LAS VEGAS--Though ILCs may be the more interesting enthusiast cameras, the more popular market seems to be the compact, fixed-lens models, most notably the Canon PowerShot S95. Olympus forges into that market with its XZ-1, a promising-looking model that's not quite as compact as the S95, but with an exceptionally fast f1.8 lens and a sleek design that rivals models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 in size and operation. I had some time to play with a preproduction version of the camera--can't really make any judgments about photo quality or performance, unfortunately--and think it's got a … Read more
LAS VEGAS-- I've been waiting patiently to try out the BlackBerry PlayBook ever since I first glimpsed it under glass at last year's September DevCon announcement. Since then, RIM has published a handful of videos showcasing the tablet's capabilities, testing browser speeds against the iPad, and more or less doing my job for me.
Needless to say, when I finally got my hands on the BlackBerry PlayBook at CES 2011, I arrived well-versed in its story and capabilities. Aside from the mild thrill of holding a product that has taken on a mythic aura, the only real … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sony introduced its new HomeShare audio streaming platform with wireless iPod docks and wireless speakers, and it also rolled out a new touchscreen Wi-Fi universal remote to control them: the RMN-U1.
The RMN-U1 is capable of controlling new Sony HDTVs and home theater products over Wi-Fi, using their built-in DLNA compatibility. Of course the catch is that all your other gadgets will still need to be controlled via infrared, which the RMN-U1 can handle as well.
Sony is also promising a slick user interface, using activity-based commands (think: Harmony), plus eye candy like album art showing up on the … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In one of the more interesting camcorder announcements at the show, Sony rolled out a line of prosumer AVCHD camcorder models with projectors built into the body. Coupled with an enhanced speaker system, the new Handycam HDR-PJ series sounds like it might offer some appealing capabilities for users who want a better way to share their videos without huddling around a smallish LCD. The projector can throw an image up to 60 inches.
With prices ranging from $700 to $1,000, they do seem a bit expensive for the potential audience, but that's unsurprising for a new technology. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--AT&T gave us a sneak peek at the Motorola Atrix 4G this morning, but it was up to Motorola to announce the full details of the device at its CES press conference that ended a few minutes ago.
As we told you, the Atrix's biggest draws will be its Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 chipset, and support for AT&T's 4G network. Yet, a deeper dive shows some equally impressive features plus a unique accessory. We'll start with the device first.
The Atrix will offer a familiar smartphone candy bar design. Clad in … Read more
LAS VEGAS--How often does a journalist fire a real gun in the line of duty? Let me tell you, not often. But that's just what I did today. And no, I wasn't taking an anger management class.
It was just another demo by IoSafe, maker of disaster-proof storage solutions like the IoSafe SoloPro. These are extreme types of devices and, it seems, their maker believes they deserve some over-the-top demonstrations.
For that reason, it's now somewhat of a tradition that IoSafe stages grandiose product demos during CES. The company did a crazy fire and water demo during CES 2009 for the IoSafe Solo and an even crazier one during CES 2010, which included a 35,000-pound excavator, for the Solo SSD.
This year, the demo of the IoSafe Rugged Portable, while smaller in scale, was much louder, literally. It involved firing live rounds to prove just how rugged the Rugged Portable is.
According to Robb Moore, CEO of IoSafe, the Rugged Portable isn't designed to be bulletproof but just to withstand a significant amount of impact. "There are types of bullets that can go through any electronic devices we make," he says. "I believe, however, the Rugged Portable can survive multiple rounds of shotgun. Still, I keep my fingers crossed."… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sony has announced its first portable Blu-ray player, the BDP-SX1000, featuring a 10.1-inch screen and 5-hour battery life.
The screen has a WSVGA native resolution (which usually means 1,024x576 pixels), so it won't deliver the full resolution of Blu-ray, but you probably wouldn't notice on a screen that small anyway. There's also a USB port, although Sony hasn't specified what types of digital media the BDP-SX1000 can play back. Rounding out the rest of the features are its 180-degree swivel stand, built-in speakers, and headphone output.
Sony's initial statement didn't specify … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Last year we and our readers were pretty excited to hear about the Sony XBR-HX909, which was the company's first television to include our favorite kind of LED backlight--full array with local dimming--since the excellent KDL-XBR8 from 2008. In our full review the HX909 did a lot of things right, including production of some of the deepest black levels we've seen on any TV, but in the end a couple of flaws kept it out of the top ranks.
For 2011 Sony's flagship television, the XBR-HX929, offers a similar LED backlight and a few improvements. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of our favorite aspects of Sony's 2010 televisions like the KDL-NX800 series was their Monolithic styling, which to our eye seemed reminiscent of the eponymous black slab from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." The company has kept at it in 2011, building the look into a number of its higher-end sets, including the KDL-NX720 series described here.
New for this year the company is using Corning's Gorilla Glass, the same break-resistant material used on numerous smartphone and PC screens, for its Monolithic TV screens. They should be perfect for shrugging off damage from … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Earlier we reported on the launch of Toyota's Entune telematics service, and today we had our first hands-on experience with the new system. Toyota had a demonstration head unit set up, sans car, at CES.
Toyota provided an Android phone with the Entune app, and showed us an iPhone with its version of the Entune app. We paired the Android phone with the head unit via Bluetooth. When we hit the Info button on the head unit's bezel, a screen came up giving us options for traffic and weather provided by XM satellite radio, and an apps … Read more