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CES: Canadian company shows off HDTVs, portable PC

By Ted Kritsonis, Special to CBCNews.ca

LAS VEGAS - Celebrating one year in business, Mississauga, Ont.-based VisionQuest made its debut at the Computer Electronics Show by showcasing its newest flat-panel HDTVs and a small portable notebook PC.

VisionQuest considers itself a "tier 2 brand," suggesting that it offers more value for those consumers who have less to spend. While all the other major TV manufacturers are slimming down their bezels and panels, VisionQuest hasn't been able to follow suit.

But the company did introduce a flat-panel that has a slide-in box in the back that turns the TV into an Internet Protocol (IP) device. There's an ethernet port and two USB ports, which connect the TV to your home network, along with external hard drives to watch whatever content you have saved on them.

The IPC TV should be in stores throughout Canada this spring, though no pricing has been set for the 32-, 37- and 42-inch models.

On the PC front, the company presented a new LCD monitor called the VisBoard that works much like a tablet PC. An included stylus pen allows you to write down notes or navigate menus. Artistic types can doodle on photos and other documents as well.

VisBoard.jpg

The 22-inch screen is also adjustable, so it flips up and down to make it easier for a small group to look at the same thing. Business types might like that.

Not to mention that the company confirmed to me that the VisBoard will work with Mac and Linux as well. And the cost is pretty competitive, rounding out at $500.

VisBook.jpg

VisionQuest also introduced the VisBook, a mini-notebook computer that runs the Windows CE operating system. It runs on a 400 MHz processor, 64 megabytes of RAM (1 gigabyte of flash RAM) and is Wi-Fi-enabled on the 802.11b/g standards. The screen measures seven inches, and the overall size of the VisBook is just as small as a lot of other portable mini-notebooks out there. The price will be about $300, with a spring release being likely, the company said.

The author is a Toronto-based freelance writer

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