Archive for the ‘CES’ Category

Thekstategeek is new and improved. TECHTOIT.COM

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

WE HAVE MOVED. Due to our unexpected success, we have changed domains and moved to a “big boy” server. If you reach this page via a search, or reference or anything really, then click the link below to take you to our new site – TECHTOIT.COM. New logo, new slogan, new look, new feel… it’s the real deal.



Vizio in 2011: Vizio Tablet, Vizio Phone, cheap 3D, Google TV

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Vizio has laid out their plans for 2011. A tablet, a smartphone, 3D TVs for under $300, a Google TV device called Via Plus with their own UI, and a Netflix competitor branded Vizio on Demand (I have to admit, they don’t necessarily go out on a limb when naming their products). Bottom line for Vizio this upcoming year? It’s going to be exciting no matter which way you try to spin it. Let’s begin with the Vizio Tablet:

Say yes to more. Introducing the VIZIO Tablet from the pioneer that redefined the connected TV experience. Also part of the VIA Plus™ ecosystem, this 8” high resolution touchscreen is designed for entertainment at home or on the go. The easy to use interface makes streaming media, video chat, web browsing, emailing or any other favorite app instantly satisfying.

The features listed on the Vizio website include a 1GHz processor, a high-resolution front-facing camera for video chats, HD video playback with an HDMI output, 3 speakers for stereo audio in either portrait or landscape orientations, 2 GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot and [most impressive/innovative of all] a built-in remote to control your entire home theater system.

Great things come in small packages! Introducing the VIZIO Phone — the latest innovation from VIZIO. Part of the VIA Plus™ ecosystem, the VIZIO Phone features a sophisticated, intuitive and easy-to-use touchscreen interface that puts your favorite apps, content and services in the palm of your hand.

Vizio’s specs for its smartphone are extremely similar with an HDMI output, 2 GB internal storage with a MicroSD slot and the ability to control your home theater. The screen on the phone comes in at 4 inches, runs on the same 1 GHz processor as its big brother, includes a 5 MP back-facing camera for both stills and HD recording.

Both devices run Android with a very sexy Vizio skinned UI called Vizio Via Plus. The demoed version was still in the rough, early stages of development but the animations and sleek transitions were enough to pique my interest. The next product in their Ecosystem is their version of Google TV with the same Via Plus UI skin.

The VIZIO HDTV actually runs both Android and Google TV simultaneously (a first on any TV), making it easy for users to sync apps and content from their mobile to the TV. The synergy also enables AirPlay-like functionality and provides a unified interface.

In addition to running Android and Google TV, the new product includes the newly announced OnLive cloud-based gaming support (in addition to other premium VIA apps).

As for the cheap 3D HDTVs, all that was said is that at some point during CES (which ends Sunday) we would hear something about units selling for under $300. Now that is certainly something to hope for. Wouldn’t mind having one of those in my dorm room!

[Sources: Vizio]

Motorola keynote at CES 2011: Atrix, Cliq 2, Droid Bionic and Xoom tablet

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Motorola’s agenda was composed of 4 items: the half computer/half smartphone Atrix, the redesigned Cliq 2, jumbo Droid Bionic and the fabled Motorola tablet. Their keynote began with a bang as a slide projected up on stage stated that their first device is the “most powerful smartphone EVER.” The Atrix is something special as it technically acts as the CPU for both a desktop PC unit and a laptop via two unique docking units. The HD dock allows you to connect the smartphone to a monitor, keyboard and a mouse (use it as a CPU) and in case you would like to go mobile, the phone also has a laptop peripheral that allows you to essentially use the phone as the power behind a netbook.

As far as specs on the phone itself? Try a pair of Cortex A9s running at 1GHz inside NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 SoC with 1GB of memory and 16GB of internal storage. The power cell behind this “beast” is a 1930mAh battery. The only specs listed for the netbook accessory (odd to be considering a netbook an “accessory” to a cell phone) are an 11.6″ screen and a 36Whr battery. When the Atrix is docked to the netbook, tack on an extra 8 hours of battery life and up to 48 GB more storage.

The second device, the Motorola Cliq 2, is exclusively for T-Mobile (as was its predecessor). This is the least interesting of the bunch, but still has impressive specs with a 3.7″ touchscreen display, 1 GHz processor, Wi-Fi calling support and hotspot connect capabilities for up to 5 devices. The Cliq 2 will be available on January 19.

So what’s so special about Motorola’s third device? Yet another member to the Droid family I suppose. Well, except for the fact that it will be one of the first phones to run on Verizon’s LTE (truly 4G) Network, and the 1GHz dual-core processors which technically equal out to 2GHz of processing power, the 512 MB of DDR2 RAM, the 4.3″ qHD display, HDMI mirroring (displays on both the phone and TV at the same time), 1080p video playback, an 8 MP camera, a front-facing camera for video calls and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 5 devices. I mean… didn’t the original Droid have all of these features? (The correct answer is hell no.) The sexy new Droid sibling will be dropping in early second quarter.

The last trick up Motorola’s sleeve is what everyone was waiting for. Remember that tablet I mentioned in the All Things Google article not too long ago? The one that was codenamed Everest? Well now Motorola is officially calling it the Xoom. I personally, do not like the name. Yes, it may be more unique but Everest is an epic name. Ok, down I step from my soap box and boast about how incredibly cool it is. Motorola made the statement that the device wasn’t completed yet, so there will be no official run-through of the OS (considering Honeycomb isn’t complete either) anywhere you look. However, there is a teaser video for Honeycomb that can be viewed here. Features include Google Talk-powered video calling, pretty awesome new 3D YouTube interface as well as 3D Maps, revamped email and browser. The actual hardware will include a dual-core processor, HD video recording and a 16:10 HD display to “watch movies the way the filmmaker intended.” I’ll end with a quote about the next generation of Android:

Honeycomb has been designed from the ground up for the tablet.

[Sources: CNET, Techtree, AnandTech, Engadget]

Microsoft keynote at CES 2011: Kinect social, Hulu Plus, IE9, New Surface

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Microsoft announced Avatar Kinect tonight during their CES presentation. Simply enough, the Kinect will follow your facial features as far as talking, mouth gestures, eyebrow movements and more as you are represented in a visual chatroom of sorts. The trailer that Microsoft played showed the option of picking from different settings (sports event, doodle city, forest and a few others) and sitting around just hanging out with friends… Very Second-Life ish. They did not go into great detail as far as the extent of Avatar Kinect but Microsoft did announce it will be released in the Spring for Gold LIVE Members for free.

A slew of new Kinect features were presented in addition to the Avatar Kinect including Netflix (finally), Hulu Plus services and a new interactive ESPN interface that includes trash talking and voting on your picks for the big game.

Besides talking up the next update for the Xbox 360 console and its Kinect peripheral, Microsoft took time to brag on its own successes stating that they were aiming to sell 5 million Kinect units and have so far sold 8 million, reminding everyone of the 30 million Xbox LIVE users, and going into lots and lots of detail about how friggin’ awesome Windows Phone 7 is. A quote from CEA Ballmer himself:

We pulled together the best of Office, Windows, Xbox, Xbox Live, Bing, and more to focus on building a great phone. The reaction to the product has been great. We launched 9 phones across 60 countries. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve added great new titles: Kindle, Bank of America, Fruit Ninja — there are already 5500 apps in the Marketplace. 100 apps a day. 20,000 devs have registered with us.

In a word? Wow. Truly spectacular for such a new mobile platform. (They want us to forget how terrible the previous Windows Mobile OS was… and so far they are succeeding with WP7.) The only release information for WP7 is the minor update “NoDo” (which is a stab at Android 1.6 codenamed Donuts) that will include Copy/Paste and speed up general performance. The first substantial update has been dubbed “Mango” and will essentially be Windows Phone 7.5 when it is released in the Spring.

Beyond the Kinect and Windows Phone 7, which are two very hot topics these days, the next installment of Internet Explorer was mentioned, although brevity plagued this part of the presentation. Simply, Ballmer stated the fact that 20 million people had downloaded the beta of IE9. The official release will include HTML5 and hardware accelerated graphics.

The last object of interest during Microsoft’s keynote I shall quote from Engadget’s liveblog:

7:32PM New Surface is out now — this is the version that we saw earlier with the crazy PixelSense tech which is able to use each pixel as an individual camera, which means you can put a piece of paper on the display, and it will read the text you’ve written on it. The screen also uses infrared sensors for touch input.

Now I personally have no idea what this is, and the demo at the conference only revealed the fact that the Surface knew 20 “digits” were being pressed against it. It reminded me of the fact that we are getting closer and closer to Minority Report-esque navigation. And… as a side note Microsoft noted this is staying commercially exclusive. No New Surface on consumer tablets 😦

[Sources: WinRumors, Engadget, Gizmodo, PC Magazine]

ASUS kicks off presentations at CES 2011: 4 tablets in the coming year!

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

At 5:12 PM yesterday, Chairman Jonney Shih stumbled onto stage to begin the keynote presentation for ASUS. After talking up how well the company did in 2010, he announced the first of 4 new ASUS tablets to be released in the first and second quarters of 2011: the Eee Pad MeMO.

The specs read at a Galaxy Tab-esque 7-inch screen, a Snapdragon processor running Android 3.0, 1.2 MP front-facing camera and a 5 MP back-facing camera (including LED fash). The big pull with the Eee Pad MeMO is the Bluetooth MeMic “media phone extender” accessory that allows the tablet to double as a cellphone (making calls and sending texts) and the stylus optimization. Just a hunch, but the name Pad MeMO might be making a reference to the eerie techie-likeness to a memo pad, and ASUS capitalizes on this by showing off apps that heavily utilize handwriting and drawing such as the Media Note notetaking/scrapbooking app and Painter (you can guess what this is used for). The Pad MeMO is set to be released in June with a $499 price tag.

The next tablet gives new meaning to tablet PC: Eee Pad Slate. The Core i5-powered Windows 7 tablet is the only tablet is ASUS’s lineup not to feature the new Android tablet OS Honeycomb. Chairman Shih dubbed it the “most powerful tablet in the world” and the specs certainly back up this extravagant statement. Running Windows 7 Home Premium; containing either 2GB or 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB and 64 GB storage options; Bluetooth 3.0, mini HDMI out; sporting a memory card reader and a 2 MP camera with flash; displayed brilliantly on a 12.1″ WSVGA 1280×800 capacitive touch screen. The inclusion of a Wacom digitizer allows you to use a stylus to take notes or draw pictures (like the MeMO).  During the presentation, they played a video in 1080p while actively using a piece of photo editing software. The main drawback with this powerhouse is the $1,000 base unit price. ASUS says an updated unit can be purchased for a mere $100 more.We can expect this tablet later this month.

Third up is the unique Eee Pad Transform that is essentially a touchscreen tablet with a keyboard dock. The actual 10.1″ screen is what holds the guts of the machine, a Tegra-2 processor (1080p and dual core support) running Honeycomb, dual cameras (1.2 MP and 5 MP once again), 16/32/64GB storage options with 512MB/1GB memory. If you attach the tablet to the keyboard, the battery life increases from 8 hours to 16 hours. The ports include a 2-in-1 audio jack for headphones out and mic in, an SD card reader and a mini HDMI output. The Transform will range from $399-$699 in April.

The last and most sexy in my opinion is the Eee Pad Slider. This has essentially the same specs as the Transform but instead of having a detachable physical keyboard, ASUS has hidden it underneath the screen. In order to access the keyboard, you slide the screen up, and tilt it… like HTC’s Tilt. It is incredibly thin at half an inch (same thickness as the iPad) given that it hides a peripheral such as a keyboard, and weighs only 2.2 pounds (slightly heavier than the iPad). About the only difference in specs as far as I could see from looking at the comparison, is the absence of a 64GB model of the Slider. However, the Slider will make its way to shelves in May for $499-$799.

The ASUS Honeycomb UI skin is known as My Wave and apparently has a highly customizable interface… then again it IS Android afterall, and with the array of tablets they showcased ASUS is obviously trying to tickle everyone’s fancy. ASUS’s lineup may have been sleek and attractive, but only time will tell if they can top top competitor’s soon-to-exist models such as Vizio’s VIA tab…

[Sources: Engadget, Gizmodo]