Curved, on demand
Can't decide between a flat-panel TV and one of those new curved models? Now you won't have to: Samsung and LG are both showcasing HDTVs that bend to your will, gently curving from a traditionally flat view to a more rounded one. It's not the television revolution we expected, but maybe we should have, considering the noise both firms have been making with their flexible smartphones. If television hasn't blown your mind since the invention of color, check out either or both: You'll never look at your flatscreen the same way again.
If you thought Sony's and Microsoft's latest hardware were the most powerful gaming machines on the market, think again. Valve's Steam Machine initiative hit CES 2014 in full force today, introducing more than a dozen new gaming machines from some of the industry's top PC builders. Unlike the traditional console gaming camp, not all of these devices are trying to one-up the others: Some are lower-powered consoles with meager, but respectable internals, while others are veritable PC gaming powerhouses. With only a scant few Steam Machines actually in the wild, it's still a bit early to predict if Valve's play for the living room pays off -- but if Monday's showing is any indication, there's plenty of enthusiasm.
Intel's push for wearables
What would CES be without an opening keynote? Bereft of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's ambitions for wearables, that's what. Krzanich took the stage to wax enthusiastic about a future of connected devices, tiny computers and conflict-free microprocessors. The speech wasn't wishful thinking, either: Intel revealed a homegrown smartwatch prototype during the keynote alongside a smart earpiece it calls Jarvis, and used the event to launch a "Make it Wearable" contest with $1.3 million in prizes.
It'll never fit in your living room, but it's still a sight to behold: Samsung's 105-inch curved 4K television set. Sammy actually announced this beast late last month, but we couldn't help taking a look in person. The behemoth is not only one of the largest TVs we've ever laid eyes on, but Samsung also claims its the "most curved." Of course, practicality is a question, and not just because of the unit's size: This set maintains a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it too wide for most of today's TV content. Still, it's just about right for viewing panoramic vistas from the comfort of your freakishly large (and entirely fictional) den.
Being locked into a specific tablet ecosystem can be frustrating, so why not split the difference? That's the idea behind ASUS' Transformer Book Duet, a tablet/laptop combination device that can switch between Android 4.2 and Windows 8.1 on the fly. It's actually ASUS' second device to ride the fence between operating systems, but the questions it raises are no less interesting for a second iteration: Is dual-booting becoming a standard for mobile devices? The proposition of being able to leap between mobile worlds is certainly appealing enough, though we're still not sure how we feel about 13-inch tablets.