CES 2011 is wrapping up, and the ancient traditions of the Internet gods demand that we sacrifice a list of the best gadgets unto them. Also, it's fun to guess what's going to be a big hit and nerd out over what looks good. Here are the five gadgets that caught our eye and gave us a raging brainer.
Everybody needs a printer, but nobody wants a printer. They eat your reports, break your computer, and help bloat Staples' margins by running out of ink every five minutes. Fortunately, MakerBot has realized what it takes to make everyone love printers: a 3D printer.
The MakerBot Thing-O-Matic is more than just neat, though. It's the first automatic prototyping machine that turns out models for your prototypes with cheap, commonly available materials, and can crank out model after model without your overseeing it.
Even better, it's entirely open source. So as more nerds get their hands on it, more awesome software, ideas, and models will hit the Internet free of charge. It's essentially a little factory that sits on your desk and turns out models with no problem forever.
And you can even print a chess set for when you're bored at work. Is there anything more wonderful?
MakerBot,$1225, available now.
Sure, the Atrix looks like just another smartphone. And Motorola has the Droid, which is getting its latest version in a few months. So why are we focusing on the Atrix?
Because of the sheer raw power under the hood, that's why. The Atrix is a dual-processor (yes, two processors), Firefox 3.6-using, 2Ghz bulldozer of a phone, crushing Motorola's previous best of 550 Mhz in a cellphone. Yes, this has four times the power of Motorola's current most powerful phone, and is twice the speed of the iPhone.
Sure, Apple may have a big iPhone surprise up its sleeve, but Motorola is firing a warning shot that their control of the mobile market isn't going to go unchallenged.
Motorola, no price announced, 1st Quarter
We know what you're thinking: the Night Train finally got to our brains and we fell for a ThinkGeek joke. Well, guess what? ThinkGeek's Defictionalization Ray has struck again, taking the iCade from a joke product to an actual, physical, iPad accessory.
ThinkGeek teamed up with ION to actually produce this sucker, which is designed to just slip into the cradle, create a Bluetooth link, and, of course, link you to the App Store to buy all those classic Atari games that you've played before, and, yes, they're fully licensed, so you can play without the spectre of Noah Bushnell floating over your shoulder.
Sorry, knock-off fans, so far it's iPad only.
ThinkGeek, Spring 2011, $100
PC gaming has always had a problem: it's hard to take on the road in any sort of convenient way. Even gaming laptops are beasts compared to the sleek, sexy netbooks and tablets that everybody has on the train. The Razer Switchblade aims to change that, while enabling MMO addicts to go outside without leaving their raid. Yes, Razer, the mouse-and-keyboard guys. No, really! This is their product!
Yep, it's a fully portable, touchscreen, PC gaming machine. It's got all the keys you need to play any PC game, it's backed by an Atom processor...and apparently it's not close to production yet.
Well, fingers crossed that this doesn't go the way of so many other gaming devices.
Razer, no announced date
Yep, it's a Handycam, and it shoots high definition 3D. Do you really need us to explain the possibilities?