LAS VEGAS--Finally, CES 2013 has come to an end.
It's pretty much impossible for one person to experience the entire show, but from the perspective of my beat, which is networking and storage, here are the highlights.
802.11ac Wi-Fi made a strong appearance
802.11ac has been on the market for just about a year, starting with CES 2012. At this year's show, virtually all networking vendors, including but not limited to , , , , and , presented at least one networking product that supports this new and faster standard.
Furthermore, Netgear introduced at this year's show the first 802.11ac router, the, that also has a built-in ADSL modem. For the first time, DSL users can get straight to 802.11ac without having to get a separate router or modem. On the other hand, D-Link unveiled the first router, the , to be powered by the . The DGL-5500 comes with , which promises to be, by far, the best Quality of Service (QoS) feature to date. All other 802.11ac routers currently on the market run on the first 802.11ac chip that
WiGig is now the new Wi-Fi
WiGig, or 802.11ad, is a wireless standard that operates on the 60GHz frequency band and offers up to 7Gbps of wireless networking speed. For years, it was a separate standard from the existing Wi-Fi protocol. But starting with CES 2013, it's now part of the Wi-Fi ecosystem.
Prior to the show, thethat it has merged with the Wi-Fi Alliance. And at the show, Wilocity, the biggest developer of 802.11ac, demoed the first product, the , that comes with a built-in . With this adapter, the laptop is able to support 802.11ac/n/g/a/b on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, as well as 802.11ad on the 60GHz band; in fact, all existing Wi-Fi standards.
The laptop can now connect wirelessly to an 802.11ad-enabled device at multigigabit speed, such as the docking station used in the demo.
Powerline AV 500 adapters get significantly smaller
Power line adapters turn a home's electrical wiring into network cable, effectively increasing the distance of a CAT5e connection without cable needing to be run all over the place. The power line adapters shown at CES 2013 are much smaller than those released in the past.
Trendnet, for example, offers the first adapter, the, that can fit right in your palm yet provide a pass-through power socket so that you can add another device to the same wall socket that the adapter occupies. Actiontec, on the other hand, showed us the by far.
The pricing of power line adapters has also gone down significantly. The Actiontec kit, for example, costs just about $50 for two units.
Hybrid drives are now SSHDs
In the storage department, the biggest trend is the solid-state hard drive (SSHD). This is the new name, used across the industry, for a hybrid drive that combines both solid-state and regular platter-based storage into one standard design.
Prior to the show, the only mass-production hybrid drive on the market was the
At CES 2013, however, WD showed its first SSHD, the
More Thunderbolt storage devices
Similar to 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt storage has now matured with more vendors introducing devices of their own. The biggest Thunderbolt storage device of the show is the
Seagate Wireless Plus won the Best of CES for Networking and Storage
Another highlight of the show is the
While the Wireless Plus is not the first of its type -- Seagate's Satellite was offering similar features prior to this-- it's the first that combines large storage space (1TB), long battery life, a long list of features, and ease of use in one compact design that costs just $200.
Correction, 3 p.m. PT:Updated to give the correct maximum amount of storage offered by the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt Series, which is 20TB.