Gear of the year

Forget boring tech: Here are some of the most innovative, interesting products we’ve seen (or are waiting to see) this year.

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Samsung 8000 Series LCD TV


How green is your TV? Because they use low-power LEDs for backlighting instead of fluorescent lamps, models in this line of Samsung HDTVs use 40 percent less energy than equivalent LCD sets. LEDs also offer greater contrast ratio, deeper blacks, and crisper colors. The 8000 series adds a 240-MHz refresh rate — four times the rate of standard LCDs — for blur-free fast-motion scenes. An ethernet port lets you hook the set to your home network and access content from Yahoo, YouTube, or Flickr (selected via widgets at the bottom of the screen). And did we mention that it's barely more than an inch thick?

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