CES 2014 Highlights Day 2: Top 8 Stories
The CES 2014 cornucopia of tech keeps on giving. Yesterday's spoils include the ASUS PadFone Mini, a new premium laptop from Samsung with built-in lossless audio for music addicts, and yet another new Chromebook, this one manufactured by Toshiba. Read on for all the greatest gadgets to come out of CES 2014 in the last 24 hours.
Toshiba Enters Chromebook Game with $279 13-inch
The Chromebook space keeps expanding. Toshiba joins Acer in announcing a sub-$300 touchscreen Chromebook at CES this year. However, Toshiba’s 13.3-inch device carries a larger display than Acer’s 12-inch C720p, and the former’s price tag is lighter, $279 versus $299. Both screens offer an underwhelming 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, but at least there are standout points for design. The Toshiba Chromebook looks like the company’s Kirabook married a 13-inch Apple MacBook. Fixings such as port amenities and wireless capabilities are another plus, too.
PadFone Mini: 4-inch Phone and 7-inch Tablet in One
Why get a tablet and a smartphone when you can get both in one device? ASUS’ PadFone Mini takes a 4-inch smartphone with an Intel Atom processor and lets you dock it with a 7-inch tablet. Whatever you’re doing on the 800 x 480-pixel resolution phone is snapped to the tablets larger 1280 x 800 display. If you’re worried about battery life, don’t. Both devices have separate power sources: 1170 mAh in the phone and 2100 mAh in the tablet. Plus, a spun-metal finish available in colors like deep red and teal blue make this tech tandem a gorgeous set. It’s coming to one lucky U.S. cell carrier sometime this year.
The Zack Morris Phone Reborn
Want to look like you’re expecting a call from 1989? Then Binatone has the phone for you. Its new Brick cellphone is just that, a large, honking device that would seem right at home on the set of “Saved By The Bell.” The Brick, which starts at $69, is available online now.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Gets More Power, Lossless Audio
Samsung’s upped the ante on this year’s edition of the 15.6-inch Samsung ATIV Book 9. It packs 40-percent more battery life -- for an estimated 14 hours of staying power -- in addition to baked-in lossless audio tech that seamlessly restores top-tier sound quality to compressed MP3 files. We did notice Samsung dropped the display’s resolution from 3200 x 1800 pixels to 1080p, but the new design is officially lighter and slimmer than the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Plus, its midnight blue aluminum chassis is a real beauty.
Transformer Book Duet: Windows and Android for $599
The ASUS Transformer Book Duet TD300 unites Windows 8.1 and Android. Thanks to BlueStacks’ virtualization software, this 13-inch combo tablet-laptop can switch between Google and Microsoft’s operating systems at the press of a button. That gives users access to Word documents or Excel spreadsheets in Windows, and lets them swing a quick game of "Angry Birds: Star Wars" over in Android. With a detachable keyboard dock, the Duet hits high notes on specs: there’s up to a 1TB storage drive, USB 3.0, HDMI and a 1080p display upgrade.
Ascend Mate 2: Battery So Big It Can Charge Other Gadgets
The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 does everything big. It’s a 6.1 Android mega-phone with a whopping 4050mAh battery in the back, making it potentially the longest lasting smartphone to date. For perspective, the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 has a 3200mAh battery -- nearly 1000 mAh less than the Mate 2 -- and it lasted 11 hours during our testing. The Mate 2 doesn’t skimp on optics either: the front-facing camera’s 5MP sensor took excellent selfies. Throw in 4G LTE support and a March arrival to the U.S. smartphone market, and you’ve got a big device with big features that will be a big problem for the competition.
Sony Xperia Z1s: 100% Water-proof, 20.7-MP Camera
Sony’s got a new flagship super-phone: the Sony Xperia Z1s for T-Mobile. Like the Xperia Z before it, the Z1 is waterproof and can take pictures fully submersed in water (including with Flash). Under water, the 1080p Triluminous display uses tracking technology to register fingers’ presence. The camera’s 20.7-MP sensor, f2.0 G lens, and cool cam software like TimeShift Burst that captures 61 shots in 2 seconds means you’ll want to take as many pictures as possible. Look for the Z1 for free from T-Mobile on January 22 and $22 month after purchase.
Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: Crazy Multitasking on Samsung’s Largest Tablets
Samsung added four new slates to its already-long list of Galaxy products. We’re talking about the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with stylus input, and the Galaxy Pros 12.2-, 10-, and 8.4-inch. If 12.2 inches sounds like a big slate, it is. The 12.2 Note Pro and Galaxy Pro each weigh a hefty 1.6+ pounds, but Samsung is banking that the uptick in productivity a larger screen affords will motivate hard-workers to buy super-sized slates. That’s why both 12.2-inch tablets can multitask with up to four apps on-screen at once and include $700 worth of free subscriptions to services like Dropbox, Bloomberg and the NY Times.