CES 2013: End of great gadgets era or just life style control?

As CES ends many were quick to comment on how 2013 is a changed dimension, writes Gail Purvis. 

Wired was quick to point out that where once CES held all the new desirable products, it has been quietly been undermined by Windows 8 shipping in October, the late, late, late iPhone with faulty chips, battery drains and disappointing orders against the, hold-your-breath new phones for show at the coming Mobile World Congress, while Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon make their own news, in their own time and at their own events.

Wired goes on to say CES is the end of the era for Microsoft and Sony and the beginning of the rise of Chinese companies like Hisense, Huawei, Haier, and TCL.  

Ah, but how will you categorise IBM, which has for two decades quietly but remorselessly topped the patents list and currently equally sedately offers retailers the 'steam punk'  aesthetic

Underestimating steady players is perhaps not the soundest 2013 strategy.

For The NY Times, the view on CES was pretty much CES’ view on CES that 2013 CES features more innovation from the digital health and fitness world than ever, including everything from health monitoring devices to mobile fitness apps.

The NY Times saw it as a shift of applications from portable computer in your pocket,  to a lifestyle remote  control, home security unlocking your front door, or health monitoring your diet and exercise, reading your blood pressure or offering you an bedtime e-book.

Apple of course was not at CES.

But Appleinside was and saw some products as Apple-aggressive viewing Intel's Ultrabooks and Samsung's Galaxy Note pad-phone with  stylus, as pitching at  Apple's portfolio. 

In the meantime, Apple has more than CES competition to ponder, as its iPhone 5 suppliers orders are cutting 50% on disappointing sales, flawed graphic chips and low-life batteries being off-putting news, for a company exhibiting perhaps too much rich-kid attitude at the expense of long-time loyal customers, who may now be examining alternatives for a more spartan and integrity-valued market supplier. 

Apple's declared future approach of cheaper phones for developing markets, seems at the least insulting to current users, not to mention condescending to future markets.

Blackberry news to the interestingly still loyal and undeterred followers is that RIM's new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system looks good. 

German based SAP one of BlackBerry 10 beta testers plans to support the handsets for its workforce after the January launch.  SAP notes Computerworld has around 55,000 employees worldwide has an ecosystem of 20,000 Apple iPads, similar in iPhones, 4,000 Samsung Android and a user base of 16,000 BlackBerry users.

Techradar.com offered 10 high points, among which Qualcomm and its Snapdragon chipset (the 800 delivers 75% better battery performance than its S4 line and support Ultra HD 4k video) and Sony's waterproofed Xperia Z were two to rate a mention.

The review that actually is an attention getter is the Lenovo's Think Pad Helix rip and flip" device,  11.6in. tablet PC with a keyboard dock.  Mixing pen and touch input, it has separate batteries in the screen and keyboard giving up to 10 hours claimed battery life. A Core i5 or i7 processor horsepower, lightweight pen small and comfortable pen and touchscreen means mix and match pen and finger input in tablet mode.

As for storage, Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator hardware was a prototype, but we were able to use it with standard laptops and Microsoft Surface RT tablet. With over 900GB of usable storage, it's likely to be an ideal tool for moving large databases offsite.

Kingston showed off a USB 3.0 drive specifically designed for Microsoft's new Windows To Go feature, part of Windows 8 Enterprise.

Built using SSD parts and controllers, and configured as a fixed drive, the DataTraveller Workspace drive gives you the  performance needed when running Windows from a flash drive on a home PC. 

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