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By Andrew Couts Provided by
The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, which
runs throughout next week, will showcase many of the gadgets and
technologies that will dominate the marketplace for the foreseeable
future. Companies will unveil more than 20,000 products during CES and
we'll be there to show you the good, the bad, and the totally nutty of
CES 2012. Luckily for us all, we already know there are a few products
that we're just itching to get our mitts on. Here, our top 10
most-anticipated products of CES 2012.
After years of seeing teaser OLED televisions
hit the Las Vegas Convention Center floor, this year the technology is
ready for prime time. LG, which debuted the
"world's thinnest" OLED display in 2010, has announced that it will
show off the "world's largest" OLED television, with a 55-inch screen,
at this year's CES. OLED displays offer darker blacks (100,000:1
contrast ratio) and more vivid colors than their LCD counterparts.
Unfortunately, they also cost as much as a car.
It's not often that we get excited about a
refrigerator, but Samsung's app-capable LCD cool-box has us salivating.
This Wi-Fi-enabled 4-door fridge sports an 8-inch touchscreen, making it
possible to use apps like Epicurious for recipes, play music through
Pandora (yes, it has speakers), read the news, take notes, display
photos and mark events on Google Calendar. Oh yeah, and it will keep
your food cold, too.
2012 is a make-or-break year for Google TV.
After a muddled debut that left customers wanting more, Google
redesigned the Google TV software from the ground up, has switched from
Intel's Atom processors to Marvell's ARM-based chipset.
Google TV is expected to come loaded in a wide number of televisions
and set-top boxes during this year's release scheduled, and we'll get
the first look at Google TV 2.0 at CES. Considering its track record
thus far, there's no guaranteeing Google TV will be a winner. But with
all the potential that a fully-Internet-connected TV system like Google
TV can offer, we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Consoles may be dominating the gaming scene
these days, but hardcore gamers still have some impressive hardware to
look forward to. Of these is Razr's Razer Blade gaming laptop. Despite
it's massive 17.3-inch screen, the Razer Blade only weighs seven pounds
and measures just 2.2 cm thick. It packs a robust 2.83GHz Intel Core i7
2640M processor, 8GB or RAM, and a 320GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive. Two
gigs of dedicated GDDR5 video memory, and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 555m
video card ensure seamless graphics loading. But what really makes the
Razer Blade stand out is the integrated LCD touchpad, which works as
multi-touch panel and a trackpad, as well as the 10 customizable
touch-buttons. Our only question is, "What if you're left-handed?"
When it comes to home audio, there's plenty
of beautiful, but far too expensive systems out there (like the
D-Premier audio rig from Devialet). But nothing edges so far into the
absurd as the iNuke Boom doc for iPhone and iPod. Measuring a ridiculous
4-feet tall and 8-feet wide, the iNuke Boom from Behringer pumps out
10,000 watts of ear-bursting sound. It costs about $30,000 — and that
doesn't include the price of removing a wall, so you can get it into
your living room. Needless to say, this thing has to be seen to be
As you've likely already heard, we're going
to see a ridiculous number of Ultrabooks at this year's CES. But so far,
a true stand-out in the crowd is Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 Hybrid. At a mere
0.6-inches thickness, the X1 appears to be the perfect combination of
portability and performance. By including a dual-core Qualcomm processor
usually only found in smartphones and tablets, the X1 is able to run
for up to 10 hours while in "Instant Media Mode," which switches the
system from Windows 7 to a Linux-based OS, and limits it to standard
tablet-ish functionality (like watching videos and browsing the Web).
This nifty device started, as so many do
these days, as a Kickstarter Project, and has since propelled into the
upper echelons of CES wonder. Cloud FTP enables users to connect any USB
storage device — USB drive, SD card, digital camera, etc — to become a
wireless server — your own personal cloud. The makes it possible to
share files wirelessly from any of these devices to you iPad, iPhone,
laptop, or any other Wi-Fi-enabled device. It can also automatically
connect to other cloud storage services, like DropBox or iCloud.
Basically, Cloud FTP makes moving files from one device, or to the Web,
easier than ever. And that's the kind of innovation we can get behind.
Micro four-thirds (MFT) and mirrorless ICL cameras have just recently begun to come into their own,
with releases from nearly every camera manufacturer in 2011. Canon,
however, has been conspicuously absent in this increasingly popular
segment of digital photography. And so far, we have no indication that
they're ready to jump on the bandwagon. They are, however, reportedly
prepping a comparable device: The G1X, which allegedly sports a 1.5-inch
screen and a 14.3-megapixel CMOS censor capable of tackling low-light
conditions. Purportedly priced at a whopping $800, the G1X will surely
compete with the growing variety of similarly-costly MFT shooters,
despite its fixed lens. But can it stand up to the competition? Well,
we'll just have to wait and see.
As the line between gadget and vehicle blur,
cars are becoming an increasingly prominent staple of CES. And Ford is
smudging the boundaries even further with its MyFord Mobile app, which
allows Focus Electric drivers to control the charge levels of their car,
pre-heat/cool the interior and locate charging stations, all from their
mobile phone or the Web. By itself MyFord Mobile may be nothing more
than a marketing tool — but it hints at a future of connectivity only
seen in the realms of science fiction.
The mouse will go the way of the Dodo bird,
if Tobii has any say in the matter. The company's "Gaze" interface for
Microsoft's upcoming tile-based Windows 8 OS enables users to move the
cursor with their eyes only. Simply look at the tile you want to select,
and the cursor goes there. While this is surely one of those
behavior-alterting technologies that will take some time to catch on,
it's witnessing this level of groundbreaking innovation that makes the
suffocating crowds and frantic schedule of CES totally worth the while.