Thursday, December 25

Surprisingly Prophetic

Newsweek's Gadgets Shopping List from 1997:

PalmPilot (PALM) Professional, $369. And don't forget a bevy of accessories, like the Metricom Ricochet wireless modem -- another $349, plus $30/month for service.

Seiko MessageWatch, $79.95 to $189.95. For $14.95 a month, you get unlimited local paging and email up to 16 characters long. By the way, where's our Casio TwitterWatch?

Sony (SNE) Playstation, $149. Better than its rivals, the Nintendo N64 and Sega's Saturn, says Newsweek. Wacky 1997 rumor: Sega will be working on an "affordable but ultrahighend 128-bit system possibly in partnership with--guess who--Microsoft" (MSFT).

Motorola (MOT) StarTac 8600 Cellular Phone, $800 to $1,200. Motorola's big hit of the late '90s, this phone was even "wearable" with the right armband or necklace accessory. Includes a built-in answering machine!

Midisoft Family Music Center, $199.95. Four octave programmable keyboard, doubles as a digital studio mixer.

Canon PowerShot 350 Digital Camera, $599. No mention of megapixels, but enough memory to store 47 pictures at once. "For even more pictures, snap in the 2MB CompactFlash memory card."

"Austin Powers" DVD, $25. "For those early adopters on your Christmas list who already have Digital Video Disc (DVD) players hooked up in their home entertainment centers."

Rolodex Rex PC Companion, $129 to $179. Tiny, read-only pocket organizer "so small you could conceal it under a credit card" -- "the equivalent of a stuffed Filofax."

Alphasmart 2000 Keyboard, $249. A keyboard with a built-in word processor that can store up to 64 pages of single-spaced text. Synchs up with an Apple (AAPL) Mac or PC.

Sony SPP-SS960 Digital Spread Spectrum Phone, $199. Cordless home phone.

Fritz 5 Chess, $88. PC chess game with a talking coach, database of 100,000 games and a "dazzling library of opening moves."
Bonus: Apple "Think Different" ad with $5,699 PowerBook G3 notebook.

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