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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:16 PM   #1
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CES 2013: Lenovo 27" Tablet and Nectar Fuel Cell iPhone Charger




The Consumer Electronics Show can get a bad rap from bloggers and journalists who have become jaded by seeing the same products over and over. So, it can be particularly satisfying to see new classes of products that haven't quite hit the mainstream, even if there may be some practical limitations to their ultimate success.

Two of those type of products that I saw at this year's CES include Lenovo's 27" table-top tablet and Nectar Power's fuel cell charger.

Lenovo 27" Table PC

It seems absurd when you first hear about it -- a 27" Table PC from Lenovo -- essentially a 27" tablet that you place on your tabletop. It runs Windows 8 and can also stand up to be used as a more traditional computer.

It doesn't sound particularly practical, but standing in front of it at CES, I was intrigued. When we saw Jeff Han's first multi-touch demos in 2006 or Microsoft's Surface Table for $10,000, our first reaction was that these multi-touch tables were the future, and we wanted one for our house. Now, you will be able to get one for approximately $1699 this summer.

There are some practical issues with a device of this type. Lenovo had to add their own custom interface layer on top of Windows 8 to accommodate the flat-table multi-touch action. They've also partnered with a number of companies such as EA to provide table-top multi-touch versions of their games, so software selection to start will be limited.

Given the relatively high costs of ownership, it's hard to imagine that this will grow beyond a niche product. As a result, it's also hard to believe that Apple would be ever interested in pursuing this market themselves.

Still, I'm glad this product exist and will be curious to see how it evolves over time.

Nectar Power Fuel Cell Charger

It feels like fuel cell technology has been on the cusp for the past decade. We even reported back in 2003 that Apple was actively pursuing the technology for future PowerBook designs. Nine years later, and we haven't seen much in the way of practical fuel cell usage in our consumer electronics. Fuel cells promise a high density of energy using some form of replenishable fuel supply.

Lilliputian Systems is a 12 year old company that has been working on commercializing its fuel cell system. The company has raised over $100 million dollars over that time from investors. At CES, it has launched its first product called Nectar Power, which is available for pre-order at Brookstone.

Nectar Power is a fuel cell charger for your iPhone or any other USB-powered device. It comes in two parts: the charger itself and the disposable fuel pods filled with butane. Each pod provides your iPhone with 10 full recharges (55,000mW), which the company estimates could last you two weeks.

The initial cost for the charger itself is $299 and comes with an initial fuel pod. Replacement fuel pods cost $9.99 each.

That's where the numbers could get tricky. Despite the high energy density, the recurring cost of pod-replacements will make it hard to adopt it as your standard charging solution, while the high initial cost for the system will make it hard to buy to keep around just as a backup charging system. One notable advantage of the system, however, is that the Nectar Power system is said to retain its power far more effectively than a battery. An unattended Nectar would only be expected to lose about 10% of its charging ability over the course of year.

Overall, the product is fascinating and a taste of what's to come down the line as the product gets smaller/cheaper and expands into other devices.

Article Link: CES 2013: Lenovo 27" Tablet and Nectar Fuel Cell iPhone Charger
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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Anyone see a mention of the resolution? Bet it is 1080p. Meh...

Dat fuel cell thingy though...
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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"Absurd" ?!

Seriously it's not your job to make such comments

You bring us the news

We make the judgements
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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Great, I can't wait to get on plane full of explosive iPhone chargers ...
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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Great, I can't wait to get on plane full of explosive iPhone chargers ...
My first thought was, trying to get one past airport security. This looks great for blackouts, not so much for travel.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 09:13 PM   #6
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Say what?

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Great, I can't wait to get on plane full of explosive iPhone chargers ...
So thousands of gallons(pounds) of jet fuel doesn't concern you at all?
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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Pictures like this are now justified.

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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:22 PM   #8
D.T.
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Here's my prototype iPhone charger with a replenishable fuel supply:

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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:08 PM   #9
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Here's my prototype iPhone charger with a replenishable fuel supply:

Image
No need to get ridiculous.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:12 PM   #10
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Shame you have to buy the cartridges from them and you just cant fill them up like a lighter.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:17 PM   #11
D.T.
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No need to get ridiculous.
I'm only in the prototype phase, I can make changes ... don't like the orange color?
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 04:14 PM   #12
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Here's my prototype iPhone charger with a replenishable fuel supply:

Image
MEH, we have this bad boy. Came in handy during Superstorm Sandy.

Thumb resize.

Last edited by maflynn; Jan 8, 2013 at 05:14 PM. Reason: timg tags for over sized images
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by D.T. View Post
Here's my prototype iPhone charger with a replenishable fuel supply:

Image
Awesome! very funny.

Only thing is that i would consider one of those cell chargers with a nice supply of the backup cartridges for power emergencies. I am sure lots of people in Manhattan would have loved one of those after Sandy and no power. a way to charge your ipad or iphone? hell yeah.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 09:20 PM   #14
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Here's my prototype iPhone charger with a replenishable fuel supply:

Image
People, that's not actual size. It's enlarged a lot. Actual height is about 5cm. Still requires a gallon of gas though.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cclloyd9785 View Post
People, that's not actual size. It's enlarged a lot. Actual height is about 5cm. Still requires a gallon of gas though.
Hahaha! +1
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:23 PM   #16
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Y'all be trippin'.


I can't wait till my coffee table's a touchscreen.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:25 PM   #17
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The 27 inch tablet would be fun as group gaming device. Playing "air" hockey or monopoly would be awesome on it -- but I can't see much beyond that. The fuel cell is interesting, but only for those travelling to parts of the world without reliable power.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:30 PM   #18
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The 27 inch tablet would be fun as group gaming device. Playing "air" hockey or monopoly would be awesome on it -- but I can't see much beyond that. The fuel cell is interesting, but only for those travelling to parts of the world without reliable power.
and not travelling by plane..
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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The 27 inch tablet would be fun as group gaming device. Playing "air" hockey or monopoly would be awesome on it -- but I can't see much beyond that.
I don't think the concept is something for the average consumer. Lenovo has finally made the original MS Surface practical and affordable. It would be the only collaborative computing device on the market, and this could be huge in certain businesses where collaboration is important (i.e.: marketing, R&D, etc.) -- especially at such a reasonable price point. It allows many people to work together simultaneously on a single project.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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The 27 inch tablet would be fun as group gaming device. Playing "air" hockey or monopoly would be awesome on it -- but I can't see much beyond that. The fuel cell is interesting, but only for those travelling to parts of the world without reliable power.
The big purpose would be Engineering and Graphic layout. Engineers need readable drawings to share... 27" is maybe size "C" paper prints. Graphic Layout teams would love this for full size representation of what's going to the printers.

The main problem of making a good one is resolution. Give me outdoor readable e-ink (engineers would be happy with hi-res in just a few colors for markup) or it has to be "Retina" resolution... "Over 9000!" To be comparable to iPad. I don't see these being practical until we have rollable e-ink or panels that can have Zero-bezel on one side for a seamless fold.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:28 PM   #21
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I think we can safely say, while maybe Apple doesn't try hard enough with it's product revs, Samsung (did you see their new fugly and unfunctional TV shape?) and Lenovo try too hard. Ultimately, its still the "a piece is missing" Apple device we all still want because it's designed for the way conventional people live.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:34 PM   #22
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I think we can safely say, while maybe Apple doesn't try hard enough with it's product revs, Samsung (did you see their new fugly and unfunctional TV shape?) and Lenovo try too hard. Ultimately, its still the "a piece is missing" Apple device we all still want because it's designed for the way conventional people live.
I was at a conference last year where Malcom Gladwell spoke. The subject of his keynote was "practical innovation" and he used Apple as an example, saying they weren't first and sometimes not even second but it didn't matter because at the end of the day they produced a product people wanted to buy. I have no problem with Apple being more conservative and not just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:43 PM   #23
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If a tablet like that had a 4k IGZO or good IPS screen and a good battery, I could see it being of interest to artists or even schools. The screen would have to be amazing to make this worth the trouble.

With a 3840x2160 screen, good battery, and desktop PC power, this would be an interesting AIO.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 05:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Chupa Chupa View Post
I think we can safely say, while maybe Apple doesn't try hard enough with it's product revs, Samsung (did you see their new fugly and unfunctional TV shape?) and Lenovo try too hard. Ultimately, its still the "a piece is missing" Apple device we all still want because it's designed for the way conventional people live.
Yeah Samsung must be an idiot for an "unfunctional" tv shape... oh wait have you ever went to a movie theater? Crazy how they don't have flat screens.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by abhishake View Post
Y'all be trippin'.


I can't wait till my coffee table's a touchscreen.
Like this one: http://9to5mac.com/2012/01/23/the-ms...pple-aesthetic

Would love to see something like that in the future
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