CES 2014: TMO Editors' Choice Awards

The Mac Observer is always on the lookout for great products when we're at trade shows, conferences, and expos, and at CES 2014 in Las Vegas we found a couple that really stood out for us.

TMO Editors' Choice Awards for CES 2014

iPort Magnetic Charging Case and Stand
There are plenty of cases for the iPad Air and Retina Display iPad mini, and most let you charge while they protect your tablet from accidental drops. iPort's Magnetic Charging Case and Stand for the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, however builds charging contacts into its housing and includes a stand that lets you juice up your iPad's battery in portrait or landscape mode.

iPort's iPad Charger Case and StandiPort's iPad Charger Case and Stand

It uses magnetic points to make sure your iPad always makes a good connection, and the base tilts to three different angles for easy typing, video watching, and FaceTime chats. The case is thin enough so it doesn't add too much bulk, and it channels sound forward from the built-in stereo speakers so it's easier to hear. The case also includes built-in magnets to hold Apple's own Smart Cover in place without requiring extra cutouts, which means the case looks good regardless of whether or not you use a cover.

What makes iPort's Charger Case and Stand really shine is the attention to details. The case fits perfectly and is easy to remove, it has a good feel and sleek look, and the base sports a 12v charger which means your iPad charges twice as fast, and Apple's Smart Cover fits perfectly, too.

Anki Drive
We gave Anki Drive an Editor's Choice Award for numerous reasons. The folks at Anki not only made a super fun toy, they did so by developing some amazing technology and deploying it in a way that most users will never even think about—we love that!

Anki Drive Starter Kit

Anki Drive Starter Kit

Anki Drive is a racing game with player-on-player combat that uses Apple's iOS devices to control physical cars that race on a special race course. Using a system of upgrades and levels, drivers can customize their cars speed and combat abilities and race against other players or AI opponents with varying difficulty levels.

That makes the game a scaling and evolving challenge, which is probably why users have already raced 60 million laps (!!), even though the game was just released in October. Anki also announced a software upgrade right before CES that introduced new weapons and abilities for users, another example of how the game will remain a challenge to players in the future.