The International CES 2014 kicks off in Las Vegas on Monday 6th January, and we'll be bringing you the latest and greatest it has to offer, right from the show floor, for the week that follows.
The world's biggest consumer tech show is always brimming with killer new gadget releases, and we've already got plenty of interesting rumours and previews of launches from this year's event.
Be sure to stay tuned to Stuff for updates as more stories break, and keep up to date with the big press conferences as they happen on our Twitter feed, starting with LG at 4pm (GMT) on Monday 6th.
Read on for all of the big stories, and make sure to check out our CES Hot Stuff Awards - meet the 10 best launches of the show.
TVS - 4K, SEXY CURVES AND GIANT SCREENS
LG 105UB9 Curved TV - Going against the curve
LG might have smaller curved TVs due to hit shelves later this year. But all it really wants to talk about is this monster. At 105in, it’s the company’s biggest curved telly yet. And it’s the first to pack in Ultra HD smarts.
Its 21:9 aspect ratio is tailored specifically for watching movies. Although even the most avid fans of high-budget, low-talent Hollywood blockbusters won’t get the chance to have it dominate their lounge. LG says it’s not for sale and won’t say if it’ll ever be released. Spoilsports.
LG curved 4K OLED TV - Curves still in fashion, apparently
As soon as we saw LG’s curved TVs in action at CES 2013, we instantly wanted to drain our life-savings in order to have one takeover our living room. And its new ones are even better.
The Korean company’s latest curved OLED boobtubes come in three sizes: 55in, 65in and 77in. Each one promises upscaling skills without nasty blurring, as well as cramming in a yellow pixel on top of the traditional red, blue and green for improved colours.
Prices are yet to be confirmed, but all three will be available to doubtless destroy your bank balance later this year.
LG EC9800 - The smartest smart TV of them all
LG’s new curved OLEDs might be as wafer thin as your average celebrity biography. But they still manage to squeeze in roughly ten times as many smarts as any reality TV wannabe.
Each of the three models on offer, ranging from 55in to 77in, totes 4K tech. LG’s new webOS Smart TV platform, based on Palm’s once great smartphone system, is also on board, as is Netflix access.
Best of all, Netflix is promising these LG tellies will be the first to get 4K streaming, with the new series of House of Cards up for grabs in the HD-bashing format.
Samsung 105in curved TV - Sammy throws LG a curveball
So, LG’s just outed the world’s first 105in curved TV, right? Well, not according to Samsung. In a move as predictable as Spurs sacking their manager every other season, LG’s key Korean rival has revealed its own massive curved TV.
Sammy’s effort is an LCD, unlike LG’s OLED number. But that’s about the only difference you’re likely to notice between these two behemoths. Like LG’s beast, Samsung’s telly is an exercise in one-upmanship and won’t be officially released. Still, it wouldn’t be CES without a TV-based mano-o-mano between these two tech titans.
Samsung 85in bendy TV - Bent into shape
Can’t decide if the brave new world of curved TVs is the future or an obvious gimmick to corner unsuspecting gadget fans? Well, Samsung’s new flexible telly could be what you’re after.
The world’s first bendable box, it can be used as a traditional flatscreen or strong-armed into a curved panel. A small motor round the back pushes the edges of the screen in and out, sadly negating the need to lift it up and bend it into shape, Hulk-style.
Samsung Smart Control remote
Sammy's curvy remote will get an upgrade at CES in the form of a new button layout, a smaller touchpad, an integrated mic and gesture controls to match that those found in LG's Magic Remote. Who needs numbers anyway?
Polaroid's 4K TV - Instant Ultra HD gratification for S$1200
Think Polaroid, think washed out instant snaps of try-hard hipsters. But while the cool kids get down with their old-school analogue toys, the camera company has turned its attention to futuristic 4K TVs.
At just US$1000 (S$1270), this next-gen telly is far cheaper than top-end sets from the likes of Sony and Samsung. Just imagine the veins in Wayne Rooney’s head when he inevitably gets his marching orders at this summer’s World Cup. Ultra HD at its best, eh?
Sharp 8K Glasses Free 3D TV - Because 4K just won’t cut it
Yeah, 4K’s great. And sure, curved TVs are the future according to Samsung and LG. But what about 8K? Well, Sharp’s got that far off, futuristic format covered. Its new prototype telly can serve up glasses-free 3D on a huge 85in screen, with a 7,680 x 4,320 resolution.
Made with Philips and Dolby, there’s no chance this box will be up for grabs in 2014. But if you want an idea of the kind of hi-def delights we’ll be feasting on by the end of the decade, then look no further.
Netflix 4K streaming, here we come
Netflix recently confirmed with Stuff that 4K streaming is on its way, and 4K streaming apps on Ultra HD TVs will be making their debut in Vegas, with LG's 4K OLED offering kicking things off. House of Cards is the only confirmed 4K show at the moment, but we'd bet our entire year's Netflix subscription that there are more 4K shows on the way.
YouTube's slice of the 4K pie
Although it's supported 4K video for some time, YouTube is rumoured to be announcing a 4K streaming service that will work just fine on our existing broadband and mobile network connections, thanks to a video codec called VP9. We do love a good codec.
Roku TV - Rocking a box-free look
Roku’s set top boxes ensured we struggled to get off the sofa in 2013. And now the people behind the superb 2 XS and Sky’s Now TV STBs are making their own TVs. Enlisting the help of Chinese giants HiSense and TCL, Roku is plotting 32in and 55in models. Both will pack its Roku Channel Store, with access to 450 channels including BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Spotify. The aim, it says, is to make Smart TVs easier to use, something we can get right behind. And if it gazumps Apple’s oft-rumoured HDTV, then we’re sure Roku won’t be complaining either.
SMARTPHONES - Z1 SHRINKS IN THE WASH
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Cut down to size
The heady days of a phone slipping neatly into your jeans pocket are becoming a distant memory. Today, you need early noughties nu-metal trousers in order to keep your smartphone close at hand. Thankfully, Sony is going against the trend of making mobiles bigger than your face with its latest effort. The Xperia Z1 Compact manages to squeeze in all of the same high-end features as the full-sized Z1 (20.7 megapixel camera, BIONZ imaging skills, super hi-res display), but drops the screen down to a far more manageable 4.3in. Time to bust out your skinny jeans in celebration.
HEALTH AND FITNESS - TECH TO GET YOU IN TIP-TOP SHAPE
LG Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones - One off the wrist
Fitness fiends have never had it so good. While those of us obsessed with powering through 12 hours of FIFA 14 quietly pile on the pounds, runners, cyclists and walkers are being treated to a slew of fancy new tech. LG’s Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones are the perfect example. The former is a fitness band with a swipeable OLED display that shows off how many calories you've burned. Paired with LG’s clever new earbuds, which check your heartbeat by measuring signals from inside your ear, they’re ideal for anyone who wants to bask in the glow of tech-reflected glory.
Technogym- Glass-compatible treadmills
The fitness fanatics at Technogym have integrated an Android 4.0 tablet into their new treadmill, which can stream data direct to the Google Glass on your face.
Kolibree - Techie toothbrush
If brushing your teeth involves little more than giving your yellowing pegs a cursory scrub each morning, then this one’s for you. Billed as the world’s first smart toothbrush, Kolibree uses Bluetooth to hook up to a dedicated smartphone app, showing you just how well you’re looking after your gnashers. Using a gyroscope and accelerometer it tracks your cleaning progress and even sets you brushing goals. Up to five users can use the app, each person’s performance plotted on a colour-coded graph. If anything, it’ll turn those moments after breakfast into highly competitive brushing sessions.
Schwinn CycleNav - Cycling satnav saviour
Schwinn’s CycleNav is a simple, dependable way to find your route on a bike that doesn't involve sellotaping a smartphone to your handlebars. Hooking up to an app on your smartphone, it guides you via three LED-lit green arrows - left, right and forward - as well as voice instructions. The dedicated CycleNav app uses map data from Mapquest. Enter your destination and it plots routes based on your preferences, incorporating cycle lanes and off-road sections if you want to.
Netatmo June - Tat by name...
Yes, it looks like it’s from the jewellery counter at Argos. But Netatmo’s June is actually one of the more innovative pieces of wearable tech to emerge at this year’s CES. The bangle hides a UV sensor and syncs up with an iOS app that asks a few pertinent questions to work out how much sun is too much for your skin. It even delivers alerts to let you know when you need to slap on some more sun cream, pop a hat on or duck into the shade.
Wellograph Wellness watch - Crafty keep fit kit
Unlike your average fitness band, Wellograph’s Wellness Watch serves up more than some hackneyed data about ‘points’ earned and calories burned. Rocking a toughened sapphire glass screen (the same material used on the iPhone 5s’ TouchID button), this is a full blown smart watch with fitness as its focus. There’s a heart rate monitor to help deliver accurate data, with breakdowns of your hourly activity, plus a chance to hook it up to a specially designed app via Bluetooth LE. Two weeks battery life also means it’ll still be kicking while rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear are back at home charging up.
This fitness tracker measures your steps and heart rate, and yes, it's huge. But with good reason. It lets you perform over 50 isometric exercises and its accompanying app demonstrates how to perform each one in detail before measuring your performance. Squeeze your way to a stronger you.
SMARTWATCHES - YOUR WRISTS HAVE NEVER BEEN SMARTER
Sony could reveal the third iteration of its Galaxy Gear rival at CES. The SmartWatch 3 is likely to feature the same notification and controls as the current version, with the addition of built-in NFC and low-powered Bluetooth 4.0.
Sony SmartWatch 2 review
Pebble Steel - Pebble dashes off new models
The Pebble smartwatch might be the best savvy timepiece out there. But that plasticky design does it no favours. Hence the Kickstarter kings have given it a much-needed new metal makeover. There are stainless steel and black editions, as well as a Gorilla Glass display to bring an end to bumps and scrapes. Software-wise, it’s as you were. The only other change? A hefty jump in the price tag department. Still cheaper and better than a Galaxy Gear, though.
And if that's not enough premium smartwatch for you then there's always the Meta. Designed by an ex-Vertu designer, the iOS and Android-friendly Meta is crafted from stainless steel, leather bands and other premium materials. Our wallets are already weeping at the as-of-yet undisclosed price tag.
CAMERAS - SAY CHEESE
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 - The Galaxy keeps expanding
The sequel to Samsung’s Android-stuffed, critically-lauded Galaxy Camera. With Google’s smartphone software keeping things ticking along, the Galaxy Camera 2 comes with access to the Play Store’s vast stash of superb photo-editing apps, plus a promising 16.3 megapixel sensor and 21x optical zoom. On top of that, there’s an improved image processing system, with a capacious 4.8-inch touchscreen for framing and tweaking images. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are backed up by NFC, making sharing your snaps with other devices a breeze. 50GB of free Dropbox storage completes a more than enticing package.
Samsung NX30 - cleverer than your average compact
Samsung’s latest NX series snapper features a large 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. It’s pretty snappy too, with a 1/8000 sec shutter speed and continuous shooting smarts at 9 frames per second. There's also a swivelling 3in Super AMOLED display. That should make your pictures look great, although you’ll need to brush up on your photography skills if you want your award-winning shots. Boo. Dropbox integration allows you to automatically upload images to the cloud storage service via Wi-Fi. Tap your NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet, and it’ll link-up both devices, stashing every image taken on the camera once the AutoShare function is activated.
Nikon D4S - Flagship fantastic
Teasing forthcoming treats as almost as important at CES as revealing new kit. And Nikon’s got this down to an art, announcing plans to release the much-mooted successor to its flagship D4, the D4S, this year. While the snapper was on show, Nikon wasn’t letting on with any specifics. It’d only say it’s given the camera’s already peerless autofocus a boost, while fitting it out with an improved image processor.
Read more (Image credit: Engadget)
Nikon D3300 - Handholding snapper
The thought of nervously pawing an SLR and reeling off a string of average snaps is enough to put most punters off of making the jump to something bigger. Thankfully, Nikon’s new D3300 sidesteps that problem with its ace Guide Mode. Taking you through how to take great photos depending on where you are and what you’re shooting, it’s a great way of learning without having to stump up for a course. The 24.2 megapixel sensor, ISO that stretches up to 12,800 and 11 point autofocus system will help matters too.
Sony Alpha 500 - Alpha male
It might not have the NEX name. But everything about Sony’s new dinky interchangeable lens camera suggests the brand lives on as part of the company’s Alpha strand. It offers up 1080p shooting at 30p and 24p courtesy of its 20.1 megapixel sensor and a 16,000 maximum ISO. There’s also a built-in flash, 4K image support and built-in Wi-Fi. The latter means it can handle remote shooting via your smartphone. The best bit? It’ll take Sony’s array of E-mount lenses, making it the perfect upgrade for punters with ageing NEX snappers.
Panasonic Lumix LZ40 - Spy-shot snapper
Having to remortgage your house to get a decent camera seems to be the aim of every major manufacturer right now. Thankfully, Panasonic’s spec-laden Lumix LZ40 bucks that pricey trend. Replete with a massive 42x optical zoom, it’ll let you get in tight on subjects without having to resort to a telephoto lens. As well as sidestepping the whole ‘paparazzo on a stakeout’ look, the LZ40 also has a HDR mode for ensuring any colours are brought to the fore on cloudy days.
Panasonic Lumix TZ60 - Slimline star
There’s an almost metronomic inevitability to Panasonic’s claims that its sharp new Lumix TZ60 is the ‘world’s slimmest premium digital compact camera with Live View Finder and 30x Ultra Zoom’. That spurious title aside, this really promises to be an amazing compact. There’s a wide-angle Leica lens, advanced image stabilisation, an electronic viewfinder and even remote shooting via a dedicated smartphone app. The control ring around the lens, plus a full-on manual mode and RAW shooting, marks this slimline effort out even further.
More after the break...
Canon Powershot N100 - Selfie surprise
With its new PowerShot N100, Canon is taking its cues from the world of smartphones. The compact point-and-shoot features a rear-facing “Story Camera” that captures snaps of the user while they’re taking pictures using the regular front-facing lens. This idea may horrify you (it does us a little bit – we don’t want to know what god-awful expressions we’re making while we’re reeling off top notch snaps), but the idea is to tell the ‘whole story’ of a photo or video clip by keeping a record of the photographer’s emotions. A special “Story Highlights” mode edits everything together into a shareable album.
Fujifilm X100S Black - Black is the new, er, black
Still got some Christmas money stashed away? Good, you’re going to need it. Because Fujifilm’s superb X100S has had a sharp new makeover. Now clad in black, it rocks the same retro-stylings as before, not to mention camera tech to make you swoon.That means a Fujinon 23mm F2 fixed single focal length lens and 16.3-megapixel APS-C size X-Trans CMOS II sensor. Plus a neat hybrid viewfinder for framing shots. Just remember you’ll need more than a few tattered fivers in order to bag this stunner.
Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 - 4K in a tiny package
Sure your daily routine involves munching on cornflakes, battling for a decent spot on an overcrowded train and staring into an overly bright monitor. But at least now you can record it all in glorious 4K, eh? Sony’s new top-end Handycam ditches the heft of previous 4K camcorders. Yet it still sports a 14.2-megapixel 1-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor and a BIONZ X processor that’ll help record your clips at 24p and 30p. NFC and Wi-Fi should also make transferring your handiwork breezy too. Now to find something interesting to film.
MUSIC - STREAMING LOVE AND HIGH-END HUGS
Samsung Shape M5 - Shaping up to take on Sonos
Not content with battling Apple for smartphone glory or outdoing LG with ever-larger tellies, Samsung has set its sights on streaming supremacy with its Shape M5. Forget the Partridge-esque name, this wireless wonder has every chance of taking on Sonos’ Stuff Award-winning Play:1. It connects to your network through a Shape hub wired to your router and is controlled via a dedicated app. Samsung has even made a special connect box that hooks up your old school analog kit and bringing it under wireless control. Cuddly Toy by Roachford has never sounded so good.
Pure Jongos - Now with added Spotify
Comedy name aside, the one thing that counts against Pure’s multiroom Jongo music system is its reliance on the audio company’s own Pure Connect streaming service. Praise be then, for its key CES announcement: You can now use any streaming service to play your favourite tunes. Unlike rival Sonos, which accesses streaming services directly through the interwebs, the Pure system allows you to send audio from any app on your Android or iOS device to a single Jongo via Bluetooth. It's then sent on to every other Jongo in the house using Pure's own fancy Caskeid tech, which ensures every speaker is perfectly synchronised.
Chord Hugo - Where do Hugo, my lovely?
According to makers Chord, you can take this portable DAC wherever ‘Hugo’. Hence the name. Seriously. Cringeworthy moniker aside, this audio-boosting box is seriously impressive. Encased in aircraft-grade aluminium, it’s the first portable DAC to support Hi-Res Audio. It can decode uncompressed PCM music at sample rates from 44.1kHz to 382kHz and is fully compatible with DSD 128 format music files. It features five digital inputs (including two USBs) as well as Bluetooth wireless streaming support, and plays nice with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 - AirPlay wireless wonders
Like iPod docks before them, AirPlay speakers seem to have multiplied like an inescapable virus. Thankfully, these Fujitsu Ten numbers aren’t your average wireless sound blasters, promising high sound quality in a natty package. The team behind them claim they accurately reproduce air movement in order to deliver top notch sound. That’s reflected in the hefty price tag. Although we can guarantee they’ll make your Spotify-shackled tunes sound a darn-sight better than the tinny little speakers on your laptop.
miniBlink by Arcam - Blink and you’ll miss it
Shocking, we know, but some so-called music fans are happy to stream low grade Spotify tracks through their phone’s speakers. But while the great unwashed channel their inner rudeboy-on-the-bus, anyone who wants their streaming tunes to be at their classy best could do a lot worse than nabbing this slinky arcam DAC.. It only weighs in at 40g and uses Bluetooth to clean up tracks shackled to your PC, Mac or mobile, making them sound bright, detailed and loud.
Damson Jetstream I - Dam sure to make your tunes sing
Turning up the volume in the living room while everyone’s in the kitchen no longer counts as multi-room. Sonos and Pure have seen to that. But if you’re still stuck cranking your favourite album up to 11, British audio firm Damson’s new multi-room speakers are a must-have. Using the company’s proprietary ORA tech, each speaker learns the acoustics of the room it’s nestled in, ensuring perfect sound every time you stream your favourite tracks. You can use eight Jetstream speakers at once, from the pint-sized Jetstream I Midi up to the Jetstream I Soundbar, which comes loaded with two subwoofers.
Damson Headbones - Feel it in your bones
Blocking up your lugholes might cut out the incessant whine of fellow commuters. But complete noise-cancelling isn’t exactly helpful when you’re crossing the road or getting updates on endlessly delayed trains. Damson’s clever Bluetooth Headbones sidestep this issue, resting on the temporal bones behind your ears. They send vibrations to your inner ear, serving up crystal clear sound while still letting you hear what’s going on around you. Just in case that thought terrifies you, then they also come with traditional in-ear buds that work in tandem with the headphones’ vibration tech..
GAMING - STEAM MACHINES GEAR UP FOR BATTLE
Valve Steam Machines - Getting steamy
Still bitter about those hefty next-gen console prices? Then one of Valve’s Steam Machines could be the answer to your gaming woes. In the works for months and aimed at serving up PC quality games on your telly, a string of Steam Machines were on show in Vegas. Alienware, Alternate and CyberpowerPC all had different machines on show. While each use Valve’s SteamOS, specs vary wildly. Alternate’s high-end effort comes with an Intel Core i5 chip, 4GB of RAM and a massive 1TB SSD, all for a hefty $1,340. CyberpowerPC’s models start at just $500. Cheaper models are expected and with a massive library of titles, the chances are Steam Machines will be the gaming success of 2014.
NVIDIA Tegra K1 - Graphic vision
Sure, it’s just a chipset. But NVIDIA’s new K1 could bring high end, next-gen graphics, usually reserved for PCs rocking GeForce graphics cards, to smartphones and tablets. Based on the Kepler architecture that powers Nvidia's fastest desktop graphic cards such as the GTX 780 Ti, the Tegra K1 chipset will pack some serious punches with support for DirectX 11, Open GL 4.4 and the Unreal Engine 4. Nvidia's even likening the performance of the K1 to your old Xbox 360 or PS3.
SteelSeries Stratus Wireless Game Controller
The days of awkwardly pummelling your touchscreen’s controls while desperately trying to master that latest iOS shooter are over. SteelSeries is the latest company to serve up a gaming controller designed specifically for iPhone and iPad. But unlike efforts from Logitech and Moga, this isn’t a cradle for your phone. Rather, it connects to your device via Bluetooth. Prop your iPad up and get button bashing or use AirPlay mirroring to turn your tablet into a portable games console. We promise it’ll make GTA San Andreas for iOS every bit as good as the original.
Cars - Lasers and Alliances
Audi embraces lasers
Amongst the billions of 4K TVs, smart cameras and Hi-Res Audio-ready hi-fis at CES, there will also be some spectacularly smart new cars - of which this Audi is one. By augmenting LED arrays with lasers, it headlights are supposedly able to light up the road 500m ahead.
Android lands in cars
Google has joined forces to with Audi, General Motors, Nvidia, Hyundai and Honda to form the Open Automotive Alliance. Working together, the group will bring a car-centric Android platform into cars, with the first models expected to roll off the factory floor by the end of this year.
Tablets and laptops galore
Acer's big haul
Acer's got a cart load of new slates to show off at CES. Starting the lineup is the €300 (S$517) Iconia W4, a Windows 8.1 tablet which features an 8.1in 1280x800 display along with a 5MP rear camera. It's powered by a 1.8GHz fourth-gen Intel Atom processor and its 32GB or 64GB of storage can be bolstered by a microSD card. Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 also come pre-loaded as standard. It'll be out from the end of January.
Acer Iconia A1
The first of Acer's newer Android tablets is the €170 (S$293) Iconia A1 which will hit shelves at the end of February. It's got a 7.1in 1024x768 screen, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of expandable storage and a battery that's good for up to 7.5 hours.
Acer Iconia B1
The 7in Iconia B1 packsin a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and expandable storage. The 16GB Wi-fi model will be available mid-January for €130 (S$224) while the 3G version can be yours for €180 (S$310) and the end of January.
Acer C720p Chromebook
The Acer C720p Chromebook which was announced last November serves up Google's Chrome OS on an 11.6in 1366x768 touchscreen along with 32GB of SSD storage, 2GB of RAM and up to 7.5 hours of battery life. 100GB of Google Drive storage is also thrown in and it'll set you back €300 (S$517), though the exact release date has yet to be confirmed.
Acer Liquid Z5
Finally, we have the Liquid Z5, a €170 (S$293) 5in budget Android smartphone that's powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor along with a 5MP camera and pre-set profiles for different users and age groups.
Lenovo ThinkPad 8 - Slated for success
Nipping at the heels of the all-conquering iPad, Lenovo’s new Windows 8.1-packing tablet fancies itself as a bit of a productivity powerhouse. With full Microsoft Office, PC games and the chance to load up full-on Adobe CS apps, this is a slate aimed squarely at workaholics. With an 8 megapixel snapper, storage up to 128GB and a 2.4GHz Intel Atom Baytrail processor, clocked higher than its rivals, the ThinkPad 8 is one tab that’ll make you stand out on the commute.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - Ultralight ultrabook
CES wouldn’t be CES without the world’s biggest tech companies claiming all kinds of record-breaking feats. Lenovo reckons its new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the lightest ultrabook in the world. At just 1.3kg, it’s hard to argue. The secret to its barely-there weight is its carbon fibre frame construction, both lighter and stronger than more commonly-used alternatives like aluminium and magnesium. One area where it isn’t lightweight is performance. It uses Intel’s Haswell chipset , backed up with up to 8GB of RAM and an SSD with up to 512GB of storage. The screen boasts a resolution of 2560 x 1440.
Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 - Two-timing Google and Microsoft
Asus can't be faulted for a lack of ideas. Its latest madcap tablet, the Transformer Book Duet TD300, can switch between full-fat Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1 at the touch of a button. The Duet's standout feature is impressively swift; Asus claims it can switch between operating systems in 4 seconds. The Duet doesn't skimp on specs either; you get a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD in the tablet itself, with the dock adding an impressively capacious 1TB HDD. A must-have for indecisive gadget fans.
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO - Go pro
Samsung’s seemingly never-ending attempts to destroy Apple continue. This time it’s with a string of new pro tablets, designed to gazump Cupertino’s oft-rumoured 12in iPad Pro. The Galaxy NotePRO comes in LTE and 3G/Wi-Fi versions, each rocking a vast 12.2in display. The 3G models uses Samsung’s lightning quick octacore processor, while the 4G version drops things down to a still snappy quad-core number. The TabPRO comes in 12.2in, 10.1in and 8.4in variants. All four tablets come pre-loaded with work-focused software, including Cisco’s WebEx Meetings platform, Evernote and Dropbox. The days of tablets being fun are numbered and no mistake.
Orbotix Sphero 2B - Oh to be a robot
Topping out at 14mph, Orbotix’s amped up Sphero 2B is guaranteed to cause mayhem when you send it flying around your front room. As well as being twice as fast as its predecessor, the nifty Sphero 2.0, it also comes with interchangeable parts, including drift wheels so it can handle corners at speed. It’s controlled using a tablet or smartphone, with Bluetooth LE delivering an impressive range of up to 30 metres. Fire it up and we bet there’ll be bruised shins aplenty within minutes.
Parrot Jumping Sumo - Sumo gets some air time
Disappointingly, Parrot’s Jumping Sumo is not a tubby Japanese wrestler kitted out in padded underpants. Still, it’s hard to stay mad for long at this clever little app controlled robot. Its stand-out party trick is its ability to leap up to 80cm using a spring-loaded mechanism, Parrot claiming that it always lands on its wheels. Tilt your tablet or smartphone to steer the Sumo and use up or down swipes to send it forwards or backwards. Stab a separate button to make it jump. Point of view visuals are provided by a VGA camera, while there's also a micro USB port for charging.
Parrot MiniDrone - Parrot Drones on
A pint-sized version of Parrot’s AR.Drone. Unlike its bigger sibling, the MiniDrone doesn't feature a camera to keep the weight down – but you can clip on a pair of lightweight wheels that let it roll along the ground.
The MiniDrone connects to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE; the app lets you control altitude and steer using a joystick, while tilting your controller alters pitch and yaw. A gyroscope, accelerometer and barometer keep the MiniDrone astonishingly stable; take your hands off the controls and it rests in a hover. It’ll even right itself after being nudged.
CONNECTED HOME - WHERE EVEN YOUR POTS ARE SMART
Belkin Crock Pot WeMo Slow Cooker - Slowly does it
Belkin’s new smart slow cooker plays straight into our mid-winter comfort food frenzy. Using WeMo tech, previously seen controlling everything from light bulbs to baby monitors, this clever Crock-Pot works with your smartphone or tablet seamlessly. Load up ingredients, leave the house and switch it on wherever you are so it gets cooking while you’re out. The app lets you adjust temperatures without going into the kitchen and set reminders so you don’t burn that signature sausage casserole.
LaCie Sphere - Smart silver ball
LaCie has a hard won reputation for building hard drives that are more than just pug-ugly plastic slabs. This time, rather than teaming up with existing designer buddies such as Neil Poulton or Philippe Starck, it's cut a deal with luxury French brand Christofle. The result? A perfectly spherical hard disk, silver-plated, monogrammed and aptly named the Sphère. Inside, there’s an ample 1TB drive and it comes with bundled software for partitioning into private/public areas and added password protection. There’s no price as yet, but don’t go expecting to find it on special offer on Amazon.
Withings Aura - it watches you sleep
If your nightly kip involves burying your head under the pillow while neighbourhood scallies indulge in some classic ‘bantz’ outside your front door, this is for you. The Aura’s bedside device tracks your sleep environment, including noise and light pollution and light levels. Meanwhile, an under mattress sensor checks on your tossing and turning. This all hooks into Withings’ app, letting you see what keeps you awake, how well you’re sleeping and how you can get better shut eye without going tonto at your neighbours’ teenage nippers.
Mother - And the award for creepiest gadget ever goes to…
Are you exercising enough? Are you eating properly? Are you taking your medication? Mother knows. Mother is watching you. Mother has so many eyes, and none of them ever blink. What is Mother? It (she?) is a hub that detects the movements of sensors, the equally cutely-named Cookies. You attach Cookies to anything you want to monitor - your front door, your shoes, your bed, your children's toothbrushes, your cat, your.. well, your mother - and Mother provides you with information on how often they've moved. It could be the most fully-featured, adaptable life-tracker we've ever seen. It’s unquestionably the creepiest.
Wobbleworks 3Doodler 3D printing pen - Wobbleworks’ wonder gets new accessories
We like to think that winning our Kickstart of the Year 2013 gave Wobbleworks the push to create this stash of new add-ons for its sensational 3Doodler 3D printing pen. But the plain fact is it was already a nailed on success before we fell head over heels for it last year. There are five new nozzles, which Wobbleworks says will act like different paintbrushes, capable of creating different 3D printed sculptures. It’s also adding new DoodleBlocks, essentially 3D printing templates. Because while freestyling’s fun, making something that is more than a simple mass of hot plastic is sometimes more enjoyable.
We'll be updating this story with more CES highlights as they emerge, so stay tuned!