Thursday, 10 January 2013

CeX at CES 2013

We have a crack team of geeks and gadget fans at the consumer Electronics Show, know as CES, in Las Vegas this week. Here's the highlights they have seen so far.

These have by far stolen the show for all of us here, and are really a dream to look at. Nearly every major TV manufacturer had a 4k device on display, and we were pretty blown away by all of them. While content remains a concern, we had a chance to see a Sharp panel playing an upconverted Blu-Ray and the results were amazing. Panasonic's 4K OLED display was probably the best of the bunch, the picture quality was so clear that we initially thought it was in 3D. Tom and I sat staring at it for at least ten minutes without saying a word to each other.

Sony Xperia Z
Easily the best phone here - it will be Sony's Flagship for the year and it really looks and feels great. The 5-inch (1080p) display was gorgeous and the body was really classy looking. The phone is very boxy, but still manages to feel nice - it's super sturdy feeling, despite being so thin. My one complaint about the hardware design was the hidden USB ports (think Samsung Blackjack), but they do lend to an overall cleaner look. The phone has a Snapdragon S4 Pro and was really zippy, I couldn't create any lag (despite my best efforts). The Sony Rep. told me the phone has very impressive battery life, but refused to give a number. The Z is running Jelly Bean with a Sony Skin (that I wasn't a huge fan of). Pricing has not yet been announced.

ZTE Grand S
A bit of a surprise, but we were all huge fans of it. First and foremost, the phone is thin (thinner than the RAZR!), but still manages to feel quite nice. It's got a 5-inch display and a Snapdragon S4. It was packing a very heavily skinned Android build, but still felt fairly quick.

Huawei Ascend Mate
A 6.1-inch phone. It's massive and I've never owned a pair of pants with pockets that could fit this thing. It's running Jeally Bean and has a pretty impressive (albeit 8MP) camera.

Dell XPS 13
Dell updated the XPS 13 line with a (much needed) new screen. It's otherwise the same internals as the previous XPS 13, but it does address the biggest issue everyone had with it, and turns itself into a pretty great machine.

Pebble Smartwatch
It pains me to say it, but this thing was really cool. Hardware was beautiful. Really easy to use (slightly featureless) software. All in all a pretty cool gadget.

Panasonic 4K Tablet
I didn't catch what they were calling it, but this thing was impressive. A massive 20-inch Windows 8 tablet with a 4K display. The demo unit was still a prototype so we had some issues with use, but it certainly was pretty. Panasonic was pitching this towards photographers and architects.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
This thing was cool - a hybrid laptop/tablet from Lenovo. Stylistically, it's very much Lenovo - a plain black box running Windows 8. The tablet has an i5 (or i7) processor and a 11.6" 1080p display. The dock has an additional battery (10hrs) as well as a slew of ports and a really awesome cooling system (I can't believe I said that).

Nikon J3
The successor to the J2 (duh) - 14.2 megapixel mirrorless camera. Gorgeous body, decent image quality. It's got a really quick burst setting and great low-light capture. It will ship with a 10-30 lens. Slightly disappointing that they're still sticking with the tiny CMOS sensor.

Heres some more treats we've seen on show...

 LG Spectrum 2. Wireless charging you say? Bang Tidy.

 8K Screens - The Future of Television. Hypnotising.

Samsung Galaxy Android Camera. Swish.

Oooh The Nikon D5200. Look at that badboy.

Wish you were here... CeX@CES2013.

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