LAS VEGAS--Day 3 of the Consumer Electronics Show made some companies very happy.
CNET today announced the winners of this year's Best of CES Awards. The winners included a top product in 10 categories; the People's Voice Award, given to the product with the most votes from CNET readers; and the coveted Best of Show Award. This year's top honors went to LG's absolutely beautiful 55-inch OLED television. The LG 55EM9600 OLED TV promises the superb all-around performance of OLED technology in an ultra-thin panel. And when we say ultra-thin, we mean it; it's a mere 4mm thick. For a little perspective, when I saw it on the show floor, it made the smartphone I carry around in my back pocket look obscenely fat.
The People's Voice Award went to Razer's Project Fiona--still just a concept--that would bring serious gaming capabilities to a mobile device.
While Fiona is still just in the prototype stage, another of the company's products, the Blade gaming laptop, is on display at Razer's booth now. (Another Razer prototype, then called the Switchblade, was the People's Voice winner last year.) We got our hands on that today.
A first look at the Razer Blade gaming laptop
CNET's Jeff Bakalar got a private demo of the Wii U and, after seeing a brief trailer for Zelda, extrapolated what gameplay might be like when Nintendo's legendary adventure game comes to the company's upcoming mobile gaming device.
Nintendo Wii U
Bang & Olufson is trying to make a bit of a downmarket play, introducing a lower-cost (note that I did not say "low cost") line of portable sound systems, headphones, speakers, and televisions. The company is known for extreme luxury. The first product, launched here at CES and set to become available January 23, is the $799 Beolit 12, a wireless, portable speaker for iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. This stuff won't be cheap. But it's significantly less expensive than B&O's current lineup, so you can expect to see it start creeping into the mainstream consumer home soon.
Research In Motion said it's finally blessing its PlayBook tablet with dedicated apps for e-mail, contacts, and calendar. When it introduced the PlayBook, RIM said those kinds of apps could pose security threats and might impede adoption by corporate clients. But that clearly left the PlayBook at a severe disadvantage when compared against other tablets. The PlayBook OS 2.0 update is due out in February.
Samsung Electronics told us today their goal is to eradicate battery fail in their phones.
"When you wake up to when you go to bed, we don't want you feeling anxiety about your battery life," said Kevin Packingham in an interview today.
If they can do it, this would be a godsend. As smartphones tack on more and more features, increase screen size, and use faster processors, battery life has suffered. Thankfully, at this CES it's clear manufacturers are starting to look for solutions. One of the most highly touted featured of Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr Maxx is that it packs a significantly larger battery than the Droid Razr. Let's hope we all have fewer flashing red battery lights in our future.