CES 2021 was definitely a different experience. After my physical problems of getting around in 2020, I was really looking forward to 2021 only to be derailed by Covid like everyone else. So, this year, it was virtually done and while the number of total exhibitors was down quite a bit from the past years, there were several companies I did get a chance to virtually chat with and see what is new coming and some of the stuff was pretty cool.
So, here goes my first impressions from the virtual CES 2021 in no particular order.
I have been long opposed to the All In One concept for a computer. If anything breaks, you may have to replace the entire system and they were not inexpensive. Asus however, is tempting me with this new Zen AiO 24 inch A5400 unit which will be coming soon. Very sleek looking and their reliability is pretty good. No price or availability. From Asus:
ASUS Zen AiO 24 is a beautiful, functional and powerful PC in one seductive package. This exquisitely crafted all-in-one powerhouse pairs a high performance with stylish aesthetics, making it perfect for those who appreciate fine design.
The elegant look is accentuated by an off-center metal stand and fabric-protected, front-firing speakers that are certified by Harman Kardon. With a flawless 23.8-inch NanoEdge display and 93% screen-to-body ratio for unbounded visuals, Zen AiO 24 is set to elevate your every all-in-one expectation.
While we are on Asus, how about a dual screen notebook ?
From Asus: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582) is the next-generation, ultra-powerful 15-inch laptop that is equipped with the new tilting ASUS ScreenPad Plus, a full-width 4K secondary touchscreen that works seamlessly with the main 4K OLED HDR display for effortless multitasking.
A lot of new devices to keep you safe during the Covid-19 plague and Targus has an LED desk light with a built in UV screener.
The UV-C LED Disinfection Light also got a CES Innovation Award for 2021 and it works but running for five minutes every hour to disinfect the keyboard, mouse, and even your smartphone and to keep it from activating while you are working, it has a motion sensor to disable the scanning until there is at least five minutes of inactivity. Coming Spring of 2021
From Garmin and it is available for $1850: whether you play the tour or are inspired by those who do, marq® golfer represents your passion for the game. It’s the only modern tool watch with smart features, more than 41,000 preloaded golf courses and the most advanced game-tracking data ever.
A virtual caddie tells you what to hit and where to aim — a trusted confidant by your side as you strive for greatness.
The ceramic bezel’s 18 custom-etched hole markings show others where you spend your time. While the tritone green jacquardweave nylon strap provides an exceptional fit no matter how big the shot. So go for glory. Never hold back. And wear the luxury watch that says you came to win.
Desktop speakers are getting better all the time and unfortunately, there was no way to hear them to see for myself. Having said that, there are a couple of new ones out there that are very cool looking and from what I saw at CES last year, this next one from Cleer is simply great. It will finally be available this month at $699.
From Cleer: Crescent showcases how our design team “Owns the Moment”, stepping away from the monotonous styling of the modern speaker landscape and creating an all-in-one sound system that compliments the interior of any room in the home.
Crescent will support wireless music streaming from a wide variety of popular services, including Hi-Res file formats. Crescent utilizes a linear array of eight custom 40mm full-range drivers and dual 84mm woofers. Unwanted sonic resonance is eliminated thanks to a glass reinforced substructure and geometrically vaulted design.
For those of us a bit more budget oriented, From Edifier is the Airpulse P100X desktop speaker. Not sure availability or price.
From Edifier: The Airpulse P100X is a multi-driver wireless desktop speaker system. Designer of P100X packs multiple drivers into the system, including a pair of patented “Air-Blade” tweeters, and one proprietary 4.5 inch long-throw mid-woofer with Aluminum diaphragm. With Qualcomm Bluetooth audio receiver and high-end digital power amplifier platform, all components are fine tuned to work together seamlessly, housed in this well-constructed compact size cabinet with retro appearance.
Klipsch has long been one of my favorite speaker companies and now they are branching out into headphones and ear buds and have announced their first wireless active noise cancelling models. From Klipsch, available now for $199:
LEGENDARY SOUND + GREAT FIT
After 60+ years of making legendary loudspeakers, we built upon our bold audio heritage to revolutionize the headphone industry. Since 2007 we have been creating the most innovative headphones on the market. We are the performance and comfort winners. Period.
The same advanced acoustic engineering and industrial design from our legendary home theater speakers provide the performance, voice and design for the T5 II Series earphones. They are engineered for pure performance and designed to be the best sounding most comfortable earphones on Earth and the embodiment of legendary Klipsch sound.
If you are still thinking of that self driving automobile, how about a different take on the subject from a rather interesting point of view.
Caterpillar has been doing this for over 30 years in mines around the world. Their videos are definitely worth taking a look at.
From the big Cat: Right now, fleets of Cat machines — like mining trucks and underground loaders, dozers and drills — are doing real work and delivering real results on mines around the world. Many are using Cat MineStar technology to work autonomously — without an operator onboard. And that number continues to grow.
The results are game-changing. Workers are safer, machines are moving more efficiently, operations are more consistent and productive, equipment lasts longer — and mines are more profitable.
D-Link has long been part of what I consider the big three of networking; Netgear, Linksys, and D-Link and they have been hard at work not only coming out with the next generation Wi-Fi 6E networking gear, but also a whole array of home security products as well.
My pet peeve about such systems is that unless you stick with a single vendor, you are pretty much stuck with lots of different apps on your smartphone and I often wonder about the security of them to begin with. But take a look at their new Outdoor Camera.
But it sounds like they are making some good headway not only with the security but range of products you can connect to the system even to include a smart outdoor WiFi plug.
Need to extend your new Mesh network, they have a Mesh range extender that will work with anyone’s Mesh network. Some pretty neat products coming from D-Link.
Belkin’s virtual booth showed off a number of interesting products that will help you keep organized including the Boost Charge Pro which is a two in one wireless charger stand with magnets so you can charge your phone and your earbuds all at the same time. Available in April for $99.
Audio-Technica is one of the booths I always look for at CES because of the neat lineup of audio gear, headphones, and turn tables.
My interest has been a turntable that I can connect to my computer easily and digitize some of those really old records that have never been available other than on vinyl. And I seem to have a lot of them.
So, the quick look at the AT LP120XBT looks like it will be a perfect solution for me and as you can tell, it does more than connect to a computer. For around $299.
From Audio-Technica: The AT-LP120XBT-USB has an elegant black finish and is designed for exceptional performance and convenience. Just pair the turntable with compatible Bluetooth headphones, wireless speakers or other devices for cord-free listening.
It supports the Qualcomm® Bluetooth aptX™ codec for superior wireless audio quality. In addition, the AT-LP120XBT-USB can be used as a wired turntable.
Years ago, my friends and I would head out to Comdex a few days early so we could explore the area and take a ton of photographs in places like Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, and the wonderful National Parks nearby in Utah. Since there were usually four of us, we needed a lot of batteries and charging cables to get things done and this next item from Kingston would have fit in perfectly for us.
It is a docking station with mini-hubs to handle everything from memory cards to even powering the notebook. For $135 you get the dock and a USB mini-hub, and add $36 for a memory card reader (or two).
From Kingston : Kingston’s Workflow Station and Readers give users the freedom to create and customize a file offload setup that fits their needs allowing them to transfer video, photos, and audio from multiple sources at once1.
Whether on a 4K/8K multi-cam shoot with portable audio recorders or filming B-Roll with drones and GoPros, with the customizable Workflow Station Dock you can simultaneously connect the USB miniHub, SD or microSD readers that the shoot requires to transfer footage quickly.
Workflow Readers can also be used standalone by connecting to a laptop via the included USB-C® cable giving users the flexibility to have their workflow on-the-go.