CES: First impressions and early impressors
Ah, CES—along with Comic Con, one of the High Holy Days of the geek calendar. This year, Las Vegas is surprisingly unbusy given the impending mass migration of vendors and gadgethounds into the city. But, here I am, despite an unfortunate TSA circumstance related to the fact that I was trying to put a bag with two disassembled Guitar Hero axes in it through carry-on security, which, once sorted out, required my re-booking on a flight arriving two hours later than my original one. Bummer.
- Lenovo's Ideapad U1 prototype, which should be shipping in final form in late 2010 for "under $1000." The screen detaches from the keyboard chassis and functions as a multitouch media tablet, running Linux off of 512MB of flash memory and an ARM Snapdragon processor; when reattached to the chassis, which contains an Intel Core 2 Duo SU processor and runs Windows 7 off of a standard hard drive, work done on the tablet is automatically synced. When the IdeaPad U1 is fully assembled, it sports a total of 4GB of RAM, 2 USB ports, HDMI and a 4-in-1 memory reader, as well as a 1.3MP webcam. The form factor and price may make it an interesting option for consumers considering purchasing a standalone e-reader; the ability to carry a screen for web browsing or watching media and then reattach it to a more full-function laptop offers an unique combination of mobility, flexibility and power. In addition, the design of the U1 will, according to Lenovo, allow the purchase of new screens or bodies independently in true "modular computing" fashion.
- The ZOMM Bluetooth "Wireless Leash" for mobile phones provides you with a keyfob that pairs with any Bluetooth phone; it then lets out an alarm when you stray out of range of the device, making sure you don't lose it or leave it behind and allowing you to follow the sound to its source. It also offers a flashing alert when the phone rings, and even lets you answer the phone from the fob by pressing a button. Finally, it offers a "panic mode" which lets you press a button to set off the alarm, driving a would-be attacker away. (If you need help afterwards, the ZOMM even allows you to connect directly with emergency services, again, by simply pressing a button.)