Latest electronics on display at gadget show

January 5, 2011 2:54:57 PM PST
The latest and greatest hi-tech gadgets will be unveiled as the International Consumer Electronics Show kicks off on Thursday.

The iPad is expected to get some real competition as tablet computers are expected to be a hot item at the show.

You can also expect a price drop - right now you'll pay a minimum of $500 for the iPad, but the Yankee Research Group says eventually the average sticker price for tablets will go down to about $237.

Consumer Reports expects about 50 tablets will be on display at CES, most of them 10-inches and from major manufacturers like Toshiba - whose tablet has a number of features the iPad is lacking.

"Including support for flash video so you can watch more online video, a memory card slot, some cameras," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.

Asus has unveiled a tablet that has a keyboard that slides out and one called 'The Transformer.' It's a laptop that splits into two in order to function as a tablet.

3-D TV will be another hot category.

"I think we're going to see some lower-priced sets and new innovations in glasses," said Reynolds. "The glasses that have come so far have been heavy and expensive. This year, you'll see lighter glasses that are more like regular sunglasses."

The newer glasses will be cheaper, too - about $30 instead of $100 or $150. In fact, LG has announced that extra glasses for its 3-D sets will cost less than $20.

"We're also probably going to see some prototypes of 3-D TVs with no glasses," Reynolds said. However, early reports indicate they may have some issues with viewing angles.

"You can get a really good 3-D angle if you sit right in the middle in front of the set but, when you move to the sides, you lose that effect," Reynolds said.

More color eBook readers are also expected to be on display. You can expect to see better quality and longer battery life.

Also plan on seeing more fourth generation wireless technology, especially announcements about new 4-G phones from Verizon and other carriers.

Meanwhile, many people are asking - Will Apple announce a Verizon iPhone at the show? Consumer Reports DOUBTS it since Apple doesn't have a formal presence at CES.

However, technology experts are blogging that Apple will announce the long-awaited Verizon iPhone at a product launch event next Tuesday.