We’re into the second official day of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show and the new gear just keeps coming, including new wireless routers from D-Link that look as though they’re channeling alien technology. Here’s a round-up of the latest cool PC and mobile products in the CES 2015 spotlight.
D-Link Ultra Series Wireless Routers
We know D-Link makes some pretty decent wireless routers and we know the company isn;t afraid to go out on a limb when it comes to design. The rounded tower form factor of many of its newer routers definitely stands out from the typical black box.
But at CES 2015, D-Link unveiled a new line of Ultra performance series routers that show it’s gunning for heavy duty home Wi-Fi users. I mean online gamers, 4K video streamers and the people with dozens of connected devices all fighting for bandwidth simultaneously. It’s also going for a look that cannot be ignored, and boy has it succeeded.
The Verge calls the new D-Link AC3200 Ultra W-Fi Router “the most insane wireless router in the history of mankind.” C/Net says it’s a good choice “if you want to impress —and maybe even scare— your friends with your home Wi-Fi router.”
Here’s what D-Link has to say about it:
The D-Link AC3200 will be shipping soon, but an even beastlier version —the AC5300 DIR-895L/R claiming up to 5,300Mbps bandwidth— is due later in 2015.
Linksys WRT 1900AC
Before that shiny red D-Link Ultra Wi-Fi router dropped at CES, the go-to wireless router for muscle, bristling antenna and a colourful, aggressive look was the Linksys WRT 1900AC (you can read my review here).
The WRT 1900AC proved to be extremely popular in 2014, but there is large market that loves the look (and its ability to use open source firmware), but doesn’t quite need the bandwidth. Or the price, which is on the high end for consumer and small business wireless routers.
Linksys was obviously listening, because at CES, they displayed the WRT1200AC. Powerful, with plenty of ports and open source firmware is supported —just like the original. The same aggressive blue and black styling, too. But it has two antennas instead of four, maxes out at 1200Mbps maximum bandwidth and carries a more affordable price tag.
Seagate Seven and Wireless Drives
Seagate was displaying a pair of new portable hard drives at CES.
The Seagate Wireless is a colourful (blue, green, grey, red or white) battery powered hard drive that connects to devices via Wi-Fi. Battery life is rated at up to nine hours, up to three devices can connect at once and –as the name implies— there are no wires, whatsoever.
The company was also showing off the Seagate Seven, billed as the world’s thinnest portable hard drive. It’s 7 mm thick (pretty slim, especially for a traditional spinning disk hard disk drive), the enclosure is stainless steel and to continue the classy look, the USB 3.0 cable is of the braided variety.
HP Stream Mini PC
You’ve probably heard about HP’s Stream laptops by now —the ultra portable, ultra affordable, stylish blue numbers that run Windows 8.1 for around the same price point as a Chromebook. HP Streams have proven to be extremely popular, especially with students, small business and families looking for a second PC for the home.
HP is building on the success of the Stream laptops at CES, with the introduction of the Stream Mini PC, a tiny rounded Windows 8 PC with 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD and a few USB ports.
No-one is going to be gaming on a Stream Mini PC, but for an affordable, compact (and kind of cool looking) PC for general computing use, the new HP box could prove as popular as the Stream laptops that inspired it.
Dell’s XPS13, new Alienware laptops and world’s thinnest tablet (Venue 8 7000)
One computer company on a roll at CES 2015 is Dell.
The company was wowing attendees with an updated XPS13, with an optional 3200 x 1800 resolution display, almost non-existent bezels and a machined aluminum and carbon fiber case. Thanks to that nearly edge-to-edge display, the XPS13 gets a 13.3-inch screen in about the same space as a typical 11-incher, making this one of the smallest —if not the smallest— 13-inch laptop you can buy.
Dell also introduced new Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 gaming laptops. Both have slimmed down by over 20 percent compared to previous versions, incorporating copper, aluminum and fiber composites for rigid, lightweight shells and using Intel’s new Broadwell CPUs. The Alienware 15 at 3.2 kg is the lightest 15-inch gaming PC released under the Alienware logo. It’s also available with an optional 4K display.
Even better news for Alienware fans, the company is selling the Alienware Gaming Amplifier, a desktop enclosure that can house full-sized video cards from Nvidia and AMD. Plug an Alienware laptop into the Gaming Amplifier and you get full desktop-level graphics capabilities.
Also in Dell’s CES 2015 presentation was the Venue 8 7000, currently laying claim to the title of the world’s thinnest tablet at just 6 mm. This is probably the best-looking Android tablet available, with 2560 x 1600 pixels crammed into an 8.4-inch “infinity” edge-to-edge OLED display.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 2 with Anypen Technology
Finally (at least for this round), there’s the Lenovo Yoga Tab 2. This Windows 8.1 tablet with Full HD display has front-facing speakers and Dolby sound, multiple modes (including tilt and stand) and truly epic battery life —up to 15 hours!
What’s really unusual about the Yoga Tab 2, though, is “AnyPen” technology. This means you don’t have to use a special capacitive stylus if you don’t like using your finger. Lenovo says you can use any ballpoint pen or graphite pencil and your inputs will be recognized while the display won’t be scratched. You don’t want to use a magic marker, though…
Stay tuned for more CES 2015 news. If you missed yesterday’s overview, you can catch up on it here.