Monday was Press Day at International CES and the day when the show kicked off in earnest. While we had some interesting stuff on Sunday, it was yesterday that the big guns, like Samsung, Sony, and Asus, held press events to introduce exciting new products.
Besides the stuff we all crave around here – new smartphones and tablets – we also got quite a few announcements on wearables, Android-powered devices of all kinds (a kitchen stove running Android, why the heck not?), and some memorable, and awkward, moments from Michael Bay an John Legere (more below).
Our team was on the prowl again, and got some sweet hands-on video with Samsung’s new tablets. Sadly, organization problems made it impossible to get time with Asus’ new PadFone X, PadFone Mini, and those crazy cheap Zenfones, but we will make it up today.
Here’s a brief rundown of the main headlines from Monday at CES 2014:
- Alcatel unveiled their One Touch Idol X+ and Pop C9, and showed off two new tablets.
- LG took the wraps off its Life Band Touch wristband.
- As strange as it sounds, ZTE put Android on a hotspot/projector gizmo, while Vizio came up with a Bluetooth speaker running KitKat.
- Asus introduced the PadFone X, the first PadFone coming to America later this year on AT&T. Then there was the PadFone Mini, which utilizes the same 2-in-1 concept in a more compact form factor. The biggest surprise of Asus’ event was the Zenfone line of smartphones, Intel-powered devices coming in multiple colors, at very appealing prices. How does a $99 unlocked phone sound?
- Samsung made its Galaxy TabPRO and Note Pro tablets official, though there was little that we haven’t knew beforehand from a series of leaks. The TabPRO series offers three sizes (8.4, 10.1 and 12.2-inch) and the same great resolution of 2560×1600, plus some great internals and a designed inspired by the Note 3, while the Note Pro adds an S Pen to the mix.
- In what will probably be the moment that most people will remember from this year’s CES, director Michael Bay had a meltdown on stage and stormed off after a teleprompter failure.
- Late into the evening, T-Mobile CEO got some great free publicity for his company after he crashed an AT&T party and got himself kicked out.
- Sony finally gave us what we demanded for so long: a small(er), no compromise Android flagship. The Xperia Z1 Compact will be coming later this year to T-Mobile.
- Finally, Intel introduced the Dual OS concept (Windows to Android in eight seconds) and showed off a bunch of connected devices that are running, of course, on its own low-power chips.
What next? Today’s the grand opening of CES, meaning that the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center will fill up with hordes of gadget-hungry visitors. We still have a couple of interesting keynotes ahead and we hope to spend quality time with devices from Sony, Samsung, and Asus. Then we’re free to roam the show looking for the weird and the wonderful and everything in between.