Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CES: A Parent in Tech World

It’s hard to know where to start when talking about CES, it is, no lie, the biggest event I have ever attended anywhere. And I almost got crushed at a Bon Jovi concert in 1989, so I know what I’m talking about. 

150,000 people have converged on Las Vegas to attend the conference and every one of them is involved in the consumer electronics market, either buying or selling. And then there are the press people, who make up a massive part of the attendance. With Microsoft’s help, that’s where I fall into the mix of this year’s CES.


The Microsoft Corp. booth at the Las Vegas convention center, CES 2012.

My first stop at the show was the Microsoft booth, and I use the term “booth” extremely loosely, as it is about 10 times bigger than my house. WP_000198After checking out the scene and watching the film crew tape a segment with Annie from HerCampus.com, we booked over to the Winn Hotel to see Vizio, who had surprised pretty much everyone the day before by announcing that they had been working with Microsoft to develop a line of ultrabooks and all-in-one desktops for use with Windows 7 (and presumably the forthcoming Windows 8). They traditionally are a television company and it shows in their approach to designing a PC that looks, for all intents and purposes, like a really gorgeous TV.

the laptops were equally beautiful, with the most attractive keyboard I’ve ever seen, and a sleek, burnished metal shell that managed to look somehow coppery, even though it was definitely gray. Even though I couldn’t get the Vizio rep to spill any specific specs on the devices, like how much they weighed, how fast the processors are, or even how big the hard drives are, I was able to disarm him enough to find out that the laptops were looking at a release in the vaguely May-ish timeframe and that it’s fair to assume that the all-in-ones will cost less than a MacBook Pro. Yeah, I’m THAT good. Purrr. ;)


I really have to insist that you take a look at these Vizio machines. The all-in-one is just beautiful; the design is clean, well thought out, and is the first desktop I’ve ever seen that I think could really go toe-to-toe with an aluminum iMac in the looks department. One of my favorite touches is that the surround sound speakers are surreptitiously built into the platform of the monitor and the single cord that leaves the machine is a power cord whose “brick” has been cleverly housed in a subwoofer that sits on the floor. Sweeet. The keyboard, giant trackpad (instead of a mouse) are both wireless, and it includes a very mod looking remote. 

It is designed to be a TV/computer showpiece that you’ll be excited for people to see and that you can keep in the living room or other living space. Letting you keep an eye on your kids while they use the computer and keeping the mass of wires on your old PC hidden away in the office. It has two HDMI ports so you can hook your gaming system and a cable box to it, as well, so it can replace a traditional TV in smaller rooms with grace and a more than a little flair. Okay, fine, a whole lotta flair. It really is gorgeous.

I have about four other things I want to share with you, but my schedule keeps grinding on, so it will have to wait!

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