It’s January again, and that means the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off last weekend in Las Vegas. The show is the tech industry’s first chance of the new year to show off and announce new products and technologies. This year’s show featured everything from automotive technology to set-top boxes and 3DTVs, however mobile devices stole the show. The hottest buzzword this year was probably “Honeycomb tablet,” referring to Google’s next Android OS, version 3.0, that is optimized for tablets. If it wasn’t that, it was definitely swirling rumors of Verizon’s iPhone 4.
To give you a quick rundown of the best of the show, here are my top 5 things from CES 2011.
Arguably the best of the Honeycomb tablets was the Motorola Xoom; a 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablet that’s loaded with features aimed at premium web, gaming, and media experiences. The screen uses a capacitive touch interface and displays with a resolution of 1280 x 800, comparable to small HDTVs. It also includes built-in WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth v2.1, USB 2.0 support, and HDMI output along with Adobe Flash support. If you’re looking for something to call an “iPad Killer,” this is it. A WiFi-only version is expected to be out in April of this year with a Verizon 4G version in May. Powering this feature-packed tablet is my next pick, the NVIDIA Tegra 2.
NVIDIA Tegra 2
NVIDIA showed off its next generation “system on a chip,” the Tegra 2. This little powerhouse is going to be at the heart of many of the next mobile devices you’re going to see for at least the next year. It’s a dual core ARM CPU clocked at 1 GHz with Ultra Low Power GeForce graphics that provide 1080p video playback & recording as well as HDMI output. Naturally, it also handles audio and image processing, too. All of these capabilities combined are capable of delivering impressive performance never before seen in mobile devices, in everything from general use multitasking to taxing 3D gaming.
Also powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 is the Motorola Atrix, a fascinating new smartphone that can dock with a computer laptop shell or a TV. The Atrix runs on Android OS 2.2, features a 4-inch touchscreen, and will have front and rear-facing 5MP cameras. As for storage capability, it will have 16 GB built-in with support for microSDHC cards up to 32 GB. With those features and its Tegra 2 processor that would be impressive enough. But wait, there is more! As previously mentioned, this smartphone can dock with a notebook shell accessory that will immediately give you all the convenience a notebook offers; a larger screen, a full size keyboard, and USB ports. It will also connect to your HDTV via HDMI or through an HD dock that will turn the TV into a full size display and use the phone itself as a mouse. The Motorola Atrix was announced to launch in Q1 of 2011.
The Casio Tryx is a 12 MP digital camera that with a 3-inch touchscreen that is built with swivel and pivot functions that give you all sorts of unique shooting options. The outer frame swivels and pivots around the lens & screen section so you can pose it at almost any angle or hang it from a suitable surface to add interesting angles to your shots. It shoots stills at up to 12 MP of course, but it also can record full HD video at 30 frames per second. The Casio Tryx is due to go on sale in April 2011 at or around $250.
Polaroid GL20 Camera Glasses
Lady Gaga and Polaroid team up to make sunglasses with a 5 megapixel digital camera and two 1.5-inch OLED screens behind the lens that display the images. Don’t I have to mention Lady Gaga? I’m not sure what the practical application for these is going to be, or if they’ll even go on sale, but if you wear them, you’ll definitely get some attention. There is no official release date yet for these.
It’s always exciting to kick the year off hearing about the toys we’re in store for. What were some of your favorites?