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September 20, 2014

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From 300-pound telescopes to 1-inch flash drives: The biggest and smallest gadgets of CES 2013

The word “average” has no place at CES, especially when it comes to the size of the devices exhibited on the showroom floor. 
Gadgets like flash drives, mp3 players and speakers grow ever the more tiny in their never-ending quest to become slimmer, sleeker and more portable; meanwhile, devices like televisions, printers and scanners push the boundaries of scale and scope in their drive for the bigger and better.

From towering to tiny, here’s a look at some 2013 showroom offerings that stood out at both ends of the size spectrum:

    • PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD

      Though it’s only about one square inch in size, this little guy packs a big punch. The unique flash drive eschews cumbersome upload and download processes by playing transferring content like HD movies and music directly from your computer onto an iOS device like an iPhone and iPad.

      Conversely, it can transfer content from a device, like a picture or recording, onto your computer. The drive, which comes with its own app for transferring files and media, ranges from 8GB of storage for $99 to a whopping 64GB for $329.

    • Samsung 110-inch Flagship UHD TV

      The debut of Ultra-High Definition (UHD) TVs at CES had attendees worked into a frenzy, and Samsung’s massive 110-inch screen drew crowds for both its enormous scale and eye-popping image resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels!).

      Suspended in an even larger easel-like frame — necessary to both support the screen and conceal its souped up multispeaker sound system — the UHD TV at times seemed less like a device and more like an open window into the landscapes and vistas floating across its screen.

    • Naxa Nas-3050 portable speaker

      No bigger than golfballs, these colorful, lightweight little guys come with aux-in functions, making it easy to envision carrying a couple around in your pocket to pop open at the push of button for a dance party that’s as portable as it discreet.

    • CGE PRO 1400 HD Computerized Telescope

      Towering over even the largest men at CES, this 300-pound telescope — which includes a 57-pound optical tube and three 21-pound counterweights — is used for astrophotography in amateur observatories.

      Don’t let the word “amateur” fool you: The whole set-up can capture images as far as 1.5 billion light years away, approaching the quality of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Considering the optical tube alone costs $10,000, you get what you pay for.

    • Ion Scratch 2 Go

      Gone are the days of DJs lugging around heavy turntable equipment to gigs; Ion Audio welcomes you into the world of tablet DJing. Though fun and sophisticated DJ apps have been around for some time, Ion has created accessories for a more hands-on experience.

      The gear includes scratch control discs, a slider control and effects knobs that attach firmly to a tablet screen with suction cups and correspond to the DJ app on the screen; when you’re done playing, you can very well toss the controls in your pocket, the tablet in its case, and head out to the next gig.

    • Canon 24 inch imagePROGRAF iPF6450 Large Format Printer

      All other printers at Canon’s floor space dwarfed in comparison to this 24-inch behemoth, which it turns out isn’t even their largest model -- that would be their 60-inch printer, but the floor reps confessed that the 24-inch was the largest they could manage at the show between the two of them.

      The printer, which weighs about 120 pounds, uses 12 ink cartridges for high-quality image reproduction designed for professionals in the world of fine art, photography, graphics and proofing. The 24-inch model will put you out a cool $3700.

    • Nikon Coolpix S01

      No device better embodies the race for smaller, sleeker design than Nikon’s famously compact Coolpix line.

      The S01 was released last year, but its ultra-compact design, featuring rounded corners and a gleaming chrome finish, had tech geeks flocking to the table like, well, kids to a shiny toy.

      Smaller than a bar of soap but still a top quality point-and-shoot, the S01 makes it easy to understand why the novelty of tiny technology just won’t wear off.

    Follow Andrea Domanick on Twitter at @AndreaDomanick and fan her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AndreaDomanick.

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