CES '07: Netgear intros new storage device, Skype handset

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Netgear Dual-Mode Cordless and Storage Central Turbo
Besides introducing its iTV-killer (my term, not theirs), Netgear unveiled a pair of other products today that, while not revolutionary, build upon their existing product line in logical ways. The first is an updated network storage device, the Storage Central Turbo. The previous version, the Storage Central, supported IDE hard drives and 10/100Mbps networking; the Turbo boosts that to Gigabit Ethernet, and changes the interface over to SATA. Unfortunately, the software end of it still requires a PC, so it's off to Boot Camp or Parallels for Mac users.

The second product builds on Netgear's existing Skype Wi-Fi Phone. The Dual-Mode Cordless Phone with Skype not only allows you to use the aforementioned VoIP service over wireless (once the unit's base station is connected to your router), but it also plugs into your existing landline to work as a cordless phone, allowing you to choose which service to use for your calls. The Dual-Mode uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology, which supposedly gives access to "advanced digital features" along with bringing more pedestrian improvements like clearer calls and longer range. To demonstrate, Netgear VP of Product Marketing Vivek Pathela called Netgear CEO Patrick Lo from the podium. The base station supports up to four handsets, though Netgear engineers were unable to explain whether multiple handsets on the same unit would be able to participate in the same call.

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