Steven Jones' Top Ten List from CES 2005

After getting over the rush of trying to visit over 2500 exhibitors and the exhaustion of walking what felt like the length of the Grand Canyon in 2 days, I am finally able to gather my thoughts and compile my top ten list.

Top Ten Favorite Gadgets from CES 2005

Please note that these are my favorites for a wide variety of reasons as explained below. They are not necessarily the best devices.

  1. [Portable Gaming] Gizmondo - is a new handheld gaming device that packs an impressive list of features into a well-crafted and engaging package. What impressed me most is the GPS integration that will allow multiple players to engage each other not in virtual terrain but on the actual streets! Check it out
  2. [Home Video] Slingbox - is the brand new product from Sling Media, a new company looking to change the video world in much the same way that TiVo revolutionized TV years ago. Where DVRs like TiVo have popularized "time-shifting" or the ability to watch what you want when you want, Sling Media is introducing yet another box that will let you watch it where you want. Using a pure software client on your laptop, wireless PDA or cell phone, you can operate a home media device back in your house and stream the signal over the network! Check it out
  3. [Wireless] LG Electronics KV3600 3D Gaming Phone - this was a real surprise. When my buddy picked up what we both thought was a cleverly disguised gaming pad tucked into a cool looking phone, we were suitably impressed. But when he noticed he could control the snowboarder on the screen by moving the phone itself we both lost it. That's right - motion-sensing gaming controls built into a sleek, horizontal clamshell phone. Wow! Check it out
  4. [Portable Video] Archos PMA 400 - like many Archos owners/fans, I have been patiently waiting for this thing to see the light of day. Not only did they combine the functions of a PDA with a powerful portable media player and a gaming platform but they added WiFi for web browsing and threw in a touch screen to boot! Other improvements include an external speaker, USB host, and removable battery - nice touches. Check it out
  5. [Cordless Phones] Uniden ELBT595 Bluetooth Cordless Phone System - I had already heard of this before I went to the show, but was still blown away with how companies are still finding plenty of room to innovate in what you think would be a fading market. I am already a fan of cordless phone systems for the house, but it still took me a while to absorb how this system is going to utilize Bluetooth to communicate with your cell phone so that you could make calls from the cordless system through your cell service provider. To top it off, I can now justify wearing my "cool" Bluetooth headset all day as I move back and forth effortlessly between my cell and home phones. Check it out
  6. [Accessories] eGrips - this relatively simple invention is an extremely useful accessory for people like me who find many of the current crop of gadgets too slippery. eGrips are simply rubberized stickers that are cut to exactly match your particular device (e.g. Treo 650, iPod, Delphi MyFi). Cheap enough to justify buying 2 or 3, this will likely be a big hit. Check it out
  7. [Portable Gaming] Sony PSP - here is another no-brainer. Claiming to have resolutions comparable to the recent crop of gaming console, this platform will no doubt become a must-have device for all gamers-on-the-go. I rushed out to buy the Nintendo DS, and although I was quite impressed with the innovations bundled into that next-gen device, I am already craving the PSP, especially if it becomes a viable multimedia player as well. Check it out
  8. [Portable Audio] Delphi MyFi - I also rushed out to buy one of these before the show and already knew it was a killer gadget. But the MyFi was truly the darling of the show and was everywhere you went. For a complete roundup of all the features of the world's first portable satellite radio, see my article. Delphi is rightfully proud too - Check it out
  9. [Smartphones] Treo 650 - I proudly flash my new Treo phone every chance I get, and was not surprised to see that palmOne's newest smartphone was getting much deserved attention from the CES crowd. Extending the phone with email, web browsing, digital camera, Bluetooth, and standard touchscreen-enabled Palm OS is what it takes to rise above the competition. Check it out
  10. [Home Video] LG 60PY2DR 60-inch plasma TV - of the hundreds of TVs displayed there (and that was just one booth!) I have to say this one really caught my eye. I have seen TVs with built-in DVRs, but not with high-definition recorders. There aren't even that many HD DVRs out there, so to see one built into a sexy plasma TV is enough to make my head turn. No link yet, sorry.

Honorable(?) Mentions

It is so hard to whittle a list down to ten, so I thought I would also include some runners up.

  • Cell Boost - don't let the name confuse you, this company is selling disposable battery extenders for every portable device known to man. It was probably the coolest giveaway trinket at the show and at $6 each, will probably find its way into many pocketbooks and briefcases. Check it out
  • iBiquity's HD Digital Radio - anyone who says radio is dead probably hasn't heard of the upcoming digital radio movement. Our European friends are already enjoying this, but it is taking longer to bring this technology to listeners on this side. Digital radio is broadcast over the same airwaves as the stations you now enjoy, but will require new radios to pick up the new, crystal clear sounds. The demo we heard made AM sound like a CD! Check it out
  • Qualia 017 - I don't get the whole mini-disc thing, especially with the overwhelming popularity of flash and hard-drive based music player but I can understand that for some it hold a special place. But what I will never understand is why anyone would pay over $3000 for a solid brass minidisc player! Help me out anyone! Check it out

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