International CES Stories January 5, 2015

nest

Nest’s smart thermostat is getting smarter, thanks to a number of new additions to the Works With Nest connectivity program, ranging from your car to your washing-machine.

Some of the applications are obvious, such as your August smart door lock setting the heating or cooling to Away mode when you leave the house. The Kevo lock goes one better, letting Nest who is home and away, so that their preferred temperatures can be used …  expand full story

International CES Stories February 4, 2014

Samsung-Galaxy-NotePRO-12.2-Press-Image-003-1280x853

If you liked the look of the four new tablets Samsung announced at CES back in January, you don’t have long to wait until they go on sale – but for now, only the wifi models will be available, and the Tab Pro 12.2 won’t ship until next month, reports re/code.

You can preorder the Wi-Fi-enabled Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Tab Pro 10.1 or Tab Pro 8.4 now from various retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon. But the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 isn’t expected to ship till March …  expand full story

International CES Stories January 9, 2014

Photo: engadget.com

Photo: engadget.com

When a whole new category of technology arrives, you can usually rely on tech-heads to get excited about them even if the mass-market doesn’t. So far, though, smartwatches don’t seem to have made as much headway as many expected. When a confirmed gadget addict like me is left wondering why I’d want one, something somewhere is wrong.

But where functionality hasn’t persuaded many of us, perhaps price will. Archos is planning to launch a basic smartwatch in the summer for just $50, a price it may be hoping will lead people to stop asking ‘Why?’ and instead ask ‘Why not?’ …  expand full story

International CES Stories January 8, 2014

samsung_galaxy_gear

Samsung’s entry into the world of wearable tech may not have been terribly successful, with dreadful reviews and reportedly poor sales, but the company seems undeterred, promising more wearables this year, reports re/code.

“2014 is actually going to be a really big year,” said Dennis Miloseski, head of studio for Samsung Design America. “We are planning some products around the launch of our flagship devices.”

Samsung’s US design team does appear aware that the company needs to work a lot harder on the aesthetics as well as the functionality …  expand full story

International CES Stories January 6, 2014

Audio specialist Blue promises true hi-fi quality wireless audio by the spring

I take the view that wires are evil: anything that can be wireless should be wireless. My iOS devices sync via wifi, my keyboard and trackpad are Bluetooth, I have Wemo-controlled lighting, Tado-controlled heating and love cloud services.

But there’s one thing in my living-room that still relies on a wire: the connection between Mac and hifi system. I tried a Bluetooth link, and the quality just wasn’t there. I quickly reverted to the 3.5mm cable that runs around the skirting board.

Enter microphone specialist Blue. The company is teasing a true hifi-quality wireless connection between digital devices and headphones (and presumably hifi systems) under the name Mo-Fi.

Where digital music technology has advanced, headphones have lagged behind. We’ve seen dramatic advances in the quality and convenience of digital music, yet headphones –designed specifically to bring us closer to sound— have failed to bridge the gap from hi-fi to mobile. Headphones are the last barrier between us and the audio trapped in our digital devices. What if we liberated our music from overhyped lo-fi to true mobile hi-fi? We can. Blue is offering the first sneak peek at CES 2014.

We’ll bring you more details when we have them.

samsung-galaxy-note-pro-tab-pro

Samsung has put up banners at CES for a new Galaxy Note PRO and Tab PRO, which it is expected to unveil tonight (photo courtesy of Engadget) – and thanks to leaked specs from the generally dependable @evleaks, we think we have a good idea what to expect.

The leak suggests that four new models will be launched, with 3G and LTE variants, in 8.4-, 10.1- and 12.2-inch sizes.

[tweet https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/420094062390431744]

The 12.2-inch NotePRO and TabPRO devices appear to be identical bar the S-Pen of the former. Specs are said to be a quad-core Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz processor for the LTE version, and Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos 5 Octa chip running at 1.9GHz in the Wifi/3G variant. Other specs are said to be identical for both versions …  expand full story

Left: Pebble Steel. right: original plastic Pebble

Left: Pebble Steel. right: original plastic Pebble

If you like the functionality of the Pebble smartwatch but are less keen on the plastic finish, it looks like you won’t have long to wait for a metal version. We’ve seen a couple of leaks of the Pebble Steel, seemingly the exact same innards as the existing Pebble watch but with a stainless steel casing and Gorilla Glass.

There are said to be two versions, one in brushed stainless steel (shown alongside the original plastic version above) and a matte black one (shown below the fold) …  expand full story

International CES Stories January 3, 2014

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

AT&T has announced incentives worth up to $450 for T-Mobile customers who switch to their service. The move is being made in response to T-Mobile’s Uncarrier offers, after AT&T recently said that it too expected to move toward separating device and service charges.

Proving the old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the deal of course comes with strings. First, $250 of that is the maximum you’ll receive in return for trading in your existing T-Mobile handset. To get the full $250, you’ll need a recent handset in good condition – in which case you’d almost certainly get more selling it privately …  expand full story

dreamtab

If there was ever a dream team for a new kid’s tablet, DreamWorks and Fuhu has to be one of the hottest contenders for the title. The animated film maker and the company behind the Nabi range of children’s tablets told the NYT they are teaming up to launch a new 8-inch tablet at CES next week, expected to go on sale in the spring.

The tablet is expected to come with a mix of animated games and educational apps, and will include content that can interact with DreamWorks toys. DreamWorks claims the device will have similar power to an iPad and be treated like a cross between a tablet and a TV channel …  expand full story

International CES Stories January 2, 2014

lg

Usually-reliable source @evleaks has tweeted a photo of what is said to be LG’s new smart TV running webOS, as LG officially announced the world’s largest 4K OLED TV “incorporating LG’s newest smart TV platform.”

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