There is no clear cut winner or loser at the Consumer Electronics Show but if there was, Samsung would easily be a top contender for the crown. The South Korea-based consumer electronics giant came to CES 2012 with guns blazing, showing off everything from new televisions, ultrabooks and smartphones to a revolutionary new washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. Samsung had a gigantic booth packed to the brim with cutting-edge tech, but the stars of this year’s show in our eyes were Samsung’s new Super OLED HDTVs. The only word that can possibly describe them is gorgeous. They’re unbelievably slim, incredibly bright, and they produce colors unlike anything we’ve seen on a TV before… but we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Our CES 2012 booth tour featuring Samsung follows below.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt spoke about the idea of fragmentation in Android. Schmidt argued that while there is a “differentiation” between Android devices, it isn’t the same as fragmentation. “Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative,” said Schmidt. “Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else.” Schmidt defined fragmentation as having an app that runs on one device but not another, with Android this is not the case 99% of the time. The differentiation between devices comes from the various skins that manufactures lay over the Android operating system. “We absolutely allow [manufacturers] to add or change the user interface as long as they don’t break the apps. We see this as a plus; [it] gives you far more choices,” said Schmidt. While everyone who buys an iPhone receive the same user experience, Schmidt doesn’t think the same is necessary with Android. “It’s not required that everyone use the same interface,” Schmidt said. “People are free to make the necessary changes. What’s great is if you don’t like it, you can buy the phone from someone else.” Android is all about choice, not every consumer is looking for a slide-out keyboard, a 4.65-inch display, or a dual-core processor, the different manufactures allow you to find a device that is perfect for you. Though those specifications sounds pretty good to me. More →
We swung by Intel’s booth to check out the Lenovo K800 during the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday. The Lenovo K800 is the first commercial device to launch with Intel’s brand new Medfield mobile processor. It currently runs Android and, unfortunately, all of the menus were in Chinese so it was a bit hard to navigate. Still, it was noticeably fast and we love Lenovo’s hardware design. The phone felt solid but still was able to be extremely thin. It offers an 8-megapixel camera and the Medfield platform technically supports shooting of up to 15 frames per second, although Lenovo wasn’t sure if the camera on the K800 was actually capable of doing that. It doesn’t appear that there are any plans to deliver the K800 to the United States at this point in time, but we’re sure to see Medfield devices from Motorola in the coming year. Check out our full gallery below.
Sony had a big presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year but we were expecting a more impressive showing from the technology giant. The company had a handful of exciting prototypes on hand including its vision of the tablet of the future, but we were expecting more in the way of innovation where TVs are concerned, especially when companies like Samsung and LG really pushing into new territory this year. Sony did unveil next-generation Google TV-equipped HDTVs with motion control and voice recognition capabilities, but its integration of these new features weren’t quite as impressive as similar offerings from some of its competitors, namely Samsung. Sony had some new phones on hand of course, including the Xperia S and Xperia ion, and there where plenty of other gadgets to gawk at in the company’s booth. CES is especially crowded this year with more than 140,000 attendees, but those of you who couldn’t make the show should check out our tour of Sony’s monstrous booth, which follows in the gallery below.
We just met with Corning during CES in Las Vegas to check out its new Gorilla Glass 2 panels for smartphones and tablets. The new glass is 20% thinner than before, but just as strong and scratch resistant as the original Gorilla Glass. The thinner build will surely help manufacturers make smaller and lighter smartphones. We stayed to watch a pressure test, images of which are in the gallery below, and were impressed with the strength of the glass. Corning said that it’s already shipping the new panels to phone manufacturers and that we will see smartphones on the market soon with the new glass. We were also told that Gorilla Glass 2 will be used in new Windows-powered computers later this year. Be sure to check out our gallery below.
Research In Motion didn’t unveil any new devices at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor still managed to appease fans with a preview of its first major PlayBook OS update that will finally be released some time next month. We spent a good amount of time putting the OS 2.0 through the paces and while there are still some kinks to iron out — we had apps crash on us a number of times — we absolutely walked away impressed. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below and hit the break for our impressions.More →
Imagination Technologies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday that the company’s next-generation PowerVR Series6 GPU core family will offer 20 times more performance over the current generation. Apple is a major shareholder in the company, and have used its chips in the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and the Apple TV. The PowerVR G6200 and G6400 GPU are the first in the Power VR Series6 GPU family and stand as a new benchmark for achieving high performance with low power consumption. The Series6 GPU will provide “ultra-realistic gaming” and enable more complex applications, while delivering 20 times or more of the performance of current GPU cores through an architecture that is five times more efficient than previous generations. “Based on our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of GPU cores, plus extensive market and customer feedback, we have been able to set a new standard in GPU architecture, particularly in the areas of power, bandwidth and efficiency — the key metrics by which GPUs are now judged,” said Imagination Chief Executive Hossein Yassaie. “We are confident that with the Rogue architecture we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on.” While there hasn’t been any indications about Apple’s next-generation mobile processor, the rumored “A6” chip that could appear in the iPad 3 may feature Imagination’s Series6 GPUs. Apple’s next-generation iPad is rumored to be announced and ship in March. More →
Motorola is known for the company’s rapid refresh rate on smartphones and tablets. Last fall, the DROID Bionic was released, two months later the DROID RAZR was released, and this week the DROID RAZR MAXX and DROID 4 were announced. Motorola has flooded the Android market with more releases than almost any other manufacturer, however things are about to change. During a roundtable event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha announced that the company plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to focus on its marketing dollars. Jha noted that it was the Bionic’s delays that caused the product’s debut to be so close to the RAZR. Additionally, he said the company plans to pursue fewer new ideas in an effort to make more things stick. With the release of Motorola’s Bionic and ATRIX came the Lapdock, a feature to add a full keyboard and larger screen to your smartphone. Unfortunately, the dock was pricey and didn’t perform as consumers had hoped. Although it has yet to become a commercial success, Jha believe in the Lapdock feature and hopes to continue it in the future. Let’s just hope you don’t have to buy a new dock for each Motorola phone they release. More →
Viewsonic announced another addition to the company’s ViewPad tablet line at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, the ViewPad E70. The 7-inch tablet runs Google’s latest operating system, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and features a 1GHz single-core processor, 4GB of storage, HDMI-out, and a front facing camera. While the specs may not outshine the competition, the $170 price tag absolutely has our attention. The ViewPad E70 is slated to be available late in the first quarter of this year. Full press release is after the break. More →
This month, DeviceFidelity and Spring Card Systems announced moneto, a new independent NFC payment solution. The service delivers NFC capabilities to any Android device with a microSD card. The card contains an NFC radio and antenna that are encrypted together to deliver MasterCard PayPass technology to any Android smartphone. Additionally, moneto has created a unique iPhone case to deliver the service to iOS users as well. The moneto case is currently available for $80, which includes $10.00 of pre-loaded funds. The Android microSD card is expected to be available within two to three weeks, and will sell for $30. All you have to do to use it, is insert the card, attach a small NFC sticker to the inside of your battery case — it helps with the NFC signal — and you’re on your way to credit card-less mobile payments. Read on for the full press release. More →
Polaroid shocked the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday when the company announced a new camera powered by Android. The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera is a 3.2-inch device, and it features a whopping 16-megapixel camera capable of 3x optical zoom on a 36-108mm lens. When connected to Wi-Fi, users can instantly upload their images to social networking sites and will also even have access to the Android Market. No specific release date or price has been announced, however Polaroid has said the SC1630 Smart Camera will land sometime this year. Read on for the company’s press release. More →
MakerBot announced their brand new personal 3D printer, the Replicator, at CES yesterday and we just had a chance to see it up close and in person. What do we think? Well, let’s just say that we want one of them, and fast. For starters, the unit comes preassembled from MakerBot, but it also features a larger printing footprint so you can print even bigger designs. There’s also the option of using two different colors of plastic to print two-color objects — you can also choose from either ABS plastic or a more eco-friendly variant. While the printing footprint is larger, the unit itself isn’t that big, and it’s reasonably quiet. In fact, it seems more quiet than the previous models MakerBot offered. It starts at $1,749.99 and goes up to $1,999.99 if you’d like the dual extrusion option. Check out our gallery to see the unit for yourself.
Vizio announced the company’s support for Google TV with two new set-top boxes at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday. The Vizio VAP430 Stream Player picks right up where the Logitech Revue left off, and will turn any TV into a smart TV. Vizio’s second set-top box adds a Blu-ray player to the mix and looks to compete with Sony’s new Blu-ray Google TV device. The Vizio VBR430 is labeled as “one of the most advanced 3D Blu-ray players on the market,” with access to the web, apps, and the ability to play the latest Blu-ray 3D movies. Both devices include a touchpad universal remote with a QWERTY keyboard, giving consumers an easy way to navigate everything Google TV has to offer. As with Vizio’s other CES products, shipping dates and pricing will be announced at a later date. More details are available after the break. More →