This year, How-To Geek’s own Justin was on-site at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where every gadget manufacturer shows off their latest creations, and he was able to sit down and get hands-on with most of them. Here’s the best of the bunch.
Make sure to also check out our list of the Worst of CES 2011, where we covered the gadgets that just didn’t make the cut.
Samsung Series 9 laptop
Thin isn’t just for TVs anymore. This Samsung is a direct PC competitor to the MacBook Air and boasts similar or better specs than anything the 13″ Apple can throw at it thanks to its duraluminum body and and Intel Core i5. Too bad all of the duraluminum in the world won’t soak up a $300 price difference between the two machines. But at least you don’t have to give any money to Apple.
Samsung’s Wireless 3D Glasses
3D glasses were fun to wear when they were blue and red and we were 9 years old. Active shutter glasses have not helped the matter with their heavier frames, recharge times, and inability to decide on a standard. The new Samsung 3D glasses fixes 2 of the 3 problems with their 1oz frame and wireless charging station. The plan is to buy the glasses first and then think of an excuse to buy the new TV that goes with them.
It is every geeks dream to have one gadget that can do everything just as well as all the individual devices combined. The Motorola Atrix isn’t that device, but at least it now makes it possible to use your phone as a full blown desktop. The idea is when you put the phone into a desktop or laptop dock the webtop interface pops up giving you a full installation of Firefox and all of the apps on your phone at your disposal. You can even use the 3G from your phone and place phone calls directly from the webtop interface.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry is a company that doesn’t have a strong following outside of the corporate world. Couple that with a declining market share and lack of apps and what does RIM do? Buys a company who knows what design is supposed to look like and make a sleek and super functional tablet that is bound to give the almighty iPad a run for its money. The only downside is the nagging requirement to tether the device to a BlackBerry for email, text, and 3G support. This tablet shares so much in common with webOS it is could almost pass as the next HP slate.
Whether you like motion gaming or not, it is here to stay for at least one generation. PC gamers are not going to be left out of all the fun thanks to Razer’s Sixense. While the controller is not actually for sale yet, this magnetic field projecting, infinite axising, programmable controller has already won our hearts; if for no other reason than the fact that they demoed it with Portal 2. In all seriousness, this thing looks amazing and the promise of a wireless model being developed means you could theoretically have as many of these controllers playing party games from a single receiving unit.
Sony 3D head-mounted display
A completely immersive experience is something that every gamer, movie fan, and meditator seeks. The Sony 3D head-mounted display is so close to providing that experience that it gives us something to look forward to at CES 2012. In our experience the 3D was better than any glasses free or glasses based technology and the immersion was just as good as sitting in our own private movie theater.
Turtle Beach PX5
Long has the Turtle Beach X41 been the best wireless surround sound with microphone headset around. However with a lack of Bluetooth the X41 is limited to only working with the Xbox 360 and still requires a cable for voice chat on the PC. The PX5’s have improved in almost every way on top of the X41, and now have included Bluetooth so they can be paired with your console for chat and your phone for wireless music streaming or phone calls at the same time. PS3 owners can lavish in the wonderful world of 7.1 wireless surround sound, that is, so long as you can afford the $250 MRSP.
Microsoft Surface 2.0
The original surface was announced when Windows Vista SP2 was fresh on our minds and Windows 7 was on our beta machines. It was clunky, expensive, and had a very limited number of demo programs. The new surface is only 4″ thick, can be mounted vertically or horizontally, can not only sense your touch but can also “see” things set on it with Samsung’s pixel sense, and it costs about $6000 less than the original. Oh and did we forget to mention it is made of the largest piece of Gorilla Glass known to man?
Recon GPS Goggles
Our first person shooters have had heads up displays for years and finally our real life can enjoy all the benefits so long as your are looking for speed and GPS location rather than ammo and kill death ratios. If you happen to snowboard, or possibly street luge, than these goggles are probably something that you have dreamed about and should start saving your pennies for now.