Jefferson Graham and his camera walks you through the busy, ultra-crowded booths in the CES Central Hall. A #TalkingTech video tour.
LAS VEGAS—CES teaches hard lessons about preserving a phone, tablet or laptop’s battery life and connectivity, starting with this: If you value those things, don’t go to CES.
Having 175,000-plus people swarm around the city while constantly on e-mail, the Web, navigation apps and social networks will crumple wireless networks and leave batteries in the red.
Getting through all this takes advance preparation—the kind that can also help you get through lesser battery and bandwidth challenges.
• Cables and chargers: The first rule of CES is ABC: Always Be Charging. If you’re standing still or sitting down and you see an outlet, plug in your devices. But chaining yourself to an outlet is no way to cover the Consumer Technology Association’sconvention, so external phone battery packs are standard accessory here.
Your phone’s charger and battery pack should also support high-speed charging. Finally, when you’re next shopping for a phone, tablet or laptop, note that devices that charge over USB-C cables free you from having to remember to pack proprietary cables. In some cases, these allow you to not just charge a phone from a laptop or (non-Apple) tablet, but vice versa.
• Police your phone’s power usage: Both Android and iOS will show you which apps use the most power, in each case by opening the Settings app and then touching “Battery.” You probably won’t see any outliers there, but if you do then you should think about uninstalling them.
You may get more benefit from regulating the entire phone’s appetite for data. Disabling wireless data—in Android’s Settings app, tap “Data usage”; in iOS’s Settings, tap “Cellular”—will stretch the device’s battery life if you can get by with calls and texts. If your connection gets unusably slow, putting the phone in airplane mode will spare you the frustration of getting nowhere online but stop your phone from burning through its battery by trying to connect to the network over and over.
• Have backup bandwidth: Using your phone as a WiFi hotspot can bail you out of a struggling wireless network, but your service plan needs to support that option. Some prepaid services don’t, and the “unlimited” T-Mobile One plan that the carrier introduced last year and updated at CES limits tethering to 3G speeds, which will leave your laptop or tablet sputtering along at a few megabits per second instead of the 15 Mbps or more that LTE usually delivers.
Note that using your phone as a hotspot not only chews through your plan’s data allotment but will also hurt its battery life more than almost anything else you can do with it.
If you have cable Internet at home, you can also use free “Cable WiFi” hotspots at some half a million locations across the U.S. by signing in with your cable account’s user name and password.
• Use apps that let you switch between mobile devices: Having only one device get any connectivity happens too often at CES, making it important to use cloud-hosted apps that let me move between devices. For example, by taking notes in Evernote I can switch between my phone and my laptop (provided each device has enough bandwidth to synchronize my changes).
But if I start a story in Apple’s TextEdit app on my MacBook Air, I can’t do anything with it on my Android phone—or my iPad, if I were to carry it. Google Docs doesn’t have that hangup and even allows offline editing—but I had to start writing this column in TextEdit anyway, because the press-room WiFi was out at the time.
Jennifer Jolly reviews the first vacuum shoe designed by the automotive company Denso. Jennifer Jolly Special for USA Today
A lot of gadgets are announced at CES, but many of them are too impractical or expensive for most consumers. Here are four new products we found that we’d actually consider purchasing. Reviewed.com
Columnist Jennifer Jolly tries out Alexa on the Ford, peers at TVs held to walls by magnets, and tests a ‘smart bike’. JENNIFER JOLLY/USA TODAY
Products that have chips that allow connectivity to the internet and that learn user’s habits grab attention at CES in Las Vegas. (Jan. 5) AP
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, South Korean automaker Hyundai shows off its self-driving car. Video provided by AFP Newslook
Daniel Huang, the co-founder of Mophie, previews his new GO electric scooter with swappable batteries at CES 2017.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Acer unveiled the Predator 21 X, which they say is the first notebook computer with a curved screen. But forget about the features: the real jaw dropper here is its price when it launches: $8,999. USA TODAY
A man takes a hammer to a smartphone screen protector, and it survives. Jefferson Graham shows off 5 showstoppers from CES, including the Invisible Shield screen protector and video glasses for seeing your drone on #TalkingTech
Panasonic unveiled its second-generation 4K OLED TV at CES this year, but it’s currently only available in Canada and Europe. Reviewed.com
The device is called the Hypersuit, and it’s compatible with VR headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. Reviewed.com
Announced at CES 2017, Samsung’s QLED TVs are the company’s latest top-of-the-line options. Reviewed.com
LG’s 2017 TV lineup is stuffed with TVs suited to every price point, but the star of the show is—hands down—the flagship W7 model. Reviewed.com
Jefferson Graham shows the 5 coolest gadgets on display at the CES Unveiled event, a press preview in Las Vegas. USA TODAY
Jefferson Graham previews the best of the best–winners of the coveted CES Innovation Awards, on the dawn of the annual CES in Las Vegas. A #TalkingTech video
Tech expert Jennifer Jolly tries out the Carnival medallion aboard a virtual cruise ship during the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.
New at CES 2017 – a new kind of personal robot, Kuri, from Mayfield Robotics. Jefferson Graham previews on #TalkingTech.
Reviewed.com has been covering CES for over a decade, and these are what our tech experts are most excited to see at this year’s show. Reviewed.com
WeMo, a smart switch for controlling home products via an app, introduces a smaller, stackable version for Consumer Electronics Show.
Linksys introduces Velop, a new router system Alexa can command, at the Consumer Electronics Show
Jefferson Graham has stuffed pounds of tech gear into the Peak Design Everyday 30L backpack to bring to CES–will it be too heavy? He shows off just how much stuff is in the bag on a #TalkingTech video.
LG is planning to bring its PJ9 levitating speaker to CES 2017. Keri Lumm (@thekerilumm) reports on this impressive tech. Buzz60
Jefferson Graham looks back at some of the hits from CES 2016–whatever happened to the Lily and Sengled music lightbulb? He reports on a #TalkingTech video. Video by Robert Hanashiro
Jefferson Graham previews what to look for at the world’s biggest trade show, with robots, drones, connected cars and virtual reality gear leading the pack. A #TalkingTech video. Video by Robert Hanashiro