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by JC Torpey


The 2011 CES international, being held Thursday to Sunday, is the biggest electronics trade show in the world. This year’s show will feature gadgets from over 2000 manufacturers, some from big name giants and others from smaller startups. No matter the size of the company involved, all of the gadgets at the show have an equal chance of making the “Best of CES” awards given out by CNet each year. Which products are predicted to make the cut?

Which television might make the CNet cut for best of CES?

When it comes to televisions at CES, HDTVs are the only ones we see anymore, which makes choosing Best of CES impossible; most of the TVs offer the same features. TVs this year offering consumers something new include Vizio’s two offerings, the HDTV for cinema junkies. Instead of offering the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio indicative of widescreen viewing, these will offer a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is perfect for cinema style movie watching. Phillips debuted a similar television so the cinema aspect ratio is nothing new, however, what makes this a contender for Best of CES is that the televisions will be offered in the U.S., as the Phillips versions were not.

Which smartphones might win the CNet best of CES award?

So far, HTC is one of the most talked about smartphone manufactures ever. Not only did HTC offer a host of “firsts,” such as first Windows PDA in 1998, first Android phone in 2008 and first WiMAX phone in 2008, but it is about to do it again. HTC is about to offer the first AT&T 4G phone called the Inspire and the first Verizon 4G phone called the Thunderbolt. HTC smartphones are of legendary quality, popularity and price, and those facts alone make either of the HTC smartphone perfect contenders for Best of CES.

Which tablet PCs might make the cut for best of CES?

With a flurry of table PC’s expected to debut at CES this year, one of them certainly must gain the coveted Best of CES award, but which one? With over 70 to choose from, picking one will be difficult to do. Of the many tablet PCs that offer details about what they will feature, the one with the best chance of winning anything is one of the three Toshiba tablets. Two of them will offer a 10.1-inch display and the other an 11.8-inch display, some of the largest ever offered. They will also feature a CPU good enough for the upcoming 4G/LTE network and each one will feature a different operating system; one each for Android Honeycomb, Chrome OS and Windows 7.

Which digital camera or camcorder might make best of CES?

Pocket camcorders were all the rage this past year (remember Flip?) and Kodak is cashing in on that popularity by releasing two new pocket camcorders, the PlayFull and the PlaySport Zx5. The Playful is probably one of the world’s thinnest pocket camcorders at only 0.7 inches thin, but it offers all the features of a full size version, such as 1080p and a frame rate of 30 per second. It can also take still photos and also allows the user to edit photos and videos while they are still in the camera. The Playsport is a waterproof version that also shoots 30 frames per second and 1080p, but this one also has room for a SD Card Slot. Both are great camcorders and deserve best of CES in this category. The Playfull will retail at $149.95 and the Playsport at $179.95 when they finally reach the consumer market.

The best digital camera is a category all its own and this year. There are many great contenders to choose from. However, the one to beat this year will be the Samsung SH100, which not only has built in Wi-Fi connectivity, but it will also allows its users to synchronize with the Samsung Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets. Users of the smartphones can use them as remote view finders for the cameras, making taking timed shots easier. This camera will retail for about $199 when it finally hits stores and certainly deserves a look for the Best of CES.