The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show kicked off this week in Las Vegas and we have worked hard to bring you the most iconic product launches and announcements through our daily news stream. We've also been to the showroom and attended multiple media events to get a glimpse of some of the hottest tech gadgets available to consumers this year. As it's become tradition, here's our own take on CES, in pictures …
USB, beyond just 3.0
The USB Implementers Forum demonstrated some of the capabilities 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 showing a 2560×1600 image with a 1080p film with a window. Incidentally, this film is streamed from a USB stick. You can usually 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 also showed a monitor powered by a single USB 2.0 cable. That is, the monitor recorded video and power from a single port. They say we should expect a lot of USB monitors to come out with a cable this year.
Fujitsu had a wide range of waterproof mobile devices. All eyes were on the Arrows tablet shown below, which is waterproof up to 30 meters long by up to 30 meters. The company is already available in Japan and has no pricing or release data for the US market.
The Arrows has a capacitive 10.1-inch display with Android 3.2 on a 1 GHz dual-core processor OMAP4439 and 1 GB RAM. The water tray has a 5.1 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megapixel front camera as well as LTE, UMTS and GSM antennas.
Intel had put an emphasis on portability this year, without mentioning Ivy Bridge (and no details if asked). Their booth featured ultrabooks with several freebies a day, as well as a few cell phones.
Since taking over McAfee, Intel has been relying on security as the third pillar of its chip design. Theft protection (Intel AT) and data protection are standard across the board in the next generation of “Intel Inspired Ultrabooks”. This allows you to remotely lock your computer if it is lost or stolen. Since this function requires an Internet connection, your computer can also be automatically locked if it does not connect to the Internet after a few days. For the sake of clarity, by "locking" we mean shutdown and the request for authentication at BIOS level. In addition, hard disk encryption functions are standard.
The Intel Atom Z2460 processor for mobile devices was also on display. We saw both the Intel reference model and the Lenovo K800. Unfortunately, Motorola phones weren't ready for viewing. The Intel reference model showed some nice 3D gaming and browser rendering performances. However, the K800 was nothing special and still suffered from some of the jittery conditions that occur with the Android operating system.
ActionTec of Sunnyvale, CA was ready to show MyWirelessTV. As you may have guessed, MyWirelessTV is an HD wireless video transmission system. With MyWirelessTV you can connect any number of input devices (game consoles, computers, set-top boxes) to any number of output devices (televisions and monitors). The system is currently available from BestBuy. For around $ 250, you can get a receiver and transmitter.
MyWirelessTV can broadcast 1080p60 (1200p60 PC) with 3D support with <2 ms latency over a range of 150 feet. There should be no problems with interference in a 5 GHz band. This is a really exciting and elegant solution for making your devices available around your house or apartment. With a latency of 2 ms, this is still useful for gaming.
Logitech's Neverending Story of Rugged Computer Peripherals has two other chapters. When the new Logitech Cube is on a surface, it acts as a wireless mouse with touch-sensitive scrolling capabilities when you slide your finger over it. The cube automatically switches to presentation mode as soon as it is lifted into the air. In presentation mode, you can click the top of the cube to move to the next slide in your presentation. If you need to go back one slide, just flip the cube and click again. The on / off switch, as well as the micro-USB charging port, are the only deviations in an otherwise smooth and elegant surface that appeared to be permanently sealed.
The Logitech Cube was selected as the winner of the International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards and is only available for $ 69.99 at logitech.com. The devices will begin shipping at the end of this month.
Also from Logitech is the HD Pro Webcam C920, which the company claims will be the first webcam capable of 1080p video calls when used with Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows. When used with Windows Live Messenger, the video call quality can be up to 720p. Photos up to 15 MP can also be taken with HD Pro. H.264 video compression speeds up your upload times to your favorite social network.
Thermaltake showed us their new Level 10 GTS mid-tower chassis. The GTS has USB 3.0, EasySwap storage slots, a hard drive storage system and a nice cable management system. The chassis is made of steel, although no net weight is given. A 200mm LED fan is pre-installed in the front for the inlet and there is a 120mm exhaust fan in the rear. Optional fan points include another 200mm upper exhaust, 200mm side inlet, and 120mm lower inlet.
There was also a Level 10 GTS designed by Dan McGrath based on a Mayan ruin theme.
LUXA2, a division of Thermaltake, has 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 slid for use with portable MP3 players and cell phones. The BT-X3 has a 30 mm neodymium drive and high-quality synthetic leather cushions. The headset weighs only 130 g, has a range of 10 meters and a playing time of 7.5 hours with the 240 mAh lithium-ion battery, which takes just 1 hour to fully charge.
Thermaltake's power line, with the focus on white, is the new black. Most of the models on display were high-end units like the Toughpower XT 1275 Watt Snow Edition and the 1475 Watt XT Gold.