SLIDESHOW

CES Gadget Parade Begins

Dozens of gadgets, TVs and laptops made an appearance ahead of CES. Check out more than 20 of the coolest gear right now.

CES Gadget Parade Begins

With hours to go before the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off, dozens of gadgets, TVs and laptops made an appearance in anticipation of the gadgetfest. Whether it's a flicker-free 3D TV, an Android tablet, or a superfast router, CES 2011 has got you covered. Check out more then 20 of the coolest gear presented ahead of CES. The best part is that this is just the beginning...

Check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2011.

Micro Flash Drives

Lexar's Echo MX and the ZX backup drives store up to 128GB, support file encryption, and fit in your pocket. The Echo MX comes in 8, 16, 32, 64, and a massive 128GB, and offers between read speeds between 28MB/s and 32MB/s, as well as write speeds ranging from 10MB/s to 17MB/s.

Read more, here.

iPad Video Projector Dock

This dock for iOS devices contains a pico projector. Pop in your iPad, iPhone or iPod and the Slice will project video from the device as large as 60 inches diagonally across. But for a one-trick pony, the Slice doesn't come cheap; it's $430.

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Smart Car Entertainment

Toyota's Entune in-car multimedia system uses your smartphone or feature phone to deliver a variety of apps into the car, all controlled by the voice of the driver. While the apps can be controlled using finger touches on the screen, the system also lets the driver interact with apps using voice commands, allowing the driver to keep his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road.

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Not Just for GM Cars Anymore

OnStar is a service that connects drivers to a live concierge-type support rep while they're driving. It was previously exclusive to GM cars, but starting this spring, you'll have the opportunity to add the OnStar service to almost any recent car. The mirror will cost $299, plus professional installation (OnStar is partnering with Best Buy to start out). The service starts at $18.95 per month or $199 per year.

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Elegant and Expensive

Pairing fashion with function, the Parrot DIA Digital Photo Frame has a slick, minimal design yet a hefty $500 pricetag. Designed by the nodesign agency of Paris, the DIA is designed to look like a photo lightbox. The 10.4-inch frame gives the illusion that the photo is disconnected from the frame.

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Flipping Out On iPads

The Ori Pad folds successively from one position to the next, starting with a flat case that shields both sides of the iPad with aluminum. Flipping open the top cover, which has microfiber on the opposite side, lets you use the tablet without a stand. Lifting up the iPad from one end reveals a tiny kickstand that provides a slight incline for typing.

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Android Satellite Communicator

With SPOT Connect, you can send messages and GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere on the planet, according to the company. Before you go on your adventure, you'll have to download the SPOT Connect app, available for Android phones running version 2.0 and higher. You can send SMS messages, short e-mails, Facebook status updates and tweets.

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Super-Slim External HDD

Seagate's GoFlex drive has a narrow profile - 9mm-thin profile, to be exact. The as-yet unnamed drive packs a 7mm hard drive with 320GB on a single platter, a rotation speed of 7200rpm, and a USB 3.0 connector. The drive is 38 percent slimmer than the 14mm standard GoFlex portable drives.

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Toshiba’s Android Tablet

Toshiba's tablet is the first of a stream of tablets from the company running Google's Android Honeycomb operating system, which is loosely expected in summer. The unit has 10.1-inch, 1280 by 800 display for 720p high-def playback support on-board, and 1080p output via the full HDMI port connector. Inside is the NVidia Tegra 2 processor; the amount of memory on-board has yet to be determined. It has 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, GPS, stereo speakers, and an accelerometer.

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LG TV Goes Monster 3D

The LZ9700 is one of the largest LCD TVs yet from any manufacturer to offer the illusion of 3D. The television's 3D technology was not disclosed but LG already sells several 3D televisions that require the user to wear glasses to see the illusion of depth. LG provided a few details of the product: It has an LED backlight, 400Hz scanning, local dimming and can connect to other gadgets via the DLNA home networking standard and USB.

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LG Goes After Apple TV

The LG ST600 "Smart TV Upgrader" is an 11-centimeter-square box that connects via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to the Internet. Through it, you can access sites such as YouTube, Netflix, Pandora Internet radio, Cinema Now, and Vudu, and run Yahoo TV widgets. The service, called Smart TV, was previously branded LG NetCast and loaded on some LG TVs, Blu-ray Disc systems and home-theater products. The device is compatible with the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standard and can connect and stream content from other DLNA-compatible products such as home servers and computers.

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Slim Blu-ray Player

Samsung developed a Blu-ray Disc player 23 millimeters thick that supports 3D Blu-ray content and includes a function to convert conventional 2D content into a quasi-3D image, Samsung said. The player can also connect to the Internet and display content from sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on a TV screen. Samsung provided no other technical specifications of the player, but claimed it would be the world's thinnest 3D Blu-ray Disc player when launched. Pricing and launch information are unknown.

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A Mobile 3D TV

LG's TVs based on the ATSC-M/H standard for mobile and handheld television, include one that doesn't require the users to wear glasses to see a 3D effect. Its screen has a filter that directs light to each eye and enables the illusion of depth to be seen when viewed from a certain position. One of the mobile TV devices looks like a 7" portable TV and the other looks like the LG Optimus phone sold on Metro PCS in the United States.

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Asus’ Windows 7 Tablet

Asustek's Eee Slate E121 has an Intel Core i5 processor and Microsoft's Windows 7 OS, for a full PC experience. It is focused on HD multimedia, with an HDMI port in addition to its USB port. The device will launch in January for $999 to $1,099, the company said.

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Sliding Android Tablet

The Asus Eee Pad Slider comes with the latest version of Google's Android mobile OS (Honeycomb), sporting a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a keypad that slides out, similar to mobile phones with sliding keyboards, for laptop-like typing. The device also boasts an Nvidia Tegra dual-core processor for strong graphics performance and has dual cameras on board. The Eee Pad Slider will launch in May and will be priced between $499 and $799 depending on several factors, including content and wireless contracts.

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Flicker-free 3D TV

LG showed off a new technology that promises to eliminate flicker and crosstalk from 3DTVs that require glasses. LG's Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) 3D panel technology eliminates both flicker and crosstalk, which, according to LG, are two key complaints wearers of 3D glasses have with today's shutter glass (SG) technology. LG states that FPR is based on Patterned Retarder technology, but instead of using an extra layer of polarizing glass on the LCD HDTV, a polarizing film is used instead - a manufacturing adjustment that significantly reduces costs.

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3D Laptops

Toshiba also showed off a new version of its Qosmio multimedia laptop with built-in 3D display. The display doesn't require 3D glasses. It has dual cameras that track the user's eyes and help the laptop deliver a picture with the illusion of depth. Like no-glasses 3D TVs shown previously by the company in Japan, the technology relies on a custom-developed screen made by Toshiba, but it isn't perfect. While the center of the image was clear and appeared to have depth, the edges of the image were blurred.

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Samsung Goes Fancy 3D TV

Samsung's 9 Series range 3DTV features a show-stealing asymmetrical design, with a slim and slick designed metallic construction. The set is LED backlit, it's very slim and can connect to WiFi via a dongle. More details are expected during CES.

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A Bit Extra Built In

LG's Netcast connected TVs are getting more connections, including support (with the addition of a Webcam accessory) for Skype video calls on many of its new sets. This expands on LG's introduction, last year, of sets with built-in support for video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Vudu. Other new Internet services include Picasa and AccuWeather. LG's TVs are also getting skinner at 6.3mm thick.

Read more, here.

Gadget Solar Charger

Goal Zero's compact and lightweight system uses solar energy to charge mobile devices. The new Guide 10 Adventure Kit is built to charge completely in four hours of full sunlight and deliver portable power to a variety of USB and DC devices. When fully charged, it should deliver 30 hours of power for a cellphone, seven to 10 hours for a smartphone or 40 hours for an iPod, for example.

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Need For Speed

The Netgear N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4000), the company's new top-of-the-line Wi-Fi offering, promises theoretical throughput of 450 megabits per second, the highest yet for a Wi-Fi router (although other firms are also announcing 450 mbps routers). The N750 surpasses the also-announced N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Premium Edition (WNDR3800), which tops out at a theoretical maximum of 300 mbps.

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