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Cool gadgets from CES 2011

- January 14th, 2011

CES 2011 Gadgets

The annual orgy of high-tech hotness that is the International Consumer Electronics Show has blown through Las Vegas for another year, tantalizing gadget geeks with visions of Internet-connected TVs, 3D camcorders and more tablet computers than you can shake Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck at. Here are the half-dozen upcoming gizmos that have got me the most excited. Or at least, curious.

Polaroid GL20 Camera Glasses

I’m still waiting for the mind-blowing augmented reality glasses promised by sci-fi visionary William Gibson in his novel Virtual Light, but Lady Gaga (of all people) is behind the next big thing in futuristic eyewear. Joining forces with Polaroid, Gaga has helped create the Polaroid GL20 Camera Glasses, which can capture images and video and then display them on the outside of the lenses for all the world to admire. No word yet on when they’ll be available, how much they’ll cost or whether you’ll be cyber-chic enough to pull them off in public. (My guess: probably not.)

Motorola Atrix smartphone and Xoom tablet

It was a relatively quiet 2010 for mobile giant Motorola, but the company made a huge splash at CES with a pair of upcoming gadgets that suggest the Moto engineers have been very hard at work. Out of the dozens of iPad competitors introduced at the mammoth trade show, the Motorola Xoom tablet is being hailed as the one that could truly give Apple’s wunderslab a run for its money. And aside from being a very powerful Android smartphone, the Motorola Atrix, debuting on the Bell network in the coming months, can be docked with a laptop-like screen and keyboard accessory to serve as a capable personal computer substitute. Let the convergence towards the true all-in-one mobile device continue!

BlackBerry PlayBook

As a diehard BlackBerry user – there is simply no mobile email device faster or more efficient than a ‘Berry – it’s been painful to watch Ontario’s Research In Motion fall further and further behind Apple and Android in the smartphone race. But the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet looks AH-freakin’-MAZING, based on the demos that came out of CES. A supremely slick and insanely fast multimedia, multitasking powerhouse that can do things the iPad can’t, and plays nice with our BlackBerrys? Sign me up when the PlayBook hits the crowded tablet market this spring.

Sony HDR-PJ Handycams

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, or so they say. But what if you want to shoot a video and then share it instantly with your family, without the hassle of getting it off your camera? (Wow, talk about your first-world problems.) Sony’s new line of Handycams includes three models with miniature projectors built into the back of their flip-out LCD screens, which can beam images equivalent to the size of a 60-inch TV onto walls or ceilings more than five metres away. Granted, we have trouble thinking of a practical use for this – entertaining fellow plane crash survivors with your home movies while you wait for rescue, maybe? – but it’s super-cool nonetheless. The HDR-PJ series of Handycams should be available this April for $700 to $1,000, depending on the model.

Samsung 9 Series laptop

If you’ve ever felt tempted to switch from a PC to a Mac just because you covet the sexy, silver MacBook Air, the Samsung Series 9 laptop is for you. Taking several design and performance cues from Apple’s engineers, Samsung has made a devastatingly sleek, lightweight (less than 1.4 kilos) Windows 7 laptop with a super-crisp 13.3-inch LED screen, great battery life and power that puts all those low-rent netbooks to shame, thanks to the second-generation Intel Core i5 processor humming away in its guts. It’s set to debut in February for the wallet-pummeling price of $1599 US. Hey, cutting-edge style rarely comes cheap. Just ask Lady Gaga.

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2 comments

  1. Greg Gazin | January 14, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Hey Steve! Great roundup! I guess people who expect all laptops to be $500 will stop complaining about the cost of MacBooks when they see the price tag of the series 9. Of course, you pointed out the Samsung does use the newer (and faster) Core i5 chip.

  2. David | December 30, 2011 at 3:31 am

    There are so many cool and amazing gadgets invented ever since. But what I think is an incredible gadget is the Polaroid GL20 Camera Glasses. It is almost like magic.

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