CES 2013 CoverageBosco - January 9, 2013
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CES Final Thoughts
This might only be my second trip to Vegas and my second trip to CES, but I won't be shy – It just wasn't all that impressive this year. I was overwhelmed with the sight of the floor as it only appeared to be a swarm of low-end, ebay-esk cell phone cover booths. Getting past all the blinky lights and gawdy sequined iPhone cases there was a bit of "ruby" in the rough (not quite diamond material).
Razer had the "edge" with the Razer Edge on display and one for us to play with as well – it's a bit heavier than I expected but I can no doubt see one joining my collection in the next few paychecks. It was great to see Razerguy (Robert Krakoff – Razer's President) again this year and have a nice sit down to communicate from user to creator. Project Shield from NVIDIA looks a bit interesting as well, though lacks the same abilities as the tablet form the Edge has; however, the cost may speak to that. Unfortunately not being able to hold one – I can only share what the developers say "it's comfortable to hold" (though it doesn't look that way). There's a lot of neat stuff coming out soon and in the later quarters of the year as well (many which I cannot speak of ATM) so start saving up the moneys!
As always being with the OCC crew is half the fun. Hanging out with Clay was much like last year, minus the forks, but nonetheless just as gritty as dealing with him around here (so you can imagine). It was nice having Waco around this year (as it wasn't much fun just teasing him about not being there last year). Seeing the boss, Bosco, not sick in his room was great – but I think prize winner was the infamous Frank, snoring every night; you never remember how bad it is until you re-live it (sorry Frank – you know I love you!).
Anywho – this year wasn't a complete bust, but it was rather disappointing seeing the floor as it was. I understand the costs associated with the booth versus the suite, but it's much worse trying to hit all the suites than trying to hit all the booths. It's hard seeing big names off the floor listing; so I have to give props to some of my favorites who remained on the floor this year: NVIDIA, Razer, Lian Li, and Plantronics and even you guys at PDP (who have a former OCC lurker). However, I still extend my love to: OCZ, ASUS, CM, ECS, MSI, Thermaltake and Mushkin for at least being there to show off their newest and greatest items (some you all should be looking for coming up this year). All in all it was a lot of fun – it's always sad to go home, you only get to pick on the boss in person once a year…eh? But I'm all moved in to my new home, ready to review some more great stuff to share with all of you. Until then…BLUEPANDA! (insert dancing panda)/p>
It's amazing to think that this is my fifth straight CES. Even though it may not be as great from a computer hardware perspective as it used to be, it's still a very worthwhile experience, if for nothing more than I get to hang out with a few of my fellow OCC staff members. This year, I spent roughly 98% of the time with Amanda and Dave (Waco), perusing the show floor, hitting up parties, and eating an unhealthy amount of McDonald's.
When it came to the show floor itself, there may not have been many companies I was interested in, but there was still quite a lot of interesting products to see - if only I had the money to throw around. The Razer Edge is a mighty impressive device, but sets you back at least $1,000. NVIDIA's Project SHIELD is promising, but will probably also be more money than its worth. The H-Frame and D-Frame cases from IN WIN are two of the sexiest (and oddest) cases I've seen, but come with quite a hefty premium. All that being said, there were two products that were both impressive and reasonably priced for typical gamers: the Razer Sabertooth gamepad and the PDP Afterglow Prismatic wireless headset.
Before I wrap up, I'd like to extend my personal thanks to NVIDIA, Razer, and Cooler Master. Those three companies always treat OCC well at CES and this year was no different. Those companies aside, it's always remarkable how recognized OCC is by several companies and CES attendees and it always makes me feel good to know that there are people out there that follow us and trust us. When we visited PDP, a company we have no prior relationship with, the rep told us he was actually an OCC forum member that has lurked around for years. That was pretty cool.
So anywho, I hope you've all enjoyed the CES 2013 Coverage. A big thanks to Dave for allowing me to attend yet another CES and hopefully it's not my last.
What to say here? This was my first ever trip to both Las Vegas and to CES itself – I'm sure I looked like a wide-eyed tourist the entire time I was walking the show floor, attending meetings, and writing up articles. To be perfectly honest I was a bit disappointed with the number of products on the show floor as it seemed like almost every booth was showing off cell phone cases, cell phone chargers, or some other almost meaningless gadget that would be forgotten 30 seconds after being bought. Many of the large companies I expected to see on the show floor had private suites in the various hotels (because booth space costs have apparently been rising for years) so I missed out on some of the companies I really wanted to chat with.
That said – holy cow was it a lot of fun! The companies I did get to meet with (and there were so many I lost count) had a lot of exciting products and it was great to put some names and faces to the people who really drive the industry forward. The Razer Edge? Oh yeah, I want one now after playing with one even for a few minutes. The D-Frame by IN WIN probably went back to the company headquarters with a healthy dose of my drool all over it. There really were so many cool toys, gadgets, and technologies that I can't possibly sum them all up here without putting everyone to sleep. The most idiotic thing I saw though? An iPad stand attached to a training potty for kids – because we all know the first thing people want on their shiny new iPad is a bunch of toddler poo, right?
Overall I had an absolute blast and it was pretty awesome to finally meet at least a small portion of the crew that keeps OCC ticking. Here's to a larger crew for next year, eh?
Each and every year I go to CES it's a unique experience, this year was no different even with a smaller, but yet much more focused group. While this year we only saw a few marquee products such as NVIDIA's Shield the theme was mostly that we are in between major product cycles with not a lot to show. However we did see some interesting things from Corsair and Patriot with the introduction of the Voyager Air and the Gauntlet Node, a pair of self-contained portable storage solutions that can stream HD content wirelessly to 5 or more devices. CyberPower PC showed off more of their wares that truly inspire the imagination when it comes to custom builds, including a move into the portable space with gaming laptops and a new series of Ultrabooks. ASUS showed us some products that most likely will hit the market early Q2 that look to further define the ROG brand. Thermaltake and Cooler Master stepped up with new case designs and cooling solutions that were put together with plenty of user feedback. On top of that they both enhanced the already popular CM Storm and Tt eSports brands. Mushkin has a renewed focus and is putting together a solid product suite for the corporate and home user including a new thumb drive that pushes the speed limits of the form factor, a massive 480GB mSATA drive, 1TB SSD, and new Stiletto heat shield equipped high capacity DRAM modules.
It's not just the new products that you see each year but the ability to meet up face to face with those you interact with on a daily basis through phone calls and emails and spend the time even if it is just a short 20 to 30 minutes. Many thanks to the manufacturers who sat down with us and showed us what they have in store for 2013. I also have to thank the rest of the team for the long hours they put in to make CES happen; without them the days and nights blur into one long day. Until next year...
Overall I thought this year went great with the size of the crew that attended this year. Sadly this year just seemed to lack excitement. There just didn't seem to be a lot of new released product this year that caused a lot of chatter.
Nonetheless, the big story of CES that seemed to get the most buzz was NVIDIA's Project Shield, everywhere I went that's all anyone was talking about. The only other few things worth mentioning I can't talk about due to NDAs, but there are a few things I am looking forward to in 2013. So all in all it wasn't a huge loss just a lot less then we are used to seeing.
Overall the team did great and we made every meeting we were scheduled for, so my hat goes off to them for their hard work and dedication.
It is sad when it's time to go home since I don't get to see my crew very often, but after this past week, we all deserved to go home and get some much needed rest.
Until next year see you guys in the forums.
Dave aka Bosco