The Best Of CES 2013 (So Far)

January 10, 2013

Microsoft and Apple may have departed the annual Consumer Electronics Show in favor of doing their own presentations, but thus far it's only meant that other companies have stepped to the forefront to present the latest in tech.

Here are some of the highlights so far.

TV Takes Center Stage

Is it the Consumer Electronics Show or the World's Fair? For the first time in years, television has been the talk of CES. LG had a 55" OLED on display and also announced a monstrous 84" model. Panasonic had its own 56" Ultra HD on the floor. But the real star was Samsung's 85" S9 UHD television, the monster that was hinted at in the days and weeks leading up to the show. With its standalone frame set-up and sleek design, it looks more like an installation at the Museum of Modern Art, and the rumored price tag in the neighborhood of $30,000 reflects that.


One of the delightful changes of pace at CES is the increased focus on car tech. There's plenty of fun gadgets coming to new cars in 2013. Just, you know, pay attention to the road.Garmin's K2 Glass CockpitOne of the things we look forward to seeing in future models are perks like Garmin's K2 Glass Cockpit, a dedicated system that brings a full computing experience to your driving (without, you know, distracting you from driving). Connecting through your smartphone, you'll be able to receive texts, emails, sports results, and anything else that you can acquire through a feed. Of course, where it becomes particularly useful is where it provides a list of competitive gas prices within immediate driving distance and real-time updates on traffic conditions. It's likely, too, that manufacturers will eventually include a built-in modem.

Siri in your Chevy

Get ready for the onslaught of ads featuring celebrities driving around while asking Siri if there's construction at the next exit or if there's a drive-thru place that serves tomato soup. The 2013 Sonic and Spark models from Chevrolet will feature Apple's Siri, accessible through Bluetooth.


The Vizio Tablet

Vizio debuted its Windows 8 Tablet PC, with an 11.6" screen, 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB flash storage, a 2-mega-pixel front camera, micro-HDMI and micro-USB ports, dual-core 1GHz AMD Z60 chip, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and stereo sound.Samsung's Series 5 UltrabookLast year, Samsung announced the Ultrabook line. This year, we got to actually see it. The Series 5 Ultrabook on display included an all metal chassis, backlit keyboard, touchscreen, three USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI-Out, 1366 x 768 screen resolution, and a 500GB hard drive amongst other features.

Panasonic's 4K Tablet

Panasonic had a prototype on the floor for their new 4K tablet, which will run on Windows 8. Details are sparse, but the display had people talking. What we do know, besides that it looks pretty, is that it'll have a 20" display and run on an Intel Core i5.


Although smartphones largely took a backseat this year, there will still a few pleasant surprises and announcements.

SONY's Xperia ZL and Xperia Z

The ZL has a 5" screen at 1080p, 1.5GHz quad-core S4 Pro, 2 GB RAM, a 13 MP camera, and much more. The Z has similar specs, but is thinner and faster than the ZL. Plus, it's waterproof (can survive being in three feet of water for over a half-hour).

Huawei's Ascend D2

The Ascend D2 will run on Android Jelly Bean, a 5" screen at 1080 x 1920 with split-screen capabilities, a 1.5 GHz processor, and a 3,000mAh battery. The phone's also light and thin, coming in at just under 10mm thin and weighing only 170 grams.

Samsung's Venetian, with Bendable Screen

During its keynote address, Samsung unveiled a new Windows 8 Phone with a bendable screen. We have more, along with video, HERE.


Other tech and announcements that peaked our curiosity include…

Nividia's Project Shield

The Project Shield is NVIDIA's entry into the gaming console market. Resembling an X-Box 360 controller, Project Shield folds out to display a 5" HD screen. The system will run Android Games but also allow for PC games by employing direct streaming. The combination of a smaller screen and high resolution will make PC games look even better and sharper, and the floor model is said to have displayed little lag. The Shield will run Android 4.2.1 on NVIDIA's in-house OS, powered by a Tegra 4 Cortex A15 processor.

3M's 84" Projective Capacitive Display

3M presented a gigantic, table-top touch screen that's perfect for that person in your life who strives to be a James Bond villain, featuring 4K Ultra HD. It looked pretty neat.

Adaptive Textbooks May Revolutionize Higher Ed

This one was a bit of a sleeper, but may end up in hindsight being the biggest game-changer to come out of CES 2013. Textbooks are probably the biggest personal expense for students, who aren't exactly known for having disposable income, and returning them for credit can be tricky when new editions for a textbook are released that render previous editions unusable and/or irrelevant. All that might be about to change, as McGraw-Hill debuted the "Smartbook," available for 90 course areas for Macs, PCs, and tablets starting this Spring. These programs will provide content that can be modified instantly, providing a more up to date and hands on learning experience. Most important is the price which, eliminating overhead for things like print and shipping, will come in at an astoundingly more reasonable $19. McGraw-Hill promised to expand the program quickly.

Netflix Upgrade

Netflix announced improvements in its offerings, included the long-awaited (and requested) ability to create sub-profiles within each account, each with its own queue. On the visual front, 2013 will see the debut of Super HD streaming, coming in at 1080p, along with 3D. They've also promised a slate of new series debuting on the service, including the new season of "Arrested Development" coming in May.


The United States Postal ServiceNo, seriously. They've been hit hard, perhaps hardest, by the digital revolution and the decline of the print industry. So it only makes sense that they've finally moved forward on creating an app that can make print mail more of an interactive experience. It's also an opportunity for the private industry to get more innovative and creating with their mail marketing.

Lemmy Kilmister

The legendary metal frontman was one of many surprise attendees entering the headphone market with Motorheadphones (of course). Also big names in music present include 50 Cent and Reverend Run.

Ballmer Doesn't Bail

In case its presence in nearly every tablet and laptop on display wasn't evidence enough, Microsoft hasn't completely abandoned the Consumer Electronics Show. Steve Ballmer jogged onto the stage during Qualcomm's keynote address followed by an enthusiastic and energetic demonstration of Windows 8 and the Windows Phone 8.


We'll have more coverage later this week from the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show later this week and all next week at Also be sure to tune in to Spike TV for coverage from the floor: 


Wednesday Jan. 16th @ 1am/12c – All Access Weekly 

• Thursday Jan. 17th @ 1am/12c – GTTV 

• Saturday Jan. 19th @ 1am/12c – Playbook360 

And check out the latest episode of All Access Weekly for a preview: 

Consumer Electronics Show Preview - Episode 208
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