Hey folks, Valkor here. I'm gearing up to close out things on a high here at TOV. Why? Because I need to make room for what's to come at the 2012 CES big show in January, over in Las Vegas. Sin city is the place to be for all things tech at that time of month, but for now we've got a few items that you might find interesting as I trekked NYC, headed towards the pre-show before the big show – CES Unveiled 2012! (show attended on Nov. 08, 2011)
There's never really a huge gathering for an unveiled event and most vendors there were touting there "CES Innovation" Awards – and as well as they should; innovation needs to be rewarded, it needs to be embraced… it needs to be in my cave is what it really needs. But beyond all that I'd say we have some impressive items to look forward to, check em out!
Skullcandy – If you ever get the chance to attend a CES event, make sure you stop by the Skullcandy booth – there's always something happening such as hot women, lots of music and I believe their last outing had a toy race track. Crazy! Here in NYC, things were a bit subdued but still fun as I got some hands on with three items – the FIX in-Ear ear buds, Aviator headphones, and the Mix Master Over-Ear Earphones. The Fix ear bud not only touts amazing sound quality, but also a patented design ensuring the buds stay in place, plus it has a really strong cord capable of holding a full bottle of wine (as was demonstrated on the showfloor). Next are the Aviators and the Mix Masters, both are very comfortable and feature noise cancellation, but my initial impression has the Mix Master having richer sound than the Aviators. However the Aviators has a mic, so hmmm… definite toss up there. The Fix ear buds are in the Val-cave, so check back for a full review.
Monster Digital – There isn't much to say about this recently announced company. And their first product out of the gate looks to be a strong one – Monster Digital SD Card and MicroSD Card. So what separates these cards from all others? Well other than performance, these babies are meant to be put through some serious abuse. Waterproof, shock tested, salt spray tested… what the…? Nevertheless one of these bad boys just happens to be in my possession and we'll see just how well it holds up.
Sennheiser – Always a pleasure when hanging with these peeps, because they usually have something of interest floating about. And today was no exception. I got the chance to experience the RS 220 Wireless headphones and CXC 700 Noise Cancellation in-ear headphones. CXC 700 look to be the perfect travel necessity, with a "TalkThrough" feature that allows you to mute the sound so you can hear what's going on around you. The RS 220 wireless headphones offer up high quality, uncompressed audio with a range of up to 300 feet (line of sight). I must say that given the environment we were in, the sound quality deserves two thumbs up.
PowerBag – Has this ever happened to you: you're out and about when suddenly your phone dies and there's nowhere you can go for a quick charge? Well that ends now with PowerBag! This baby has its own battery pack to give you a top-up at a moment when you'll need it most. Plus it has all the connections for most common devices out there. The PowerBag comes in a variety styles that will fit just about every need from casual to business and a battery indicator letting you know just how much juice your PowerBag has. Frequent travelers this one is a must!
iTwin – Has this ever happened to… no, no I'm not going there… again. iTwin is a new way to access your hard drive from anywhere on the planet by creating a secure connection between two PCs allowing you to remotely access. I have to say, after reading up on this device read... I like where iTwin is headed.
Mad Katz – Last but certainly not least… not by a long shot, Mad Katz was certainly the main course of the evening in an all-you-can-eat tech buffet, showing off a wide variety of gaming products that'll make any gamer squeal like a school girl in delight – yes I squealed… a little. First out of the box is the Cyborg R.A.T. Albino that comes with all sorts of customizable parts that will take your gaming to new levels. Wanna go even further than that? Then you'll wanna try the M.M.O gaming mouse, which not only contains adjustable parts, but also 78 mappable buttons all specifically designed for serious MMO gamers. Sick I tells ya! OK, so you have the extreme mouse, now you'll need a serious audio component to go with it and Mad Katz/Tritton Warhead steps up to the plate. It's touted as being one of the first "truly 7.1 wireless headphones" that'll be unleashed onto the masses. Since there wasn't a demo running to test the audio, all I can say is that the headphones look fierce, well deserving of its name and the fact that it's been officially licensed by Microsoft (Xbox labeling is everywhere on the package, the headsets…) means there shouldn't have any incompatability issues. Finally for the pro gamers, you'll wanna check out the MLG Pro Circuit Controller, which allows you to swap in and out controller components to fit your need (for Xbox and PS3). Say you're a PS3 gamer but you like the Xbox controller? Swap em out! Controller feels light? Add some weight! Don't like the plates? Change em up! It was creepy watching the rep swap out parts like that but at the same time… That's so bad ass!
The Big Show is only a month and a couple of weeks away and I can't wait. Until then we'll have more from the companies mentioned above, including a look at the Skullcandy's Fix Earplugs and Monster Digitals SD Card. You can also expect a redesign of the site and a few other surprises before the year closes out. So until then…