Archives For Gadgets


We’ve been hearing of something exciting coming from SiliconDust, the company that brought us the popular HDHomeRun network dual tuner product (a favorite of mine), and it looks like this is the week we’ll be getting the details on it. Over on the SiliconDust forums, the company revealed (screenshot above) they’ll be announcing a new CableCARD HDHomeRun product! The official announcement with all of the details (timing, pricing, number of tuners) will come at CES later this week. The recent elimination of the CableLabs certification requirement for the PC makes CableCard more accessible to all Windows 7 Media Center users. Add to that the ongoing development of a plugin to bring CableCard to SageTV users and it’s exciting to even more HTPC enthusiasts.

Check out more of Brent’s reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media at Brent Evans Geek Tonic.

Lenovo x100e ultra portable AMD Neo netbook

Lenovo queued up a slew of announcements for CES this year, but while the press releases were scheduled for January 4th and 5th, Lenovo news was leaked all over the Net this weekend. For the ThinkPad line, Engadget reported first on a new X100e ultraportable netbook with an 11.6″ display and an AMD processor. Then our friend Brad Linder over at Liliputing posted complete specs along with a note that the AMD processor can be, optionally, one of three CPUs from the Neo platform. The Neo platform is designed for high-performance video, but may negatively impact battery life.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge WiMAXAlso in the ThinkPad line is the new ThinkPad Edge. The Edge, according to the now-live product page, includes a dual-core CPU, Windows 7, Bluetooth, and optional 3G and WiMAX connectivity, among other features.

There are further rumors circulating of a new Lenovo smartbook, the Skylight. Stay tuned for details as they emerge, and some hands-on reporting from CES. I am planning to upgrade my Asus Eee 1000HA later in the year. And primary research is necessary.

Griffin CESbound
The Griffin Technology folks as pictured on the CES blog

Not making the trek out to Vegas this year for CES? You’re not alone. Here’s a list of five things missing from CES 2010.

Cablecos and Telcos
Despite the fact that we now live in a connected world, many of the providers that make our gadget connections possible are, by and large, missing from the CES show floor. Two years ago Comcast made a big splash with the launch of tru2way, and AT&T once had a booth in Central Hall to promote its U-verse service. This year the big guys won’t be around much at all. The one exception is Clearwire. With a booth in the South Hall, and Clear WiMAX service blanketing Las Vegas (WiMAX rentals available for $12.50/day), Clearwire will be representin’ for its broadband brethren this year.

Remember GiiNii? I got pretty excited about the company last year when it was sporting Wi-Fi photo frames and prototype Android tablet devices. Sadly, I heard back in October that GiiNii has suspended development on both its PixPlus frames and the prototype Movit Mini and Movit Max – despite the fact that both product lines are still listed on the company site. There’s no evidence that GiiNii will be at CES this year either.

Long Cab Lines
The best thing about an economic recession? Short cab lines at CES. The long lines were missing last year, and I expect more of the same in 2010. It’s quite a relief after waiting for more than an hour for transportation in previous years.

Apple (officially)

ilounge logo CES 2010Macworld may no longer have the star power to rival CES, but that doesn’t mean Apple has given in and joined the CEA’s annual gadget fest. In a change this year, however, Apple will have more of an unofficial presence at the show. A new iLounge Pavilion in the North Hall will feature iPod and iPhone accessories, upping the CES Apple quotient for the year. Exhibitors include makers of cases, speakers, apps, and more.

Dave gave a massive shout-out to Cntrstg last year for the venue it provided tech bloggers at CES. The organizers offered us a fabulous work space, complete with food and Wi-Fi, and brought vendors in to share their wares. Sadly, there will be no Cntrstg lounge in 2010 due to sponsors pulling out at the last minute. There are some dinners and meet-ups planned, however, so we’ll hope for the best this year, and a return to form in 2011.

The Technology of 2009

Dave Zatz —  January 2, 2010 — 1 Comment

Now that 2009 has come to a close, it’s time for some personal tech reflection – beyond the “boxes of the year” and my entry level HD video cam recommendation. By and large, my primary 2009 gadgetry looked quite similar to what I used regularly in 2008 (never minding some model upgrades): iPhone, Macbook, Xbox, TiVo. The two notable additions to my lineup were the Sonos S5 and Sprint’s edition of the Novatel MiFi. Although, I wouldn’t have been so dependent on that MiFi had AT&T not provided me significantly worse coverage in 2009 than in 2008.

Michael Gartenberg has put together his Best Personal Tech of 2009 for Engadget which is worth a read, as I agree with many of his selections. ;) So let’s focus on a few items he and I don’t see eye to eye on. Instead of the 27″ iMac, I’d rather single out Apple’s redesigned 21.5″ model. It has a much better price/performance/features ratio and is truly a bargain by Cupertino standards. Plus, it ships without screen issues. On the software front, Gartenberg highlights both Snow Leopard and Windows 7. Which are merely evolutionary upgrades by any measure. In fact, Snow Leopard would be called a service pack from anyone else and Microsoft’s most notable Windows 7 “feature” is not being Vista. Lastly, I’m not yet sold on any of the underpowered, novelty “pico” projector devices/functionality.

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Christmas Gadgetry

Mari Silbey —  December 26, 2009 — 5 Comments

Mari Christmas gadget gifts

As anyone who’s read my posts in previous years knows, gadget giving in my family is practically a competitive sport, especially around Christmas. While I don’t think we topped last year, 2009 definitely brought in some great loot. My household landed a new Roku box, and I personally snagged a Kodak Zi8 video camera and a Droid Eris smartphone. The Zi8 replaces my defunct Flip Ultra, which was relegated to the closet when the mic started picking up static with every recording session. I know I’ll miss the ability to charge up with AA batteries, but HD will have to make up for it, along with working audio input. I’ll put the Zi8 through its paces in a couple of weeks at CES.

Meanwhile, the Droid Eris marks my first foray into the world of smartphones. Yes, I know that sounds pathetic, but I’ve always resisted paying for a data plan, and my netbook has (until recently) served me quite well. My early impressions of life with an Eris are quite good. I love the smooth feel of the hardware, and the app store is much better than I expected it to be. I also like the interface so far, except for the fact that the touch controls sometimes lock up as the device tries to complete too many tasks at once. More to come on that issue in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying mobile phone access to email, Twitter, and loads of free games.

Mari Christmas gadget gifts up closeThere’s one final gift particularly worth noting: my new Skooba netbook messenger bag. This thing has pockets inside its pockets, with enough gadget sleeves to cover my Zi8, Eris, and Canon, on top of the main compartment for my Eee PC, and pockets for all the necessary power cords. I’ll be sporting this thing all over Vegas.

Anyone else get any good gadget gifts this year?