This past week, thousands of tech geeks, journalists, booth babes, (and Top Chef Contestants?!) descended on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where companies show you mouth-watering products you’ll never be able to afford.
There were many big announcements, but in my opinion, Motorola and Verizon stole the show with a much anticipated iPad competitor, the Motorola Xoom, and a fleet of 4G LTE enabled smartphones and tablets. 4G LTE is the 4th generation of wireless standards (an upgrade to 3G), offering extremely fast download speeds on your mobile devices.
The Motorola Xoom, winner of CNET’s Best of Show Award, is definitely drool worthy. The Xoom has a 10.1 inch screen, an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor, rear and front facing cameras, 32gb built-in memory, flash support, and Android’s brand new Honeycomb interface, built specifically for tablets. Whatever you do with it, it’s going be pretty awesome. Play the latest Android games, update your Facebook, use the latest O2uk Mobile Broadband or watch Youtube videos. Basically whatever you do will seem bigger and better than ever. If you can afford to splurge on a hot new hi-tech gadget this year, this one is my recommendation. Compared to iPad’s 9.7 inch screen, A4 processor, no cameras, no flash, and iOS, this tablet is arguably better across the board. Oh, and it looks shiny too.
The new Vizio line of TVs are not only beautiful (full-array LED backlight, 480hz refresh rate, etc.), they come with a host of Internet Apps (VIA). One of these apps, OnLive, is a cloud-gaming service that offers a bunch of cool features. My favorite is called “Versus”, which uses the 3D capability of the television to allow two separate gamers to use the entire screen without need a “split-screen mode”.
Each player wears the 3D glasses, which send a different image to the right and left eye, so that each player will simultaneously see a 2D image of their screen on the television. Halo party, my house?
Last year I predicted that 3D glasses would be the new hipster trend, but I think I have a new favorite pair of sunglasses. Lady Gaga paired up with Polaroid to introduce a pair of terminator-inspired specs that take pictures.
Ridiculous? Maybe. Expensive? I’m sure. Awesome? ABSOLUTELY.
Last year at CES, 3D was a big deal. However this holiday season, 3D TV sales suffered because of the lack of specialized content. Maybe this will help that. Now for the low cost of $1400 Panasonic released the first 3D videocamera last year for the low low cost of $21000, then a consumer friendly model last October for $1400, and now have upgraded their line.
I can hear it ten years from now at preppy private schools, “Oh… your home videos aren’t in 3D? I don’t know if we can be friends…”
Manufacturers have finally figured out a way to use the insane amounts of processing power they are putting into smartphones these days. Let you use it like a computer! The Motorola Atrix 4G comes with a laptop dock. This dock, once you plug in your phone, brings whatever you are doing on your phone into a larger screen, allowing you to surf the web, watch videos, write emails with the comfort of a full-sized laptop. Nifty eh?
Tired of your external hard drive crashing and losing all your illegally downloaded movies? Well IoSafe is here to save you! In a video demonstration at CES, they showed how their external harddrive can withstand 10 rounds from a SHOTGUN. Since I often accidentally fire my shotgun at my hard drive, I’ll totally be buying this baby.
Verizon’s new system combines security, power usage, and appliance usage all into one manageable system. It allows you to check in either on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or FIOS-enabled TV to see how much power you are using and which appliances are turned on. Went on vacation and forgot to turn the porch light on? Just log online and switch the light off. Headed home after a long day of work and want to hop right into a warm bed? Just log onto through your smartphone and switch on your electric blanket. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, this system is only available right now in New Jersey. Verizon is missing a big opportunity if they don’t get the Jersey Shore to endorse this…
And there you have it! My favorite tech picks from CES 2011. What caught your attention?
For those of you who don’t know, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest consumer electronics trade show of the year, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last year was kind of a disappointment, with most companies feeling the effects of the downturned economy and not showing many exciting products.
But this year CES is back with shiny new gadgets. You probably won’t be able to afford them, and they probably won’t actually be available until next year, but still, they are shiny new gadgets!!
So I’ve picked out some of my favorites and I’m going to tell you what they do or why they are cool, without using the words Core 2 Duo, OLED display, or HDMI.
Tablets and Netbooks
Tablets and Netbooks were big this year at CES. So why not make a laptop that is both a tablet AND a netbook?! Lenovo’s Ideapad U1 does just that.
It’s basically a really small laptop that has a detachable screen for easy mobility. It’s kind of like a Barbie doll (super skinny and easy to pop the head on and off). Here: watch some people play with it!
Panasonic VT25 Series TVs. 3D television in the home is here! All you have to do is wear these super cool looking 3D glasses…
My question is, how long until these glasses are worn ironically by New York hipsters?
The Amazon Kindle now has some competition. CES 2010 saw such E-book readers as Samsung’s E6/101 and Entourage’s Edge. But I’m most excited about Hearst’s Skiff Reader. It’s designed to let you read electronic versions of your magazines all on one device. Now we just need the magazine industry to put their magazines on it.
Google has a cellphone! The Google Nexus One is Google’s first foray into the hardware industry. It’s branded Google, sold by Google (and T-Mobile at the moment), and fully compatible with all of Google’s service. It’s like the iPhone, but made my Google!
Intel Wireless Display
This technology (once you buy a new TV that has it), will let you plug in a box that allows you to see your computer screen on your TV without cluttering your beautiful living room with wires.
Skype on your TV
LG and Panasonic have begun including webcams in their sets that, combined with Skype applications, allow for easy, free video conferencing through your television.