Best of CES 2014: In pictures

Here's what's grabbing our attention right now at the sprawling CES 2014 gadget show in Las Vegas.

CES 2014

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, offers as usual a tidal wave of products. They range from jaw-droppingly awesome to head-slappingly dumb. Here’s our admittedly subjective list of “The Best of CES 2014,” including several CES Innovations award-winners, for previously announced products. We’ll update it throughout this week.

f201 Car Camcorder from VistaQuest (licensed to HP)

The Car Camcorder mounts easily on your windshield to continuously record the road ahead or behind you, with a 120-degree lens. Includes emergency collision sensor that stores and locks video when it detects a collision; motion sensor triggers the cam when it detects someone snooping outside the car; built in GPS lets the cam, and the car, be tracked; and it alerts you when you’re approaching a police speed camera.

But it online via HP’s website for $150.

NVIDA Tegra K1 mobile system-on-chip

NVIDIA’s new mobile SOC combines the vendor’s advanced Kepler GPU (apparently dropping the Tegra’s previous variant for the desktop GPU architecture) with 192 cores, with the symmetric multi-processing NVIDIA 4-Plus-1 CPU, which incorporates a quadcore ARM Cortex A12 with a separate “battery-saver core.” The K1’s four cores can be pulled into different configurations based on the processing loads. The 32-bit version is due out in mid-2014, with a 64-bit version later in the year, or about 12 months after Apple unveiled the first 64-bit mobile SOC. NVIDIA is flogging the new chip for everything from smartphones to gaming consoles.

Tegra K1 product page

Kolibree Connected Toothbrush

The Best Product for brushing your teeth if you don’t how. The French company’s electric toothbrush connects via Bluetooth (what else?) to an iOS or Android smartphone running Kolibree’s app. The app records every brushing and the stored data reveals, you know, patterns so you can improve your brushing. They’re looking for crowdfunding via Kickstarter during Q2 2014, for $99 or $200 depending on the model you want. The plan is to ship in Q3 to contributors.

More information: “Connected toothbrush guides tooth-cleaning with smartphone app

Freescale Warp (wearable reference platform)

If you’re a do-it-yourself and you’ve been longing to craft your own wearable computer, now you can. Freescale’s Warp is a small uncased computer, about the size of a dime, analogous to the credit-card-sized Raspberry Pi. Warp is designed for developing, prototyping and testing things that you can attach the word “smart” to: watches, glasses, pedometers, heart rate monitors, etc. You pay for smarts in small packages: Warp is $149.

For more information: “Making wearable devices gets easier with Freescale's Warp development kit

ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201LA

The more they do, the longer the name gets. The ASUS Transformer Book Trio claims to be “the first 3-in-1, 11.6-inch dual OS Windows 8/Android hybrid laptop with a dock powered by a 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor” with a 1920 x 1080 IPS display. The Core runs Windows 8 and a second processor, an Intel Atom, runs Android and Android mobile apps. The idea of combining Windows and Android apps on a single display is certainly innovative. The question is how many people see that as the main job for which they want to “hire” the device? (This is a CES Innovations award winner.)

Asus TX201LA product page

Parrot Jumping Sumo

Drone-maker Parrot announced Jumping Sumo, a land-based robot drone, intended as a toy. It has a Wi-Fi radio, rolling around on oversized wheels until you command it to "jump" and it jumps, up to 35 inches in a single bound. There's a built-in camera, which can stream live video back to the controller...a feature that frankly creeps us out. It will be avialable later in 2014, and pricing wasn't announced.

More information: "Land and air drones you don't need to worry about"

HP Pro X2 410 hybrid laptab

Officially, HP consider the Pro X2 410 as a Windows 8.1 laptop PC that is also, when you unhook the keyboard, a tablet. Which is pretty much what the Windows ecosystem has been trying to sell for over a year. Perhaps HP figures that 8.1 is such an improvement, buyers will do what they haven’t done much of so far, namely, buy. The 410 has an 11.6-inch screen, with 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, over 12 hours of battery life, a 2-megapixel front camera, and a back camera. The keyboard incorporates a battery back and USB and HDMI ports. You can chose among Intel's low-power Core Y-series Haswell processors. When release later this year, it will be priced at under $900.

More information: “HP sees future of laptops in Pro X2 410 hybrid

LaCie Fuel wireless hard drive

Admit: you know you need a Terabyte of external storage for your iPhone or iPad. So does LaCie, which has announced the Fuel wireless hard drive to give it to you, for $199. Think of it: you can store over 500 movies or “thousands of photos, songs, and documents” according to the company, now a unit of Seagate. The drive has a built-in Wi-Fi radio (which can also serve as a router for a wireless network), for access by your iOS device, or via a USB 3.0 cable, by your Mac. The drive’s battery runs 10 hours on a single charge. It’s AirPlay compatible.

LaCie Fuel product page

Sharp Acquos 4K Ultra HD LED TV

Pixel lovers of the world, unite. Sharp is just one vendor that announced new HD TVs at CES. Sharp will offer four classes of HD TVs this year, but the 4K Ultra HD (shown here) is the Mount Everest-like high-end, available in 60- and 70-inch displays, priced at $5,000 and $6,000. Both models feature Sharp’s reworked SmartCentral 3 smart TV software, and boast 2160p-resolution, 120hz, THX 4K-certification, 35-watt duobass audio system, four HDMI 2.0 ports, and active 3D.

Acqos 4K Ultra HD product page

Toshiba Tecra and Satellite Ultra HD 4K laptops

Speaking of Ultra HD 4K, Toshiba revealed two laptops outfitted with 15.6-inch diagonal highhigh resolution screens. Both models feature native 3840 x 2160 resolution at 282 PPI. The Tecra W50 is billed as a “mobile workstation” aimed at the likes of engineers and 3D designers; the Satellite P50t at professional photographers, graphic designers and “4K movie enthusiasts.” The higher-end Tecra weighs in at less than six pounds, and runs the NVIDIA Quadro K2100M GPU with 2 Gbytes dedicated video memory. The Satellite features a touch screen. Both have fourth-generation Intel Core processors. They will ship in mid-2014; pricing was not announced.

Toshiba 4K laptops press release

Toshiba Chromebook

Toshiba jumped into the Chromebook craze with a biggish splash: it’s first Chromebook, running Google’s Chrome OS, and sporting a larger-than-usual (for Chromebooks) 13-inch diagonal screen, with 1366 by 768 pixels. It’s 0.8-inches thick, weighs 3.3 lbs. It’s fitted with Intel’s Haswell-based Celeron processor, 2 Gbytes of RAM, 16-Gyte solid-state drive, two USB 3.0 ports, full-size HDMI port, Bluetooth and 2x2 802.11n. Included is 100 Gybes of free Google Drive storage. The vendor promises up to 9 hours of battery life. It ships February 16, for $280.

Toshiba press release

Brunton Hydrogen Reactor

At CES, nothing is sexier than “high science.” That’s how Brunton markets its Hydrogen Reactor, a CES Innovations award winner. You plug in the Hydrocore fuel cylinder (about $20 each), which is the hydrogen part of this, and the Reactor sucks oxygen out of the air (at least that’s free) and the fuel-cell reaction creates electricity which is passed along via USB port to whatever you’ve got on the other end of the cable: smartphones, tablets, rechargeable lights, portable game consoles, to name just a few. Each fuel cylinder has “more power than a fistful of AA batteries,” according to Brunton. Price: $170. Priceless: impressing the impressionable.

More info