• CES 2010 part 1

Hey folks, Valkor here. CES 2010 is long over, but I'll always remember the good times. Last year was such a downer and even 2010 had its disappointments (No Showstoppers for the Valman, The Sands Innovation reduced to meeting halls and the heavy crowds). But overall I was pleased with the outcome, and that's bringing you guys the good shit. The past two years I've done my report based on the days of attendance (day 1, day 2, etc). This year I'm breaking down the report in two parts. Also I will do away with the preview score, people thought the preview score was actual review scores even though it clearly states that it's a preview. On that note let's get it on!

Audio-Technica - Makers of DJ equipment and Noise cancelling headphones, the company had three pairs of headphones of interest: ATH-ANC7b, ATH-ANC27, and the ATH-ANC25. The 7b offers 90% noise-cancelling, the ANC27 offers 85%, and the ANC25 offers 80%. All three feature comfortable earpieces and utilizes technology that cancels out certain environmental noises. With three different price points, Audio-Technica has something for everyone.

Coby/Sonic Emotion – First up Sonic Emotion, the company makes a great technology that makes a soundbar speaker capable of 3D sound. I was impressed with the demo playing at the booth which was a Simply Red concert as dude was singing "Holding Back the Years". And I gotta give it up to SE; I was blown away being immersed in such beautiful music. This lead me to Coby's booth where they were showing off the technology in one of their soundbar speakers which included a scene from the film "House of Flying Daggers". Not much to say other than the sound produced was amazing but on par with Orbitsound Speakers. This should make for an interesting match-up.

Grandmax – I met these guys last year at Sands Innovation and they were showing off mini speakers called "Tweakers". I loved the design and I loved the sound even more. This year the company has "Slim Tweakers" a mini soundbar for your laptop that rest between the monitor and keyboard and uses a retractable USB cord for excellent portability. Or if you want something more out of the way you can try the Klipper. The Klipper clips to the top of your laptop and its supposed to have dynamic 3D sound. It's hard to tell in the open hall of the CES floor, but I will give Grandmax the benefit of the doubt… for now.

Encore Electronics – Makers of networking, multimedia, and accessories, Encore was showing off a variety of products, of major interest is the Encore Thin Client, which is a thin server which could be used to share the power of one PC (Should interest Alacran as he's working on big things that involve multiple PCs…. And I have to say… I want in). But what interest me and the Val-cave is the Digital Media Player. Rather than streaming video from the Val-laptop or PC, this makes the perfect go between capable of using multiple sources such as USB flash drives and memory cards. Way cool.

Immerz – If you wanna add new depth to your gaming, movie watching, or music listening then you might wanna give Immerz a try. It's a device that rests comfortably over your shoulders and adds force feedback to your gaming or movie experience. I had the chance to rock it with Need For Speed, and though the overall experience left me wanting, I can see the need for it. I believe the unit I tried was for demo purposes. Hopefully in the final release we can amp the vibrations. This should be one to watch.

XStreamHD – Move over Netflix, Roku box, Apple TV, and all you other on demand services. Here comes a real player to take their reigns and their doin it HD style. XStreamHD is looking to make the most of your HD capabilities by giving you the ability to stream, in HD, all your favorite movies (and possible TV shows that get released on BD). Utilizing satellite technology, the service will stream and perfect studio master of your favorite flicks, up to 100MPS. Not only that what about the ability to make calls? You have that too. So HD movies, works with most consoles (if its DLNA compatible). I have a few hiccups about it, especially concerning satellites. But for the most part, from what I've seen on the show floor, the whole setup was pretty impressive and the HD movies shown looked fantastic and streamed quite well. We'll go more in-depth once we have a few more questions answered, then we'll do a full blown preview, before we're able to fully try out the service.

Aigo – Makers of small gadgets that TOV loves to cover, the Val-Man was impressed with item in particular – the MI532T UMPC. I can see these devices have yet to fully take off, but I believe now is the time to invest in one, especially for a more portable PC experience than what you'll get with a laptop or netbook. The MI532T comes packed with 128mDDR ram and stores everything on an SD card up to 16 gigs. The stylus function works great, though things were just a tad slower than I expected. But For the most part I believe it will serve its function just right. In the future we'll also check out their DAPs and digicams.

Vibras – makers of the Track Scan 5.1 Dolby Gaming headphones fully licensed for use on the Xbox 360, looks to make some waves. I was impressed with the lightweight and subtle surround sound experience. The bass wasn't too heavy and from the demo (played Called Of Duty: Modern Warfare), I was impressed by how clear the military chatter was simply all around you and you could hear all if not most voices absolutely clear. Plus you have a mic from the Xbox Live experience as well. TOV's unit has arrived and Alacran is just itchin to see how it compares to Tritton. Stay tuned.

I-Fairy - at 7,000 a pop you absolutely won't see one of these bad boys near the Val-cave anytime… until my FEMA check comes in, then this is a must have. This lil lady's arms and head moves, her eyes light up, and she speaks both Japanese as well as English. And with a mic, you can speak through her or play your favorite song that she will sorta dance to (because her legs don't move ya see). I-Fairy, created by Kokoro, is great for anime conventions and hey she'll even be fun at parties.

Roboni-I – Why the Extra I? The extra "I" is for interactive damnit! (Well I don't know I'm just gonna toss it in there). Set em on the special padding and watch em go at it. They'll roll over special areas that will give them power-ups that they will use against other Roboni-I's, who will respond accordingly. Plus you can plug your Roboni-I to your PC for online play. Could this be the next Cyber Craze? Can you imagine Roboni-I tournaments?

Click for Part Two - CES 2010 Part 2.