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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘CES 2013’

Samsung Meets SodaStream

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Samsung-refridgerator

At CES 2013 this year, it was pretty interesting to see appliances enter the fray of the world’s biggest electronics show.  One of the leaders in technologically advanced appliances has been Samsung.  They recently  announced their new 36” four-door refrigerator will have the industry’s first-ever automatic sparkling water dispenser.

It will be powered by SodaStream, which will allow you to pour yourself cold, bubbly water any time of the day.  The filtered sparkling water will come through the dispenser on the fridge door that already delivers water and ice.  Just add your favorite SodaStream flavoring and make soda in moments.

Thunderbolt Technology Transfers at the Speed of Lightning

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

One of the developments from CES 2013 that didn’t get much fanfare was the noticeable increase in product support for the Thunderbolt standard. Because it’s just an interface, it didn’t attract the attention that flashy TVs or flexible smartphones may have. But the growing adoption of the Thunderbolt technology is something that will greatly benefit everyone who consumes large amounts of data.

thunderbolt-logo

Thunderbolt is a new computer peripheral connection standard that was created as a collaborative effort between Intel and Apple. It’s a multi-function interface that can transfer data (like the current USB connection) or video (like DVI/VGA ports on your computer monitor). We’re going to skip over most of the technical specifics of the technology, and jump right into the two areas we think Thunderbolt will benefit you most: speed of data transfer and ease of connecting peripherals.

Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening (speeds)

A Thunderbolt connection increases transfers speeds of data by about 2000% over the standard USB 2.0 connection on your typical home computer. Yes, 20 times the speed. What that means for you is greatly reduced wait times when, say, moving photos from your memory card to your computer. The Thunderbolt connection will be able to transfer a 4GB card filled with photos in a matter of seconds. No more waiting around for 15 or 20 minutes while an entire vacation-worth of photos slowly moves onto your hard drive. (more…)

CES 2013 Camera Recap

Monday, January 14th, 2013

CES 2013: The photo industry responds to a rapidly-changing world of image consumption and sharing

Wi-Fi Enabled cameras

CES 2013—With so much of the population packing smartphones capable of producing acceptable-quality photos, camera makers have had to innovate in recent years to keep their products viable. The main allure of a camera phone, besides eliminating the need to bring a dedicated camera everywhere you go, is the ability to share your photos instantly. Users are willing to sacrifice image quality in exchange for the portability and quick access to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Camera makers have begun combating this by building Wi-Fi capability into their cameras, letting users connect them to a smartphone or hotspot, giving access to their preferred method of sharing. The hope is that social shutterbugs will appreciate the picture quality enough to want to use a dedicated camera instead of the one built into their phone.

Canon showed off three point & shoot models with integrated Wi-Fi, including the Canon Powershot N, which we already spotlighted. Samsung announced a half-dozen Wi-Fi models, which will complement their Android-powered Galaxy Camera. Sony and Panasonic each displayed at least one connected camera, while Nikon touted the ability of its new D5200 to connect to your smartphone via a tiny plug-in adapter. All of these models, in addition to the recently-released Canon 6D DSLR and Panasonic GH3 mirrorless camera, signal that we have entered the age of the connected camera.

Extreme Sport-Oriented Features

Several manufacturers used CES 2013 to focus on rugged models that push the durability of the pocket camera further than ever before, while still offering features to differentiate from similar offerings. Olympus released a trio of Stylus Tough cameras that are all freezeproof, shockproof, crushproof and waterproof. The flagship Stylus Tough TG-2 can be submerged down to 50 feet below the water’s surface and features a bright f2.0 lens to capture maximum light at that depth.

Fujifilm’s XP60 offers much of the same durability, plus a high-speed mode that can shoot up to 60 fps, making it a perfect choice for extreme-sports athletes. Panasonic, meanwhile, displayed its own improved tough-cam with a trick of its own: the DMC-TS5 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, making sharing super easy when you’re in adverse conditions where you might not want to open your camera up. Interestingly, every one of these rugged cameras also shoots full HD 1080P video (some at a high frame rate), likely in response to the growing popularity of sports-oriented video cameras like the GoPro Hero. Panasonic also looks to be capturing some of that market with the HX-A100 wearable camera, which lets users hang the camera from their ear or easily attach it to a helmet.

panasonic-wearable-camera

Panasonic wearable camera.

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Sennheiser HE90: The Holy Grail of Headphones

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The Sennheiser HE90 Headphones. This is what half my yearly salary sounds like.

Sennheiser HE90

The legendary HE90s. Image courtesy of Wikiphonia.

CES 2013—We love CES because, much like our showroom, it’s a veritable playground for electronics that push the limit of quality and elegance, the results of a manufacturer sparing no expense in crafting the ultimate representation of its brand.

Case in point: the Sennheiser Orpheus HE90 headphones. Released in 1991, the HE90 were the result of Sennheiser challenging its engineers to create the greatest headphones ever, bar none. Every aspect was to be addressed: comfort, construction, and audio quality; a variety of exotic materials and esoteric methods, like the included vacuum-tube amp, were used to achieve that goal. The HE90 quickly became the stuff of legend, and many audiophiles still consider them the apex of headphone quality, offering a sound experience that only an uber-premium, analog set of headphones can. Reproducing an alleged frequency response of 7 to 100,000 Hz, the HE90 will put out sounds normally reserved for ultrasound machines, the Ghost of Michael Clarke Duncan, and blind crimefighter/Man Without Fear, Daredevil (whose movie starred the great Clarke Duncan). (more…)

Grablet Invades CES

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Grablets might sound like vicious, furry creatures from a forgotten 80s horror-comedy, but, thankfully they’re something much better.

CES 2013—There’s no denying that the iPad has been one of the most popular gadgets released in the last few years. As such, its success has prompted a flurry of add-ons and accessories to hit the market, many of which were only marginally useful. We find it refreshing, then, to find one that’s truly innovative.Josh swung by the Grablet booth at CES, where he took a look at their product that answers on oft-asked question about the sleek tablet: How the heck am I supposed to hold this thing?

grablet

The Grablet makes holding your iPad secure and fatigue-free.

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ASUS Transformer CES 2013

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Josh stopped by the Asus booth at CES 2013 and they showcased their new Asus Transformer All-in-One. Combining the best of their Transformer line, Asus developed a 18.4-inch 1080P display TEGRA display, operating both Windows 8 and the Android operating system, this doubles as a fully-functional tablet as well as a desktop computer.

Operating with Windows 8 & Android, it is fully touch-screen, so you can easily navigate between applications and other work you have been developing. It gets the name “Transformer” because it can be removed from the dock as a portable monitor. There is a built-in stand for easier display. Windows 8 can be used though the stationary base and you simply need to be within range and connected via Wi-Fi. This provides users with the ease of use between both Windows and Android.

Check out more from our coverage of CES 2013 at the Abt Electronics Blog or our YouTube channel.

Boomdizzle: Momma said “Stop, collaborate and listen (Online in Real time!)”

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Boomdizzle, LL Cool J’s music sharing platform, gets the spotlight at CES

CES 2013— Apologies for the early-90s rap mixed-metaphor, but it is, oddly enough, apropos to the video you’re about to watch. The Abt Crew caught a presentation by rapper/actor/shark-killer LL Cool J, who laid out the details of his Boomdizzle label. Part social network, part music-creation platform, Boomdizzle allows users from anywhere in the world to log on and collaborate on tracks in real-time. In the demonstration, LL shows the crowd an example where one person uploads a main loop from Protools, Soundcloud or other editing software.  Then, a friend lays down a drum track and LL adds vocals on top of that. Each user would see and hear the other’s addition as it happens. Additionally, the program syncs seamlessly with Skype, so creators can easily communicate as they work.

boomdizzle

LL Cool J’s Boomdizzle platform lets users collaborate on a single track from around the world.

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Samsung T9000 Super-Fridge in Action

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

CES 2013— Here’s a couple of videos of the Samsung T9000 four-door fridge we wrote about on Tuesday. Josh takes a closer look at the interior of the unit, as well as the integrated touchscreen display.

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Panasonic WT60: Stunning All Around

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The Panasonic WT60 3D LED TV wraps a gorgeous IPS display in a stunning, nearly-invisible frame.

Panasonic WT60 LED TV

The minimalist design of the Panasonic WT60 gives the impression of a floating display.

CES 2013—While CES 2013 is a great place to see manufacturers’ conceptual products, sometimes it gets frustrating to be bombarded by technology that we won’t see on the retail market for years, if ever. Panasonic, thankfully, had a booth full of stunning TVs that will be available this year. Our favorite was the flagship Panasonic WT60 LED TV.

With 47 and 55-inch models slated, the WT60 TVs won’t win any size battles. Instead, Panasonic will be loading the displays with enhanced features and an edgy design, which is a change from the company’s often uninspiring, though well-performing, plasma TVs.

Perched on a clear pedestal and wrapped in a minimalist bezel, the Panasonic WT60 TVs almost appear to be floating. The super-thin IPS panels provide a picture whose color and contrast rival plasma displays and maintain color fidelity across a 178° degree viewing angle. A 240 Hz refresh rate makes the WT60 Full HD 3D capable and, in combination with Panasonic’s new 4200 Back Light Scanning technology, keeps ghosting to a minimum. The BLS should also help improve black levels.

The WT60 Series are equipped with VIERA Connect, Panasonic’s smart-tv designation. In addition to now-standard TV features like app compatibility, VEIRA Connect will let you control the WT60 with your smartphone, or play compatible mobile games displayed on the TV. If you’d like to view photos on your WT60, Swipe and Share 2.0 lets you move content from your NFC-equipped smartphone to the TV with just a tap. We’re especially eager to try out Panasonic’s Voice Guidance and Voice Interaction. The former will read to you text displayed on the screen; the latter allows you to control the TV by speaking to it or into your remote.

Panasonic has not yet released prices, but the WT60 series LED TVs are set to be released this spring. Keep an eye on the blog, or our main site for news of their availability.

LG Debuts Ultra Wide Monitor

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Here at Abt Electronics, a lot of salespeople and administrative have two monitors working side-by-side.  It makes things run faster and more efficiently.  LG has announced their new monitor that takes advantage of the dual monitor look, and developed one, WIDE monitor.

LG WIDE Monitor

On display at CES 2013 is the LG 29-inch UltraWide monitor.  This super-wide monitor is rated at 2560×1080 resolution, a 21:9 aspect ratio format designed for simultaneous side-by-side dual document display.  This is essential for workers who multi-task or develop spreadsheets that require a full look on a wide monitor, giving the user a view of the full-spectrum.

As a side note, I can’t imagine the multiplaying possibilities when playing Halo or Call of Duty on an UltraWide monitor.  But, it was developed with business professionals in mind…Yes…Professionals.

Check out our full CES 2013 coverage right here at blog.abt.com or see our CES 2013 videos on Abt’s YouTube Channel.