LAS VEGAS--Schwinn was at the Consumer Electronics Show with a high-tech eBike that has an elecrtric motor with a battery that can be charged in about a half hour for 25 miles of riding. In this podcast, spokesman Michael de Leon talks about the bike and whether a motor would interfere with the bike's ability to help people stay in shape.Listen now: Download this podcast
All things considered, this year's CES had a surprising amount of innovative--or at least interesting--tech for cameras and camcorders, beyond the usual bigger/faster/cheaper we've come to expect from the show.
Though each manufacturer took a different approach to pumping up its HD camcorder lines, they all took a split-the-market attitude: new models based on last year's technology designed to reach lower, entry-level prices on one side and beefing up sensors, optics, and controls for more expensive products to appeal to video enthusiasts. For instance, Sony's new XV500 series features a new back-illuminated sensor and … Read more
Our heads are still spinning a bit from the onslaught that was the in-car electronics hall of CES 2009. From every direction, there were speakers the size of extralarge pizzas and flashy video displays vying for your attention. Amidst the cacophony, our (ahem) skilled Car Tech editors were able to spot a few gems and a few diamonds in the rough.
As evidenced by our Car Tech category Best of CES finalists, we predict that the next big thing in in-car entertainment is connectivity. Our winner, Gracenote CarStars, puts a star's avatar in your reasonably priced car by pairing … Read more
LAS VEGAS--So-called Netbooks or mini-notebooks are all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show. A number of PC companies including Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and HP have unveiled notebook PCs that are smaller, less expensive, and more energy efficient than traditional notebook PCs.
In this podcast, Hewlett-Packard's Marco Pena shows off a new business Netbook.Listen now: Download this podcast
CES 2009 didn't dish up any major surprises in the GPS department, but that doesn't mean it was a complete snoozer. A handful of new portable navigation devices were introduced at the show, as well as a number of services for both standalone PNDs and GPS-enabled smartphones.
As expected, we saw a new connected GPS debut, this time from TomTom. While not the first PND to offer an Internet connection, we feel the TomTom GO 740 Live promises the best combination of features and design (compared to the current Dash Express and TeleNav Shotgun offerings) and might just … Read more
As Amazon.com proved with its popular Kindle, consumers are interested in reading books on handheld devices. Plastic Logic has developed its own reading device, which is thinner and more durable than the Kindle and is aimed mostly for reading business documents. Joe Eschbach, Plastic Logic's vice president of marketing, explains in this interview.Listen now: Download this podcast
Though cell phones are just a small part of CES, the category made a big splash at this year's show with the first cell phone to win CNET's Best of CES award. But the Palm Pre was not the only device in Las Vegas; new devices also debuted from Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and LG, to name a few.
In the smartphone category, the obvious star was the Palm Pre, which scored a hat trick by winning not only the aforementioned Best of CES award, but also the Best of CES award in the cell phone category and the People's Voice Award. The Pre restored a bit of faith in Palm and more importantly, pushed the capabilities of a smartphone. The Pre promises to offer true multi-tasking on a phone and dazzles with its unique user interface, design, and features.
In addition, the Palm Web OS and App Store will only expand the Pre's (as well as future Palm Web OS devices) uses and capabilities. By raising the bar, Palm has certainly sent a message to its competitors and we suspect they'll step up and respond, which is always good for us since it will bring more innovation.
While the Pre might have grabbed much of the CES spotlight, it wasn't the only smartphone to debut at the show. T-Mobile announced the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and T-Mobile Shadow, while HTC introduced its HTC S743 smartphone. Nokia also announced that it will bring a U.S. version of the Nokia E63 to market in the coming weeks, and we finally got some hands-on time with the Nokia N97. Looks like 2009 is shaping up to be another action-packed year for the smartphone space.
Motorola earned a Best of CES nomination with its Surf A3100 smartphone. The touch-screen device offers multimedia features in an eye catching design. And better yet, it puts a nifty and user-friendly spin on the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating.
Moto also introduced the Renew W233, a phone made from recycled water bottles, and the rugged and tough Tundra A76r for AT&T. We got a close look at both models. And though it wasn't introduced in Las Vegas, CES gave us our first opportunity to handle the style-centric and posh Motorola Aura.… Read more
Before the world went high-def, Panasonic made a point of upgrading many of its camcorders to 3-chip models; now it's happening again, as Panasonic rolls out its 3MOS chipsets in its prosumer 2009 AVCHD camcorders. And at 2 megapixels per chip, they're each reasonably high-resolution, as well. However, you won't see the likes of popular, older, budget 3-chip models such as the PV-GS320, at least not in the first half of the year. In fact, you won't see any tape- or DVD-based models at all from Panasonic, according to the company. Ever.
For its standard-definition clients, … Read more
The main networking themes at CES 2009 were faster, greener, and more diverse.
The nicest surprise, however, was not a product but the return of Buffalo. After two years of court sanctions, Buffalo now has regained the right to sell networking products in North America. It's interesting that in the Chinese calendar, 2009 is also the year of the Ox.
The company offers a few sleek-looking routers, both Wireless-N and Wireless-G. In my experience, Buffalo offers great budget routers, which are affordable and yet reliable at the same time. This is good news for consumers.
While Buffalo's portfolio doesn't contain anything revolutionary, Trendnet D-Link showed off new Wireless-N routers that offer speeds up to 450Mbps, a 50 percent boost from its cap of 300Mbps. This is achieved by adding more single streams to an antenna, much like adding more garden hoses to better the watering. The new technology uses three signal streams per antenna.
The new speed is based on a common standard, and therefore, once certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, routers and adapters from different vendors will interoperate at the new high speed.
Speaking of the Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization, together with In-Stat, released a report CES at saying that the consumption of Wi-Fi chips increased by 26 percent in 2008. The group expects this momentum to continue into 2009.… Read more
CES 2009 delivered a surprising amount of MP3 player-related product announcements compared with last year's show. No, I didn't see any "iPod killers" out there, but there are still plenty of manufacturers eager to fight for second place in the world of MP3 players.
The biggest trend I'm seeing right now is touch screens. For better or worse, every MP3 player manufacturer at CES was tripping over itself to show off its latest touch-screen models. Sony, Samsung, and Iriver had some beautiful, yet pricey, touch-screen devices to show off, but even budget-minded manufacturers, such as … Read more