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What mattered at CES -- Day 2

On the second official day of the consumer tech show, T-Mobile announced an offer to lure away its rivals' customers, and we got some good hands-on time with even more cool tech on display. Here's the best stuff from Wednesday.

Now playing: Watch this: CES In-Depth: The top gadgets and stories from Day Two...

LAS VEGAS -- Formal news announcements started to slow on Day 2 of the International CES 2014 consumer tech show, but we spent the day trekking around the convention and getting good hands-on time with some of the most interesting stuff on display. Here are some highlights.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
T-Mobile CEO John Legere at CES 2014 James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile held the biggest press conference of the day, and CEO John Legere used his time to tempt his rivals' customers over to the pink side. He announced that T-Mobile will ease a major pain point for cell phone owners: it'll pay early-termination fees for those who jump from another carrier and sign a T-Mo contract.

He also tried to put to bed recent rumors suggesting that Sprint, the third largest carrier in the US, was considering a plan to buy No. 4 carrier T-Mobile. Legere said: "The consolidation in the industry has been about spectrum. All the rumors are about spectrum. But they're spectrum with no legs. The T-Mobile brand and people will stay. How that plays out remains to be seen."

Instead, Legere detailed plans to acquire additional spectrum so it could build out its network in non-urban areas.

Gaming and virtual reality
Razer always comes to CES with some pretty cool, far-out gaming concepts and this year is no different. We're intrigued by Project Christine, a Lego-like modular PC prototype. The project is still in the concept stage, but the idea is to let people build a high-end gaming system from plug-and-play modules, such as RAM, graphics, speakers, processors, and Blu-ray drives. Oh, and it's cooled by mineral oil. Cool stuff, indeed.

Razer's Project Christine Scott Stein/CNET

One of the most buzz-worthy gadgets from last year was the Oculus Rift, a set of virtual-reality gaming goggles. This year the Oculus Rift is back, with better positional tracking and display technology. Today we donned the virtual goggles again and tried it out with a few new game demos.

The Oculus Rift is far from the only headset in town. Here, we rounded up all the headsets and high-tech glassware we've seen so far.

We've seen PCs get more flexible, flippable, and detachable. Toshiba's taking this trend to the extreme, showing off a prototype that combines elements of a Yoga-like folding convertible laptop and a detachable tablet hybrid. The still-unnamed prototype looks a lot like Lenovo's Yoga, with a 360-degree fold-back hinge, but adds a keyboard that detaches from the chassis.

Toshiba's crazy prototype flippable, detachable PC Dan Ackerman/CNET

Smart home
One of the big themes of the show is smartening up your home, through more-advanced appliances, locks, doors, and windows. LG on Monday talked about its HomeChat system, which lets you exchange SMS messages with your appliances. Today we learned more about how it works (see video below).

Now playing: Watch this: LG HomeChat lets you SMS with your appliances

While the connected home has been a popular theme at CES for years, the smart-home promise has finally started to feel more real, as more and more products are being released that are truly functional and are hitting prices regular people can actually afford. We thought it was a good time to get some smart people together to talk about where we are now and how home technology will evolve. You can watch video of the Connected Home panel we hosted at CES today.

Must See
Yet again, we've added to our running list of the absolute must-see things at CES. If you follow tech at all, these are the products and events you'll want to know about. Check them out here.