When looking at the plethora of wearable devices unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, other companies certainly followed that principle. A walk around the show floor saw startups such as Martian and Pebble and major players such as LG and Sony introduce new wearable gadgets. And in most cases, they offered either a single benefit, such as health tracking, or a handful of clearly defined features, such as notifications from a paired phone.
At this year's CES, I didn't just wander through halls of half-baked Bluetooth-pinging little wearable things and write about them: I also wore them. Which ones? I kept it simple. Because, really, there aren't that many useful pieces of wearable tech in the world right now. And even the ones I wore weren't all that necessary. I was just curious what they would do for me. And once a fellow editor asked if I'd track my activity throughout CES, I grabbed what I had on my desk and charged up.
Fitness trackers: Fitbit Force, Nike+ … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- During the full week that we spent at CES 2014, CNET TV was hard at work filming every corner of the annual techapalooza. From stage-shy movie directors to the new Roku TV, we captured it all on camera. So, if you couldn't be in Vegas, here are the top 11 CNET TV videos for your viewing pleasure.
1. Michael Bay quits Samsung's press conference In an bizarre, -- and painfully awkward -- moment, "Transformers" director Bay walked off the stage during Samsung's press conference before he could chat about one of the … Read more
Lighting that changes color on demand is nothing new, and if you've read our review of the Philips Hue Starter Kit, then you know that we're at least somewhat charmed by the idea. Unfortunately, the costs of these kinds bulbs have put them largely out of reach for a wide number of consumers. The Philips Hue kit will set you back $199, while slow-to-emerge competitors like iLumi and LIFX each cost over $80 per bulb -- if you can even get your hands on one.
That's why BeeWi's new Smart Color Light -- which the company … Read more
There have been many attempts to reinvent the classic power strip. We've had strips with wavy tentacle arms; strips with snake-like, movable joints; and even a power strip built into a tote bag. So what makes Allocacoc's PowerCube worth a second glance? Its almost Lego-like design concept.
The PowerCube is modular and stackable with outlets on five of its six sides. (The sixth side is the plug.) You can build a tower of power outlets, a straight line, or a right angle. You can stick a cube into a wall socket or -- if it has a cord -- conveniently set it nearby on your worktable. You can add another cube when you need it. The only limitation is the total power draw of the devices you plug in.… Read more
LAS VEGAS -- The PC running Microsoft Windows will have a bumpy ride in 2014.
That's my takeaway from the Consumer Electronics Show after seeing little that was really new from the Windows PC crowd like Hewlett-Packard (at a pre-CES function), Toshiba, Samsung, and others.
In fact, the only truly new/novel Windows device that I saw was the dual-OS Windows-Android Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300.
Of course what makes the Duet unique is that it also runs Android, an operating system that dominates the mobile market. (See CNET video of Duet switching between Windows 8.1 and Android.) … Read more
3D printing was among the industries at the nexus of CES 2014, and Brooklyn-based MakerBot stole the show. Onstage Monday of last week, during MakerBot's first-ever press conference in five years of attending the event, CEO Bre Prettis unveiled not just one but three new 3D printers. While many ohhed and ahhed at the mini-fridge-size Replicator Z18, the crux of the announcement was MakerBot's most inexpensive device to date, the $1,375 Replicator Mini.
It's certainly not cheap. But the Mini's price tag is low enough to rouse the ever-present speculation looming over 3D printing: the timing and form factor of the one product that will be first to encapsulate the potential of the entire industry and hand it to everyone in an understandable package. When will we see that device, the one that matches an appealing price point with enough functionality to unlock the mainstream market? … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- The Chromebook has found a niche. CES made this clear.
Chromebooks were also front and center at Intel's large CES booth.
And Lenovo told CNET that it plans a big Chromebook push this year. Hewlett-Packard is already a big player.
At a pre-CES event, I chatted with Toshiba representatives, and one explained that many younger consumers spend a lot of their time inside the Chrome browser (hey, I do too) -- whether that's on an Android phone/… Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Samsung is usually ahead of the curve.
The company enjoys a comfortable domination of worldwide TV market share and profitability, powered by its trendsetting designs and futuristic technologies. It popularized the first really thin LED LCDs, pushed TV app stores before anyone else, brought hairline bezels into the mainstream, and was first with voice and gesture control and real modular hardware upgrades.
The first … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Ventev showcased its newest line of portable power chargers and battery packs at CES 2014, which wraps up today in Las Vegas. These include its Powercell 6000+, two car chargers, and the UtilityCharger 2100.
Sporting a gray-and-orange design, all devices feature a minimalistic, attractive aesthetic that is compact and easy to carry around. While neither of these products are rugged, the gray soft-touch material coating around the devices give them a more premium, notable feel.
The Powercell 6000+ is a battery charger that directly plugs into a wall outlet. It has two USB outputs (one is 1A … Read more