The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show kicked off this week in Las Vegas and we've been hard at work bringing you the most prominent product launches and announcements through our daily news stream. We've also been on the showfloor and attending several media events to get a sneak peak at some of the hottest tech gear heading to consumers this year. As it's become tradition, here's our own take on CES, in pictures...
The USB Implementers Forum were showing off some abilities of the new AV specification for USB 3.0, as well as some exciting upcoming USB 2.0-based technologies. First we saw a USB 3.0 monitor displaying a 2560x1600 picture with a 1080p movie running windowed. Incidentally, that movie is streaming from a USB thumb drive. You might typically think of HDMI as the multimedia standard for streaming high definition video. The USB Forum hopes that the new AV specification for USB 3.0 will gain popularity in this market.
They were also showcasing a monitor running on a single USB 2.0 cable. That is to say, the monitor was taking video and power from a single port. They say we should expect to see a lot of single-cable USB monitors coming out this year.
Fujitsu had a wide lineup of waterproof mobile devices. All eyes were on the Arrows tablet, shown below, which is waterproof up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. Already available in Japan, the company has no price or release date information for the US market.
The Arrows has a 10.1” capacitive display, running Android 3.2 on an OMAP4439 1GHz Dual Core processor and 1GB of RAM. The aquatic tablet has a 5.1MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front camera, as well as LTE, UMTS, and GSM antennae.
Intel had a major focus on portability this year, with no mention of Ivy Bridge (and no details when asked). Their booth showcased ultrabooks everywhere, with several giveaways each day, as well as a few mobile handsets.
Since their acquisition of McAfee, Intel has been pushing security as a third pillar of their chip design. Anti-theft (Intel AT) and data protection are coming standard on the next generation of “Intel Inspired Ultrabooks” across the board. This allows the capability to remotely lock down your computer if it is lost or stolen. Because this functionality requires an Internet connection, you can also have your computer automatically lock down if it doesn’t connect to the Internet after some number of days. To clarify, by “lock down,” we mean shut down and prompt for authentication at the BIOS level. Furthermore, disk encryption capabilities will be standard.
Also on display was the Intel Atom Z2460 processor for mobile devices. We saw both the Intel reference model, as well as the Lenovo K800; unfortunately no Motorola handsets were ready for viewing. The Intel reference model showcased some nice 3D gaming and browser rendering performance. However, the K800 wasn’t anything special and still suffered from some of the jitters common to the Android OS.
Sunnyvale, CA based ActionTec was ready to show their MyWirelessTV. As you might have guessed, the MyWirelessTV is a HD wireless video transmitting system. With MyWirelessTV, you can connect any number of input devices (game consoles, computers, set-top box) to any number of output devices (TVs and monitors). The system is currently available at BestBuy; for about $250 you can get one receiver and one transmitter.
MyWirelessTV is capable of transmitting 1080p60 (1200p60 PC), with 3D support, at < 2ms latency over a range of 150ft. On a 5GHz band, it shouldn’t have trouble with interference. This is a really exciting and elegant solution to make your devices available all around your house or apartment. Plus, at 2ms latency, it’s still practical for gaming.
Logitech’s never ending saga of robust computer peripherals has two more chapters. When the new Logitech Cube is on a surface it functions as a wireless mouse with touch sensitive scrolling features as you swipe your finger. The Cube automatically switches to presenter mode moments after being lifted into the air. While in presenter mode the Cube allows you to click its top in order advance to the next slide in your presentation. If you need to go back a slide, just flip the Cube over and click again. The on and off switch along with micro-USB charging port are the only variances in an otherwise smooth and stylish surface that seemed to permanently sealed.
Chosen as an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree, the Logitech Cube will only be available for purchase at logitech.com for $69.99. The devices starts shipping at the end of this month.
Also from Logitech, the HD Pro Webcam C920 the company says is the first webcam to allow 1080p video calling when used with Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows. When paired with Windows Live Messenger, the video call quality can be up to 720p. Photos at up to 15MP can also be taken with HD Pro. H.264 video compression speeds up your uploading times to your favorite social network.
Thermaltake showed us their new Level 10 GTS mid-tower chassis. The GTS features USB 3.0, EasySwap storage bays, an HDD storage system and a nice cable management system. The chassis is constructed from steel although there wasn’t a net weight listed. A 200mm LED fan comes pre-installed in the front for intake and there’s a 120mm rear exhaust fan. Optional fan spots include another 200mm top exhaust, 200mm side intake and a 120mm bottom intake.
There was also a custom-designed Level 10 GTS created by Dan McGrath on display based on a Mayan ruins theme.
LUXA2, a division of Thermaltake, launched a new line of Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR stereo headphones with a built-in microphone called the BT-X3. The on-ear cans were being pushed for use with portable MP3 players and mobile phones. The BT-X3 feature a 30mm Neodymium drive and premium leatherette cushions. The headset weighs just 130g, has a range of 10 meters and 7.5 hours of play time from the 240mAh Lithium Ion battery which requires only 1 hour to fully charge.
Thermaltake’s line of power supplies centered around white being the new black. The majority of models on display were higher-end units such as the Toughpower XT 1275 watt Snow edition and the 1475 watt XT Gold units.