The best of CES 2012 (photos)

CES 2012 showed off a dazzling display of the latest tech toys designed to add fun for the users and stuff the pockets of the manufacturers - updated Thursday.
By Andy Smith, Contributor
1 of 52 Andy Smith/ZDNET

CES 2012 showed off a dazzling display of the latest tech toys designed to add fun for the users and stuff the pockets of the manufacturers. The big winner appears to be the ultrabook with around 50 models introduced. But products like smartphones, laptops, tablets and TVs are impressing the crowds. Here, we'll show off some of the more innovative products but for the full coverage see CNET's CES special report and ZDNet's CES special report. Updated Thursday.

From the ultrabooks on display at CES, ZDNet's James Kendrick liked the Samsung Series 9 model the best. See also: Samsung raises design bar with Series 9 laptop. It is 0.4 inches thick and weighs just 2.6 pounds.

But you have to pay for it - the price tag says $1,499 which is quite steep compared to the other ultrabooks shown.

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The hardware in the Transformer Prime is already top-notch, with a quad-core Tegra 3 powering things. The new version, likely called the Transformer 700 series, keeps everything in place but upgrades the display to an insane 1920×1200 resolution. This is the best display on any tablet, bar none.

The refreshed hardware shown this week in the Transformer Prime makes it the best of CES 2012 in my book, says ZDNet's James Kendrick..

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ZDNet's Matthew Miller says the new Nokia Lumia 900 (above) and HTC Titan II are solid Windows phones, but are they really the best that we can get on Windows Phone at this time?

But ZDNet's James Kendrick says this phone was the best at CES.

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From Intel's CES keynote by CEO Paul Otellini came the announcement of Lenovo's upcoming K800 smartphone. Shipping in "Q2 2012" the Atom-powered device features a 4.5-inch, multi-touch screen. It will be available first on China Unicom's network according to CNET's Josh Lowensohn.

We've got a better look at the K800 and here are photos from Paul Otellini's keynote.


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It’s not really a phone, but Polaroid's SC1630 looks like a phone, but has a 16-megapixel sensor and a 3x zoom lens, and uses Wi-Fi (or, at extra cost, cellular) for uploading to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. CNET's Lori Grunin has more

Take a closer look in this gallery.

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HTC launches the Titan II smartphone which contains a 16 megapixel camera - the most seen in a U.S. phone. This 4G LTE Windows phone also features a 4.7-inch Super LCD display according to CNET's Jessica Dolcourt. Here's a hand-on video.

AT&T previews 7 LTE phones including the HTC Titan II.

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Sony launched a huge selection of devices including included two high-end Android devices. The first is a Sony-branded mobile HD 12-megapixel cameraphone called the Xperia S (above). Its 4.3-inch screen features a resolution of 1280 x 720 resolution. Sony also introduced the Z1000 touch-screen MP3 player. Read more from ZDNet UK's Jack Schofield.

Here's a closer look at the Xperia S.

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T-Mobile announced expanded network coverage, improvements in Bobsled, and a new Android smartphone called the Galaxy S Blaze 4G and the Nokia Lumina 710. ZDNet's Matthew Miller has more on T-Mobile's announcements.

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The Motorola Droid 4 promises to be a big update over the Droid 3, according to CNET's Brian Bennett. Motorola It will feature a big 4-inch qHD display, access to Verizon's swift 4G LTE network, and a full 5-row QWERTY keyboard, too.

Check out the gallery.

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Motorola pledges that the new Droid Razr Maxx will boast a long 21-hour talk time, almost double the rated longevity of the original Droid Razr. Plus, the company promises to retain all of the phone's features including an 8 megapixel camera, says CNET's Brian Bennett.

Check out the gallery.

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Microsoft Steve Ballmer made his final CES keynote address. One of his topics was the "sharing more and more technologies” between Windows Phone and Windows. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7.5."

Read more from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley on new Windows Phones from AT&T.

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The newest crop of ultrabooks are all ultra slim says ZDNet's James Kendricks. Features like battery life, SSDs, and weight that should make one stand out above the crowd.

Here's the Acer Aspire S5 ultrabook which is touted to be the thinnest of all.

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Speaking of super thin, Toshiba claims the title of the thinnest tablet with its new Excite X10 which is just 7.7-mm thick, beating out the Transformer Prime by .6mm.

The 10-inch Excite X10 will be available in the first quarter and features Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Gorilla Glass, two camera, and more. The 16GB version is expected to retail for $529.

Credit: Toshiba

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Dell, after its attempt to break into the tablet market and failing miserably, is to relaunch its consumer assault and launch a new tablet later this year. Read the report from ZDNet's Zack Whittaker.

Here is more photos of Dell's X13.

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Acer's Iconia Tab A200 tablet retains the 10.1-inch screen of the A500, but adds a bit of style in the form of an optional strawberry-red backside. Really.

CNET's Eric Franklin says it will be available in February for $329. He also zooms in on one missing feature.

Credit: Acer

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Lenovo was one of the first manufacturers to leak their upcoming products with a slew of new laptops and ultrabooks.

ZDNet's James Kendrick highlights the X1 Hybrid Thinkpad which is a 13-inch device that operates on both Linux and Windows. You can run Linux and save battery life.

About 60 new ultrabooks are expected to debut this year - with many of them being shown off at CES.

Credit: Lenovo

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Lenovo is also showing off T430U ultrabook. ZDNet's James Kendrick describes it:

The ThinkPad T430u is the first business-class Ultrabook from Lenovo that starts at $849 and comes with up to 1 TB of HD storage.

Credit: Lenovo

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Intel continues to tout its upcoming slew of Ultrabook releases this year — to the point where it neglects some of its key hardware brands like Ivy Bridge and Thunderbolt, according to ZDNet's Rachel King.

Here's Intel's ntel Vice President Mooly Eden showing off an ultrabook powered by an Intel processor.

See more from Intel's presentation.

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Here's a look at concept tablets from Sony.

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OnLive Desktop launches as an iPad app on the App Store. It allows you to rent a Windows PC on one of their servers, along with access to a full suite of applications, including Microsoft Office and flash-enabled web browsers. It's free but a premium account that includes 50GB of storage will cost $9.99/month.

For more, read CNET's blog from Scott Stein.
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It takes a lot to stand out in the crowded world of ultrabooks, but HP is betting that a liberal dose of Gorilla Glass will do the trick.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is about flash and gloss, most markedly via its all-glass lid and palm rest. Read more from CNET's Scott Stein.
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Razor's Fiona looks to be the first true Windows 8 gaming tablet. For its specs, Razer intends to use a third-generation (aka Ivy Bridge) Intel Core i7 CPU, along with a solid-state drive (SSD). Read more from CNET's Rich Brown.

Here's a gallery.

Project Fiona won a Best of CES award from CNET but ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes doesn't agree.

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A few companies are showing off laptops that convert into tablets at the CES this week, a rebirth of the convertible notebook. For more read ZDNet's blog from James Kendrick.

Here's a look a the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga that allows the screen move 360 degrees.

Credit: Lenovo


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The upcoming Walkman Z could be considered to be Sony's answer to the Apple iPod Touch. The device runs Android 2.3 on a 4.3 inch touch screen, set at an 800x480 resolution.

Expected in the first half of 2012, the Walkman Z will come in just one color (black, with a purplish backing) and three capacities: 8GB ($249), 16GB ($279), and 32GB ($329). Read CNET's Donald Bell's report.

See the Walkman Z gallery.

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While not as sexy as some of its other product introductions, Lenovo’s new desktop offerings include a pair of new all-in-ones and a full-fledged gaming PC from the Chinese manufacturer.

Both the IdeaCentre B540 and B340 all-in-ones come with an option for OneKey TV technology, which allows you to switch with just one button click between PC mode and using the display as a full-fledged TV.

Read more from Sean Portnoy.

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CNET's Jaymar Cabebe describes how Aurasma, the augmented reality platform for Android and iOS, works: "You simply have to point your device's camera at something, and if the app's image recognition technology fires, then a 3D pop-up will appear. You can watch the pop-up as-is, overlayed on the object you're pointing at, or you can double-tap the pop-up to enlarge it and watch it like a video."

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Belkin’s new Thunderbolt Express Dock ($299), enables Macbook and Ultrabook users to access multiple desktop peripherals with a single cable. For example, the dock has multiple USB ports and and Ethernet port for streaming movies in full 1080p HD as well as support for transferring large volumes of data within seconds.

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Belkin also announced the Advance N900 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router, model F9K1104. It should be Belkin's top-of-the-line router that is designed to deliver "a high-powered signal that allows for higher and more-consistent network speeds and minimizes the number of wireless dead spots."

It's expected to arrive in April and cost around $200 says CNET's Dong Ngo.
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If you thought America’s wireless infrastructure was overtaxed now, just wait: 4G connectivity is coming to the car, says ZDNet's Larry Dignan. General Motors' Onstar Division announced a partnership with Verizon to bring more bandwidth to the family vehicle.

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Facebook may not have any physical products to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but it will be at this year’s event and it will probably have more impact than any single product.Here's what ZDNet's Emil Protalinski has to say.

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The profile of 3D printing will rise after this year's CES, and 3D Systems' Cube is partly responsible according to CNET's Stephen Shankland.

Check out the output of this amazing 3D printer.

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Taking a page from Star Trek, MakerBot Industries unveiled the MakerBot Replicator, one of, if not the, first with the ability to print objects made from two different colors, according to CNET's Rich Brown.

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Karuma's Play Base, a new low-cost tablet that could be attractive for children or adults looking for a cheap iPad alternative at $267.

For more on products from CES startups, read CNET's report from Daniel Terdiman.

(Credit: Karuma)

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Samsung announced three new lines of monitors, which wirelessly connect to both your tablet and smartphone and allows you to control them from the displays' 27-inch screens.

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Dot, from startup Kogeto, makes it possible to shoot 360-degree video from an iPhone, and soon, an Android device. Click here for more.

Credit: Kogeto

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The D-Link DIR-857 router. comes with four LAN ports and one WAN port. All of them are Gigabit Ethernet. It also comes with one USB 3.0 port, being the first router on the market to support USB 3.0. Here's a gallery.

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Roku announced the Streaming Stick, which essentially squeezes all the functionality of a typical Roku box (including Wi-Fi, processor, and memory) into a a device that looks like a USB flash drive, according to CNET's Matthew Moskovciak.



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But the I'm Watch, from Italy, is not just a nicely powered smart watch, it looks like something you might actually want to wear is the opinion of CNET's Rafe Needleman. Basic models cost $299 but the gold version will cost you a lot more.

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One of the CNET's Best of CES award winners was the Simple.TV DVR. It might just be the next-big thing for cable-cutters. It's improbably a DVR without a built-in hard drive or video output, instead letting you supply your own hard drive, then stream live and recorded over-the-air TV to the Simple.TV app available on iPad, Roku, Boxee, Google TV.  Here's more from CNET's Matthew Moskovciak.

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CNET thinks that LG's 55-inch OLED TV might be the "best TV ever." It shared the top award for the Best of CES 2012 from CNET.

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Happy with your new widescreen TV? Maybe not for long as Sony has come out with a new format called "Crystal LED display" that uses miniature light-emitting diodes in place of pixels.

See more from Sony at CES.

Credit: CNET

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LG will also show off this 84-inch monster, according to ZDNet's Sean Portnoy.

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A phalanx of deals involving the commanding general of torrent protocols, BitTorrent, and next-generation hardware marched into CES 2012. Read what CNET's Seth Rosenblatt had to say.

BitTorrent was nominated for CNET's Best of CES 2012.
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AKG's higher-end K 495 NC headphones retail for $349.95 and are due to hit stores shortly. CNET's David Carnoy has more details.

Credit: AKG

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Hardly a cube and barely a mouse, Logitech's Cube aims to shake up how presentations are made. ZDNet's Ricardo Bilton has more. And here's a gallery.

Credit: Logitech

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CNET's Jeff Bakalar says Sony is sure to be pushing the Vita, and he would like to get a better idea of how the device will interact with its big cousin, the PlayStation 3. Plus, expect more games for the Vita.

Credit: CBS News
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Nindendo is showing off its Wii U at CES. Here's more.

Credit: CNET

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Nikon officially announces the long-rumored D4 professional dSLR, which will hit the market earlier and at a lower price than the Canon EOS-1D X, says ZDNet's camera expert Janice Chen.

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Fujifilm kicks off its pre-CES product announcements by adding a 26x megazoom to its high-end X series. Janice Chen talks about its large sensor and megazoom.

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An example of how far cameras are progressing is this $89 Fujifilm FinePix AX550with 16-megapixels and 5x zoom. Here is the full list of Fujifilm announcements.

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Samsung is helping spread the reach of WiFi - this time in its four new point-and-shoot cameras. CNET's Joshua Goldman has more.

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Dish Networks shows off its kangaroo-themed whole-home HD DVR system called the Hopper that includes a 2TB drive and can record up to six programs simultaneously while pushing content out to accompanying "Joey" boxes in up to three additional rooms.

Here's more including other Dish Network announcements from CNET's David Carnoy.

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