CES lives on. Despite slashed budgets, lower attendee numbers, and the lack of one show-dominating product, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has been one to remember. After returning home, recouping about 34 hours of sleep debt, and reviewing our experiences, we’ve rounded up the top ten items from this show that stand out as the best manufacturers have to offer. From 3D TVs to next-generation e-readers, these were the products that we can’t wait to see on store shelves in 2010.
We never would have predicted that the perpetually budget-minded crew at Asus would team up with the no-expenses-spared audiophiles at Bang & Olufsen, but the lovechild of their oddball relationship is one to be admired. The 18-inch notebook features an extra-long form factor with side speakers that totally overlap the keyboard, a clean metallic design, and – for some reason – duals touch pads. Don’t laugh – they’re more fun and practical than you think, and Asus claims that eventually software will allow you to use them as turntables.
We knew from the first day of press conferences that this would be the TV to see at CES 2010. Besides using the same type of processor used in the PlayStation 3 and offering native 3D capability, Toshiba has packed it full of every feature we ever could have dreamed of (and some we probably wouldn’t have). A side-by-side video demonstration making last year’s stellar SV670 look weak pretty much sealed the deal for us on the series, although we’re still braced for prices that could suck the magic right out of our early infatuation.
Just when we thought Toshiba’s “Touch of Color” design was getting a little stale, the company threw it away and produced this beauty, which has to be about the slickest HDTV we’ve ever seen. The set is as thin as a number two pencil, the bezel has been clad entirely in brushed metal, and the criss-crossed spider legs remind us of something from a museum. Oh yea, and like every high-end set this year, it will do 3D right out of the box.
Ignoring the $649 price tag ($799 if you want lifetime data connectivity from AT&T), this will be the e-reader to own in 2010. The flat body reaches almost sci-fi-like thinness, and because the 11.6-inch screen has touch capability, the bezel is entirely free of buttons except for “home,” just like an iPhone or iPod Touch. Plastic Logic has also forged partnerships with over 300 newspapers and magazines to have their content specially formatted for the device to preserve the print-like formatting – an important aspect of those publications that is largely lost on other e-readers.
Panasonic’s 3D plasma sets get just as much credit as the other 3D TVs at the show, but we chose their 3D camcorder for our Best of CES round up simple because nobody else has shown one yet. While production-quality 3D cameras have been around for a while (see: Avatar), Panasonic will be one of the first to bring 3D video to the consumer level when this camcorder launches in fall 2010 for $21,000.