Tech companies and their gadget-loving fans just kicked off the new year in Las Vegas at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, unveiling several of the most anticipated products that will hit the market in 2011.
This year’s CES showcased numerous life-changing tech innovations — but going beyond the 3D televisions and home appliances, more than a few gadgets for business owners were featured. Here are my picks for the top five of them.
1) RIM BlackBerry Playbook - If your BlackBerry has become a defining part of the way you do business, you’ll be fascinated by the Playbook. This all-in-one tablet offers a long list of specs that makes online browsing, gaming, watching videos, or running multiple applications a breeze, including an integrated 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connection, 3G network access through your smartphone, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and micro-HDMI output. The tablet weighs less than a pound, and also features a 7-inch display and cameras on both sides for easy videoconferencing. But the most exciting aspect about the Playbook is its ability to sync with your BlackBerry smartphone, providing you with a larger workspace for handling your email, contacts, calendars, and other applications while you’re on the run.
2) Motorola Atrix 4G - Touted by Motorola as “the most powerful smartphone in the world,” the Atrix 4G might actually fulfill those expectations. The gadget comes with an impressive hardware package, including 1GB of RAM, a 1GHz Nvidia processor, 15GB of storage, and a four-inch HD screen. But the best part of the Atrix is its ability to transform into a fully-functioning laptop through the addition of a dock that includes a keyboard and connection ports. Now, business owners can set up an office wherever the day may take them, even without a computer.
3) Spracht Aura Z Cam HD - Taking home a CES Innovation Award, Spracht’s new videoconferencing camera offers business owners the ability to easily carry out meetings from just about any computer system. Aura is lightweight and capable of processing up to 30 frames per second in HD. And with state-of-the-art autofocus but no moving parts, it makes distortion-free video possible even on the go.
4) Samsung Sliding Series 7 - With 2010′s Apple iPad , tech competitors have been busy coming out with their own version of the popular tablet. Samsung’s Sliding Series 7 caught many intrigued eyes at CES, due in part to a full-size keyboard that owners can slide out from under the screen to transform the device into a traditional Windows-based laptop computer.
5) IoSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive – To prove the strength of the Rugged Portable hard drive, IoSafe carried its product to a Las Vegas gun range and proceeded to unleash the fury of a shotgun upon it. While the casing had some cosmetic damage, the stored data on the device was in perfect condition. It’s not just gunfire it can withstand. The hard drive is built for extreme environments and can even survive up to three days under water, crushing weight, and even sandstorms, for you small business owners living in the desert.