Ashton Kutcher Designed a Tablet That Turns a Wall into an Instant Home Theater


New Android tablets seem to be about as prevalent as KitKat bars at Halloween, but Lenovo’s YOGA Tablet 2 Pro distinguishes itself with some very innovative, new features. It has a built-in Pico projector, a cylinder shaped bottom that makes it comfortable to hold, and a first-of-its-kind, built-in subwoofer delivering rich, immersive sound.

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Lenovo introduced the new tablet along with 8 and 10-inch Android and Windows tablets, and the Yoga 3 Pro ultra slim convertible PC at an event in London last week that I was lucky enough to attend. More on the YOGA 3 Pro below.

The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro was developed with Ashton Kutcher, who you may recall joined Lenovo as a product engineer last year. Apparently he had a lot to do with the design of this tablet. For starters, Lenovo told me Kutcher was the one who came up with the idea for the subwoofer. He met with a team of designers and engineers in Beijing and put out the challenge. The engineers were eventually able to get the subwoofer small enough so that it not only fit, it sounds amazing.

The enhanced audio system with 8 watts of sound isn’t the only innovation; this 13-inch tablet has a built-in Pico projector. You may wonder, as I did, why do I need a projector on my tablet? Lenovo’s Jeff Meredith, vice president, Mobile Business Group, told me their research shows 88% of users are consuming large amounts of digital content on their tablets at home. And more than half of them watch TV on their tablet. Of course, it helps that home is where there’s Wi-Fi so watching digital media doesn’t burn through precious data.

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The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro with its 13-inch QHD 2560×1440 display is designed to be a media tablet. You can project movies, videos, games and photos to a wall or even your ceiling. Add in the immersive sound from the front-facing speakers and rear subwoofer and you can see why projecting movies from your tablet onto a wall for a 50-in theater experience will soon become a thing.

Those of you familiar with the YOGA design know it offers modes of use to enhance your experience. If you’re reading an e-book, you might prefer the Hold mode which affords a better reading angle. Tilt and Stand mode use the built-in kickstand for easy browsing. There’s now a new Hang mode so you can hang it wherever you like.

The tablet, which will be available at the end of the month starting at $499 runs on the latest 4th gen Intel Atom processor, has an 8MP rear camera, and comes with 32 GB of storage, expandable up to 64 GB. Battery life is projected at 15 hours, with 5 hours of video playback time.

If you’re in the market for a new PC the slim, light YOGA 3 Pro has a watchband hinge design that lets the device open to completely flat. That new hinge allowed Lenovo designers to shave 17% from the previous version, and when open the PC is thinner than a pencil. Like its predecessors, there’s Laptop mode, Stand mode for video chatting, Tent mode for watching movies or presenting and Tablet mode.

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On top of the thin and light design, the YOGA 3 Pro now has Harmony, Lenovo’s software that adapts to the device’s different modes. For example, if you’re reading an e-book Harmony will automatically adjust the brightness depending on the existing lighting in the room. When the device is in tent mode, Harmony will enable software and mode-specific controls that help you understand what’s available.

The 13-inch YOGA 3 Pro has a QHD 3200×1800 display and is running Intel’s newest Core M processor, which means smooth playback, great multi-tasking and long battery life. You can choose from Clementine Orange, Platinum Silver or Champagne Gold when they become available at the end of October.

Top Tech Picks From the IFA Electronics Show in Berlin


While the rest of the tech world is focused on the Apple news out of Cupertino, the IFA Tech show is well underway in Berlin, Germany. I spent the last week in Berlin walking the massive halls of the show and meeting with companies to get a hands-on look at the latest innovations.

IFA is a lot like the huge International CES that takes place in January in Las Vegas, except IFA features more European companies and is open to the public who can roam the expansive halls and get their own hands-on demos of the latest tech coming out for the holidays and beyond.

From connected kitchens and robotic vacuums to smart coffee makers, washers and dryers and convertible laptop/tablets, it was all about mobility and connectivity at IFA 14. There was so much to see and talk about but for now, here are the top five items that I’m waiting impatiently to get my hands on, as first published in the Huffington Post. 

Back To School: Must-Have Gadgets For Students


It seems like the northeast is the last area to head back to school. While some kids have already been hitting the books for a week or more, the NYC area is hitting the stores for last-minute supplies. Here’s my round-up of back to school tech gadgets for high school kids for WABC-TV: 

Or you can see all the products I talked about below.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 

  • The tablet that can replace your laptop – great for students who work with Microsoft Office programs

 

  • Portable and designed for productivity, multi-tasking

 

  • kickstand turns from tablet to laptop with keyboard cover

 

  • Starting at $799 for Core i3 processor

Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

  • Split keyboard layout that keeps wrists and forearms in a relaxed position, and a cushioned palm rest to provide wrist support.

 

  • Works with laptop or desktop, using the USB receiver.

 

  • It’s all in the angles. Reverse tilt design positions the keyboard at the correct angle to give you a straight, neutral wrist position. Additionally, the shape of the mouse is designed for maximum wrist comfort.

 

  • $129.95

 

 

  • no need for separate charger cables if you have this backpack with its own built-in battery

 

  • keeps you charged wherever you are

 

  • $199

 

Tylt Syncable-Duo Charge and Sync Cable

  • 2-in-1 cable solution with both microUSB and Lightning connectors

 

  • avail in different lengths and colors $24.99 Tangle-free flat design

 

  • charges AND syncs data to mobile devices

TABLETS
Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Android

  • It has a brilliant Super AMOLED display, better than iPad’s Retina display, making this the perfect tablet for watching Netflix videos or browsing images.

 

  • SideSync 3.0 lets you seamlessly connect your Galaxy S5 phone to your tablet so you can transfer data, cut and paste text and even send and receive voice calls directly from the tablet.

 

  • The Wi-Fi only 8.4-inch tablet starts at $399.99 and the 10.5-inch starts at $499.99.

Toshiba Encore 2 8″ tablet – Windows

  • thin and light, 5MP camera, microSD card

 

  • 1288 X 800 resolution

 

  • comes with one year one year subscription to Office 365

 

  • Starting at just $199.99

 

  • give consumers the optimal experience

iPad KEYBOARD CASE Custom Quest iPad keyboard case w/ retractable strap

  • holds your iPad safely and stylishly

 

  • a suede interior to nestle your tablet

 

  • flip-out rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard

 

  • When you want to travel light, toting only your iPad, a retractable handle pulls out from the edge of the case, letting you sling it on your shoulder in style.

 

  • $ 70 QVC

Jawbone Mini Jambox

  • the one speaker you need, great sound quality, doubles as a speaker phone

 

  • connect via Bluetooth or cable

 

  • turns your room into a party or movie theater

 

  • $169

PHONES
Nokia Lumia Phone Windows

  • This 1020 has an amazing 41 MP camera, image stabilization, LED flash, Qualcomm dual core

T-Mobile iPhone 5C

  • Affordable phones for kids just starting out with a smartphone

 

  • T-Mobile Family Plan: unlimited everything for only $100

 

  • Four smartphone lines with unlimited talk, text, and data until 2016

 

  • Simple Global plan connects you in over 100 countries with no international data roaming fees. Texts are included.

 

Top 5 Tips to Take Control of Your Inbox at Work


Are you drowning in email? With the ease of mobile, always-connected email comes the heavy burden of having to sift through hundreds of messages and determine which emails need an immediate response and which can wait. And of course, there’s the elusive dream of getting to inbox zero.

In fact, email takes up 28 percent of a worker’s time, according to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp. I can’t make it stop, but I can share these best practices to help you try to reduce the overwhelming amount of clutter in your inbox:

Read the full story on Cyber Coders.

Gadgets for Taking Better Smartphone Pictures


What’s the best camera to use? The one you always have with you, of course. For most of us, that’s the one on our mobile phone. Although smartphone cameras are improving in quality, they don’t always let you do thinks like zoom in very close or get a wide angle shot. Mobile photography gadgets like the ones I showed on CNBC can help you capture great pictures you’ll want to share and preserve. See the whole segment here.

4 Naggiest Products Ever…and Why You Want Them


Somewhere around my son’s 14th birthday, I grew weary of “gently reminding” him to stop wolfing down his food and to clean up his room. Of course he called these gentle reminders nagging, and we both came to realize it wasn’t a good thing. So how do you help someone who needs some coaching or gentle reminders to get out and exercise, sit up straight or quit a bad habit? I found four gadgets and apps that may be able to help with that.

You can read my full story on Techlicious here:

Catch up on all the CE WEEK TV Interviews


Wow, it’s been a busy couple of months. I haven’t posted anything new here in some time, since I’ve been so busy with all my exciting projects.

I’ll start posting some of the things I’ve been working on here so I can catch you all up on the fun. There’s been CE Week TV, the conference panels, CNBC tech segments, writing for various outlets and yes, even a little vacation in between.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. If you’re looking for some fun, techy videos to watch, check out the CE Week TV page for all our exhibitor interviews from the show.