CES 2010: Picks and Pans

From 3D home-theater gear to tablets, tablets, everywhere, here's what we loved and hated at this year's show.

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Pretty as a Picture

Is There Anything These Cameras Can't Do? Sony's 10X-optical-zoom Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V shoots 1080i video and offers GPS capabilities, a digital compass, a revamped Sweep Panorama mode, and wireless file sharing via TransferJet. Casio's 10X-optical-zoom EX-FH100 has a rapid-fire mode that snaps 40 shots per second and shoots RAW-format images. And Samsung's 7X-optical-zoom CL80 has an AMOLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an innovative design. --Tim Moynihan

An Impressive Pocket-Size Printer: Slim and unobtrusive, Pandigital's Portable Printer is the first to use the Zink zero-ink technology to print images on 4-by-6-inch paper. I liked its size; but more important, the image quality appears to be a vast improvement over that of the early Zink printers that produced wallet-size photos. My test prints looked surprisingly good. --Melissa J. Perenson

Sony (Finally!) Says Hello to SD Cards: Do you believe in miracles? Proprietary-format-happy Sony has finally adopted SD/SDHC cards as the storage in its point-and-shoot cameras. To be fair, Sony's Memory Stick format does predate the SD Card format, but SD/SDHC cards are practically an industry standard. And if you still have a bunch of Memory Stick cards lying around, don't worry: The new Cyber-shot cameras have a card slot that supports both SD/SDHC and Memory Stick. --Tim Moynihan

Budget-Busting Camcorder: Panasonic's Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder is a professional-level 3D camcorder that records video from each of its lenses to SDHC cards. If you have $21,000 handy, you should definitely pick one up in the fall; for the price, Panasonic will custom-build the camcorder to your liking. --Tim Moynihan

Gadgets, Games, and More

Internet Radio Never Looked So Good: Internet radio has been around for a few years now, but British company Pure has put an innovative twist on it with the Sensia. With a colorful touch interface, a stylish design, and an endless library of stations from all over the world, the Sensia is one of the most entertaining gadgets I saw at the show. --Ginny Mies

Your Ears Will Revolt: Technocel's $20 Ear Vibe works as advertised, physically jolting along with the kick drum in rap and rock songs--but that's not a good thing. Even after removing the headphones, my ears were still twitching. --Jared Newman

This Would Have Been Better as a Stress Ball: Jelfin says that, according to a recent survey, 74 percent of Americans want a more comfortable computer mouse. But the company's spherical, gel-covered anomaly isn't the answer. As comfy as it is to hold, you have to press your palm forward with every mouse click to prevent the Jelfin mouse from sliding backward. --Jared Newman

Old-School Gaming, Anywhere: Here's my nerdy secret: On long flights, I've been known to bust out a wired Xbox 360 controller and play classic video games on my laptop. Ion's $20 GoPad makes more sense; this NES-like controller folds into a palm-size cube and has a retractable USB cable. --Jared Newman

Car Tech Gets an Upgrade: Ford's upcoming MyFord Touch dashboard has proven one thing: The auto giant has realized that cars needn't lag woefully behind the rest of the technology world. MyFord, which will appear in the 2011 Ford Edge, can connect to the Internet with a USB modem, play gobs of media, and, in the future, let you operate mobile apps from the dashboard or by voice. It could be the greatest in-car innovation since the auxiliary port. --Jared Newman

Setting Standards

The Need for Speed: For data speed demons, USB 3.0--announced by a slew of vendors--is shaping up as a promising connection interface. Our early tests of Western Digital's new My Book 3.0 revealed a desktop hard drive with plenty of performance mojo. While WD's first USB 3.0 product is a desktop 3.5-inch drive, I'm personally looking forward to Seagate's Black Armor PS110, a portable 2.5-inch drive; over an actual USB 3.0 port, such as that announced on some HP models, this drive can run, unpowered, at faster speeds than its USB 2.0 cousins. --Melissa J. Perenson

Not Another Standards Battle, Please: Two competing high-bandwidth wireless technologies both picked up support at CES. Sibeam's WirelessHD, which promises up to 4GB of throughput in the 60GHz band, will power the wireless hookups between new Vizio sets and Blu-ray players. But LG, which last year introduced pricey WirelessHD sets, is switching to the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), which uses the 5GHz band and promises up to 3GB throughput. Just what we need: another standards war. --Yardena Arar

(For a slideshow summary of these Picks and Pans, see "The Best of CES 2010" and "The Biggest Bummers of CES 2010.")

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