Digital Trends’ Best of CES 2011 Awards

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awardsWe came, we saw, we dozed nonstop after stumbling back home in a sleep-deprived haze. And after emerging from our hibernation, we looked back at a blur of circuits, silicon and screens that hail the beginning of the 2011 tech blitz. With more than 2,700 companies in attendance and 80 launches of tablets alone, CES 2011 brought plenty of hum-drum tech debris, but a select few companies also managed to rise above the din and make themselves heard with extraordinary products worthy of another look. Here are the products and concepts that made headlines at CES 2011, and will define the year to come.

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awards motorola atrix 4gMotorola Atrix 4G

Is it a phone or a laptop? The fact that we can honestly answer “both” is what makes Motorola’s Atrix 4G an extraordinary product. Rather than compromising the portability of a smartphone and the power of a laptop with a tablet form factor, the Atrix 4G preserves the best of both worlds by keeping them distinct, but easily combinable. The Android-powered 4G smartphone works like any other, until you snap it into Motorola’s laptop dock, at which point it essentially functions as an 11.6-inch notebook. A multimedia dock and vehicle dock will even further expand its capabilities, making it one of the most flexible devices we can’t wait to get our hands on.

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awards rim playbookRIM PlayBook

In the thick spread of tablets that littered the show floor CES 2011, RIM’s PlayBook stood out more than any other. RIM’s fresh approach to a tablet includes an original OS built from scratch with no ties to its smartphone platform, a dual-core processor that makes multitasking a breeze and Web browsing snappy, and a form factor that weighs less than a pound. Only numbers will tell whether RIM can carve out an appreciable share of the market at launch – and whether it can stand up to whatever the iPad 2 has in store – but for the moment it’s one of the best bets for anyone looking for a tablet without an Apple on it.

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awards razer switchbladeRazer Switchblade

For the first time, Razer has stepped away from making computer peripherals and started making computers, and we can’t believe the maestros of the mouse didn’t start earlier. The Switchblade concept is basically a miniature gaming notebook with a touch screen and, more impressively, an Optimus-style keyboard with keys that change function – and look – depending on the game you play. For the moment, it remains purely a concept, but Razer hints that it may partner with another company to provide a production notebook with the same concepts in the future.

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awards motorola xoomMotorola Xoom

The first tablet to tap Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system is, not surprisingly, worthy of the honor. Motorola’s long-rumored supertablet features a hotrod Tegra 2 processor, sturdy iPad-like build quality, a buttonless front bezel, plus all the trappings of Honeycomb, like a revamped home screen, Google eBooks preinstalled, and all sorts of tablet optimizations. It will even be upgradeable to use Verizon’s 4G LTE network in the future, has more screen resolution than the iPad, and Motorola has included oddities like a barometer, which can be used to detect altitude and weather changes. Come on, Motorola, we know you’ve got a killer tablet in you.

Digital Trends best of ces 2011 awards nvidia tegra 2Nvidia Tegra 2

When a smartphone can pull tricks that would have been impressive on a laptop from a few years ago – like fluid 1080p decoding – you’ve got to tip your hat. Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 will be found in everything from the latest tablets, like the aforementioned Motorola Xoom, to smartphones like LG’s Optimus 2x. Every piece of hardware we tried with a Tegra 2 inside moved along effortlessly, game demos met and surpassed what can be done on consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, and 1080p playback had us dreaming of casually hooking up a phone in a friend’s house to play back Blu-ray quality video from a pocket-sized block.

Computing

Forget Facebook: These are the 5 weirdest cryptocurrencies you can buy today

Though cryptocurrency may sound like a big and serious topic, a few of its implementations are actually fun. From Shiba Inus to feline coins and everything in between, we've rounded up the most eccentric digital coins.
Deals

Dell sale drops up to $895 off Alienware and XPS 13 laptops for grads

If you’re sniffing around for a new PC and are hunting for a deal, Dell has a couple of its best offerings – the mighty Alienware 17 gaming laptop and the super-sleek Dell XPS 13 ultrabook – on sale right now at pretty solid…
Computing

The best webcams you can buy are mostly made by Logitech

Webcams are a bundled feature in most laptops, but if yours doesn't have one or you're video conferencing on a desktop, you might need a standalone webcam. These are the best webcams you can buy.
Deals

Amazon deal cuts prices on the latest 11-inch Apple iPad Pro tablets

The Apple iPad Pro has been among our favorite tablets since its initial release in 2018. While Amazon and Samsung offer powerful products, no tablet can touch the iPad Pro's power and productivity. Score yours now on Amazon for just $699.
Computing

Time for a desk upgrade! These great stands will elevate and protect your laptop

The best laptop stands keep your laptop cool and elevated to a position where it's most comfortable to work. Stands come in many different designs with a number of added features, so here are our favorites.
Computing

PCI Express 6.0 is coming in 2021, and it’s already overkill

The PCI Special Interests Group began laying out the specifications for its next, next-generation motherboard socket: PCI Express 6.0. It will double bandwidth again and offer some clever efficiency-boosting technologies.
Cars

Volkswagen says no thanks to outsiders as it develops its own operating system

Volkswagen is taking software development into its own hands instead of joining forces with tech companies. It's assembling a team of more than 5,000 engineers to design an operating system that will equip in all of its cars by 2025.
Computing

Dive into the best VR experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist on it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 29 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

What is Libra? Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Facebook released a white paper announcing its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which it intends as a way to enable more people around the world to process online payments. Here's how the new blockchain technology works.
Computing

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for June 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

YouTube’s new HD music videos let you relive your youth in vivid detail

Relive your youth in vivid detail with YouTube's new HD music videos. The video sharing website will be converting your favorite, decades-old music videos from SD to HD and the first hundred of them are available to watch right now.
Computing

Ice Lake benchmarks show Intel isn’t done firing back at AMD

A leaked benchmark shows Intel's upcoming 10th-generation Ice Lake mobile chip outperforms AMD's Ryzen 5 3500U. These test metrics follow less than a month after Intel and AMD traded dueling keynotes touting their next lines of CPUs.
Deals

Dell drops big discounts on Inspiron 7000 and G5 gaming laptops for grads

Dell has been dropping deals on laptops all summer, and now in time for graduation day, you can score a Dell Inspiron 7000 15 laptop or a G5 15 gaming laptop at deeply discounted prices of just $830 and $900, respectively.
1 of 2