If Vegas is adult Disneyland, CES is a candy shop within it—a sparkling display of the latest and greatest in consumer electronics, from practical home products to extravagant toys and OMG gadgets (see: China’s Ehang passenger drone, an app-controlled aerial vehicle that can transport one person for 23 minutes, or about 10 miles). Drones overall were a centerpiece again this year, along with virtual-reality headsets and jaw-droppingly high-def TVs. I scoped out the show Friday, finding several gadgets I’d be happy to take home.
1. Victrola record player Even if you’re not a record geek, you’ve seen the logo with the terrier peering down a gramophone horn. Though dormant for 20 years, the historic, 110-year-old label is back with a new owner, Innovative Technologies, and a new line of affordable tabletop, suitcase and free-standing stereos that play records, CDs and radio, with auxiliary plug-ins for mp3 play. IT's products are priced between $60 for a Bluetooth speaker and $299 for the most expensive tabletop record player.
2. Casio WSD-F10 smart watch This new watch tracks cycling, trekking and fishing activities; gauges pressure, altitude and compass direction; and graphs sunrises, sunsets and tidal activity. Only downside: no GPS. But it does tell time!
3. LG OLED 4k Smart TV A clip of moon footage on the LG screen made me feel like I was there. It blew away the competition in a side-by-side comparison with a newish but not nearly as awesome rival because basically it’s magic.
6. Parrot MiniDrone French company Parrot has crafted slick-looking, remote-controlled drones since the early days, and now offers aerial, semi-aquatic and land-roving mini models, starting at $99, alongside their more serious machinery.
5. Panasonic Real Pro Ultra 3D Massage Chair Yes, a massage chair. Judge if you must, but when I win the Powerball later this week I’m hiring a masseuse. Or I’ll just buy this $9,000 chair, which scans its master (that would be me) for a personalized rub-down that makes other massage chairs seem like busted old bean bags.
And trust me, after walking miles at the convention, zipping between unveilings and demos, you definitely need a massage.