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CNET Top 5
CES 2008 VaporwareThese products looked great last year. Haven't seen hide nor hair of them since.
Welcome to CNET Top 5, where each time we meet, we count down another precious CNET list. I'm Tom Merritt. Every year, we CNET folk cover the Consumer Electronics Show aka CES. We are dazzled by acres of crazy new gadgets. And with Jobsian talent, manufacturers lead us to adore products that subsequently vanish from our minds and never arrive on store shelves. In other words, vaporware. Lest we forget, let's count down the Top 5 vaporware products from last year's CES. At No. 5, Neosonik. The folks at Neosonik were nice enough to let Brian Tong into their fancy suite and marvel at surround sound speakers that didn't need those annoying wires. After CES, the speakers themselves apparently went the way of the wires. I guess they were also product-less speakers. Coming in at No. 4, the Echostar TR50. This rated high with our home theater crew. It was essentially like a TiVo, but for over the air high-definition broadcasts and unlike TiVo, no subscription fee. Only the TR40, a model without the DVR, seems to have hit the shelves. Up to No. 3, Qualcomm's Soundabout Bluetooth audio. I gotta admit, this one smelled vapor-y right from the start. It was supposed to replace stereo Bluetooth's A2DP standard for wireless stereo. It didn't. Sliding in at No. 2, The Alienware Curved Display. Now the good folks at Alienware bent over backward to make sure we knew this was just a display model. But they did say they hoped it would arrive in the second half of 2008. Still waiting! And I WANT this! Before we get to No. 1, a quick look at some of the top CES announcements that did arrive. I loved those wireless nunchuck's. And you can still buy them, Nintendo hasn't killed them yet. All right. Let's get to our No. 1. The most hoped for product at CES 2008 that has not arrived...at least not yet. At No. 1, It's... 3DV Systems ZCam. I mean, look at it. The ultimate game controller. Why *wouldn't* you want to play your games with just your hands. Well maybe not all games, but this is like the Wiimote on steroids. And it's just a little camera. Have you seen it? 'Cause I haven't, and I would like to. Come on 3DV, there's still hope for 2009, right!!? Well That's it for this edition of CNET Top 5. Be sure to catch all the products from CES 2009, vaporous or otherwise, at CES.cnet.com. I'm Tom Merritt. See you next time.