Thursday, January 12, 2012

Best of CES 2012

Sony's Xperia S is simple, but pretty. (Credit: Sony Ericsson)

CNET - LAS VEGAS–On the heels of launching its new Xperia Ion for AT&T, Sony gave us even more when it unveiled its new Xperia S smartphone the evening before CES officially began.

Not to be confused with last year’s Xperia Arc S, the Xperia S is the first smartphone in Sony’s NXT (next-generation) series. And, like the Ion, it drops the “Ericsson” name.

In its announcement, Sony made a point of stating that the handset is built with an “Iconic Identity” design. Sony is cagey about what that means exactly, but the company says that it “creates a simple strong look that is instantly recognizable.”

To its credit, Sony added some snazzy design elements that give the Xperia S a bit of class. At the bottom of the phones there’s a thin opaque panel that displays the icons for touch controls just above. Though the base also lights up when you get a call, it’s understated rather than tacky, and you can change the light color.

QNX puts apps and the Web in the dashboard of one lucky 
Porsche Carrera at CES 2012. (Credit: QNX)

LAS VEGAS–It’s the classic show formula: put your product in the hands of an attractive model and people will look twice. In the case of QNX’s new mobile app platform, the attractive model is the Porsche Carrera sports car.

As the cars of tomorrow gain Internet connections and applications, they’ll need infotainment software that allows them to be as flexible and easily updated as your average smartphone. RIM subsidiary QNX Software Systems Limited thinks that the solution to that problem lies in the HTML5 framework and is showcasing its new HTML5-based QNX CAR 2 application platform at CES 2012.                   More

Roku's Streaming Stick packs all the functionality of a Roku 
box into USB drive-like stick. (Credit: Roku)

Roku announced the Streaming Stick this morning, which essentially squeezes all the functionality of a typical Roku box (including Wi-Fi, processor, and memory) into a a device that looks like a USB flash drive. It doesn’t require an additional power cable or a separate remote, instead allowing you to use your TV’s standard remote to navigate Roku’s software. Roku’s platform currently supports over 400 channels, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Pandora, MLB.TV, HBO Go, MOG, and Rdio.

Roku Streaming Stick 
The Roku Streaming Stick connects to 
the back of your HDTV, but it requires an MHL port. (Credit: Roku)
Roku sees the Streaming Stick as an alternative to individual manufacturer’s Smart TV portals, which quickly become out of date and rarely receive updates a year after they’re released. Not only is it more likely the Streaming Stick will be updated more frequently, but it’s also a lot more affordable to swap in a new, improved Streaming Stick if the current hardware becomes outdated.      More

View all of CNET’s Best of CES 2012!