There are hundreds of thousands of products on display at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Only a handful caught the eyes of the Consumer Reports experts attending the trade show, however.
Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Paul Reynolds says these five consumer electronics products will be ones to watch for this year.
- Ultrabooks. These thin and light laptop computers, such as models from Samsung, Lenovo, and Acer are impressive challengers to Apple's Macbook Air. What's more, Intel expects more than 75 new ultrabook designs this year.
- OLED TVs. Hard to believe that just a few short years ago, the largest screen which uses these organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) measured just 11-inches. Huge 55-inch sets from LG Electronics and Samsung featured amazingly thin displays showing remarkable color depths. Our experts are eager to get these sets in our labs—as well as see prices drop from the lofty $6,000 to $5,000 selling points.
- Smart phones. Mobile phone shoppers are increasingly making the switch over to touchscreen phones powered by Google's Android or Apple's iOS operating systems. This year, they'll have more choices such as the LG Spectrum, HTC Titan II, Sony Xperia ion and Xperia S, as well as the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX. Our engineers are also looking forward to testing the Samsung Galaxy Note, which features a huge (for a mobile phone) 5.3-inch touchscreen.
- "Appcessories." So what will consumers do with their new smart phone or tablet computer? How about control a robot or entertaining toy? There are add-ons (with specific apps, of course) such as Orbotix Sphero and the Atari Arcade from Discovery Bay for that.
- Connectivity. OK, so this isn't really a product. Still, Internet-connected devices—such as Sony's Bloggie camcorder which streams digital videos directly to Facebook—are something our experts will keep an eye on this year.