Have you (geeks) heard? CES 2014 is on, and we’ve got two men on the floor, app-ing and connectivity-ing and syncing with a vengeance. We’ll be updating you all week with the coolest thing’s we’ve found so far. Here’s the second batch, replete with a smart bed, a new flagship 3D printer and exciting news on the PS4 front.
LET’S GET TECHNICAL Best of Gear Patrol 2013: Tech | Tested: Xbox One | Best External Desktop Hard Drives
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014
The third generation of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon line weighs only 2.8 pounds, making it the champion of the narrow claim to fame as “the world’s lightest 14-inch ultrabook”. Other notable features like the Adaptive Keyboard — a row of touch-sensitive illuminated keys that change their function and look based on the application — and support for rapid charge technology, which can juice battery power up to 80 percent in under an hour, make this machine another promising entry for the mobile business elite who can’t bear biting into Apple. $1,299+
|Makerbot Z18 3D Printer
I’m not sure if you know this, but the Makerbot Z18 3D printer is kind of a big deal. Its 2,592-cubic-inch build volume is more than five times as much as the standard Replicator and allows for bigger objects, more objects at a time, and the ability to rapid prototype your “revolutionary” Kickstarter-funded 18-inch rulers. Add to this massive volume fifth-generation refinement, easy connectivity, thoughtful software and 100-micron printing resolution and you’ve got a worthy flagship for the Makerbot Replicator fleet. $6,499
|Sony Playstation Now
Sony’s cloud gaming service, originally positioned as a backwards compatibility solution for playing PS3 games on the PS4, has bigger aspirations now. Beyond the PS4 and the portable Vita, the Japanese gaming juggernaut has revealed plans to bring the service to smartphones and tablets too — and not necessarily just on Sony-branded devices. Mum’s still the word on other critical details beyond its summer 2014 launch date, like pricing, exact devices that will support it and whether owning existing games will translate to PlayStation Now benefits. At least gaming is still one step closer to ditching the disc. playstation.com
With wearable technology making a statement at CES this year, it’s only to be expected that a few dark horse companies jump into the ring. One of the most surprising entrants is Razer, perhaps best known for their gaming laptops. Their wristband, the Razer Nabu, offers many of the same features as other wristbands (accelerometer and altimeter for fitness stats, Bluetooth smartphone notifications) but also features an open-source platform that allows developers to give the Nabu all kinds of currently unimagined functions. Dual OLED screens (one on the top of the wrist and a “personal message” one on the underside) and gesture recognition help to set it apart from the rest of the herd. razerzone.com
For those arctic adventurers who find themselves in a cabin with no power or in a car with a dead engine, the Cobra JumPack provides a little peace of mind. With a capacity of 200A starting current and a 400A peak current, it contains enough juice to jumpstart almost any vehicle. It also features a 7500mAH Li-Cobalt battery with LED battery status indicator and a 2.1-amp USB port to charge electronic devices. Now if only it made coffee… $130
|Sleep Number X12 Smart Bed
The telemarketing bedmaker has proven itself a genius with this “smart bed”. On top of its standard selling points (everyone has their own sleep number!), the X12 monitors and records heart rate, breathing rate and movement (vavavoom) to show users data like “restful sleep”, “restless sleep” and “out of bed” time per day/week/month/year in its SleepIQ app. Voice commands can adjust mattress firmness and elevation, and yes, even prompt the bed to give you a massage. We’ll hold out for the circular one that rotates as we ride it, yelling, “Do we make you randy, baby?” sleepnumber.com
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