CES 2006: Chief Gizmateer’s Day Three at CES

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the last day (or half day) of CES 2006. Regardless, we ran ourselves ragged to cover this year’s CES with more indepth articles coming in the weeks ahead. I’ll try to run through some highlights from my CES experience on day three.

The third day started with a “wow” reaction while viewing LG’s 42″ 3D LCD prototype. Next we toured through Philips space to check out their latest products. The Geeks had to check out a Best in CES candidate by Jensen… an in-dash car PC! As mentioned in the Chief Gadgeteer’s post we watched the CNET awards where they mentioned the big trends this year are in home electronics and small MP3 players. Nothing earth-shattering there! Also, like the Chief Gadgeteer, I am stunned by the Creative Labs Zen Vision being awarded the Best in Show! I conducted a short interview with some of the Sony Locationfree guys. Apparently Sony sends newbs to CES whereas their main (and only?) competitior Sling Media sends the entire knowledgeable company as Sling managed to answer my questions and Sony simply said their product was cool! We checked out the Centrino Duo tablet at Toshiba coming out next month and wrapped up with a great little outfit called dreamGEAR that seems to have a lot of Gizmos for Geeks. We ended the day watching Washington beat Tampa Bay on a gorgeous Pioneer Elite Plasma Display Panel.

The third day started with a “wow” reaction while viewing LG‘s 42″ 3D LCD prototype. Check out Chief Gadgeteer’s entry for more information on LG.

Next we toured through Philips space to check out their latest in their Ambilight technology, a new digital picture frame, a new line called Miravision (mirror by day and LCD TV by night… or really by pressing a button on a remote), wireless music system set to rival Sonos, some portable music players, blue-ray products and a CES Innovation award for a 10.2″ portable DVD player.

The wireless music system really does not compare to the wireless mesh network that Sonos utilitzes though and while the digital picture frame looks cool, not many people will pay $250 for the product. How many people do you know have digital picture frames? The portable DVD player and the Miravision line were quite cool though. See what Chief Gadgeteer thought of Philips products.

Jensen was up for Best in CES with their in car computer that fits in dash. For $3000 you get a fully functioning Car PC running Windows Home on a 40GB hard drive. The system includes a TV and XM tuners and provides dolby 5.1 sound. Built-in software includes navigation and GPS is included in the computer. Of course, the computer cannot be used while driving.

Sony‘s Locationfree was another target for us… as already described by Chief Gadgeteer, Sony Locationfree was not well represented by technically savvy people and they could not answer what I thought were simple questions. Look forward to a side by side comparison in the coming months between Sling Media’s Slingbox and Sony’s Locationfree technology.

We happened across a great little gizmo manufacturer called dreamGEAR. Earlier in the day one of their products was featured on the Today show. The product fits on a headrest in the car and holds the PSP with built-in speakers and two headphone jacks and will be available in six weeks for $59. Their iSoundmax will also be available in March for $129 and sports a tubular body to create bass instead of needing a subwoofer and contains four full range speakers. dreamGEAR also has iSound for Nano plus a foldable version coming out in March. Finally, they carry a full line of gaming devices. The products are available through Walgreens and isoundusa.com.

Toshiba had the first HD DVD laptop on display (also at Nvidia’s booth) but the Centrino Duo (Intel’s mobile dual core chip) tablet caught our eye. The Protege 400 will be available in less than one month and looks great albeit slightly larger than what I think I would like a tablet to be.

We did visit and walk by a few other booths but had nothing special to report besides the unbelievably gorgeous Pioneer Elite PDP where we tested the PDP using an action program (ok, we stopped to watch the Redskins beat the Bucs). The display is worth ever one of the 6,500 dollars it’s retailed for!

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