Microsoft's MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player;
Cobra Electronics' Nav One 3000 portable auto GPS.
MSN TV 2's Split Personality
Microsoft's new $200 MSN
TV 2 Internet & Media Player doesn't know what it wants to be.
On the one hand it's a television-based Internet appliance that
lets PC-less folks surf the Internet; on the other it's a home
networking device that allows networked users to access digital
music, photos, and video stored on their PC through their TV. As
a $22-per-month dial-up device for newbies, it works reasonably
well: It's easy to set up and use, though staring at your TV
while Web pages slowly load isn't exactly a great experience.
For a home networking device that shares your existing broadband
(for $10 per month), it seems unduly complicated to use.
Cobra's Near-Miss Portable Auto GPS
A built-in car navigation
system isn't much help if you end up driving your friend's
vehicle instead of your own. Cobra Electronics' $1299 Nav One
3000 lets you move it from one car to another, plus you can beam
addresses to it from your PDA. Too bad that its large size and
slow operation make it less desirable than competing products.