CES 2014: Top 10 gadgets you should start saving for

CES 2014 is finally about to wind up after four crazy days during which thousands of companies exhibited their products meant for the present and future alike. We sat through pressers and keynotes held early in graveyard shifts in our extensive coverage of what is easily the biggest show of its kind. While we recover from the craziness of this week, we look back at all the products that were unveiled and list the top ten gadgets we would love to spend our hard earned money on.

SONY XPERIA Z1 COMPACT

Companies these days, seem to developing Android smartphones with the formula — “Bigger is better.” But Sony has broken out of that mould and instead developed the Xperia Z1 Compact with the philosophy — “Good things come in small packages.” The device features all the goodies of its bigger brethrens crammed into a compact package with a 4.3-inches display. Apple iPhone lovers finally have an Android phone that could tempt them.

ASUS ZENFONE 4

Sticking with smartphones, Asus has set the marker and shown that affordable phones don’t have to be worthless pieces of plastic.With the ZenFone 4 ($99 or Rs 6,000 approximately), Asus has offered features like WVGA display, 1GB RAM, 5-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-SIM card slots. It has also managed to wrap them in a package that doesn’t look cheap.

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB PRO 8.4

Samsung continued with its gadget spam by unveiling as many as four new tablets at CES. Though on paper all the tablets look similar and have pretty much the same specifications too, one tablet that stood out was the Galaxy tab Pro 8.4. This tablet features an 8.4-inch WQXGA display with a resolution of 2,560×1,600 pixels, which in other words, is a much higher pixel density than what Apple has packed into its new iPad mini with Retina display. Add to this a list of specifications that are considered top-tier, and you have an Android tablet which would be hard to miss.

DUAL-OS DEVICES

This was also the year, when a device running on a single OS was not enough. A number of companies unveiled dual-boot devices that ran on Android and Windows, including the Asus Transformer Book Duet and Micromax LapTab. Add to these, Intel gave a glimpse into a future by announcing that its forthcoming chips will support for dual-OS (Windows and Android) by default.

LENOVO THINKPAD CARBON X1

Lenovo proved that business laptops don’t have to be boring or dull with its new ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The Ultrabook looks sleek and Lenovo claims that this is the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook you could buy today. In terms of specifications, it offers an optional IPS (2,560×1,440 pixels) touch display and a unique adaptive keyboard with a row of customizable touch function keys at the top that changes according to the program being used. Not surprisingly, this Ultrabook won’t come cheap and will set you back by approximately Rs 80,700 before local taxes and import duties.

RAZER NABU SMARTBAND

As expected, wearables hogged the limelight at this year’s CES with nearly all companies unveiling either a smartwatch or a smart fitness band. There were plenty to choose from — Sony Core, LG LifeBand Touch, ZTE BlueWatch, Intel’s smartwatch prototype, Sapphire Wellness Watch and the  Casio STB-1000 Sports Gear among others. But the one gadget that stood out was the Razer Nabu. “It’s not a smartwatch,” Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said describing the gadget. “It’s not a fitness band. It’s what we’re calling a ‘smart band.” It is a wearable that combines fitness tracking and smartwatch notifications into one and best of all — Razer claims that the smart band will retail for less than Rs 6,200.

PEBBLE STEEL SMARTWATCH

Though the smartwatch category has yet to take off, the Pebble smartwatch is largely considered to be the best bet so far. But how do you make a watch better without changing a lot? Adding a stainless steel frame and band along with Corning Gorilla glass with fingerprint-free oleophobic coating to the display seems to be the way forward. The company unveiled the Pebble Steel smartwatch, which is basically the same gadget, albeit with better build materials. The Pebble Steel will set you back $249 (Rs 15,400 approximately), which is $100 more than the basic Pebble.

MOPHIE SPACE PACK

What are the two things most iPhone users crave for? More often than not, the answer would be additional storage and better battery life. Mophie has developed a case for Apple’s iPhone 5S that strives to fulfill these wishes with the Space Pack. This 3-in-1 case not only provides protection for the iPhone, but also offers extra battery life thanks to a 1,700mAh battery and 16/32GB of additional memory. This case is available for pre-order on the company’s website for either $149.95 (Rs 9,300 approximately) for the 16GB version or $179.95 (Rs 11,200 approximately) for the 32GB version.

LG’S WEBOS INTERFACE FOR SMART TV

Televisions took a centre stage at many of the events, with companies like LG and Samsung showing off huge TVs with 4K resolutions and curved displays. But what caught our eye was LG’s WebOS interface for smart TVs, which brings in a new card-like interface with icons that strives to make interactions between users and the TV smoother.

ZTE PROJECTOR HOTSPOT

Almost every year, there is that one device unveiled at CES which we can live without but desperately crave it at the same time and this year is no different. The award for the quirkiest device would surely go to ZTE for unveiling the Projector Hotspot. What this essentially does is project up to 120-inch frames on a flat surface and can connect up to eight devices simultaneously using Wi-Fi. There is no word on the pricing or availability, but we already have some money stashed away for when this device hits the market.

Were there any other gadgets that were launched at CES and caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.