The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show closed this afternoon in Las Vegas, so I took a look at all the tech the show had to offer and picked my favorite gadgets or new technologies to come out of the show. There were thousands of sleek new products and innovations to choose from and, as it turns out, breaking down the best of CES proved to be a challenging task this afternoon.
With wearable, tablets and Ultra HD TV stealing most of the spotlight, I thought I would choose one big winner in some of these top new technology categories. Without further ado, I present (my version) of the Best of CES 2014:
(image courtesy of Sony)
Sony Xperia Z1S –
Just like the Xperia Z from the 2013 show, the upgraded and more powerful Xperia Z1S was without a doubt the hottest phone at the show. The new Z1S will be exclusive to T-Mobile here in the United States, and will feature full IP58 waterproofing. Sony has packed the device with a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 chip, along with 2GB of RAM. Sony has also added a 5-inch full-HD Triluminos display powered by Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2. In terms of imaging, the Z1S sports one of the best cameras on the market with a 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS sensor, a BIONZ image processor engine, and pulsed LED flash.
(image – courtesy of Samsung)
Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 –
The world should get ready for 12.2+ inch tablets this year. Samsung has beat the competition to the punch with an impressive offering. The new Galaxy NotePro 12.2 features a 12.2-inch display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution. Under the hood we find a Snapdragon quad-core processor from Qualcomm, or the Exynos 5 octa, 3 GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, Android 4.4 KitKat OS and a mega packed 9500 mAh battery unit. The new Note Pro 12.2 tablet will be available for sale this quarter, but Samsung did not reveal any details on pricing. I would expect to see a price point of about $699-$999, depending on storage capacity and LTE options.
Best Ulta HD TV
(image – courtesy of Samsung)
Samsung 85″ Bendable UHD TV
With 4K aelevisions all the rage at this years show, all the big brands brought their “A” game with a variety of both flat and curved models. At the end of the day, Samsung took it home with both good looks and innovation. The latest 85-inch Ultra HD TV from Samsung offers a new trick never seen by a television before: the display panel can “transform” from a completely flat viewing angle, to a popular curved panel display in seconds. All this is done from the included remote at a touch of a button. Samsung’s 85-inch bendable 4K TV is set to launch during the second half of this year under the model number U9B. No detail on exact street launch date or pricing has been given from Samsung.
Best in Automotive
(image USA Today)
Audi Android Tablet –
Audi strikes back at CES by announcing the Mobile Audi Smart Display in-car Android tablet. The Smart Display is a 10-inch device that boasts a full HD display and runs a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. While it’s optimized for automobiles, it is billed as smart device technology for passengers, not drivers. With Android at the wheel, Audi’s fancy new gadget has quite a few features that have become standard on the tablet market. That includes a built-in camera, apps, and Internet access through Wi-Fi. The Smart Display is tightly integrated into Audi’s “infotainment” system and is essentially designed to give users control over the individual components. As a result, the radio, navigation, and climate settings can all be controlled from the custom interface that overlays Android.
Best in Wearables
(image courtesy of Pebble)
Pebble Steel Smart Watch –
The new Pebble Steel smartwatch is an upgrade to last years basic plastic model. The new Steel will sport a premium metal look with a Gorilla Glass scratch resistant glass face and cost $250. The model features a more refined look, which should attract watch lovers and not just tech geeks. Pebble has packed the Steel with many of same features found on last years model like 5-7 hours of battery life, E Ink screen, push button controls and a water-resistant case. The new Pebble Steel is expected to start shipping on January 28th of this year, and can be pre-ordered today directly through Pebble for $249. The Pebble Steel will come in two versions, including a Brushed Stainless and Black Matte. Each model will also ship with two bands, including a matching metal band and a black leather strap. Pebble has made the new Steel smartwatch both sleeker and smaller, while keeping the display the same size.
Coolest Gadget of CES 2014
FLIR One case – Thermal Night Vision Case for iPhone –
The FLIR One thermal imaging iPhone case is produced to increase the power of your iPhone 5 or 5S camera to be able to see heat signatures from either people and animals from up to 100 meters away. To use the thermal camera just pop your iPhone in the case, downloaded the app, and you should be all set up for the hunt. The case features a number of different modes and settings which enable you to adjust the displayed degrees of temperature, showing more less binary differences between the temperatures. Worried about this case killing your battery? Well the case also has an internal battery that powers the camera for up to four hours of continuous use.
Honorable Mention – Some great gadgets that just didn’t make the cut