CES 2011: What will they come up with next?

  Posted by Jeffery Brown in Hardware Monday, 21 February 2011 05:30


The Consumer Electronics Show is always a fun adventure held in Las Vegas, Nevada every January, showcasing some of both the best and strangest devices imaginable. Last year we were hit a lot with 3D; this year it was mostly about connected TVs and tablets.
Some of my favorite stuff came from these companies:

Vivitek showed a projector capable of converting any 2D content to 3D. Kind of neat, but I wouldn’t run out and buy one just yet. They also showed a tiny HD projector called the Qumi capable of 300 lumen output. It will sell for under $500 and looks like a fun little device.

Here are the specs:
• Native WXGA (1280×800) resolution
• Up to 300 lumens of brightness and a 2500:1 contrast ratio
• 3D-Ready (via DLP Link) and a DLP chipset from Texas Instruments
• 1.6 pounds; Dimensions: 6.3”(w) x 1.2”(h) x 3.9”(d)
• 30,000+ estimated LED hours of operation
• Connectivity options include: Mini-HDMI, Universal I/O (24-pin connector for VGA/component input), 3.5mm video-in, 3.5mm mini-jack audio-out
• USB and MicroSD slots for content and memory expansion
• Built-in 1W speaker
• Offered in a black or white finish
• Available in May 2011; Estimated street price of $499.00(USD)


In addition to the HD projectors Optoma is known for, they also showed a portable projector/iPhone dock projector that looks good. It’s basically a pico projector with an iPhone/iPod dock and some built-in speakers. Called the Neo-i, it should be available soon and sell for under $500.

And the specs:
• Native Resolution: 854 X 480 (16:9) WVGA DLP
• Brightness: 50 lumens Bright mode
• Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
• LED / Life: RGB LED, >20,000hrs
• Dimensions: 12.8” x 8.9” x 3.1”
• Weight: < 2.5 lbs
• Image Size: 5”-120” (16:9 native)
• Projection Lens: Fixed Focus Lens, F/1.8
• Throw Ratio: 1.8

JVC had a great demo of a 3D camcorder displaying live on a big 3D LCD TV. One of the better uses of 3D at the show, but still active glasses, so be prepared to shell out $100-$200 per person to show your home movies to friends and family.



Panasonic showed their next generation plasma panels, the VT30 line, at the show. They won’t be available until summer 2011, but they looked excellent. No word on pricing, but available in 55? and 65? models

• 3D compatible
• One pair of 3D glasses included
• THX certification
• Infinite Black Pro 2 panel
• 1080p/24 playback mode
• Short throw phosphors
• 3D-compatible SD card slot
• Viera Connect Internet suite

LG had two concepts that really grabbed my attention. First, they were showing a whole lot of connected TVs that are somehow based on the Plex media server. Although LG didn’t say the software was based on Plex, they did say that any app written for Plex would work the LG Smart TV technology.

LG also showed a great use of 3D at the show – passive glasses! The 3D apparently actually looked pretty good. It wasn’t as good as the 3D on a Panasonic plasma, but let’s be fair, what is? It was said to be pretty good, pretty smooth and with very cheap glasses. It looked like they were giving them away like candy.


Samsung was on the connected TV bandwagon as well. They showed a pretty cool integration of a lot of the existing apps out there. The next generation of Samsung connected TVs and Blu-ray players will allow you to search for a movie and see every service where it’s available, and the price, across services like Netflix, Vudu, Blockbuster, Amazon, etc. It lets you pick what you are willing to pay and what quality you’d like to see it in. There are also some social integration aspects that allow you to get recommendations from friends and the like.

Motorola had some really big Android announcements. They announced two next generation android phones, both with dual 1Ghz processors. One for AT&T and one for Verizon. They unveiled the Motorola Atrix 4G which got me all excited. Here is part of the press release:
Motorola ATRIX 4G runs Android™ 2.2 with access to more than 100,000 apps and games in the Android Market™.
Motorola is introducing two industry-leading companion docks for ATRIX 4G:
• The Motorola HD Multimedia Dock has three USB ports and an HDMI port enabling connections to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and HDMI-compatible monitor for working at your desk/office, or connecting to an HDMI-compatible television and home theater audio system for interacting with content and enjoying video, music, games and more in your living room.
• The Motorola Laptop Dock has an incredibly thin design with an 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, stereo speakers, 36Wh three-cell battery that delivers up to eight hours of battery life and weighs just 2.4 pounds. Users simply dock their Motorola ATRIX 4G into the back of the Laptop Dock to turn it into an active, connected machine to experience true mobility at work, home and playing on-the-go in a form factor that’s lighter and smaller than most laptops on the market.
Key features and specifications:
• A dual-core processor capable of opening web pages twice as fast as most other smartphones, rendering games faster and displaying HD video on big-screen TVs
• A full 1 GB of RAM for twice the RAM of most smartphones to deliver effortless multi-tasking, such as watching a movie while receiving and responding to email
• The world’s first qHD display for a smartphone, offering high resolution and 24-bit color, making it easier to read indoors and outdoors
• Front- and rear-facing cameras and the ability to record in HD
• Convenient biometric fingerprint reader for easily unlocking your phone while providing extra security
• Up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card) – enough to store thousands of songs, photos and movies
• 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11n support, enabling as much as 50 percent faster download and upload speeds in WiFi mode compared to most other smartphones
• Optional AT&T Mobile Hotspot service for connecting up to five additional Wi-Fi-enabled devices
• Under 11 mm thin with an extra large 1930 mAh battery for extended standby and talk time
• Two microphones for noise-reduction technology so your calls will be heard loud and clear in even the noisiest environments
• Supports HD video capture and replay for most multimedia standards

My favorite part is the laptop dock.



And of course everyone is still waiting for a real, honest iPad competitor, so Motorola is hoping they found that with their Xoom tablet. It’s the first Android 3.0 device and boasts some pretty impressive specs. Should be out this quarter on Verizon, but only on 3G; 4G comes later this year.



• Android 3.0
• 10.1 inch display
• Dual Core 1 Ghz CPU NVIDIA Tegra 2
• 32 GB inbuilt memory with microSD Card slot
• 1280×800 resolution display
• 5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording
• 2 megapixel webcam
• 1080p HDMI output


Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me. Hope you all enjoyed. I am already ready for CES 2012!




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