The CES has always been...
...spread out over several venues in Vegas due to its size, and this year even more so. Major press events have always been centered around the convention center and Venetian hotel, but this year they are all over the Vegas strip. For attendees to catch all the major press events this year they'll have to hit hotels the entire length of the strip. They spread from the Mandalay Bay hotel on the far end of the strip to the Wynn, with most of the rest taking place at the Venetian and convention center. That's a lot of walking and taxi lines to deal with. This virtual tour is looking like a better idea now, isn't it?
There will be lots of keynotes at the CES but the major show speech will not be given by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft is skipping the CES this year for the first time so the big keynote will be given by Qualcomm. This company is a major producer of the communications hardware found in most everyone's mobile products so it makes sense even if Qualcomm is not a familiar name in most households.
PCs/ tablets/ hybrids:
This is the year of Windows 8 and vendors will be manning giant booths to show off the exciting products coming in 2013. While Microsoft doesn't have a booth as in years past make no mistake, the company is everywhere. They are no doubt working diligently with major hardware partners to make sure Windows 8 is front and center in each vendor's booth.
Other major PC vendors are foregoing the expensive booth too, with the likes of Lenovo setting up in a tent outside the show floor as they have in past shows. Other vendors are set up in private suites in the major hotels to show off new wares to small groups by appointment only. The displays are roughly the same no matter where they are situated, with Windows 8 hardware front and center. There is a dazzling number of Ultrabooks, the thin laptops that have been around for a while. These are pretty much as they have been but the models on display show Ultrabooks are getting thinner and lighter.
The newest products in the booths are the Windows 8 hybrids in all sizes. There are laptops with screens that either swivel around or slide down to become touch tablets. These are designed to take full advantage of the dual nature of Windows 8 by functioning as a thin laptop when desired and also a touch tablet when that makes more sense.
There are some Windows 8 tablets that have full laptop docks. These are thin tablets similar in size and weight to the popular iPad, that can be popped into a laptop dock to become a full laptop. Some of the laptop docks have internal batteries to extend the battery life of the tablet when docked, but others do not.
On the PC front there are also quite a few all-in-one computers that have large touch screens. This is directly attributable to the touchy-feely nature of Windows 8 and vendors' desires to leverage across entire product lines. The most unique of the big desktop PCs is in the Lenovo tent. The IdeaCenter Horizon is a flashback to the Surface from Microsoft. Not the Surface tablet, the original table Surface. It is designed for multiple users to interact with the touch screen at the same time, a la that first Surface.
This year is like previous years at the CES, with very few of the vendors sharing pricing nor shipping dates for all these new products. We hear a lot of "later this year" and "pricing to be determined" as usual. Many of the gadgets shown are non-working prototypes so we have to take the vendors' word as to how great it really is. Most of the working demo units are bolted down to the table so it is hard to judge how well these hybrids work.
CES 2013 Video preview:
You would need weeks to see every single Android product at CES 2013. As in years past major vendors have Android tablets in their booths right next to the Windows 8 products on display. There are tablets of all sizes and many with laptop docks like the Windows hybrids. These tablets are pretty much all alike, with similar hardware components and with the same version of Android on display.
Google will announce the next version of Android at the Google I/O conference later this year so all vendors have to show the current version (Jelly Bean) on these new tablets. They are trying to convince attendees how good Jelly Bean is and how impressed we should be that they are actually using it on all these tablets. The major companies are not the only ones showing off Android tablets as is quickly evident by the seemingly endless queues of small booths from companies with unfamilar names. These are showing tablets that all look alike, with cheap price the single variable feature. There are tablets being shown that will sell for just a hundred bucks, if they actually come to market. They aren't very good tablets as you tend to get what you pay for in mobile gadgets.
As usual for the CES there are not that many smartphones on display. Most big smartphone vendors now have press events later in the year to launch hot phones and many show off new phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The exception this year is RIM showing off the new BlackBerry 10 phones. The company is trying to recapture the enthusiasm that has been absent for a few years and hopes the new version of the BlackBerry software will do that. From what is being shown it is certainly a huge step forward for the BlackBerry and may indeed rekindle the love for RIM's products. It might not be enough to save RIM but BlackBerry 10 looks darn good.
One of the biggest product groups here at CES is the mighty TV. Every company that makes TVs is here with a huge presence, with wall after wall covered with flat-screen TVs. The TVs on display range from normal sized models to massive TVs that cover entire walls. The booth reps are insistent that this year (finally) is the year of the 3D TV. We are told we can be sure that the old-school 2D TV we have now is a dinosaur, and 3D is going to take off big-time. That's what they've been telling show attendees for years now, but according to them it's going to happen now.
The 3D explosion is not the only one being touted in all these TV booths, this year is also going to be the year of the fully web-connected TV. We will all be tweeting and Facebooking our friends from our shiny new connected TV. We will do all our web surfing on our giant flat-screen TV. We will wonder why we need all of those PCs, laptops, and tablets being shown in the other halls. The TV is the computer display of the future according to all these TV vendors. Of course, we've been hearing this for a few years, just like the 3D thing. The story is pretty much the same this year and these new TVs look like those of past years. It's hard to see why this year is different.
As usual, Apple is nowhere near the CES event. It does its own thing in its own time and never exhibits at this show. That doesn't mean Apple products are not a big draw at the CES, as there are acres of accessories for Apple products on the show floor. There are thousands of cases for the iPhone in all shapes and colors. There are hundreds of speakers, both with and without wires for use with the iPad, iPad mini, and iPhone. There are so many speakers for Apple ware that if all of them fired up at the same time there'd be a sonic boom in the convention center.
There are docks, stands, battery packs, and cases for every gadget that Apple sells. They come in every color and some with fancy imprints. There are dozens of Hello Kitty accessories for Apple products. There are just as many accessories for Android phones and tablets, so Apple is not the only draw at the CES. That's as it should be given Android's dominance in the mobile space.
# Social List of the best of CES 2013 below:
Please take a minute or two to participate in the social list below where users just like yourself can share their favorite new gadgets and gizmos at this year's CES 2013. Vote on what you like and dislike, and if you don't see something that you believe should be on there, take the time and add it! Let's see what the Snapzu community can come up with!
The best of the best from the 2013 CES, as added and voted by you!Add List item
1 +86y+ ago by Splitfish
Nvidia Project Shield
It didn't take long for the first bombastic announcement of CES 2013, with Nvidia's clamshell Project Shield handheld console stealing the Sunday limelight. This morning I got to grips with this wild new Android portable, gleaning an early idea of the green team's future as a consumer hardware vendor, plus a better idea of the performance of the all-new Tegra 4 system-on-chip.
2 +56y+ ago by Splitfish
Lenovo Horizon 27
Lenovo has different ambitions for its new Horizon Table PC than Sony has for its desktop-tablet hybrid. The size of the Horizon alone makes it harder to confuse for a giant tablet, for one thing. But Lenovo also wants customers to think of the 27-inch multitouch Horizon not so much as a semi-portable desktop (battery life is limited to an estimated 2 hours), but instead as a multiuser device.
3 +56y+ ago by socialiguana
Self-driving 2013 Audi A7
There are self-driving cars, then there are self-driving cars. Today at CES, Audi showed me the former. The A7 parked in the cul-de-sac of Las Vegas' luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel looked no different than any other that you might see on the street, but this was a special demonstrator of Audi's "piloted driving" system for automated parking. It works like this: you walk out of the mall, you want your car. You open an app on your smartphone, press a button, and the car drives out to you. Pretty awesome — and it works the opposite way, too.
4 +46y+ ago by Splitfish
The life of the Google-supported home theater device has been a bizarre one. First the Nexus Q launched, and then didn't, and then a dongle for a new "Nexus" set-top box running Google TV popped up at the FCC. Asus just cleared things up a bit, however, announcing the new Qube with Google TV set-top box. The Qube itself looks a bit like a Boxee box, a black ridged cube designed to sit next to your TV or in your entertainment stack.
5 +46y+ ago by geoleo
The HAPIfork is a fork with a fat handle containing electronics and a battery. It's made by HapiIabs, which is based in the land of slow, languorous meals - France. The fork contains a motion sensor, so it can figure out when it's being lifted to the mouth. If it senses that you're eating too fast, it warns with you with a vibration and a blinking light. The company believes that using the fork 60 to 75 times during meals lasting from 20 to 30 minutes is ideal.
Between meals, you can connect the fork to a computer or phone and upload data on how fast you're eating, for long-term tracking.
6 +46y+ ago by zritic
Kingston 1TB DataTraveler HyperX Predator flash drive
You'll soon be able to carry a terabyte of data on your keychain. Kingston today unveiled the DataTraveler HyperX Predator, a line of flash drives that tops out at the massive 1TB capacity. The company says these USB 3.0 drives are its fastest yet, with read and write speeds reaching 240MB/s and 160MB/s respectively. The Predator comes inside a zinc alloy metal casing and is protected under a five-year warranty. But those niceties seem appropriate considering how much you'll be paying to never worry about storage constraints again. The 512GB DataTraveler HyperX — shipping now — will run $1,750 and Kingston isn't even saying how much the 1TB model will set you back when it's released sometime this quarter.
7 +36y+ ago by Splitfish
Samsung UN85S9: 85-inch 4K TV
Back in November, Samsung announced that it'd show off its first 4K TV at CES. Well, the company has followed through on its promise today — the 85-inch UN85S9 is the world's largest Ultra High-Definition TV, and has some pretty unprecedented industrial design. The huge screen is suspended within a metal frame reminiscent of an easel — it can be tilted up and down — and, while we're not sure how many living rooms the colossal contraption will fit into, the floating effect is a sight to behold. The frame holds a function, too; a 120-watt 2.2 speaker system that surrounds the display.
8 +36y+ ago by zritic
Huawei Ascend Mate
Huawei won the latest battle in the smartphone screen size arms race today, after the Chinese company finally announced its long-rumored Ascend Mate phone/tablet hybrid. The Ascend Mate is dominated by its gigantic 6.1-inch 720p display, and also features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. It has "Magic Touch" technology, too which means that like Nokia's Lumia 920 you can use the phone while wearing gloves.
9 +36y+ ago by wetwilly87
Pebble Smart watch
Pebble Smartwatch backers, who have waited patiently through the company's summer delays, are finally getting what they paid for. At least, they will, beginning Jan. 23. CEO Eric Migicovsky today announced that the smartphone-compatible watches will begin shipping in two weeks, taking about six to eight weeks to reach all 69,000 Kickstarter backers.
10 +36y+ ago by 99bottles
Okay, hear me out. The duel-sided YotaPhone is not a gimmick. It makes sense. On the back of the YotaPhone is an e-ink display that can mirror anything displayed on the main screen. And because e-ink screens do not require battery life, these images are available even if the phone battery dies. Get it? Probably not yet.
11 +36y+ ago by socialiguana
Samsung flexible OLED prototype phone
Samsung gave us a brief glimpse during it keynote today of its first phone using a flexible display, and now we've just had the opportunity to handle the device for ourselves. The phone, which is a nameless prototype, has a screen that falls off towards the rear edge of the device on the right side. Samsung hasn't quite figured out yet what to do with this extra screen real estate, but for now the phone displays landscape-oriented notifications along the edge. The idea is that you'll be able to read text messages, stock tickers, and other notifications from the side of the device even if you have a case covering the screen.
History of CES:The first Consumer Electronics Show was held in June of 1967 in New York City. There were 14 total exhibitors, including LG, Motorola, and Philips, with about 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.By 1972, attendance to CES had grown to nearly 40,000 people, more than double its first year, and 300 companies were on hand to show off their wares. Car stereos were big this year, as they would be in 1973, with further advances in audio tape and yes, headphones.1993 saw the introduction of Sony’s MiniDisc, a small storage disc player which was capable of holding up to 74 minutes of audio, an astounding amount for the time.
This year at CES: Lenovo's Horizon 27 for coffee table computingThe Horizon is a Windows 8-based PC. On top of Microsoft's new operating system, Lenovo has also added its own multiuser interface called Aura.With the computer, you also get a set of sliding air hockey paddles, a set of joysticks, and even a large six-sided die.Primed for Hammacher Schlemmer, the coffee table concept puts the Horizon lying down flat in a spot in the middle of the table.