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Best of #2013CES: Top Smartphones and Laptops

CES 2013 Logo
There was a lot to see at this year’s CES. Everything from cars, home appliances, home theater systems, and let’s not forget smartphone cases that do everything for your phone; there was a lot to take in.

But there are always those few items that stick out. Those products that you know are going to make a bang when officially released later in the year. After a lot of hands-on demos and briefings on all these great products we came up with our faves. Here are our top picks from 2013 CES.

 

Top Smartphones

With a lot of major phone companies out of the competition this year; it was easy to spot the stars of the  smartphone category. It seems to be all about quad-core processors and water-resistant bodies. Which did we think were top shelf?

 

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z 2013 cesSony is finally back! After not doing so well in the Android world with their previous phones; they seem to have gotten it together! They came back full blast with the Xperia Z. Here are some of the mind-blowing specs.

The phone’s 5” reality display is stunningly beautiful! Sony phones have always had beautiful sleek bodies. The Xperia Z is no different. The handset’s shiny industrial design calls for attention. The phone has NFC technology; which is the latest craze. You can view and share media from the Xperia  Z to other NFC products. That includes everything from speakers to Sony TVs. Featured items like the Sony’s stereo Bluetooth headset (DR-BTN200m of the SBH-20) allow you to listen to music instantly with just a touch of the phone.

The most standout feature of the Sony Xperia Z is that it’s waterproof. It’s the right type of waterproof. It’s not made to be submerged in deep oceans. But it can handle water and dust. (Certified IP55 and IP57). The phone is highly durable despite its thin frame. The phone will launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (with an update to 4.2 shortly after) and it’s expected to be released by the spring.

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900

Lenovo ideaPhone K900This phone has style and tech written all over it! At 0.27 inches thin, the phone doesn’t sacrifice a strong body. Made from stainless steel alloy and polycarbonate; the body is squared sharply. It definitely sticks out from the rest of the phones with soft round corners.

What makes the IdeaPhone K900 stand out from the rest? It’s one of the first phones to sport an Intel 2 GHz dual-core  Atom processor. Lenovo brags about the K900′s speed and response. Running and switching through apps should be no problem for the Intel chipped device.

It has a crisp 5.5 inch screen. Similar to the Sony Xperia Z; the IdeaPhone K900 has a 13 megapixel rear camera. It has a Sony sensor for great pictures.

While the protype at CES was running Google Android 4.1; Lenovo says the phone will be running 4.2 at launch.

 Huawei Ascend Mate

 Huawei Ascend Mate 2013 cesIf you believe that bigger is better; then the Huawei Ascend Mate is great.  At  6.1 inches this phone is more like a tablet. But that won’t stop many consumers who prefer carrying one large device as opposed to two.  Manufacturers are really taking a note from Samsung here (pun intended).

This massive device is of course supported by a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. Also, with a 4050 mAh battery to support that massive display; you can surf the web for up to 14 hours. With features such as Magic TouchSmart Reading, and Easy Panel; users can make the most out of this smartphone.

The phone is being released overseas first. Unfortunately, we have no release for the states.

 

Best Laptops

Ultrabooks were the big thing at the 2012 CES! This year, companies seem to be perfecting performance and portability. So which were the best laptops at 2013 CES?

 

Samsung Series 7 Ultrabook

Samsung Series 7 Ultrabook ces 2013

 

 

This is the first ultrabook for the Series 7 lineup. You won’t sacrifice mobility and performance. The aluminum body is both thin and light. With a crisp display (1920 x 1080 resolution); watching movies and editing files is always fun. It has great viewing angles for showing content with ease. With JBL speakers and an AMD graphics card; this is definitely the ultrabook for multimedia.

You can upgrade it up to an i7 processor and have up 256 GB of SSD. The ultrabooks ten-finger intuitive touch capabilities make for easy navigation and use of Windows 8. It will even be available with 4G LTE connectivity capabilities; enhancing accessibility.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix ces 2013Lenovo makes the list again with their new clamshell. The ThinkPad Helix brings the the best of the snap-in laptop features. Its “rip and flip” design brings versatility for work and play.

Allowing ultimate freedom when you don’t need the keyboard; the ThinkPad Helix detaches easily from the keyboard for regular tablet use. If you don’t want to detach the keyboard you can just flip it completely for touch screen capabilities and still use the available ports. The keyboard is also spill resistant. You’ll love the bright IPS 11.6″ display (the brightest on the ThinkPad brand).

Just because the ThinkPad Helix acts like a tablet; it doesn’t perform like a regular tablet. It really outdoes itself  in the tablet category. With long lasting battery life (up to 10 hours) and a spill resistant keyboard; the ThinkPad Helix is your new work buddy. And it doesn’t skimp on connectivity. It has 3G/4G antenna options and a NFC chip.

Out of all the Windows 8 clamshells that have been recently released; this seems to be the most durable and usable. The ThinkPad Helix is not as awkward as previous clamshells. Though it may be a bit heavy; weight doesn’t make it any less portable.

 

 

Vizio Thin and Light Ultrabook

Vizio Thin and Light Ultrabook ces 2013Vizio has been on the come-up for the last decade. They meet quality with affordability without sacrificing performance. The same can be applied to their thin and light ultrabook.

The 14″ thin and light touch ultrabook brings the best of Windows 8 to the table. With a HD display (1600 x 900 resolution) that’s touch screen; you can experience the best of the features that Windows 8 has to offer. (I really do believe that Windows 8 is experienced best through touch screen).

With AMD’s powerful quad-core A10 processor and fast boot-up with SSD; you’re guaranteed stellar performance.  It’s a portable weight at 4 pounds. Pricing hasn’t been officially announced. But you can count on Vizio to make it affordable.

There you have it; our best of CES list! Which devices are you keeping tabs on? Are you impressed with what  these companies came up with? Did the features blow your mind? 

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