CES 2011 Top 10 products at CES 2011
This article, CES 2011, was last updated on 07 January 2011 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is over for another year, so now is a good time to reflect on the vast array of new technology products unveiled, and to pick the stand-out gadgets and trends we expect to be a success in 2011 and beyond.
1. Glasses-free 3D TV
2010 was the year that 3D TV went mass-market, but the need to wear 3D glasses is still putting many consumers off. At CES 2011 LG, Toshiba and Sony all showed their own prototype glasses-free 3D TV technologies - all of which are unlikely to make it in 2011, but do point the way to the future.
Sony’s Bravia technology looked pretty impressive, but had restricted viewing angles and quite a soft picture. We thought Toshiba’s ‘lenticular’ system lacked the depth of active or passive 3D displays. But it was LG’s glasses-free 3D TV that impressed us most – images looked comparatively sharp, bright and had more 3D depth. The only drawback? You can’t watch 2D images on the 3D screen.
2. Second generation 3D glasses
So, given that glass-free 3D TVs are still at the prototype stage, we were glad to see improved styles of 3D glasses starting to appear. Samsung’s revamped active shutter glasses, in particular, are remarkably light, comfortable and stylish, and link to the TV’s 3D transmitter via Bluetooth. Last year’s models used infra-red, sadly making the new glasses incompatible with the previous generation of 3D TVs.
3. Android 3.0 tablets
2010 saw the release of a variety of Android tablets, but all of them ran versions of Android designed for smartphones and weren’t optimised for the larger screens of tablets.
Fast forward to early 2011 and the world’s first Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) tablets were unveiled at CES. Asus had no fewer than three new Android tablets on show – from the 10.1-inch Eee Pad Slider with a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, and Eee Pad Transformer which has a keyboard docking station, to the cheaper 7-inch MeMo.
Motorola concentrated on one high-profile tablet launch at CES – the Xoom – a 10-inch Honeycomb tablet, and a credible rival to the iPad. Its dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 5Mp camera and HDMI output impressed us during our brief hands-on time filming a first look video at CES 2011.
4. Super smartphones
The Consumer Electronics Show isn’t often the venue for major mobile phone launches, but CES 2011 still managed to bring us some revolutionary new smartphones. The Motorola Atrix headed the list with its claim to be the world’s most powerful smartphone, thanks to a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of Ram.
The LG Optimus 2X also had a dual-core processor, 4-inch touchscreen and the ability to output HD video on both the 2X and a TV simultaneously. And Sony Ericsson’s Arc handset is a slimline Android 2.3 handset with an impressive 4.2-inch ‘Reality Display’ screen that gives the iPhone 4’s Retina display a run for its money.
5. High-resolution ebook readers
We were expecting a larger number of new ebook readers than CES 2011 actually delivered. The iRiver Story HD was the pick of the bunch with a high-resolution screen, super-fast page turns and a claimed three-week battery life.
Colour ebook readers were present at CES, but even one of the most promising technologies, Qualcomm’s Mirasol, looked very much a work in progress, with colours looking too muted to be ready for the mainstream.
6. Superzoom, mirrorless and 3D digital cameras
In terms of new technologies there was a mixed bag of digital cameras on show at CES 2011. Sony had a slew of new 16Mp compact Cyber-shot cameras, plus the affordable 3D WX9. Olympus had a fully-working XZ-1 compact with a Zuiko lens, Fujifilm showed off its manually zoomed 30x HS20 superzoom, and Samsung’s wi-fi enabled SH100 can be controlled via an Android smartphone. And the Olympus E-PL2 micro four-thirds successor also made an welcome appearance.
7. BlackBerry PlayBook
BlackBerry’s PlayBook deserves its own entry in this list, for not only does it break the mould by using its own QNX operating system rather than being another Android-powered clone, but it’s potentially the one tablet that can rival the iPad in 2011. Powered by a dual-core processor, this 7-inch tablet has a touch-sensitive bezel around the screen, giving a swipe gesture interface which we found incredibly slick and intuitive.
8. Internet TV
Internet TV is another major trend that was apparent at CES 2011. LG and Samsung’s Smart TV platforms and Panasonic’s Viera Connect all promise their own take on bringing movies, apps, videos and web browsing to your TV. Sony and Logitech hardware running Google TV also gave a teasing glimpse of what to expect when it launches in the UK later in 2011. There's just one problem with multi-functional internet TVs. How on earth does a regular TV remote cope? Watch our video to see how the manufacturers are approaching the problem.
9. Casio Exilim Tryx
It may not have 3D capabilities, but the Casio Exilim Tryx caught our eye at CES 2011 for its innovative hooped handle which offers plenty of flexibility when holding the Tryx in your hand or balancing it on a flat surface. Add in advanced features like the gesture sensor which lets you take a photo by waving at the Tryx, plus a 21mm wide-angle lens and a 3-inch touchscreen and you’ve got a versatile little pocket camcorder.
10. General Motors En-v
Wade through the plethora of handheld gadgets at CES and you’ll always find some novel transportation devices. GM’s En-v is an advanced two-wheeled concept car powered by a lithium-ion battery. Explanations can’t really do it justice, so experience a ride in the En-v in our video review.