Ten trendy gadgets from US tech shows

By DPA, Gaea News Network
Friday, January 9, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO/LAS VEGAS - Cash-strapped consumers may not be able to afford much in the way of new tech toys these days. But who says they can’t look? For their ogling pleasure there are plenty of desirable new gadgets debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and at MacWorld in San Francisco.


1: Green phone - Motorola’s mobile phone fortunes have fallen long and hard since the days when its Razr was the must-have device for the trendy. Motorola’s latest attempt at trend setting is the Renew - the planet’s first mobile phone made from recycled plastic bottles.

2: Anywhere TV - Dish Network, the US satellite TV provider, unveiled a digital video recorder that can send TV signals to any computer or mobile phone, allowing users to tune into their home televisions from anywhere. The device can also be controlled via the Internet.

3: Sexy Sony - Sony has tumbled from its perch as the world’s top consumer electronics leader, but it can still come up with some neat devices. It unveiled the world’s lightest netbook PC, the Vaio P, which comes in at just 635 gm, boasts a 20-cm screen and a variety of networking options. The company showcased a flexible video screen and a set of video-projection glasses that are currently in development.

4: The Walkman is back - Sony gets kudos for its Walkman x1000, a tiny media player with a 7.5-cm organic LED screen, a web browser, wi-fi capabilities and an active noise cancellation system. Pity that the company couldn’t come up with something similar before the iPod claimed the market.

5: Yahoo TV - The struggling Internet company has teamed up with electronics giant Samsung for an internet-enabled TV on which you can load third-party widgets while watching your favourite programmes. For instance, a sports game could be enhanced by a statistics widget on the teams involved.

6: GPS on steroids - Tom Toms’s GO 740 LIVE is already being touted as the portable navigation device of the year. It provides real-time traffic information from other Tom Tom users, Local Search powered by Google and a technology that calculates travel time information based on historical data for every road, every day of the week, and time of day. The only problem is that users won’t have any good excuses for being late anymore.

7: The Ultimate Macbook - You would have to have the heart of a luddite not to crave Apple’s new 43-cm MacBook Pro. This sleek yet gargantuan laptop is less than 2.5 cm thick, weighs 3 kg and boasts a battery that offers a purported eight hours of run time. It also comes equipped with Apple’s new iLife and iWork software suites, which should make anyone still working with Windows insanely jealous. One cool feature in the photo application automatically recognizes who is in photographs and groups their pictures together.

8: Lenovo sees double - Power users of laptops must surely be drooling over the new Lenovo ThinkPad w700ds. This behemoth offers pretty much every feature you can imagine and a few you can’t, such as a dual-screen arrangement in which a smaller screen slides out of the 17-inch main monitor.

9: Palm Surprise - Struggling smartphone maker Palm may just have hit a home run that could save it from extinction. Its new Pre phone is the first device that even iPhone crazy reviewers admit is one generation ahead of the Apple device, with an intuitive interface that outdoes iPhones in performance and functionality, a slide-out keyboard, a 3-megapixel camera and a Linux-based operating system that should inspire thousands of third-party developers.

10: Windows 7 - For all the trendy gadgets on the cutting edge of technology, it’s still the Windows operating system that will have the greatest impact on the average tech user. The good news is that the test version of the next generation Windows OS unveiled at CES is vastly superior to the bloated, bug-ridden Vista that it’s replacing. Even better is that the code is now available as a free test download and that the release version should be out well before the end of 2009.

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