Sound Advice: The Best of CES

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For an audio/video, gadget guy like me, going to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is like a finding one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets, sipping fizzy lifting drinks and then plunging into the chocolate river. Yes, like a kid in a candy shop!

lg-hdtv-ultra-hd-4k,F-F-358251-13Each January, more than 150k people descend on the Strip to cover 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space showcasing the latest in consumer electronics; that’s over 31 football fields! Bad analogy if you were a 49ers fan this past Super Bowl! Although there were more than 20,000 new products being displayed this year, I thought I would highlight the coolest ones that represent the changes coming to a store near you.

Ultra HD TVs
I have written about this before. At a time where there seems to be no bottom in TV pricing, the new 4K and OLED TV sets are coming to the rescue. These TVs are big, beautiful, thin and expensive. They have the most incredible pictures due to their resolution capabilities; four times that of 1080p TVs out now. Look for the new models from Sony, LG and Samsung to arrive this fall.

Razer Edge Gaming Tablet
RAZER GROUP EDGE GAMING TABLETI am not a gamer, but if I were, this would be a must-have. Combine a Windows 8 computer with a tablet and gaming console and you have an industry game changer. The Razer gives you all of the big TV gaming experience without being coupled to a TV. It is completely portable, but not just gaming portable. It is still a PC and a tablet that created so much buzz at CES it was named “Best of CES 2013” by CNET. The Razer represents where tablets, computing and entertainment are headed. The bonus for parents…you can reclaim the family room TV and get rid of the cords!

Sony Experia z
OK, so smart phones seem almost boring at CES but this one goes out to all those parents who have had to replace their kid’s iPhone because it was dropped into water. Yes the Experia is water-resistant! It also offers a 13.1 megapixel camera, 5” 1080p HD display and superfast download speeds.

Fitbit Flex
fitbit-flex-xlThe New Year always brings about new gadgets for staying fit and healthy. Personal fitness trackers are not brand new, but the new Fitbit Flex is just so cool and comfortable, and it works! An internal accelerometer records steps, calorie burn and distance. But this device will also record the duration and quality of your sleep. The cool mobile app allows you to set up personal daily fitness goals and the Flex will send the info via Bluetooth.

There was no shortage of amazing products this year. Every booth was jammed with observers, press and at least one “Slugworth” looking fella trying to get his hands on the next Everlasting Gobstopper! R & D at its finest referred to as Rob & Duplicate at the CES show.

By Neal Check, owner of SoundCheck LLC in Southfield, which specializes in custom home theater, audio, lighting and automation.

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