Sony's Cool Thing

Some products respond to consumers' needs; others, like Sony's airboard, seek to create them. Like sending e-mails from the pool, or curling up in bed with your favorite sitcom. This futuristic gadget combines the functions of a television, a dvd player and the Internet into a portable tablet the size of a place mat. If it catches on, it could change the concept of being digital at home.

At 1.5 kg, the airboard is light enough to carry anywhere in the house, and can send and receive data wirelessly from a base station hooked up to home-entertainment equipment. A 10.4-in. (26-cm) lcd...

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