As the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show draws to a close, we’ve seen the introduction of thousands of new products… some more noteworthy than others. I’m not going to declare any particular device the best of show because that would imply I actually had time to check out and evaluate every single item.

But I can tell you I saw an awful lot of smartwatches, 3D printers, and Ultra HD televisions. I also saw a few products that stood out because they were just so odd… or oddly appealing. And then there were products I’d actually consider spending my own money on if they were available (and I needed a new device).

CES 2014

Here are a few of my favorites from CES 2014.

Cool ideas

  • ZTE Eco-Mobius modular smartphone concept
    This is just a concept for now, but Chinese device maker ZTE is showing off its answer to Motorola’s Project Ara. The idea is that you’d be able to buy a frame for your phone and all the key components including batteries, processors, cameras, and memory would be on removable, upgradeable modules. Update your phone’s hardware without buying a whole new phone.
  • Razer Christine modular gaming PC concept
    Gaming company Razer is also thinking modular — but Razer’s thinking a bit bigger than ZTE. Project Christine is a liquid-cooled gaming rig that has removable modules that allow you to slap in extra video cards, new processors, additional storage, and other components quickly and easily. It’s also just a concept for now, but if Razer fans like it, Project Christine could become a real device in the future.
  • ZTE Projector Hotspot
    If you’re going to carry around a mobile hotspot that lets you share your 4G connection with up to 8 devices, why not get one that runs on Android, features a built-in projector, and lets you recharge your phone on the go?
  • Hisense X1 6.8 inch smartphone could replace your tablet
    With a screen almost as large as a Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7, this phone could replace your tablet… and if you don’t want to hold a tablet to your face to make calls, you can get a Bluetooth handset that looks like a classic dumbphone. The X1 will initially launch in China, but could expand to other countries.

Stuff I’d actually consider buying

  • Asus Padfone mini is a 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet
    Asus has been offering Padfones for a few years, but the Padfone mini is the first I could see myself buying… if the phone had a slightly faster screen. The 4 inch phone feels great in my hands and when you connect it to the 7 inch tablet dock it doesn’t feel as bulky as you’d expect. It’s also pretty responsive and handles the switch from phone to tablet mode quickly. Most importantly, you only have to pay for one data plan for your phone and tablet.
  • Samsung Ativ Book 9 ultrabook gets 14 hours of battery life
    It’s been a long time since I’ve seriously considered buying a laptop with a 15.6 inch display — most feel more like desktop replacements than mobile devices. But this Samsung Ativ Book 9 weighs about 4 pounds and gets 14 hours of battery life. That’s pretty mobile… if you have a big enough bag to carry it around in.
  • Sony Vaio Fit 11 convertible tablet
    On the other hand, Sony’s new 11.6 inch convertible might be a better option for portability. It’s an 11.6 inch laptop with a display that flips over so you can use the device as a tablet. It supports a digital pen, has an excellent keyboard, and has a starting price of about $800.
  • Lenovo Yoga 2 11 convertible tablet
    Lenovo also has an 11.6 inch convertible tablet, but this model has a starting price of $529. The only problem is that it has a 1366 x 768 pixel screen rather than a full HD display like Sony’s new convertible.

What are some of your favorite items from CES 2014?

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6 replies on “A few favorites from CES 2014”

  1. It was great to read all of the articles even though it must have run you ragged, Brad.
    It looks like your road kit did its job too!
    Thanks for the coverage!

    1. Thanks!

      Yup, never needed the spare laptop or the FreedomPop hotspot… And even the external battery for my notebook felt kind of unnecessary most of the time, but it was nice to have as insurance.

      So what I used most were the Samsung Series 9, my Nexus 5, a Canon Powershot SX130, and a Clear WiMax dongle when there was no Wi-Fi or Ethernet available.

  2. My favorite is the ASUS Vivotab Note 8. A Wacom digitizer and a dedicated slot for it makes using a Windows 8 UMPC a lot easier. Ya, there are virtual trackpad software but they’re not that great when I used them. I’d rather have a pen or a thumbpad in the bezel.

  3. Hi brad…
    I think its vaio fit 11a, not flip…

    I agree with you that ZTE projector hotspot looks cool…I also like asus vivo tab note 8 and thinkpad 8 (too bad it doesnt offer stylus support)…

  4. The new Thinkpad X1 Carbon. I love it. I can’t rationalize spending that much money on a laptop, but oh how I wish. I only need word processing, a browser, and email, and I don’t play games, which means my power requirements are low. However, I want great battery life and a great screen, since I stare at the screen all day writing. But I don’t want to pay for all the computer horsepower that comes with the ones with great screens and battery life because I just don’t need the power. Alas, what I need is not at my price point yet.

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