CES 2009 Unveiled – Part 1

Despite the economic crisis, this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) opening press event was launched this Tuesday revealing some of the new technologies which should reach the market later this year, including wireless power, wireless USB, hybrid netbooks, ultra slim HD displays, and advanced gaming controllers.
Logitech G19 keyboard
Logitech G19 keyboard

Although CES itself might be somewhat smaller with larger companies taking a step back and moving to private suits rather than expensive booths on the CES showroom floor, the pre launch press event was actually said to be bigger than last year’s opening event although it included very few real surprises.

Among the more interesting things which were showcased at the event we found 3 new Logitech products, including the G19 super keyboard, a new version of the G9 mouse called G9X, and the (not as new but still interesting) G13 gameboard. The new G9x has the highest dpi of any mouse we know of on the market, reaching an astonishing 5000dpi). The G9X comes with different skins which don’t really help to hide what we think is actually one of Logitech’s ugliest rodents. The G19 is another revision of an already existing product (the G15 gaming keyboard in this case). The G19 has a relatively large 320×240 color LCD (compared to the monochrome screen in the G15) and even more programmable keys (which can also record macros – a very useful function for many advanced users). The G13 is not exactly a keyboard but actually a gameboard (a mini-keyboard with only a few keys for gaming). The G13, like the G15, has a monochrome display as well as a small joystick and 25 programmable keys. The unit is meant for mobile gamers who like to take an advanced controller with them but can’t afford the weight or size of the full G1519 keyboards.
ThinkPad W700d
ThinkPad W700d

Lenovo launched a few new products at the CES unveiling event. The first was the already quite famous monster ThinkPad W700d with the retractable dual display. This huge desktop replacement weighs about 11 pounds and has a 17” primary screen and a smaller 10.6′ retractable secondary display. The secondary display is rather dim and it will probably be used for smaller tasks and not regular work (instant massaging, widgetsgadgets etc.). We can actually see a very small market this quad, 8GB behemoth, especially given its extremely high price tag of $3,600, but we guess there might be a niche market for almost any crazy product. On the other spectrum of mobile computing Lenovo showcased the relatively new S10 netbook – a cute 10” subnotebook which sadly comes equipped with only a 3 cell battery (compared to 6 cells in many comparable models such as the Samsung NC10 for example). Lenovo also unveiled the new “all-in-one” IdeaCenter A600, which is a media center oriented computer-in-a-screen. The IdeaCenter A600 has a 21.5” screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also includes a four-in-one optional Wii style remote (which has a built in motion sensor for gaming) as well as a VoIP handset mode; a Vista Media Center and TV remote capability and an air mouse for controlling of the cursor. Also new from Lenovo are 3 laptops from the Y series with 16:9 aspect ratios. The triplet includes the 16” Y650, 15.6” Y550 and 14” Y450. We played a bit with the bigger Y650 model and found it be extremely light (for its size) with a very large touchpad.

MSI X320 - Ultra Thin
MSI X320 – Ultra Thin

The Taiwanese manufacturer MSI was also showing some new stuff at the CES unveiling event, including its upcoming ultra thin 13.4” X320 laptop model. The X320 will come with the new Atom Z520 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 10 hour battery (according to MSI), all for a price between $700-$900 USD – creating a new sub category for ultra light, ultra thin, and ultra cheap laptops. Another interesting item on MSI’s booth was the new U115 hybrid netbook with a combination of SSD and HHD storage. The new U115 will feature the usual 1.60GHz Intel Atom CPU with up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM and will come in a number of combinations including a 8GB SSD / 80GB HDD, 16GB SSD / 120GB HDD, and a 32GB SSD / 160GB HDD storage options, as well as an upgraded 2 megapixel webcam.

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