As the dust begins to settle in Las Vegas at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, there are more new gadgets, phones, watches and tablets than you could even attempt to keep track of.
We forgive you if you got lost in all the news coming out of CES this year. Luckily, we’ve decided to pick out 10 of the best gadgets and devices that caught our eye at this year’s show, including everything from smartphones to wearables and tablets to good old fashioned laptops.
It may still be a relatively small player in the business but Blu unveiled several new smartphones this week at CES, however the Vivo Air stood out from the pack. The $199 unlocked Android KitKat 4.4 phone is defined by its slim features at just 5.1mm thick and weighs three and a half ounces. Inside you’ve got 16GB memory, 1GB RAM and a 1.7GHz Octa-Core Cortex-A7 processor while on the exterior the new Vivo Air comes with a 4.8” 306ppi screen, an eight megapixel camera and a five megapixel front facing camera.
Logitech’s new UE MegaBoom Bluetooth speaker maintains some consistency in its line of products. Visually it maintains the cylindrical design of its predecessors but promises much greater sound quality. The 8.3” waterproof speaker weighs less than two pounds but this sturdier at the same time and sees a greater focus on bass quality. Logitech also says that it has deliberately reinforced the tough design of the speaker to withstand its more adventurous users.
As the smartwatch race heats up, Sony has made its latest play with the new edition of the Smartwatch 3, with a sleek stainless steel design. The new incarnation gives the brand of smartwatch a new lease of life from the rather unnatural design and feel of its predecessor. The stainless steel endows the watch with some extra character and looks a little more like a conventional watch, which is much more stylish than some of the original clunky smartwatch designs.
As long as people complain about terrible battery life in their iPhones, there’ll be a place for Mophie Juice Packs. The new incarnation of the protective battery cases are built especially for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The designs are more or less the same as previous editions of the Juice Packs but function takes precedent over form here. In total there are three new products: Juice Pack Air for iPhone 6, promising more than 100 percent extra battery while the Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 6 too promises over 120 percent. Finally, the Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus claims more than 60 percent extra battery.
Alcatel is bringing the chatter around smartwatches back to basics in every sense. Its plainly titled Watch is a low budget smartwatch that’s cross platform with Android and iOS. Showing off several color styles, the Watch’s simplicity is key and comes in at a price of $150. However, for all those positives, you’ll still be getting what you pay for as the screen is low resolution but it comes with much of what you would expect – heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyroscope. As a primer for wearables and smartwatches or for someone that isn’t looking for anything too fancy on their wrist, Alcatel may be cornering that market.
Sticking with laptops, Acer unveiled its new Chromebook 15 this week too, making it the first Acer Chromebook to use the Intel’s new Broadwell chips—the Core i3 and Celero. Self-described as a “true powerhouse”, the device has a 15.6” display, a choice of 16GB or 32GB SSD drive and a choice of 2GB or 4GB or RAM. Acer made no specific promises on the battery life, but at a price of $249, it’s already sounding like one of the best Chromebooks yet.
Moving on to tablets, which haven’t been forgotten about at this year’s CES, Dell introduced its new Venue 8 7000 tablet, which picked up the CES Best of Innovation award. The super lean tablet is just 6mm thin with an 8.4” OLED display, runs Android KitKat 4.4 and is decked out with an Intel RealSense Snapshot depth camera. The slim tablet will be available this week in the US and Canada. Dell has yet to confirm its plans for further release dates but did say “early 2015” according to The Verge.
Philips’ new noise-cancelling Fidelio NC1L headphones need no batteries and connect directly into whatever iOS device you’re using via the Lightning connector. The $299 headphones use four different microphones to cancel out the noise for your listening pleasure, which gives you options as to how much noise cancelling you want in any given scenario. It’s strong message to Beats and Apple, and just might show them the way forward on how the two companies’ products might interact someday.
Dell is back on this list once again, this time with a laptop to prove that the laptop business is anything but on the way out. The new XPS 13 laptop comes with a 13.3-inch “UltraSharp Quad HD+ infinity display” and an optional 3,200 × 1,800 resolution if you really fancy it. Not content with just a thin tablet to its name, Dell has also slimmed down some of the laptop’s measurement with a thin 5.2mm bezel to make for the impressive looking display you’ll find. The 2.6-pound laptop also promises an astounding 15 hours of battery life.
You can shove as many features into a wearable as you like but you still have to get the design right and Withings may very well be onto something here with the Activite Pop. One look at the watch and it looks like a pretty stylish wearable rather than some of the gaudy designs out there. The $150 waterproof watch is essentially a fitness tracker but has all the style of a classic beautiful watch and it teams up with the Withings HealthMate app for health data insights and personal reminders.
It wins our best gadget from CES 2015 because it just might be the most mainstream-ready smartwatch to come out yet. The best part? It’s on sale now at Best Buy for an initial release.