CES Dialog 2013 - Day 2 The First Official Day
Posted By: Redmax
Not to sound like a broken record but the first day of any trade show is usually quite crazy. Most of the time the first day is simply marked by excessive lines and delay after delay due to crowds and people moving around to make their meeting but, none of that actually happened to me. In fact you can tell attendance is down this year despite the number of exhibits going up. (Of course not counting the side show of non CES vendors)
I actually booked the first day of CES to be my free day so I could enjoy the trade show and try to cover as much ground as I could. My first two stops were in the North Hall and Central Halls to check out the car audio stuff and what the large companies like LG, Sony, Intel and Samsung were up to. Sadly no Microsoft this year but we won't hold that against them given the current state of Windows 8. Overall the exhibits seem to be less lavish this year and more focused on what technology they are trying to push.
The final stop was in the South Halls which is historically where all of the smaller manufactures set up shop and also where you'll find PC hardware, assuming they opted for a booth. During my scans I only PC vendor I saw was InWin on the South Hall floor making them the loner this year.
One cool thing I saw in my travels was this pair of surround sound gaming headphones from Sennheiser which feature 7.1 channel Dolby sound and are quite light considering. Frequency response is pretty good at 15-28,000Hz (understatement) with a 112dB sensitivity.
I did try them on and despite the strange shape they were quite comfortable and easy to operate. It is really difficult to demo headphones on a noisy show floor but the sound isolation worked quite well and at least gave the illusion of stereo sound.
After my South Hall adventures I took on some official meetings with the first being with Asustor. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Asustor they are the storage division of Asus tasked with creating the best NAS appliance you can buy. From what I have seen they are doing a pretty good job.
From a hardware standpoint the Asustor NAS devices are using a dual core Atom processor with a spec list that reads like your standard netbook with one exception, HDMI. Yep with the addition of a single HDMI you have transformed a simple network attached storage device into a full on media server that is accessible everywhere.
The entry level product is a two drive NAS designed for the home and small office. It supports all of the standard NAS features including RAID level arrays, sync and file permissions but to really expand the functionality you need the ability to install programs and something more than what comes with the NAS device.
To accommodate this Asustor has built an online application store that allows you to install any supported application on the fly.
Asustor has several different models with the largest desktop model featuring eight drives while this 2U rackmount model supports up to nine drives and even comes with the same HDMI port found on the desktop models.
The final stop for the day was with Enermax. Now before you scoff and close your browser you should know that while some of the old Enermax is still present the new Enermax has some really interesting things to show.
They have a wide selection of custom LED fans and some of the high end models are quite special since they are PWM controlled but also feature speed limiting switches to prevent the fan from spinning above a certain RPM. Personally I feel this is how speed control should be.
In case you were wondering this isn't a Silverstone fan (as far as I can tell) but it does come with the vertical fins for easy air direction.
Most of the high end fans use a magnetic bearing system with an added side benefit that allows you to pop the centers for easy cleaning. With the fan blades removed you can easily see the ring of LED lights responsible for the crazy light show.
Enermax also has a pretty good line-up of cases planned for 2013 including this white number. The layout is pretty typical with seven expansion slots and removable HDD cages.
The case also features a HDD dock at the top of the case but is limited to only a few key fan positions.
That pretty much concludes the Day 2 wanderings. Day 3 should be interesting so stay tuned.