Yesterday at CES Unveiled I saw some cool gear from several companies. Some of the coolest stuff that I saw at the show was from Logitech. The new Logitech G19 gaming keyboard is all kinds of cool. If you liked the old Logitech G15 keyboard, you will love this one.
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The G19 has the same screen with the capability of showing details from compatible games, but the new screen goes one step further than the old G15 screen offering full color and the capability of showing live full motion video. You might expect a small secondary screen on a keyboard to be junk, and you would be wrong here. I was very impressed at how high the quality of video shown on the screen was. Colors were sharp, the resolution was good and there was no smearing, ghosting or tearing evident in the video playback I saw.
I also got to see Logitechs new Premium Guitar controller in person for the first time. It reminded me very much of the Starpex I reviewed previously in its design and build. Logitech’s PR folks tell me that while the guitar is branded for Guitar Hero that it will work with Rock Band as well.
Asus had the new line of netbooks and notebooks on display and I was able to see the Asus Bamboo in person for the first time. The Bamboo notebook has to be one of the hottest looking notebooks I have ever seen. The contrast of the light bamboo wood on the notebook lid, palm rest and track pad to the silver of the body was very nice.
I hopped over to the little MSI display next to check out the new Wind U115. In all honesty it looks very much like the old U100 Wind (which I am using for the show this year) minus the curves and glossy black or white color. The 9-cell battery added a lot to the heft of the machine and raised the screen in the rear by about an inch.
At MSI’s booth I ran into my first “What were they Thinking” moment of the show. MSI is really only known in the US for the fantastic Wind netbooks. One of the hallmarks of a netbook is that it’s small, light, and cheap. That means that you don’t get an optical drive built in. I asked for a digital press kit and MSI hands me a CD. I sort of looked at the lady like ummm… do you see something wrong with the picture of a guy standing here with one of your netbooks and you handing him a CD press kit? I can’t access it; don’t you have a flash drive or even online access to your kit? Naturally they didn’t, someone needs to put a bit more thought into this next year. MSI wasn’t alone though, Asus did the same thing, only WowWee handed me a card with a link to an online press kit.
The press kit debacle aside, there was other cool gear at the show like the Duck Hunt toy. Basically you have this little robotic duck that flies around by flapping its wings. The controller looks like a tiny shotgun and while the bird flies you try and shoot it. If you hit the little duck in-flight, its wings stop and it drops to the ground. I watched the demo of the toy and it was cool, but there seemed to be a problem with the range of the gun. Once the duck was 20 feet or so from the gun the demo dude wasn’t able to score a hit on the duck. In his defense the room was very bright and surely packed with interference; perhaps it would have better range inside your home.
The Sharper Image was at the show with its new line of iPhone and iPod gear. Honestly, nothing they had really impressed me. It was all designs I have seen before and nothing that really jumped out at me as cool. I guess they hope the name will bring back fond memories from geeks who were willing to overpay the original Sharper Image for gadgets of questionable usefulness.
WowWee was showing off its new line of robotic animals. One of them was a baby leopard that my daughter would love (she received three WowWee animated animals for Christmas this year and loves them). The animal was more interactive than the currently available units and responds to pets on the head. One of the problems with the animals my daughter has is that if she tries to sleep with one of them it tends to make sounds all night and bother her. I often hear her in her room telling her panda to be quiet and go to bed; typically I find it tossed outside her room in the morning. The new leopard they were showing would go to sleep when placed on its back. For five minutes it will close its eyes, snore a bit, and then it will turn itself off.
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That is all of the cool stuff I saw that was particularly interesting at the show. Tune in later tonight for some images of the gear on display at the Digital Experience.