MY CES JOURNAL
Photos powered by Olympus
FRIDAY, JANUARY 7
Day two of tech on steroids--I'm juicing, baby! This has been a great time, even though it is raining. I woke up after a great CNET party at the Ghost Bar last night. If you have been reading my blogs, I told you that there is great daytime and nighttime fun. I had never been to the Ghost Bar before, but it has one of the best views of Las Vegas I have ever seen. Meeting all of the editors and seeing the people who work behind the scenes of CNET has made this trip more worthwhile than the actual tech show! I mean, honestly, where else can you be around cool people who love technology but also know how to have a good time (outside of my own home, of course)?
Casio Exilim S100
But enough about me and my crazy times in Vegas--what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Unless you take pictures, then you have to explain the dancing monkeys and the vat of lemon juice, then go through litigation procedures. Not worth the hassle. Let's just stick with the technology. And the best I saw out there in digital cameras was the Casio Exilim S100. This thing is the size of a credit card--at max--and as thin as or thinner than an iPod. It has 3.2 megapixels, with a 2-inch LCD screen. You know those cameras: you think it's small, then you get it, and it isn't as small as you thought. Then, when you bring it out with you, it's too bulky, and the pictures don't come out as great as you thought they would. And all the memories of the funny guy dressed up as an emu cannot be relived when you are 50 years old. Not happening with this camera. It actually does fit in the small pocket of your shirt, and it takes good photos, has a 2.8X optical zoom (way better than the Canon SD10, which did not have good picture quality or optical zoom). Check out the camera on CNET. I wish I had this camera last night...
For those amateur photographers, Casio also has a 7-megapixel camera, the EX-P700. This thing is for those who want to go from point-and-shoot to amateur professional. It has a 4X optical, 4X digital with AVI movie format that is limited only by the size of your SD media. One other cool thing about the camera is that the lens cover comes off and exposes these treads where you can use a camera lens adapter and put in an additional lens for whatever shots you need. Cost is $599, and it has a surprisingly small frame factor for how much power it holds. This item is not going to be available until the end of January. Another item to check out on CNET Reviews when available.
Moving on to the peripherals I thought would be the best. It would be between the ViewSonic VP231wb (23 inches) or the VP191b (19 inches). The 19-inch has intelligent overdrive that improves gray to gray, making it the best possible. The 19-inch has an 8ms response gray to gray, while I believe the 23-inch has a 12ms response gray to gray. The 23-inch is the first desktop display to have such excellent video motion, which is usually found in LCD TVs. The 23-inch model has all HD modes (1080i and 1080p, and so on) and 2.3-megapixel resolution. Seeing this up close just had my mind boggled. If you want to see some of the qualities and the images, check out my video direct from ViewSonic's booth at CES 2005. I think it beats the Apple Cinema Displays. On top of that, the price is making me want to buy one tonight; $1,899 for all that quality and those features is phenomenal. If you can get your hands on one, just do it, don't be a girlie man!
Once again, another great day at CES with CNET showing me the ins and outs of the tech world. I talked about the Best in Show in my clips, so check me out. I don't know people who have won contest things like this before, but I am glad that my first win was at something like this. Thanks, CNET and everyone out there reading these blogs. I hope you can enjoy CES as much as I have. Then again, I don't have pictures either! Nightlife mode on!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6
HP Photosmart R707
Welcome, outside world! I say outside
because this has definitely been a welcome from CNET to the true tech
world. I thought I loved technology, but you cannot truly love it unless you have been to CES at least once.
I started out my day on a journey through HP. They really aren't unveiling anything that isn't already out. I was told by one of their representatives that at PMA they will be announcing a new line of cameras that will top their Photosmart R707. This camera actually impressed me with its smooth interface, 5-megapixel images, and exclusive adaptive lighting technology. They were awarded the Popular Science
2004 Best of What's New. Plus, they have done wonderful things with their push on green.
They have parts in their products that are 25 percent recycled inkjet cartridges and 75 percent recycled soda bottles. I then wondered how they are getting those inkjet cartridges (they would have to use tons). Is Big Brother watching those who buy inkjet products and going through their garbage to get the cartridges? After harassing the representative (not really), he told me when you purchase the cartridge, inside there is a prepaid postage envelope so that you can mail your cartridges. Obviously, no one knows about it because I saw the bag, and it gets folded up really small, and people usually think it is more literature. They need to do a better job of that, market how they are trying to be green (have to think about the environment).
But it is cool how they don't just have a bunch of nerds running around saying, "Come look at me and my cool digital whatever." Everyone here is very approachable, easygoing. I easily don't feel as though I am being sold on anything. They are here to just give you information (free stuff, too...even though I haven't won anything myself, this is what they claim). I also love how Motorola put up a huge snowboarding ramp with actual snow (in Vegas) and just have snowboarders doing tricks for most of the day. I believe this is the largest convention held in the United States. There are so many languages and people, and everyone has been drawn together by technology. I just had a tear.
Oh, you can also see my feature debut in CNET's show, the Next Big Thing, as one of the panel members. I was able to share my thoughts on the automotive industry with Delphi and Honda. The time was a bit short, and I am sure people wouldn't have minded listening to me talk some more--what an unfair world. Hopefully, they listen to the consumer. But I must say, right after my segment, Delphi and Honda took me to their latest demo of the new RL. I will tell you folks that this thing is heaven. It does traffic on the screen with GPS navigation. I also tested the voice activation, works very well. I don't like the actual design of the console because it has this huge ball-shaped navigation stick right in the middle, making it very cumbersome. Other cool features are Bluetooth and Bose DVD speakers, and it has a button in front where you can put a screen up on your back windshield to protect the little ones from those harsh sun rays. Brian Cooley drove it, and he liked it, so it must be sweet. I was told by the engineer that the ride is very smooth, and the engine makes little to no noise. He even said, "It's hard to know if the car is actually on"--a good problem to have.
There is so much going on in Vegas. We definitely are having a good time; the daytime is as exciting as the nighttime. CNET has not only exceeded my expectations but definitely provided a very comfortable atmosphere for work and play. I know that there are users who read CNET as religiously as I do, and I will be the first to tell you, they are not just a bunch of nerds writing articles; everyone has been very cool and down-to-earth (even the SVP). I hit maybe 5 percent of the event, but I'm not going to hit 100. This has just been the first day; I cannot wait until tomorrow. Long days lead to nice sleep. I'll be back tomorrow (time for the nightlife now).
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6
Hey, my name is Charles, and I am a 23-year-old computer engineering graduate from Northwestern, working as a pharmacy technician in New York City (bad economy). Anyway, I am excited to be covering peripherals and digital photo/camcorders at CES 2005. In addition to the coursework I have had (Digital Image Analysis, Embedded Systems Design, and so on), I have a love for high-quality, well-priced electronics that work as advertised.
Life goes so fast, and having the proper equipment to capture those moments--whether it is a graduation ceremony, the birth of your newborn, or just wanting to gloat to friends around the globe about your new car--makes the difference in one's life by sharing memories. With companies such as Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony (to name only a few) represented at CES 2005, you know that the show will have the best up-and-coming gear to help us get the most out of our everyday lives. I am hoping to see a Bluetooth digital camera or camcorder so that I don't have any wires when I transfer data to my computer. And maybe a portable, legal-size all-in-one, with networking, duplex printing, and a document feeder. Too much? Nah, it's CES, baby!