BCCHardware

People Still Aren't Buying Smart Watches

Wearable tech is a hard sell and it's been a long road for companies that are starting out. In fact, even companies that have a big name in the business are struggling. Growth of the wearable market is forecast to be down to single digits (in percentages) in 2019 as there is just no reason to have an expensive piece of technology that does nothing new. While I like the idea of Smart Watches, I don't use mine often enough to go shopping for a new one. I have a Pebble Steel and a Martian Notifier. I love them, but not enough to buy them again.

"Other than early adopters, consumers have yet to find a reason to justify the cost of a smartwatch, which can sometimes cost as much as a smartphone," the eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu wrote in the report. "Instead, for this holiday season, we expect smart speakers to be the gift of choice for many tech enthusiasts, because of their lower price points."

Source: Business Insider

HTC and Motorola pile on

As Apple hopes that people forget about them slowing down older phones because of "battery issues", HTC and Motorola both happily have piled on and said that they don't slow down their older phones like Apple does. I'm sure Apple is very happy that their competitors are taking a chance to kick them while they're down. The Verge has the full story.

I can't be the only one who thinks this story about Apple throttling devices is far from over?

HTC and Motorola say they don’t throttle their phones’ processor speeds as their batteries age, something Apple last week acknowledged doing to prevent errors after iPhone owners documented slowdowns. In emails to The Verge, both companies said they do not employ similar practices with their smartphones. An HTC spokesperson said that designing phones to slow down their processor as their battery ages “is not something we do.” A Motorola spokesperson said, “We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.”

The Verge also reached out to Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony for comment on whether their phone processors are throttled in response to aging batteries. A Sony spokesperson said a response would be delayed by the holidays, and a Samsung spokesperson said the company was looking into it.

Update: Samsung and LG also confirm they don't slow down their phones either.

Linner is Budget Noise Cancellation without Sacrificing Quality

Linner

Linner not a new company in the grand scheme of things, but they are new to us and they have brought some interesting products to CES this year. Their goal is to make Active Noise Cancellation available for everyone. They have a few wired products already on the market, the Linner NC21 Pro with a 3.5mm plug, a model with a Lightning connector for Apple as well as their first product the Linner NC21. On the wireless side, they recently launched the Linner NC50 Bluetooth noise canceling earbuds. What is really remarkable is that they cost much less than you'd think - and they still sound great. I had a chance to try out a few different models, as well as the latest on-ear headset - the Linner NC80. These will be priced at $89USD and should be available in Q1-Q2 of this year. They also have a pair of over-the-ear NC90s coming as well for a mere $99.

What makes these incredible is the quality of the product. Build quality, sound clarity and cancellation are much better than you'd expect at this price and are very similar (or better) than your favorite big-box brand. If they can get some brand recognition, Linner could have a very bright future.

Lenovo @ CES 2013

We had the opportunity to meet with Lenovo at CES 2013 and see some of their newest products and this year they've got a bunch of new products that are very exciting.

One of Lenovo’s hottest sellers in the past few months has been their new IdeaPad Yoga series of convertible ultrabooks that gives you the best features of an Ultrabook and the best features of a tablet all in one package thanks to a foldable screen that can convert from a laptop to a tablet in seconds. Previously the Yoga 11 series of ultrabooks featured Nvidia Tegra CPU’s and Windows RT but Lenovo has now announced the new Yoga 11S which will be running 3rd generation Intel i5 and i7 CPUs with a full version of Windows 8. The Yoga 11S will be running up to a 256GB SSD and have up to 6 hours of battery life.

 

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Lenovo Yoga 11S
 

Another new product Lenovo was showing off was their brand new addition to the ThinkPad lineup, the ThinkPad Helix. The Helix is tablet with a detachable keyboard unit which gives you the ultimate tablet or a very portable laptop. The Helix is running up to a 3rd Gen Intel i7 CPU and a FHD (1920x1080) 11.6” screen with Windows 8 Pro for some great performance. The battery life of the Helix is 5 hours outside of the dock and an additional 5 hours (10 hours total) when docked. The Helix will also have 4G LTE capabilities to make this the ultimate portable device.

 

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ThinkPad Helix
 

Lenovo was also showcasing a full lineup of phones which are quite impressive, unfortunately at this time none of these are available in North American markets but we will keep our fingers crossed that someday they make an appearance over here. The biggest release from Lenovo in the cell phone category is the new  IdeaPhone K900. This phone features a 5.5” 400+ DPI screen (1080x1920) running a Dual-core Intel Z2580 CPU that uses the Android OS. Also included with the K900 is a 13MP camera with a F1.8 lens. The specifications are quite impressive and the polycarbonate unibody chassis is also pretty impressive which makes this phone perform just as well as it works and makes us wish that it would launch in North America.
 

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Lenovo IdeaPhone K900
 

One of the new products that Lenovo was proudly displaying is the brand new IdeaCentre Horizon which is the world’s first table PC which combines an all-in-one desktop PC with a design that allows you to lay the unit flat on a table and use it for multiplayer and touch enabled applications. The Horizon is the first device of this kind and thanks to some special accessories that include e-disk, a joystick, and striker, the Horizon can easily convert from being a full PC to a tabletop gaming device in seconds. This unit will feature 3rd Gen Intel processors and all the features of a high end PC including a FHD 1920x1080 touchscreen with 10 finger multitouch support. The Horizon is also portable thanks to a 2 hour battery that allows you to take it easily from your desk into the living room to show friends and family pictures or for a quick game of monopoly or other touch-enabled game. Check out our CES gallery for some pictures of the Horizon in action.
 

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Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon
 

Tt eSPORTS and Thermaltake at CES 2014

 

Kitty Mach from Thermaltake shows off their new eSPORTS products as well as some of the previous generation models to show how far they've come and where they are going. If you're a gamer, make sure you check out our CES 2014 coverage from Thermaltake as they have a lot of good products coming down the pipe.

 

 

In the clip below, Shannon talks to us from the Thermaltake suite about their newest cases as well as the digital power supply app and how well they've implemented this feature in their software.

 

Check out more pictures in the gallery here - as well as more of our CES 2014 coverage here.

 

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