So I'm back from CES 2009 and recovering from the Nerd Flu. I apologize if my intro isn't as upbeat as Raymond's Top Three Picks of CES 2009, but he didn't get sick... five out of five doctors recommend staying away from 100,000 consumer electronics professionals.
As always, be sure to check out the full Best of the Best of CES and submit your list for the Best of CES for a chance to win a totally sweet classic Sony Walkman.
And with that, here are my picks:
3) Toshiba Cell TV -- While everyone was pushing 240Hz and LED backlighting, Toshiba was looking to the future with Cell TV. This future is actually just later in 2009 if it can release its new set-top box when promised, but it will be a while before we all have displays that can take full advantage of the device. If you missed the announcement, Cell TV uses the same Cell processor that powers the PS3 to do crazy video-processing voodoo. Toshiba promises that its device will make SD look like HD and HD look like 4K x 2K, which is four times as awesome as 1080p. Expect this beast to cost a lot of money. Further, expect 4K x 2K displays to cost a lot of money. Start saving.
2) Sony P-Series Notebook
As a blogger, I'm always looking for the best compact laptop to do my job. Currently, I use a 13" MacBook, which is completely awesome, but was also completely expensive. Personally, I don't mind paying the Apple Tax, but many do. For them, the Sony P-Series might be what they are looking for. With built-in 3G, Wireless-N, and the Intel Atom chipset, this laptop runs Vista and Sony stresses that it isn't a Netbook. I overheard a quote of four hours for battery life with a standard battery, and eight hours with an extended battery. The 3G card inside will probably destroy these numbers, but we'll see. I wasn't the biggest fan of the mouse nub and mouse button placement, but I could learn to live with them.
1) Palm Pre & WebOS
Everyone is pointing to the Palm Pre as the best of the show, but maybe not for the reasons I'm choosing Palm's last chance. After walking the floor and seeing all the newest Windows Mobile and Android devices, I was longing for another touchscreen smartphone that actually features an iPhone-quality touchscreen. That appears to be the Palm Pre. Furthermore, I was looking for a competitor that brought an OS to the table, as well. This appears to be WebOS.
Does this mean I'm ditching my iPhone? Not at all. I'm not ready to jump to Sprint or a Palm device (we'll see what the second version of the Pre is... the Post?), but I'm happy that Apple will have some competition again. Competition breeds innovation on both sides and Apple has gotten a bit complacent in recent months as far as firmware updates and new features go.
The device itself looks okay, but some of the user interface features of WebOS and the Pre look great. If you missed the demonstration, you can watch Palm's entire announcement press conference right here.