The IT Guy: The best new tech gear

theitguy@islandpacket.comJanuary 20, 2013 

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up last week, and while I wasn't there personally (you'd think The IT Guy would have a travel budget, but nooooo), I followed along as best I could to bring you the gadgets I thought could be given the highly sought-after "IT Guy Best of Show" awards.

As usual the focus of the show was on what the big tech companies hope will be in your living room a few years from now. I say "hope" because 3-D TVs were all the rage at the show a few years ago, but the consumer has clearly spoken on that issue, and it's been a resounding "only if it comes with the TV I was already going to buy." Of course, that won't stop them from trying to pry that wallet out of your pocket. To wit...

SAMSUNG 4K EASEL TV:

Otherwise known as "Ultra HD." 4K TVs will offer up to 4320p resolution -- because apparently the 1080p on the TV you just bought two years ago isn't good enough. Because I didn't see one in person, I admit it's easy to dismiss it. And I'm sure it looks amazing, but as with 3-D, I doubt it will be a reason to get people to upgrade early. Best in Show award goes to Samsung's Easel TV, which features a "floating" design and will start at 85 inches.

Better start saving those pennies, though -- it will run you $30,000 dollars. Maybe by Christmas 2016, it will be priced for normal humans.

FITBIT FLEX:

Fitness trackers that sync with the iPhone have been around for a while, but the Fitbit Flex coming this spring takes it to another level. The Flex is a slick looking wristband that will track your steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, hours slept and quality of sleep (as well as a silent wake alarm) and then let you view your stats on your iPhone (a few Android phones are supported as well), PC or Mac. As someone who's recently gotten on a fitness kick, I think this will come in handy, and I can't wait to see what my "quality of sleep" becomes once my baby girl moves into her own room.

NVIDIA PROJECT SHIELD:

If you're a gamer, be on the lookout for this new handheld from Nvidia running Android. It's a 5-inch LED display attached directly to a very Xbox 360ish-looking controller. Inside you'll find the all-new Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip and 32GBs of storage. Most exciting for me was the ability to live-stream Steam games directly from the PC. Definitely a niche market, but I'd buy this over a Sony PSP in a heartbeat as it's far more functional.

OCULUS RIFT:

As a "Star Trek" fan, I've come to terms with the fact that I probably won't live to see warp drive, but I still have high hopes to have my own Holodeck one day. The Oculus Rift gets me one step closer as a virtual reality headset. Unlike VR headsets of years gone by (Virtual Boy anyone?), the Rift will provide a fully 3-D immersive experience. No word on pricing or a release date, but developer kits will be going out this March, and that's when we will hopefully see some groundbreaking software created for it.

Morgan Bonner is pre-press manager and a systems administrator for the Packet and Gazette.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service