CES 2021 Coverage: A Virtual Show Floor


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CES_10_HP-VR-2.jpgHewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard was showing off the recently debuted second-gen version of its virtual reality headset, the HP Reverb G2, which is aimed at both commercial users as well as gamers. Developed with the help of Microsoft and Valve, the Reverb G2 includes what HP is calling “the world’s highest resolution VR headset among major vendors,” with resolution of 2,160 x 2,160 per eye panel. Enhancements over the first-gen version include Valve-designed lenses that offer greater clarity, better tracking through the inclusion of additional cameras and higher-quality audio from Valve speakers. The headset also offers improved comfort with the ability to adapt the width of the lenses for different eye distances and an increased cushion size on the face mask. The HP Reverb G2 is available now for $599 but be sure you have a PC that is capable of using it.

Dell
My monitor choice at CES this year is a Dell (although there are a lot of new high-quality monitors being introduced.) Dell is debuting a new series of monitors aimed at improved video conferencing, including the Dell 34 Curved Video Conferencing Monitor. The 34-inch WQHD curved monitor is geared toward use with Microsoft Teams and features a dedicated button for joining Teams meetings, as well as other collaboration-friendly capabilities such as a pop-up 5-megapixel IR camera, dual 5W integrated speakers and noise-canceling microphones. 

Chromebook
The Chromebook is one of my least favorite devices. To me they are not computers but just terminals that do very little without a connection to the internet. However, they do have an advantage because of their affordable pricing, and they work well for schools and other groups where performance is not as critical as cost. However, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 stands out as the company’s first Chromebook to feature AMD Ryzen 3000 C-Series processors and AMD Radeon graphics, which enable strong performance, responsiveness, and reasonable battery life (up to 10 hours), Acer says. The Chromebook Spin 514 includes a 14-inch display with FHD resolution, and the device is highly durable with Gorilla Glass on the display and a reinforced aluminum chassis, according to the company. Other notable features include slim bezels around the display (for a 78 percent screen-to-body ratio) and a thickness of 0.68 inches, also it has options for up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage. Additionally, Acer is offering a variant aimed at business users—the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514—with additional security and management capabilities has a starting price of $479.99 and is planned for availability in February. But a version of the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 is reportedly priced at $749.99, which, in my humble opinion, is a very high price for a Chromebook.

CES_11_Vaonis-telescope.jpgVespera
The Vespera Vaonis is a portable space observation station that is a "perfect hybrid between a smart telescope and a camera." With its goal being to make astronomy more accessible, the app-enabled telescope is easy to use thanks to being fully automated, and it allows users to take photos and view findings with the app. The device will cost $1,499 and is expected to start shipping late in 2021. The Vaonis refines and simplifies telescope design, making them easier to use and opening the doors to a greater audience. Based on user-friendliness, portability and shareability, the company has created the Stellina and Vespera telescope/camera hybrids, offering a simple way to view the heavens and photograph the stars.

CES_12_MSI-GTX-2.jpg

MSI
This year, MSI was not part of CES but instead put on a separate, and very entertaining, presentation focusing on its 2021 product launch. I specifically wanted to see their presentation because I’m presently using a new MSI MEG motherboard, and I’ve personally found their products to be exceptionally reliable. Other components they introduced include:

  • New GTX 3000 (NVIDIA-powered) series graphic cards
  • New gaming mouse
  • New SSD drives with a targeted SSD for gaming, and a very impressive curved monitor
  • New high-powered MEG motherboards
  • A K-Series liquid (CPU) cooler (with built in LCD screen)

MSI also showed some complete computers. MSI Center software can search unlimited pictures by image recognition and give commands, and much more. Let’s say that you have a few thousand pictures on your storage drive and there is one of your family on a beach that you want to find. You have not labeled them and not even filed them by year taken. Just search for “beach” and all pictures that include a beach will be identified and shown to you. In addition, if you are an extreme gamer or you like lighting effects to match what you are doing or watching on your computer, MSI’s impressive sync room lighting with effects for specific game titles just may be your thing.

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Kingston
Kingston is a company that specialized in storage and connectivity devices. In fact, I have used their hard drives and found them to be reliable and perform well. During CES, the company announced its new PCIE 4.0 NVME SSDs. The trend to PCIE 4.0 is clearly in its advanced stage. They showed me their new client as well as data center drives and a new external 4.0 USB connected SSD, perfect for external back up and portable file storage for pictures videos and file transfer. This will provide the convenience of an external drive with the speed of a modern SSD. They also introduced their workflow system, which is a hub that supports almost any commonly used device to any computer, workstation or laptop through USB 3.2 gen 2. What I liked most is that you can customize it to suit the storage devices you choose.

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