CES 2006: top ten gadgets
The hottest Vegas showstoppers since Liberace
So the delegates have gone home, the halls are emptying and, yes, Gates (and Elvis) have left the building. The gadget fest that was the Consumer Electronics Show 2006 is now history. Yet before we bury it for good, here's our list of the ten best gadgets to emerge at the show (in no particular order)...
Hannspree LCD TVs
Barking-mad collection of LCD TVs that boast odd wood finishes, built-in thermometers and much more. They are sure to cause a real splash when they debut in the UK later this year.
All hail the next generation of DVD players! The HD-A1 delivers superb quality high-definition pictures, ultra-realistic surround sound and has a neat line on interactive facilities. It's likely to be pretty cheap too when it launches in the UK later in the year. It might find this makes life a little difficult, though.
Motorola O ROKR music shades
We liked the first collaboration between Motorola and Oakley in the Razrwire Bluetooth shades, which let the user make and receive mobile phone calls via an adaptor housed on the glasses. The O ROKR takes the concept to the next level by adding wireless stereo playback to the original design. They should be out in the UK fairly soon for around £200.
Belkin Cable-Free USB Hub
Vaguely useful gadget shock. The wireless USB hub is a four-port gadget that uses ultrawideband technology to connect with a standard UISB socket.
The coolest-looking AV system of the show, the HTS9800W features wall-mounted surround-sound speakers, an array of home cinema decoders and a very stylish control unit. Due later in the year it will cost around £400.
A very smart little gadget that forms a bridge between your phone line and your PC, thereby enabling you to make and receive Skype VoIP calls no matter where you are and which phone you are using.
Sony location free TV for the PSP
Sony's most exciting CES announcement was that its innovative location-free TV service, which enables PSP owners to stream wirelessly whatever is on their home TV to their device over Wi-Fi, is coming to the UK. To get started users need to buy a $350 gadget and install software on their PSP.
Epos Digital pen and USB flash drive bundle
A product that could finally take the digital pen mainstream. Users write on any sheet of paper and an accompanying little USB gadget stores the pen-strokes on its flash memory. The user then hooks the device up to a PC and lets XP's scrawl-to-text transfer software do the rest. Due in Q3 for a competitive £50.
A serious rival to the iPod video, the MES60VK has a cracking 2.4in 320 x 240 screen, a 60GB hard drive and supports just about every format going.
From the land where the Fatburger and the TV rules comes the Entertrainer - a device that lets you power your TV with exercise. If its built-in heart-rate monitor senses you are slacking, the sound on the TV disappears. Genius.
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