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The best of CES 2013

verge trailer ces 2013

You may be watching the CES news unfold in realtime, but at the breakneck pace the show moves, it's hard to take it all in. The best way to get all of the biggest news is by following this StoryStream of the absolute must-sees, surprises, and crazy happening from CES 2013. We're compiling the stories that matter, the products that you need to know about, and all of the in-depth reporting from The Verge this year. Stay tuned to this list, because it's going to get wild.

54 updates and 6977 comments below.

Jan 11 2:44p

The Verge Awards: the best of CES 2013

This is not about revenge. This is about justice. This is the best of CES 2013. Continue reading »

Jan 10 6:35p

Westinghouse's $300,000, custom-made 110-inch 4K TV isn't for everyone

Westinghouse showed up at CES this year with a bit of a surprise: a 110-inch Ultra High-Definition television. We met up with the company here at the Las Vegas Hotel (don't ask us how they managed to roll the set into a suite) to get a look at this monster of a television for ourselves. After stepping into the room, the TV completely overwhelmed us. However, unlike nearly every other massive TV we've seen out there, the QX110 was not disappointing to look at. While 1080p doesn't suit a...

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3:12p

How Kickstarter stole CES: the rise of the indie hardware developer

They said the wristwatch was dead, but they were wrong. Forward-thinking watches are making a big splash at this year’s CES, the largest technology trade show in the country, and two watches stand out: the ultrathin, ultrasimple CST-1, which looks like a metal slap bracelet with giant numbers, and the Pebble smartwatch, which interfaces with the owner’s smartphone and can also run apps of its own.

Those two watches have something else in common: the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Pebble...

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10:16a

First! Episode 04 with Frog Design's Paul Pugh

Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze. Alarm clock. Snooze.

The week is almsot over, and CES is on the v-... erm, on the cusp of dying down. It's about time to look to the future — not just of CES 2013 but of the industry as a whole. Months, years, decades, centuries into the future. We'll get to that eventually. Join hosts Joshua Topolsky and Ross Miller as they...

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5:59p

4K at CES 2013: the dream gets real

Almost exactly a year ago, upon these parched steppes of Nevada we know as Las Vegas, Vizio told us it was keen to get into the 4K TV market, but the timing wasn't quite right yet. Vizio asked for a year's worth of patience and, atypically for an electronics company, it's back at CES with the delivery of its 4K promise.

5:44p

Top Shelf CES, Day 03: Surface Pro, Pebble, and more!

The show floor has now been open for a day and a half, and mercifully no one on The Verge's staff has caught the dreaded CES Plague yet. But we have seen gadgets, gizmos, whozits, whatsits, and everything in between. On today's show, David and Dieter Bohn break down everything we've seen from Microsoft, Pebble, watches, other watches, and everything else cool going on at CES. We'll be live at 3PM PT / 6PM PT, so tune in!

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2:09p

Samsung shows off flexible OLED phone prototype (hands-on)

Samsung gave us a brief glimpse during its keynote today of its first phone using a flexible display, and now we've just had the opportunity to handle the device for ourselves. The phone, which is a nameless prototype, has a screen that falls off towards the rear edge of the device on the right side. Samsung hasn't quite figured out yet what to do with this extra screen real estate, but for now the phone displays landscape-oriented notifications along the edge. The idea is that you'll be able...

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12:15p

The Pebble smartwatch keeps it simple (hands-on)

Now that Pebble has announced it's shipping to Kickstarter backers on January 23rd, the company is finally ready to show off the final hardware and software on its smartwatch. We spent some time putting the watch through its paces and talking with CEO Eric Migicovsky, and we've come away more impressed than we expected with the Kickstarter phenomenon.

Smartwatches are a big theme theme here at CES, but few have garnered the kind of interest that the Pebble has. One reason is that it is...

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10:00a

First! Episode 03: Audi, Steam Box, and Polygon's Chris Grant

It's hump day. The halfway point. The checkered flag is in sight. Time is absolutely a relative construct, because CES is less than three days old (at the most extreme estimate — technically the show floor only opened yesterday) and yet it feels like a lifetime has passed. It was a crazy first day on the floor, culminating with our sit-down with Valve's Gabe Newell over all things Steam Box — Chris Grant from Polygon will be on hand helping us pour over the Gospel according to Gaben. Join...

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1:43a

The Batmobile is real: Audi's self-driving car picks you up on command

There are self-driving cars, then there are self-driving cars. Today at CES, Audi showed me the former.

The A7 parked in the cul-de-sac of Las Vegas' luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel looked no different than any other that you might see on the street, but this was a special demonstrator of Audi's "piloted driving" system for automated parking. It works like this: you walk out of the mall, you want your car. You open an app on your smartphone, press a button, and the car drives out to you....

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12:46a

Lego Mindstorms EV3 hands-on: an incredible toy right out of the box (video)

Lego Mindstorms build-your-own-robot kits have been with us since 1998, back when programming them required a computer with a serial port. The new Linux-based Lego Mindstorms EV3, however, doesn't even need a computer: you can set up basic routines right on the programmable Lego brick itself, and / or remote control a robot from an Android or iOS smartphone. For many buyers willing to spend $349.99, though, the best part will probably be this: the EV3 is an absolute blast to play with, right...

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Jan 08 7:00p

90 Seconds on The Verge: Qualcomm's keynote, the curved OLED TV battle, and Sony's 4K push

Gather 'round, gather 'round. 90 seconds of news and your goal is found. Not once, not twice, but four — no, five! That the way we stay alive. In one final showing, your news day is done — but starts again tomorrow, one by one.

This is 90 Seconds on The Verge.

6:20p

It's official: 3D is dead

There's something about 2013's Consumer Electronics Show that's different from every other iteration this decade. You might not realize it immediately, for it's marked by the absence rather than the arrival of a new technology, but it's there and we're all sensing it on a deep, subconscious level. And it feels good.

3D is gone.

6:10p

Exclusive interview: Valve's Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming

By T.C. Sottek and Tom Warren

We just sat down for a rare and wide-ranging interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, who opened up to The Verge with details about the company's upcoming "Steam Box" gaming hardware, the future of the Steam digital distribution platform, and even gaming itself. For starters, Valve isn't just attacking the living room; the Steam Box will be designed to work across multiple screens in the home using networking standards like Miracast, ideally allowing users to...

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6:01p

Top Shelf CES, Day 02: Sony's waterproof Xperia Z and the wonders of Oculus Rift

The world you see isn't necessarily the world as others perceive it. That goes double true when you're wearing a virtual reality headset. It's confusing, it's mysterious, it's humbling... and it's exactly what will come of David Pierce and Nilay Patel as they check out the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Is it a headset... or is it an experience? In either case, it's exactly is what this show is for. Top Shelf is a deeper dive into the products and experience, led by David Pierce and...

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4:06p

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai: 'We need to be a more focused company'

I just had a chance to sit down with Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai for an enlightening chat about the electronics-maker's past, present, and future. Topics up for discussion include the company's new line of 4K televisions (including that new prototype OLED model), the Xperia line of Android phones and potential expansion to other platforms, and what the road ahead looks like for Sony. Kaz offers a glimpse into the mind of the Japanese monolith, with a surprisingly candid take on the rough...

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2:42p

Netflix and Samsung stream 4k video to a mysterious UHD TV

At the back of Samsung's booth, the company has partnered with Neflix to show off 4K streaming on one of its UHD televisons. The video it's playing is on a loop, helpfully displaying difficult-to-stream types of video like fast-motion boxing and water fountains. Samsung tells us that this is a "beta" test, but is being quite coy about other details, including whether it's over the internet or a direct pipe to Netflix's servers. In fact, Samsung isn't even saying what kind of television this...

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2:35p

The delicious snacks of CES: tradeshow tailgating

This year's 'exclusive' Digital Experience was a tribute to the American experience, complete with faux cheerleaders and gridiron heroes Continue reading »

2:34p

Valve's Steam Box gets big push at CES as Gabe Newell meets with major hardware partners

We just stopped by Valve's small booth at CES, and the company has confirmed to The Verge that it is meeting with a number of hardware and software partners to push forward with its plans to release its own console-like PC for the living room. The company isn't showing off much to the press this year, but we managed to take a look at some prototype hardware Valve has sitting out, and it's not all too surprising; right now the Steam Box looks like a small-chassis PC. Valve representative Tom...

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1:24p

Panasonic targets photographers with 20-inch 4K Windows 8 tablet

Panasonic just unveiled a 4K Windows 8 tablet at CES 2013 and we've managed to get an early hands-on. The huge 20-inch tablet includes an optical stylus that allows you to navigate the Windows 8 tiled UI and touch up photos on the device. Panasonic isn't revealing exact specifications just yet, but running at at 4K resolution at its booth today it was stunning to see images on such a display.

Normally reserved for TVs, this tablet is targeted at photographers, designers, and architects...

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1:02p

Samsung introduces 'world's first' curved OLED TV

Samsung's just announced what it's calling "the world's first curved OLED TV." A curved screen on your TV may sound like a bit of an oddity, but Samsung boasts that it creates a more panoramic, more immersive viewing experience, and actually improves viewing angles from the side. The 55-inch TV on display at Samsung's booth is due to come out the second half of this year, and has what Samsung reps have called "an IMAX feel." The TV is incredibly sharp and crisp, with fantastic colors....

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12:41p

Panasonic shows off 20-inch Windows 8 tablet with insane 4K resolution

4K's unquestionably the buzzword of CES 2013, but it's typically used in conjunction with "TV." Panasonic's taking it a different direction, though, using its keynote at the show to introduce a 20-inch Windows 8 tablet with 4K resolution. There aren't many details about the tablet just yet, save for stylus input support and a sort of real-time cloud-based collaboration tool. We've seen these display specs from Panasonic before, of course, but this is the first time we've seen it on a real...

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11:52a

Qualcomm's insane CES 2013 keynote in pictures and tweets

A night of cringeworthy conversations, product demos, and music Continue reading »

10:04a

First! Episode 02: Qualcomm, Sony, and the future of 4K

Episode two. Dos. Deux. And yet, it's still First! Are we trapped in some kind of Abbot-and-Costello sketch? Probably, although the scene at Qualcomm last night leans closer to Dali. Confused? We'll explain all this and more at 8AM PT / 11AM ET / 4PM GMT today. Join hosts Joshua Topolsky and Ross Miller as they break down the top stories of the day in the most relevant and irreverent way possible - and set the tone for the day(s) to come. Wake up, tune in, and have fun. This is First!

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Jan 07 10:18p

Top Shelf CES, Day 01: on Vizio phones and Fitbit Flex

Even without a show floor to visit yet — that's tomorrow — we've had quite a day checking out brand new products at CES. And though many thought this year could be very dull, we've actually been quite surprised by what's there so far. And this is what Top Shelf is for. It's a deeper dive into the products and experience, led by David Pierce and guest-hosted today by Nilay Patel.

It's a very special episode, and not just because it's the first ever episode. David and Nilay break down...

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9:49p

Steve Ballmer makes surprise appearance at CES 2013, the show he abandoned

Right now, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer just rushed up on stage to steal the show from Qualcomm during its CES 2013 keynote. Let us clarify that: We just went from Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs' generic discussion of how important smartphones are in our lives, to a demonstration of Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. This is insanity, brought to you by Steve Ballmer.

Update: He's gone, but he didn't leave before uttering our new least favorite catchphrase, "Born Mobile" while passing on the torch. Don't...

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9:18p

Oculus Rift: deep inside the immersive, disorienting virtual reality gaming experience

We just met with the team behind the Oculus Rift, which started out as a DIY project that quickly morphed into into a Kickstarter success story. Oculus is here at CES showing off the dev kit it plans to ship out to backers in March, and got a chance to play with near-final hardware and software and see what founder Palmer Luckey hopes will be the next big sea change in gaming.

Continue reading »

8:14p

Sony shows off 56-inch 4K OLED TV prototype

Confirming our earlier report, Sony has unveiled a 4K OLED TV at CES 2013. The prototype Ultra High-Definition display is 56 inches in size, and marks Sony's return to active OLED TV development after releasing the first commercially available set back in 2007. The version we saw on the show floor is crisp, vivid, and quite frankly, one of the most beautiful displays we've seen, with nary a pixel in sight. It's just a prototype for now, so we don't expect a price or release date any time...

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8:09p

Sony Xperia Z / ZL: hands-on with Sony's flagship smartphone for 2013

Sony has made it a habit to introduce new smartphones at CES each year, and this year's announcement of the new Xperia Z continues that trend. The Xperia Z — and the very similar Xperia ZL — is Sony's flagship mobile device for the year, bringing high-end specs and a refined design. The Z features a 5-inch, 1080p HD display — a feature that increasingly becoming the norm among high-end Android smartphones — and powerful quad-core processor in addition to a sharp looking exterior.

Upon first...

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5:06p

Samsung unveils amazing 85-inch 4K TV with 'floating' design

Back in November, Samsung announced that it'd show off its first 4K TV at CES. Well, the company has followed through on its promise today — the 85-inch UN85S9 is the world's largest Ultra High-Definition TV, and has some pretty unprecedented industrial design. The huge screen is suspended within a metal frame reminiscent of an easel — it can be tilted up and down — and, while we're not sure how many living rooms the colossal contraption will fit into, the floating effect is a sight to...

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3:50p

Huawei blurs phone and tablet lines even further with colossal 6.1-inch Ascend Mate

Huawei won the latest battle in the smartphone screen size arms race today, after the Chinese company finally announced its long-rumored Ascend Mate phone/tablet hybrid. The Ascend Mate is dominated by its gigantic 6.1-inch 720p display, and also features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. It has "Magic Touch" technology, too which means that like Nokia's Lumia 920 you can use the phone while wearing gloves.

The phone runs Huawei's Emotion UI on top of Android...

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3:45p

Kingston introduces colossal 1TB DataTraveler HyperX Predator flash drive

You'll soon be able to carry a terabyte of data on your keychain. Kingston today unveiled the DataTraveler HyperX Predator, a line of flash drives that tops out at the massive 1TB capacity. The company says these USB 3.0 drives are its fastest yet, with read and write speeds reaching 240MB/s and 160MB/s respectively. The Predator comes inside a zinc alloy metal casing and is protected under a five-year warranty. But those niceties seem appropriate considering how much you'll be paying to...

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3:37p

Fujifilm's X100s and X20 will launch in late March at $1299.95 and $599.95 (update: hands-on photos)

We're live at Fujifilm's CES 2013 press conference, and the company just announced pricing and availability for its X100s and X20 rangefinder-style cameras. The X100s will cost $1299.95 while the X20 will cost $599.95, and both will be available at the end of March. As we learned the other day, the X100s has been updated with a new 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor, as well as a faster processor, the EXR II. Fujifilm promises the sensor will allow for autofocus of .08 seconds, and...

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2:35p

Nvidia Project Shield hands-on video preview

It didn't take long for the first bombastic announcement of CES 2013, with Nvidia's clamshell Project Shield handheld console stealing the Sunday limelight. This morning I got to grips with this wild new Android portable, gleaning an early idea of the green team's future as a consumer hardware vendor, plus a better idea of the performance of the all-new Tegra 4 system-on-chip. Our first hands-on video, photos and impressions can be found below.

So, what to make of Nvidia's Shield? Well,...

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1:11p

Nvidia's Project Shield: five years in the making, five years too late?

A gray-haired but still leather-clad Jen-Hsun Huang ascended the CES stage last night to reveal what may well end up being the most audacious product announcement of this year’s show: Project Shield. The culmination of half a decade’s worth of research and development, Shield is a portable gaming console with no lesser an ambition than the root transformation of the way we play games. With it, Nvidia is hoping to do for gaming what Netflix did for movies or the Kindle achieved with e-books....

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1:06p

First! Episode 01: Nvidia, Vizio, and modern cube speakers

Alarm clock. Email. Snooze. Alarm clock. Email. Toothbrush. Email. Shower. Email. Finish shower. Clothes. Email. Coffee. Email. Laptop bag. Email. Jacket... You know what would make that routine even better? First! Our CES morning show. And by morning, we're talking Las Vegas time — and since Las Vegas is the focal point of all technology news for the next week, that seems as good as any time to call it morning. (East Coasters, feel free to call it "Elevenses" for the foreseeable future.)

J...

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12:00p

Asus launches Qube, the Google TV-powered set-top box with a unique interface

The life of the Google-supported home theater device has been a bizarre one. First the Nexus Q launched, and then didn't, and then a dongle for a new "Nexus" set-top box running Google TV popped up at the FCC. Asus just cleared things up a bit, however, announcing the new Qube with Google TV set-top box. The Qube itself looks a bit like a Boxee box, a black ridged cube designed to sit next to your TV or in your entertainment stack.

It's powered by Google TV, and comes with the latest...

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11:01a

Did Pantech just announce a $50 Galaxy S III? Meet AT&T's Discover

AT&T has just announced the Pantech Discover, a new budget-priced Android smartphone that has more than one similarity to Samsung Galaxy S III. Matching the Galaxy S III's display with a 4.8-inch, 720p screen, the Discover also has a 12.6-megapixel camera with 1080p video support, built-in NFC, and the obligatory support for AT&T's 4G LTE network. It is also powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has a 2,100mAh battery.

The Discover features Pantech's custom user interface on top of...

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9:00a

Exclusive: Teenage Engineering makes a wireless speaker for serious adults

Teenage Engineering has built a reputation for uncompromising hardware design, unconventional products, and a sense of simplicity and fun in everything they do — and its new OD-11 Cloud Speaker looks like it will do all of this in spades when it debuts this coming summer. Anders Halvarsson and David Möllerstedt from Teenage Engineering just gave us an exclusive early look at the hardware they'll be showing off at CES this week, and told us all about how the company's thoughts on the home...

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8:05a

The future is now, the future is weird: an expedition into the dark heart of CES

In a world where everyone’s mom has an iPhone, how is technology supposed to feel futuristic? Continue reading »

7:36a

Vizio gets back in the phone game with 5-inch 1080p and 4.7-inch 720p handsets... for China

Two years ago, Vizio came to CES and announced the Vizio Phone, a skinned Android phone that quietly died at the hands of American carrier politics. Vizio moved on by designing and building a line of Windows PCs instead — and now that the PC line is humming along, the company is here at CES 2013 with two brand new phones... for the Chinese market.

That's Vizio's first expansion outside of North America, and while Vizio CTO Matt McRae won't come right out and say it's because of American...

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7:15a

Vizio goes after the Nexus 7 with a Kindle-sized stock Android tablet (hands-on)

Vizio's 10-inch Android tablet might be one of the first Tegra 4 devices to be announced, but the California company also has a 7-inch tablet here at CES that's equally interesting: it's essentially a Nexus 7 in a package the size of a Kindle e-reader. That's a Tegra 3 processor, a 1280 x 800 IPS display, 16GB of storage, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and stock Android Jelly Bean. The prototype was fairly quick to flip around the OS, and the display looked slightly better than the...

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12:33a

Nvidia announces Project Shield handheld gaming system with 5-inch multitouch display, available in Q2 of this year

Nvidia has just unveiled a new handheld gaming system called Project Shield. Project Shield is powered by the Tegra 4 processor and can play console-quality games while still providing a mobile experience. The processor is capable of pushing 4K resolution video over HDMI to external displays. It includes advanced sound processing that Nvidia says rivals Beats Audio-equipped laptops, and a 33Wh battery that provides five to ten hours of play time or 24 hours of HD video playback. It features a...

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Jan 06 11:56p

Nvidia unveils Tegra 4, 'world's fastest mobile processor'

Nvidia has just announced its next-generation Tegra 4 processor for smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. The Tegra 4, like its predecessor, features a quad-core processor along with a fifth, low power, core to save battery life. Although it retains the 4-plus-1 setup of Tegra 3, Nvidia's fourth-generation chip is built on an all-new architecture. The company's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says that Tegra 4 is the world's fastest mobile processor, surpassing everything currently on the market. Nvidia...

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9:08p

OLPC XO-4 convertible laptop is faster than ever and coming soon (hands-on)

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) may not be ready to show off its XO-4 convertible laptop just yet, but chip manufacturer Marvell is demoing it at CES today all the same. The 7.5-inch tablet-laptop hybrid has an infrared touchscreen and is powered by a dual-core Marvell processor that the company says is "miles faster" than before. It'll arrive with either 1GB or 2GB of RAM and 4GB or 8GB of storage, and runs Linux (Fedora 18) with a custom software overlay that OLPC says is "designed for kids...

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7:30p

Chevy MyLink with Siri integration limits answers to keep you focused, irritated: hands-on

Chevy announced that it would add Siri integration to its MyLink system back in November, and it's here at CES showing off a Spark electric car with the new feature. Pairing an iPhone with MyLink over Bluetooth allows you to talk to Siri by pressing the voice-command button on the steering wheel — you'll hear the usual Siri sound, and the car's display indicates that Siri is listening.

Also, I trolled Paul Miller quite a bit

It works well, allowing you to do the usual Siri things like...

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7:01p

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix tablet / laptop hybrid gets a power-up when it docks

Did you think you'd seen every possible way a laptop and tablet could merge? Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix is here to show you otherwise. Rather than simply flipping head over heels, twisting in place, or detaching from a battery-laden slate of keys, the ThinkPad Helix is a powerful tablet that actually gets more powerful when you combine it with its keyboard docking station — think Mighty Morphin Power Rangers but with Lenovo's trademark rack of keys rather than giant robotic animals.

Not...

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6:58p

Vuzix M100 smart glasses: hands on with the contender trying to beat Google Glass to market

Almost exactly one year ago, we saw an early prototype of Vuzix's competitor to Google's Project Glass. It was pretty rough, so we were eager to see how much progress the company made since there. Enough, apparently, to release an SDK for developers to create apps for the M100 smart glasses, which run Android 4.0. The specs (pun intended) include shooting 720p video, 4GB of storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The tiny screen sits under your eye and is a "mere" 800 x 480 pixels — but at this...

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5:58p

3M debuts gigantic 84-inch multitouch table with 40-point input (hands-on)

3M unveiled an enormous 84-inch multitouch table at CES today, following up on the 46-inch display the company announced here last year. The table is still in prototype mode, but already supports up to 40 simultaneous touches, and features a display with 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. That's a marked step up from last year's 1080p model, which supported just 20 concurrent touches.

The table's projective capacitive display runs on wired-based sensors, unlike the ITO-based sensors used in last...

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9:58a

Vizio introducing its first Windows 8 tablet with 1080p screen, forgoes Intel for AMD

It looks like Vizio is breaking into the Windows tablet world in a big way with the introduction of its creatively-named Vizio Tablet PC. According to Engadget, this new slate will offer the full Windows 8 experience on an 11.6-inch, 1080p screen and will include AMD internals in the form of a dual-core, 1GHz Z-60 chip. Another nice point is the fact that the new tablet is running a clean install of Windows known as the Microsoft Signature installation — so there shouldn't be any of the...

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Jan 05 10:30p

Organized chaos: here's what it takes to build CES

Days before opening, the enormous show is a whirlwind of activity Continue reading »

10:11p

Samsung opens the wireless speaker floodgates with CES audio lineup

Samsung has just let loose a press release this evening before CES starts in earnest, revealing its very own wireless Bluetooth speaker and a few new home theater audio systems. The wireless speaker goes by the moniker DA-F60, and it follows a pattern that we think will be re-tread many times during CES. The DA-F60 thankfully uses the apt-X codec for wireless streaming over Bluetooth (rather than some lower-quality codecs), and it features NFC so you can sync your phone to the speaker...

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Jan 04 10:11a

Incredible photos from the CES vault: 1967 to 2013

The future arrives over and over and over again Continue reading »
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