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).
Here are a few of my favorites from CES 2014.
- 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?