7 gadgets to look for in 2011

Science & Technology/Student Living by

1. Mitsubishi 92″ 3D HDTV

Look for 3D televisions to start taking off in 2011. It may not be the biggest television to hit the market, (Mitsubishi is marketing a 155″ OLED TV), but it is one of the largest 3D TVs. While the TV is a rear-projector type television rather than an LED or LCD, it will still offer stunning quality on a screen twice the size of typical big screen televisions.

2. Smart Digital Picture Frames

The eStarling picture frame is similar to many other digital picture frames on the market, with one notable exception: it has an e-mail address. The picture frame is Wi-Fi enabled and, when connected to a network, can receive images via e-mail and RSS feeds. It then automatically adds the downloaded images to its display loop. The frame could be a great solution for less tech-savvy seniors who want to stay in touch with family, or those who don’t want to swap our flash memory sticks to get new pictures.

3. LePad

Many people wouldn’t give up their laptop for an iPad, but they might for a LePad. The gadget is both a tablet and a laptop. When used normally, it opens up like a standard notebook, with a full keyboard, mouse, and modestly powered hardware, but the screen can also be popped out from the case and used as a tablet. With hardware comparable to its main competitor, the LePad could prove to be a serious alternative to the iPad.

4. AMD Fusion

While many netbook users might be impressed with eight-hour battery potential on modern portables, AMD isn’t. The processor manufacturer plans on taking the term “all-day battery” to the next level with its new line of processors, AMD Fusion. The small chip combines several core elements of a computer into one tiny package. AMD claims the chip will be able to provide more than 10 hours of battery life for mid-sized laptops, significantly better than other models.

5. Touchscreens Everywhere

While the Acer Iconia dual touchscreen laptop is the not the first of its kind, it is one of the first that seems mainstream bound. However, there are still numerous issues technologically, meaning it might not hit the market for a few more years. The laptop offers a traditional screen and another screen in place of the keyboard, both of which are multi-touch enabled. The bottom screen is typically used for control, with a keyboard or some other type of system interface.

6. Windows Phone

Four years after the release of the first iPhone, Microsoft has finally realized that developing a smartphone might be a good investment. Look for more and more “Windows Phone 7’s” to appear on the market in 2011, along with their iPhone and Android counterparts. Many of the telecommunications companies will also start moving to 4G wireless in the coming year, promising faster speeds.

7. ChromeOS

With Google shipping Cr48 ChromeOS notebooks in a pilot program in late 2010, users can expect to see ChromeOS notebooks on the shelves later this year. This web-based operating system is unlike most other operating systems. From the instant the user logs on, the experience is in the cloud. Users can purchase web apps from the store, for use on the computer, or use free applications, like Google Documents.