Featured Gadgets of the Year 2009

Posted by infoblogger | 7:30 PM | 0 comments »

We've seen the first wave of unusable netbooks with tiny screens. Then they got an upgrade to 8.9, 10 and even 12-inch screens. Now it's time for netbooks to get WiMax and HSDPA connections as a standard. Hopefully they can still stay half-way affordable...

Wii MotionPlus
When I tested the Wii MotionPlus attachment at E3, I felt that Nintendo had fulfilled the promise of the Wii, finally offering a motion controller as accurate and responsive as we'd all hoped the Wiimote to be originally. If Nintendo can coax developers to support Wii Motion Plus, we can expect some killer Wii titles in '09 (on top of Wii Sports Resort in spring), but it might be 2010 before we see all that many compatible games.

The Sony XEL-1 OLED television rocked our world when it was released this year, but there was a catch. Its screen size was a measly 11 inches. And while we can't expect 50-inch Kuro killers just yet, we do anticipate a very expensive mid-sized set—27 to 32 inches—to hit the market in some form this year. (Sony actually showed off a prototype that was 27 inches at CES 2008. Stay tuned for what we see at CES this year.)

Wireless HDMI
A multitude of companies have various wireless HDMI technologies, but there's no set standard (two warring factions need to settle the fight before we can have interoperable products). The technology is there, now it's just a matter of logistics and handshaking. With luck, by next Christmas, you'll be able to add it to a sub-$2000 1080p projector for the ultimate no-mess home theater.

Whether it's the iPhone 3G Part II or the rumored iPhone nano, it's not hard to imagine Apple releasing another new iPhone this year, maintaining their trend of releasing an iPhone per year to stay competitive in the everchanging post-RAZR cellphone market. It's no secret that most of Gizmodo loves the iPhone, so we're pretty excited to see what's next. (Juicy rumors of a new Mac mini and iPod Touch XL are going strong, too.)

4G Networks
3G is alright but we're looking forward to even faster 4G wireless networks soon. Intel-backed WiMax launched in a few locales by carriers Sprint and ClearWire. The wide-area network currently promises peaks of 10 megabits per second but on paper it's capable of over 70. We will likely see slow but steady expansion of the service through 2009. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon (and eventually T-Mobile) are gearing up LTE technology. The Nokia-driven GSM-based "Long Term Evolution" may actually whomp WiMax with download speeds of over 300Mbps—though its presence probably won't be felt in the US before 2010.


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