CES 2010: Picks and Pans

From 3D home-theater gear to tablets, tablets, everywhere, here's what we loved and hated at this year's show.

Our crack staff of editors hit Las Vegas this week to cover the annual Consumer Electronics Show. We braved bedbugs, bad PR people, long taxi lines, and greasy convention-center food, all to find the hottest new gadgets and gear. We saw 3D HDTVs, tiny iPhone accessories, and tablets, tablets, and more tablets.

Here's the best and the worst of our week at CES.

We've Seen the Future, and It's in 3D

The 3D Revolution Is Here--Bring It On! I don't think it's a false start this time: The 3D-product plans for the coming year represent the initial salvos of the coming 3D revolution. Panasonic's 3D demos were among the most convincing. But the best implementation I saw, unfortunately, is one that won't be coming to market anytime soon: Sony showed its 24.5-inch 3D OLED HDTV as a technology demo only. --Melissa J. Perenson

Do We Have to Pay a Premium for 3D? 3D home-entertainment systems may promise an IMAX-at-home experience, but these brand-new 120-Hz TVs and Blu-ray players are sure to stretch many a budget. Imagine showing off your new 3D home theater to guests, or to your kids and all their friends--that's one pair of glasses for every member of the audience. Until 3D glasses improve (or become dirt cheap), or until someone develops a reasonably priced auto-stereoscopic display, consumers should think twice about jumping on the 3D bandwagon. --Nate Ralph

So When Do We Get Fashionable 3D Glasses? Some 3D glasses are futuristic, others are plain-Jane. All are necessary for watching the new 3D HDTV models that are the talk of CES. But never mind how your coolness stock goes down wearing these things; the glasses on the whole did not seem solidly designed. And very few that I tried fit over my own glasses. --Melissa J. Perenson

Going Mobile

Nexus One, Changing Travel Plans Everywhere: The Google Nexus One is a game-changing phone, so why am I panning it? The problem isn't the phone itself, but the timing of the launch. Why did Google schedule a press event the week of the biggest tech show in the United States, but not schedule it at the show? Disgruntled editors had to change their flight arrangements to cover this poorly timed announcement. It's just a phone, right? --Ginny Mies

C'mon, Palm, We Wanted More: My beef isn't so much with a product as it is with a company. Palm announced here at CES that its Pre and Pixi devices will double as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, serving up to five devices with Internet connectivity from the phone (though it will need a special tethering plan). Palm needed a much larger announcement here at CES to keep its offerings competitive with the spate of cool Android phones that are (seemingly) being unveiled every day. Palm needs new phones with larger screens, better keyboards, better apps, and faster processors. Until that happens, Palm smartphones will continue to be outdone, and outsold, by Android phones and iPhones. --Mark Sullivan

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Kathy Cassidy

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