Tag Archives: consumer electronics show

CES 2012

The Best Of The Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2012

Another year, another Consumer Electronics Show. Forgive my late “best of” blog; I had to rest a little after this year’s show. Every year I tell myself I’ll have a plan of attack, and every year I find myself wandering way off track and aimlessly between the halls — no bother as it’s hard to turn any corner at the International CES 2012 and not find something incredibly cool.

I didn’t get a look at Snookie or the Beib’s, but I did see some really cool innovations. Here’s a list of the best in the most popular categories.

Ultrabooks

Haven’t you heard? Laptops had to re-brand. At the show this year, it was all about the Ultrabooks; these are laptops that meshed the lines between notebook, tablet and high-powered machine — for around $1,000.

One might not think Lenovo, akin to the clunky ThinkPad, could produce something absolutely elegant in this category. They did. Enter the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. The beautiful machine has a slim but sturdy frame, advanced multi-touch, Windows 8, and … wait for it … the double-hinge design lets you use it as a tablet or a notebook. Pick your poison.

Coming this February is the HP Envy 14 Spectre, equipped with a nine-hour battery life, Intel Wireless Display, HP’s CoolSense technology and premium software, including Photoshop, and a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. And, by the way, it’s stunning. This Ultrabook is a tad heavier than the others debuted at the show, weighing in at a hefty 3.8 pounds. And its price tag is a smidge heavier, too, at $1,400.

Tablets

Last year was all about tablet-mania at CES. This year, we got to see some serious next-generation goodies.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab really caught my eye as a nice improvement over last year. Samsung is calling their Galaxy Tab 7.7 the thinnest and lightest of Samsung’s tablet line.  It’s the first tablet with a 7.7 inch Super AMOLED Plus display at a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution. The screen is incredible, and gamers will like the vivid lighting and color display. This tablet will only be available through Verizon for now, but here’s hoping that will expand to other carriers by the end of the year.

Android, of course, had a big year again, powering some of the best tablets and smartphones being shown. One example that created quite a bit of buzz at the show was the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. This beauty runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (yum) and is extremely powerful for a tablet. Playing with this, you may realize you don’t need a laptop at all. Asus announced at the show that the Prime will have a 1080p panel to boot, making the display unparalleled. It’s also blazing fast with a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor that will be appreciated by serious business users and gamers alike.

Smartphones

Speaking of Android, smartphones featuring the new Ice Cream Sandwich OS abounded. I was really impressed with Sony’s venture into the smartphone world, launching the Sony Xperia Ion through AT&T. This phone, also a gaming device, has a very nice 720p glass screen and a 12-megapixel camera. Its dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is in there to handle PlayStation games as well as other media, such as music and videos. Right now it’s running on Android Gingerbread, but Sony promises an upgrade later this year.

The LG Spectrum was a great example of something else new this year — HD smartphones. This device also sported a 720p screen but with advanced HD features that make text, images and color on the screen really pop. There’s even an HD-specific app store (HD Angry Birds?). Like the Sony Xperia, right now this slim Spectrum is just running on Gingerbread, but an upgrade soon to ICS is promised by the summer.

For more information about CES 2012, visit cesweb.org.

 

Apple's iPhone4

Consumer Tech Products To Expect In 2011

The first week of January can only mean one thing: what’s coming out in consumer tech in the next year. Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show (the mecca for new gadgets) there seemed to be two prevailing themes: 3D TVs and smart phones. We all saw how well 3D TV went over. (Really, you didn’t want to sit in your own living room wearing uncomfortable, goofy glasses?) While we expect that smart phones will still be a major draw, my prediction is there will be a couple more prevailing technologies this year that everyone will be buzzing about: tablets and power.

I’m heading out to CES in Las Vegas this week, and plan to report back here on what I see at the show that’s cool (and what’s not). But here’s my preliminary take on what’s going to be hot in tech over the next 12 months.

Phones

Undoubtedly the most anticipated release will be the iPhone on the Verizon Wireless network. Finally, we will all be free to enjoy America’s favorite handheld device AND enjoy the luxury of not dropping every other call. The rumor on the Vegas Strip is that Verizon will make the announcement during the CEO’s keynote at the show.

While everyone is ooohing and aaahing over the marriage of iPhone and reliable 3G and 4G service, Google will be making strong headway with the Android platform, and a buffet of new Android phones will hit the market from HTC, Motorola, Samsung and other major handset developers. As a user and lover of an Android phone, I am extremely excited to see what comes on the market in this space. Right now, Sprint’s Evo is shaping up to be a hell of an iPhone competitor.

Tablets

 

While it took four iterations of the iPhone for a serious competitor to emerge in the Android corner, iPad might see some challengers from this growing platform in the next couple of months. Expect to see several tablets debut this week that will surely eat into Apple’s next iPad release (expected in March). The best thing about the emergence of the tablet wave is that consumers will now be presented with a very nice selection of sleek, affordable tablets that can be used for personal and work life. Expect Samsung, HP, and Microsoft to lead the way.

Power

This is obviously a timely topic from a commercialization standpoint, but it’s also finding its way in the CE conversation. Over the last five years, we’ve seen more and more companies crop up that address our changing needs for how we power all of our devices. From universal chargers (one power device for all of your gadgets), to wireless charging, to solar-powered chargers, to vehicles being embedded with charging technology, power has a vital place in the conversation of gadgetry. I think this year at CES we’re going to see some technology that will change the way consumers charge up. The big issue on the table? Saving energy. Expect to see Duracell, Radio Shack and even phone carriers such as T-Mobile to have cutting-edge power solutions that hit retail shelves this year. And there are plenty of smaller companies holding their own in this space too — Powermat, Call Pod, and iGo, to name a few.

We’ll see if my predictions are on target.CES is known for not only debuting big ideas in consumer tech, but also small ones that are equally cool and noteworthy. I’ll see as much as I can in three short days. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for short cab lines. Until then, Happy New Year!