Without our computers, we might as well have spent our days dropping chips at the roulette tables. There's too much at stake this week to take a gamble, however, so we insisted that the entire team use an Apple notebook -- a required component for our Elgato turbo.264 HD hardware-accelerated encoders, which we use to process each and every video that ends up on this site. And while many members of our team use Windows-based systems at home or in the office, everyone used either a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air during CES. Members of our Distro design team paired their machines with 27-inch displays. Miraculously, we made it through the entire week without so much as a hiccup on the hardware front.
Smartphones and Internet
A wired Ethernet connection and Netgear N900 router WiFi router kept us up and running from the Engadget trailer, but with several dozen editors roaming the Las Vegas Convention Center halls at once, staying connected on the move was equally important. We equipped each editor with a Momentum LTE USB modem, which let us hop on AT&T's brand-new (and therefore little-used) 4G network from the floor, at liveblogs and while in-transit between The Strip and the LVCC. An enormous variety of smartphones kept us in the loop as well, including such devices as an imported Samsung Galaxy Note running on AT&T's HSPA+ network (though most often EDGE), the Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus and a small handful of iPhones. We also brought along a Netgear N600 wireless router for a shared connection when traveling in large groups.
We tried something different on the camera front this year, equipping our entire hands-on team with Sony NEX-C3 mirrorless ILCs and external shotgun mics. We also relied almost entirely on SanDisk's line of Extreme Pro memory cards, which managed countless transfers with nary a hitch. Nearly all of the hands-on photos and videos you saw on this site were shot with that setup, with the exception of all of our liveblogs, which require a tethered solution with a much more powerful kit. In addition to the Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses that we keep in rotation throughout the year, lens rental needs were handled by BorrowLenses.com, which yet again came through with a healthy spread:
- 5 Nikon AF-S FX 60mm f/2.8 Micro
- 3 Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II
- 2 Nikon AF-S FX 70-200mm VR II f/2.8
- 1 Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8
- 3 Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8
- 3 Nikon D300 Digital SLR
- 3 Nikon D700 Digital SLR
- 3 Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
- 3 Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro
- 2 Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS
- 2 Canon 5D Mark II Digital SLR
We also used a variety of other photo gear, including a Think Tank Photo Airport International V 2.0 rolling bag for transporting cameras from New York, the Pico Dolly compact DSLR dolly unit for rolling shots and several Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom tripods for support. And, as an extra special treat for the week, Red Digital Cinema sent us a Red Scarlet-X on loan, which we paired with our Canon lenses.
We spent the majority of our time at the Engadget trailer, parked just outside the LVCC, but a good chunk of the staff also dropped by the indoor stage (seen just above), which was centrally-located just outside the LG booth in the public area of the Convention Center. As always, the Engadget Classic team was joined this year by our Chinese, Japanese and Spanish counterparts, who also chimed in yesterday to help sum-up the show. This was a record year for both Engadget and CES as a whole, and we're already counting down the days until we get to do it all again.