed with their new "iPod wannabe" though, especially since I have a real iPod. The price is tantilizing but not enough to get me past the vanilla asethetics and the larger size.

Logitech's new line of Bluetooth products was also worth a look. Their new Bluetooth mouse, the MX900 as well as the new keyboard/mouse set designed to match up with a media room PC looked great and easily found my Nokia 6600 phone, which is also Bluetooth enabled.

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