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Top Tech Gadgets of CES 2009

Posted on 13 January 2010 by GranTorinoGuy

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show.

This year it featured 2700 exhibitors, but it wasn’t simply about showcasing the latest TVs and audio systems; a range of new products emerged that could redefine how technology will be used to interact in future.

Top 10 Gadgets of CES 2009

3D TV

The biggest trend at CES this year was definitely three dimensionality. Following the hype surrounding James Cameron’s hit 3D flick, Avatar, the major television makers all touted 3D as the next step in the evolution of home entertainment. Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and JVC all showcased glorious high-definition 3D TVs, but it was Panasonic’s TC-PVT2 that ran away with first prize, winning technology site CNet’s coveted award for the best product on show. Apart from 3D TV sets, there were dual-lens 3D camcorders, laptops that convert 2D content to 3D, and 3D video games, with Sony showing 3D versions of Gran Turismo 5 and Avatar on the PS3. Still a relatively new technology with various methods for producing depth in images, it remains to be seen if consumers will spend money on 3D, especially as people have just begun upgrading to HD. We hope the next generation of 3D TVs find a way to ditch the ridiculous polarized glasses.

E-Readers

Guaranteed to be as indispensable as your smart phone in the near future, portable electronic reading devices were some of the hottest gadgets on display. Forget Kindle and the Nook, though; the third generation of e-readers go far beyond simply displaying electronic books on easy-to-read ePaper screens. Plastic Logic showed off the full-touch Que e-reader, which is designed to replace all business uses for printed paper, with support for PDF documents, a calendar, as well as displaying magazines and newspapers in their original printed layout. Taking e-reader technology a step further, Qualcomm showed its full-colour Mirasol display, which combines the low power usage and readability of ePaper displays with the colour capabilities of an LCD screen and has greatly improved readability in indoor and outdoor conditions. Mirasol technology is also rumoured to be in the new generation of Kindle e-readers.

Tablets and Smartbooks

CES also pointed to the emergence of two new categories in computing. Smartbooks are mini laptops that aim to bridge the gap between smart phones and netbooks, combining the connectivity of a mobile phone with the ease of use of a netbook. Lenovo’s skinny Skylight Smartbook is designed as an app-based, Internet-ready device running on a Linux platform with a high-definition screen and 10 hours of battery life, all in a package that weighs just less than 1kg.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer was the first to introduce a full touch-controlled tablet PC at CES in his opening keynote, showing off the unnamed HP tablet. Running Windows 7, the sleek HP tablet features an accelerometer and support for multi-touch gestures. Sony also had one of the most talked about gadgets at CES in the Dash Mobile Internet Device, a sort of mini-tablet the size of a digital alarm clock, designed to provide easy access to Internet applications while streaming multi-media content from the Net and your home media network.

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