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Consumer Electronics Show: King Kong of tech shows begins in Las Vegas

7:54 AM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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This King Kong of trade shows fills nearly 2-million square feet - an area the size of 33 football fields. The new debuts include UltraHDTV's. Lots of 'em.

One of them includes LG's new $20,000, 84-inch, 84LM9600 set. It has four times the resolution of "normal" HDTV's. For techies, that's eight million pixels, but you can't see the individual pixels even when you're standing "too close" for mom's comfort.

For non-techies, it's a picture that looks more vivid and real than anything you've seen before. Leaves on tree's ripple in the wind in a nearly 3D way, even without the 3D glasses that come with the new TV's. Colors are brighter, more detailed, and everything is just sharper.

Show veterans expect to see more Plasma, OLED and a few "world firsts" in the television category unveiled over the next 24 hours. Stay tuned.

Smarter smartphones

While most new smartphone launches don't happen until February's Mobile World Congress in Spain, a few new models are on view that showcase how mobile devices will soon become the epicenter of your connected universe. Smartphone integration is a major theme here this year. Expect phones to pair-up and share content with your TV, "talk" to your smart car, and do it all with one simple "tap." No particular tech acumen needed.

Touchscreen Hybrid PC/Tablets

Lenovo showed off it's latest touchscreen tablet/laptop hybrids running Windows 8. One of the most notable was a 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon. It's a thin all-in-one with a built-in stand. When upright, it's a nice size touchscreen PC or entertainment hub. When you lay it flat, several pairs of hands can play games, view and edit photos, and stream video. It has a crisp resolution at 1080 pixels, yet is thin and lighter than you might expect.  The IdeaCentre goes on sale this summer starting at $1,699. 

 

 

 

 

 

There's also the ThinkPad Helix. It has an 11.6-inch full HD screen and packs an Intel Core processor with 10 hours of battery life. The screen folds, detaches, pivots and becomes a presentation device. Lenovo claims it's the thinnest (0.8 inch) Windows 8 tablet powered by Intel Core. When attached to the keyboard, the whole thing weighs 3.7 pounds. When used as a tablet, it's just under two pounds. The Helix launches in late February for $1,500.

The just plain cool

Every year the show debuts a few gadgets that are just plain cool -- or just plain wacky. Either way, they're the stuff everyone is talking about.

For example, there's a whole slew of new fitness gadgets that promise to measure and manage every step, snore, beat and chew. The new Hapifork is a stand-out for getting a lot of pre-show buzz, as well as being kind of bizarrely brilliant (if it actually keeps you from eating too much ...). It's a $99 fork that tracks how fast you eat and gives you a little mini-tongue zap if you eat too fast.

It also pairs with an app that tracks the exact time you start and end your meal, the of "fork servings," and the time between bites. The idea behind it is, the slower you eat, the less you eat.

 

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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