Microsoft isn't to be left behind this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Redmond giant has used the event to showcase the Nokia 215, the cheapest Internet-ready mobile the company has produced to date.
The Nokia 215, available for just $29 -- before taxes and subsidies -- is basic, but can help those with low budgets get on the grid. The 2G smartphone comes with Facebook, Messenger, Bing Search, Twitter and the Opera Mini browser pre-installed. In terms of hardware, the device sports a 2.4-inch QVGA 320 x 240 LCD display, 8MB RAM, Bluetooth and FM radio. Its single, front-facing camera has a 0.3 megapixel sensor.
Gesture recognition, from swipes to finger waves, is found on many of today's smartphones. However, Elliptic Labs wants to take this further -- and has demoed next-generation gesture control technology at CES 2015.
Elliptic Labs introduced the so-called "Multi Layer Interaction" technology at the show, using a mobile device as a test subject.
The technology enabled the device to display and shift content depending on the location and distance a user's hand was from the device. For example, when watching a video on a smartphone, controlling buttons appear as a hand approaches the device. This lets the user see how much time is left on the video, and they are also able to quickly forward or rewind without smudging the screen.
Read on: PR
Watch a demo of the technology here.
Lenovo generally releases new products at CES, and this year is no exception. Of particular note is the ThinkPad 2015 product portfolio, featuring the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch ultrabook, the ThinkVision X24 monitor and ThinkPad Stack. The X1 Carbon weighs under 2.9 pounds and is held within a carbon chassis, which is meant to be thin and rugged enough to cater for business users on the go.
The laptop is powered by 5th generation Intel Core processors, and comes with software and features for the business user -- as well as a display resolution supporting up to 3K. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon begins at $1,249 and will be available from this month.
Roku, maker of radio and tv streaming devices, rocked up to CES 2015 with plans to tackle the TV market. The company unveiled the Haier Roku TV product range, a combination of Haier television technology and Roku's streaming devices, which give consumers access to over 2,000 channels without the subscription fees of traditional cable.
While many smart TVs automatically include access to free streaming channels, these products do pinpoint what consumers now expect from the content industry -- access, without contracts that chain consumers for years on end. The Haier Roku TV 4 Series Smart LED HD TVs, available from Q3, are available in sizes ranging from 32-inches to 65-inches.
The new Acer Chromebook 15, debuted at CES, is the first model produced by the Acer with a 15.6" display. The company claims that the Chromebook sports superior battery life due to the integration of 5th generation Intel Core i3 or Intel Celeron processors, and the device's full HD display provides 1920x1080 resolution for clear, sharp viewing. However, for those with a slightly lower budget, customers can also opt for a lower HD 1366x768 resolution display. The Chromebook 15 line can be customised with either 2GB or 4GB RAM.
Prices start at $249.99.
Read on: ZDNet
Seagate has used the show to push storage forward -- through new portable hard drives.
The Seven model is only seven millimetres thick, and is encased in steel to try and stop your data being corrupted by accidental drops or knocks. Weighing only 0.2 pounds and perhaps the definition of what we would consider a portable hard drive today, the device comes with 500GB storage and is svelte enough to be slipped into your bag.
Alternatively, if you want wireless capabilities, Seagate has also unveiled the Wireless Drive. Equipped with its own Wi-Fi signal, the 500GB drive can be connected to any other devices in the vicinity without the need for USB connections.
If you're interested in purchasing, the Seven drive is available for pre-order for $99.95, and the Wireless drive is available for $129.99.
Read on: ZDNet
Bike thievery is a common occurrence in cities, despite chains, padlocks and other tactics owners use to try and keep their bicycles safe from sticky fingers.
Sadly, thefts still take place. However, if your bicycle is stolen, there is a smart bike pedal which can help you track its movements.
The Connected Cycle is a bike pedal equipped with GPS and GPRS sensors that monitor your movements and acts as a basic fitness tracker. The sensors power up and send data including speed and route to a connected app once the pedal starts moving, and so if you are unfortunate enough to be stolen from, this fitness tracker can also help you recover your bike.
Read on: CNET
PC sales are falling worldwide as more and more consumers turn to mobiles and tablets, but this doesn't mean Hewlett-Packard believes there isn't profit to be had.
What makes the new HP Pavilion Mini Desktop and the HP Stream Mini Desktop interesting, however, is their dwarven dimensions. Far removed from standard tower designers, the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop can fit in to your hand due to dimensions of only 2.06 inches in height and 1.6lbs in weight.
The Pavilion PC operates on Windows 8.1, supports processors of up to Intel Core i3, as well as 1TB storage and up to 8GB RAM.
Joining the Pavilion Mini, HP's HP Stream Mini Desktop comes with additional services, including a 32GB solid-state drive and 200GB additional Microsoft OneDrive Storage for two years.
Both products are expected to hit US stores on Jan 14 2015. Pricing begins at $319.99 for the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop and $179.99 for the HP Stream Mini Desktop.
Read on: HP
When enthusiasm for wearables begins to wane after half a year of wearing it, the often high price of such devices can make you regret such a purchase.
However, the newly debuted Withings Activite Pop, available for $149.95, could be a more justifiable investment.
The fitness tracker, paired with a smartphone, is able to record your steps, running patterns, swimming -- as the product is water-resistant up to 30 meters -- and collates this data and more into a summary displayed on your phone. In addition, you can join up with friends to compete, with daily results pinned on a shared leaderboard.
In addition, the device looks like a standard watch with a traditional timepiece, so you can keep your activity tracking to yourself if you wish.
Read on: ZDNet
LG's G Flex 2, successor to the G Flex smartphone, is the firm's new flagship model. In the same way as its predecessor, the smartphone's selling point is its curved, flexible shape -- handier than an iPhone 6's shape considering the 5.5-inch size of the model, which makes it more phablet than handset. The smartphone runs on Android Lollipop, sports 2GB RAM and a 13-megapixel camera.
Read on: CNET
While Samsung has been relatively quiet so far at this year's CES, the company has revealed a new Tizen-based television dubbed the 'SUHD' TV. The range will include Samsung's nano-crystal technology and a quality remastering engine in order to provide watchers with 4K Ultra High Definition viewing. The television also continues on Samsung's curved screen design, which is meant to better immerse viewers.
Samsung plans to offer the range in nine screen sizes, from 48" to 88".
Read on: Samsung
XYZprinting demoed a new invention at CES 2015 this week -- the firm's first Food Printer. Based on 3D printing technology, the company's product creates shapes from food items rather than plastic. A touchscreen display allows users to select designs for their food items, such as cake decoration or for chocolate and cookies.
Read on: CNET
HP unveiled two light workstation Ultrabooks at the show, touted as suitable powerhouses for enterprise users.
The HP ZBook 14 and 15u have a 14" or 15.6" screen size, and run on Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system. The Ultrabooks are powered by 5th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD FirePro 3D graphics, up to 16GB memory and up to 1.25TB storage. The ZBook 14 has optional touch display and intuitive 10-point multi-touch full-HD screen options.
The HP ZBook 14 and 15u Ultrabooks are expected to be shipped worldwide from this month, with an estimated price tag of $1,249 and $1,199 respectively.
If you're a fan of Google's Android OS, Razer's entry into gaming is likely to interest you. Debuted at CES 2015, the Razer Forge TV is a microconsole measuring 4x4 inches, powered by the Android operating system. Forge TV hooks up to larger screens, where you can play Android games with the Razer Serval controller. Razer says that the console is powered by a quad-core processor and gaming-grade graphics, bringing mobile gaming to a new level. The Razer Forge TV will be available for roughly $100 in Q1 2015.
Read on: Razer
Energous showcased a new wireless charging gadget at the CES event this year as part of what the firm calls setting up a "future home environment." WattUp, patent-and trademark-pending, is a gadget which wirelessly charges devices across distance. The company says the product delivers "intelligent, scalable power" through the use of the same radio bands as a Wi-Fi router.
Read on: Energous
The $500,000 Renovo Coupe supercar, revealed at CES 2015, is an all-electric vehicle which has more substance than a pretty chassis -- as it packs Tegra X1 processors which power up the car's infotainment dashboard. As previously announced on Sunday, the processors give the car over one teraflops of computing power, ramping up the performance of the 11.6" Nvidia Drive touchscreen beyond many other models currently on the market.
However, Nvidia is not the only company showcasing processors this year. Intel unveiled a wearable processor called Curie, an open source computer the size of a button suitable for wearable technology.
I'm happy to admit Google Chromecast is one of my favorite products from last year due to its ease of use and inexpensive price tag. However, the dongle was limited to streaming video-based media, a weakness the tech giant is now resolving.
Google announced the launch of Google Cast for audio at CES 2015, which allows users to play music from either the Internet or their mobile devices directly to Google Cast-ready speakers.