Ever wanted to take handwritten notes, but didn't want to write on a digital screen? Maybe you just don't want a Samsung device, the primary Android manufacturer to offer active digitizers (better known as the "S Pen" in their marketing materials). Livescribe's smartpens have, up to now, been just a nearly perfect solution for many. You can write on real paper* and have your notes rather effortlessly synced to select digital destinations. It is suddenly looking even better, though, because long-awaited Android support is on the way. Read More
Look, we're not in the audiophile business. We don't cover music products that don't feature Android in some way, shape, or form. And running bleeding-edge software is not a prerequisite for quality sound. But seriously, Sony, if you're going to charge twelve hundred dollars for a device that runs Android, could you not load it with an OS build that's over two years old? Alas, such is the case with the Walkman NW-ZX2 announced at CES.
The NW-ZX2 is not a phone. It's more of a competitor to the iPod Touch, a device focused almost entirely on portable music that runs Android more as a means to an end than anything else. Read More
Despite some impressive tablet, laptop, and combination devices, ASUS has left its smartphones mostly in the budget and mid-range end of the pool. That changes with the Zenfone 2 announcement at CES: while the new device probably won't set the world on fire, it's a definite competitor to offerings from the likes of HTC, Samsung, and LG at an amazing price. The ZenFone 2 is the first phone anywhere to be equipped with 4GB of dual-channel RAM (on the high-end model), and the rest of the specs are no slouch either.
The phone is impressively styled, with a brushed metal body that tapers to just 3.9mm on the edges, not unlike the Moto X. Read More
NVIDIA has been the first few pebbles of the landslide that is CES for the last few years, and 2015 is no different. To kick off the world's biggest consumer tech show, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang started with mobile. The company announced its successor to the Tegra K1 mobile processor, the Tegra X1. This chip includes an octa-core 64-bit CPU married to a 256-core GPU. And that second chip is the killer: it's based on the same architecture as the latest full-sized NVIDIA desktop graphics cards, Maxwell.
While Huang was quick to point out the chip's fantastic graphical capabilities (without going into extreme detail), he also wanted to show off its video rendering prowess. Read More
Take a look at the photo below and try to figure out exactly what it is. A head-mounted carbon fiber sunshade? The latest Milan fashion inspired by Catholic nun habits? A solar-powered personal telepathy machine for the eco-friendly supervillain? The answer is none of the above: it's a giant plastic dome that, according to creator Silentium, cancels out surrounding ambient noise.
That's right, it's a real version of the Cone of Silence, favored by agents of a certain fictional spy agency.
To be fair, Silentium isn't just some fly-by-night company hoping to make headlines at the yearly parade of weird tech in the less-traveled halls of CES. Read More
It's really hard for hardware manufacturers to stand out once CES starts, especially if they're promoting budget devices that don't grab headlines. So those without eye-popping gadgets are starting to announce them earlier and earlier - for example, if Archos hadn't exercised a bit more restraint with this new budget phone and a trio of tablets, it would have technically been a year before its Las Vegas debut. Meet the new Archos 50 Diamond smartphone and three Archos Helium 4G tablets.
Like most of Archos' hardware as of late, all four devices fit squarely in the budget category, at least in terms of specifications. Read More
Energizer is making a phone. Or more accurately, a small manufacturer called DDM, which sells various low-end devices in Europe via a handful of sub-brands, is making a series of phones and then slapping the Energizer name onto them. Oh, and they're going to be "ruggedized," like models from CAT and Casio. For some reason. Because "Energizer" is a byword for "Tough," I suppose. The company is trying to drum up some interest before a big reveal at CES in January, and since this is the tech blogger's equivalent of a bye week, let's take a look.
The new Energizer phone is in fact a "range of solid mobile phones," up to four if you believe the PR email sent to us. Read More
As CES 2015 approaches, ASUS is trying to build anticipation for their presentation. Using a short video, they are teasing an updated ZenFone with what appears to be a new camera feature. In their usual style, the video is pretty cryptic and feels like it’s loaded with subliminal messaging. Still, you can get a pretty good look at the device if you know where to look.
There is not much to the video since it is only 10 seconds long, with about half of that time containing the “see what others can’t see” text overlay and ASUS logo (our copy editor would not be a fan of that redundancy). Read More
As you may well know by now, Samsung launched a whole bunch o' tablets at CES this week, and by a bunch, I mean 4. The new Tab Pro 8.5, 10.1, and 12.2, and the new Note Pro 12.2. Four tablets, three sizes, two processors (Exynos 5 Octa or Snapdragon 800), and one screen resolution (2560x1600).
These are the first high-end tablets Samsung has produced for a couple of years (aside from the Nexus 10, of course), and it seems like after two budget-minded generations of Galaxy Tabs, they're finally ready to give the more expensive end of the market a try again. Read More