CES 2008 Day 2

Aron Schatz
January 9, 2008
CES 2008 Day 2
Day 2 coverage of CES 2008: One of largest consumer electronics shows in the world. Day 2 provided interesting looks at emerging technologies.

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CES is one of the biggest consumer electronics show in the world. Hosted in Las Vegas at the start of the year, the show welcomes well over 100,000 people. Most local residents of Las Vegas probably don't like the fact that the city gets overrun by technology enthusiasts. Such is life for Las Vegas and its busy convention center.


These daily articles will be a bit light on details. ASE Labs will write a follow-up article next week to get into much more details with better pictures including press kit photos. These photos are taken directly from the show floor by the photography editor, Steven Susman.


On Day 2, ASE Labs had an appointment with Sam Harmer of Crucial to give us a tour of the Lexar booth. Lexar is a child company of Micron technologies and you will see a meshing of Lexar and Crucial products. Crucial is a name known to enthusiasts while Lexar is a brand that many consumers know. Crucial will actually fall under the Lexar brand name. It is also interesting to note that Micron will be providing flash memory for Kodak branded chips as well.


One thing that the industry is currently looking at is how to make devices fit into our daily lives. Lexar has a great idea to allow kids to wear their USB flash drives and stop them from losing it. The picture is a bracelet with a flash drive built-in. Very smart idea on Lexar's part. They have also partnered with Disney to provide themes such as Hannah Montana and Pirates of the Caribbean. Kids won't want to lose this one.


On the consumer side of flash drives, Lexar will be releasing one that shows the space usage on the drive. Will this may not be useful to enthusiasts, it is very helpful to regular consumers that may not know how to check if the drive is getting full or not. Lexar will also be releasing a cool SD card that will allow you to wireless upload pictures to the Kodak site without the user doing anything. More on this as it develops.


Lastly, Crucial has unveiled the Ballistix Tracer Red series of modules. These modules are basically the same as the normal Tracer ones, but bathed in total red. Since red is my favorite color, I love these modules just by seeing them. Pricing should be comparable to the normal Tracer series. Crucial was also showing off DDR-3 modules as well as FB-DIMM DDR-2 modules. DDR-3 is pretty expensive compared to DDR-2, but the price should fall to more manageable levels with a year or so. Micron, Lexar, Crucial.



Life|ware has a rather large presence at the show this year with three smart homes on display. The technology is very interesting, but having a whole house run on Windows is a bit scary. The new version of the Life|ware software enables drag and drop support for adding devices as opposed to programing them in with C#. I believe Linux can get a foothold if some companies work together. Life|ware is showing that it can be done and they are doing it well.

Cooler Master:


Cooler Master was showing off some of their new CSX cases. These are fully custom painted cases and they look amazing. Cooler Master actually has a presence at many booths since companies are using their special cases to show off other products. Crucial had a red Cooler Master case for the Ballistix Tracer Red display.


Cooler Master has really done a great job in case design and looks. Their cases are well laid out and the painting is nice and glossy. You will turn heads if you bring this to a LAN party. ASE Labs should have reviews of Cooler Master products this year. Cooler Master.



SentrySafe was showing some products at the Seagate booth. One of them is this very well priced fireproof enclosure for a 2.5" USB drive. It should cost around $179 which is a great deal for a fireproof (for consumers at least) case that you can leave your drive in all the time. The unit features a built in USB passthrough to allow you to never open the enclosure to use the drive. One of the problems with many vaults is that you need to actively remember to put the drive back into the vault and seal it. SentrySafe doesn't have this problem. ASE Labs should have a full review of SentrySafe's products this year. SentrySafe.
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SanDisk usually has a large booth at the show and this year is no different. Other than the usual assortment of flash drives and such, SanDisk was displaying a whopping 72GB solid state drive in a 1.8" form factor. This is pretty incredible. They wouldn't say anything about what the cost of the drive is but, needless to say, this year looks like it will be the one to finally replace moving storage in notebooks thanks to Crucial and SanDisk.


SanDisk was also showing off their Sansa TakeTV complete with DRM and all. The concept is a fine idea. Basically, you have a USB flash drive that you dump video onto and plug it in to a player on a TV that will play the content. The problem with the TakeTV is that the USB flash drive is special (due to DRM) and the product is expensive. $179 for the device with 4GB. That's too expensive for what it does. If SanDisk provided just a player than accepts any flash drive for $50, that would be great. SanDisk.

Intel Booth:


Intel's booth was really showing off their latest technology such as this picture! Joking aside, it is interesting to still see huge laptops being pushed rather than thin and light ones. I keep seeing many 15.4" laptops that weigh so much. Why is this? Most people want a laptop that gets the job done on the thin and light.


As you may know, Intel supports Open Source in their hardware by releasing many open drivers. Another company is using an Ultra Mobile PC to support voice commands. The demo was actually running on Ubuntu and the front end of the software is pretty impressive. It picked up commands well even in the loud CES hall. Very cool technology for Linux. I'm always glad to see technology like this move onto Linux. The company that makes the software is One Voice Technologies. ASE Labs should have a review of their software this year. Intel, One Voice Tech.

Microsoft Booth:


While the Microsoft booth has the usually display of Vista technologies and such, the partners for Microsoft were showing off some pretty nice products. This sub-notebook from Fujitsu is the road-warriors delight. This is how laptops should be designed. This new Lifebook will have all the wireless connectivity you need and will run Linux with no problem. I heard that someone was running Ubuntu on the laptop in the labs. Mind you, this information is hard to get while in the Microsoft booth. Fujitsu.


Needless to say, NVIDIA was at the Microsoft booth showing off their brand new three-way SLI. This combines three graphics cards into a huge graphics processing monster with a power requirement to match. Playing Crysis at 1080p resolution with full detail was pretty fun. I still believe that SLI has other uses than just graphics. In fact, NVIDIA also supports generic commands using their GPUs for fast stream calculations. I'm glad that graphics companies see the potential of these very fast stream processors for other uses. NVIDIA.


Don't get me wrong, I like seeing new 30" monitors with LED backlighting, but these are really just evolutionary technologies. What does Samsung have that's truly revolutionary?


This is a prototype of an OLED TV. When I say that this is crisp, I mean that it is razor sharp clarity. The OLED screen was absolutely a dream to see and the profile was equally as impressive to see.


These are OLED displays. Notice how thin the display is. Really, this is where display technology is heading and it is too bad that it hasn't happened yet. Even Samsung admits that these models are just prototypes and they don't know when they will release OLED displays. Hopefully we won't be waiting another five years for this technology.


Samsung was showing off their image stabilized DSLRs. These cameras are unique in that the optical image stabilization unit is built into the camera as opposed to stuffing it into the lens. Steve was pretty impressed with this and he's a huge photography professional. Samsung.

Stay Tuned:

More show coverage will be coming soon, keep your browser on ASE Labs and make sure to »check out our forums while you are here. Thank you for reading.

»Day 3 coverage is up.
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