CNET Top 5: 2014 predictions
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CNET Top 5: 2014 predictions

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CNET's Donald Bell counts down the trends he predicts will shape 2014.

Dek: CNETÃ?s Donald Bell counts down the trends he predicts will shape 2014. OPEN-----------------Hey I'm Donald Bell and welcome to 2014. Maybe it's just me, but 2014 just sounds like a very futuristic year, full of lasers and robots, and flying cars. So with that in mind today in counting down my list of 2014 tech predictions. Starting off at #5: More Google products. I figure they didnÃ?t build a giant barge in San Francisco just to show off Google Glass and a few Chromebooks. They got off to a bad start with the Nexus Q, but they redeemed themselves when the Chromecast became a mega hit. I donÃ?t think theyÃ?re going to stop now. While Apple is sitting back and playing it safe, expect to see the real unique products coming from the Google mothership. At #4: a Smart appliance boom. HereÃ?s a trend that trickled in 2013 but is expected to go mainstream any day now. Hand in hand with this idea of the Internet of things, our smartphones and smart TVs are expanding out to include the smart thermostat, smart smoke detector, smart power strips -- smart in all the stuff. We even have a whole new division of CNET reviews just handling appliances now, to keep up with all the innovation. Coming in at #3: more doom and gloom for the PC market. You think about all the trouble that Microsoft went to in 2013, launching Windows 8 and working with dozens of vendors to create competitive, interesting laptops and all-in-one computers. And yet, the PC market couldn't pull out of its nose dive. Unless Microsoft has Windows 9 up its sleeve, there are no cards left to play. The best the PC industry can hope for in 2014 is to hit bottom. At #2: bigger phones. Yes, even bigger. You may have thought (or wished) that the 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 was the extreme end of this phabletification of cell phones, but there is no sign of it stopping yet. This is also a year for a major iPhone refresh, so I suspect even Apple will bump up their screen size just to fit in. Finally, my #1 prediction for 2014: 4k goes mainstream. The first run of 4k resolution televisions trickled out this year, to the delight of no one. For the most part they were too expensive, the content wasn't there, and telling the difference from 1080p was nearly impossible. But just like 3d TV, the fact that we don't want it doesn't matter. 4k will likely come built into your next TV whether you like it or not. In 2014, the 4k prices will come down and the hype will go through the roof. So there you go, those are my best predictions for the tech trends that will define 2014. For a look back at the most important products and trends that defined 2013, check out the CNET 100 list over at cnet.com/100. IÃ?m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.

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