Every year that I have gone to CES, there is one event that stands out above all the rest and that is the Pepcom Digital Experience press event. I could actually go to this event, wander the floor for a couple of hours, meet with about five people and have a great CES experience. I attended last night and spent the entire three hours it was open walking through row and row of vendors, something around 125 total. I stuck to the vendors in the mobile space and those who I have some other interest in and they included Microsoft, HTC, Lenovo, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Roku, Wilson Electronics, OLED Association, PowerMat, Barnes & Noble, Motorola, LG, Novatel Wireless, and many more. I wrote up some thoughts of my favorites who had products that really interested me and included them in my CES 2010 image gallery. These latest photos start on image 9.
PowerMatAndrew already wrote about the PowerMat products, but I had to see them for myself and am pretty sure I will be buying one soon. I especially like that they are making replacement batteries for popular devices so that you no longer need a special back cover to use these wireless power chargers. I was particularly surprised that these chargers can charge up your device as fast, if not faster than a wired connection. I would have thought charging would have been slower and with prices starting at $39 for PowerMats I plan to look for one soon.
JabraI have used a few Jabra headsets in the past, but it has been quite a while since I checked out their offerings. Their existing Stone and Halo are slick looking headsets, but their new products were the Extreme and Cruiser. The Extreme is a compact Bluetooth headset with noise blackout technology that retails for $79 at Best Buy. The Cruiser is an in-car visor speakerphone available for $99 that looks like a great device for my mother-in-law.
Wilson Electronics SleekThe Sleek is a cell phone signal booster designed for in-car use. Everything you need is included in the $129 kit; the universal cradle combo (amplifier/charger), car charger, and magnetic antenna. You simply mount the antenna on your car, run the cable to the cradle combo and should see greatly improved reception on your mobile phone. They state you may see up to 20 times the power output to a cell site from your vehicle over a standard cell phone signal. If you live in an area with low signal strength or have an iPhone on AT&T then you may want to consider one of these.
LenovoLenovo makes excellent laptops and a couple that were interesting to me were the Lenovo Skylight and Lenovo IdeaPad U1. The Skylight is a compact smartbook with AT&T 3G integration in a very compact form factor. This device runs an OS called Skylight with a Linux backend and is powered with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Pricing will start at $499. The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 is a hybrid device where the display is similar in specs to the Skylight with a separate processor and Skylight OS while the base is a typical Windows 7 notebook. You can slide the display up and out to take it with you on the go for media and surfing on the couch. If you are in the browser on the display/tablet and slide it back in place then the Windows 7 OS will kick in and launch the browser in the same location. It is pretty slick and should be available later this year for less than $1,000.
SamsungI was wandering by the Samsung booth when I did a double take after seeing the Samsung E6 ebook reader being demonstrated. I had no idea Samsung was coming out with an ebook reader and am seeing more and more of these pop up. This model has a display that slides up to reveal some hardware buttons. The eInk display looks great and supports handwriting with the built-in electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus pen. It has WiFi for downloading Google ebook content and Bluetooth for sharing notes between people. It has an RSS reader, you can enter custom feeds, so you can use it as a feed reader too. 2GB of integrated flash is provided for storing ebook content. There is not yet any bookstore support and at $399, I don't see how this will really sell. Content is king and vendors need to come out with more than just support for the Google library. There will be a 5 inch and 10 inch model coming too.
Sony EricssonI wanted to get some hands-on time with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and there were a couple available at the SE booth. The X10 is powered by the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has a beautiful 480 x 854 pixels WVGA display, has an 8 megapixel camera, and runs Android 1.6. The device is snappy and feels good in your hand. Sony Ericsson includes some visually appealing utilities that help you view history of your communications and enjoy media content. The device is scheduled to come to Canada, but I think we will probably see it come to AT&T here in the US this year too.
There were a lot of cool products at Digital Experience and it was great to see so many of my good friends on the show floor. Stay tuned for coverage of show floor booths, ebook readers, and more as I continue my trips around CES.