Best of CES 2007

As we walk off into the Las Vegas sunset, our pockets jangling with our meagre casino winnings, and CES 2007 now a gadget-ridden memory, what tech tri

As we walk off into the Las Vegas sunset, our pockets jangling with our meagre casino winnings, and CES 2007 now a gadget-ridden memory, what tech triumphs really caught our eye?Well, something strange happened at this year’s event, and it wasn’t just the presence of a talking Elvis head. For the first time in recent memory, the show was overshadowed by another gadget event.There was nothing to rival the iPhone on the miles of stands in Las Vegas, but LG’s Shine (think flattened Nokia 8800 with a better screen and camera) and Samsung’s Ultra Music F500 (pictured – a slim, video-playing, HSDPA wunderkid) both took our fancy to fill the long wait ‘til iPhone lift off.The robots stole the show at CES 2007, and unlike his previous public appearance, Honda’s ASIMO avoided falling on his face, even managing to show off his impressive new running capability. Roboquad – if only it was Robocod– also looks like another Christmas hit for Wowwee.Some perhaps took the robot idea a step too far though, Wowwee being prime suspect with its completely insane Elvis head. Others also took temporary leave of their senses including Hasbro and Creative’s kiddy MP3 players, which looked like iPods on magic mushrooms. Oh, and how could we forget Sharp’s mammoth 108in LCD – just get a projector!Read on dear gadgeteer for your second dose of tech medicine.

That’s not to say we didn’t stumble across some big thinkers. The best innovation was related to Vista: Asus showed off how handy the SideShow feature could be, and HP’s Touchsmart PC brought touchscreen access to the new Windows widgets.   Biggest bombshell of the week wasn’t one of the girls from the porn expo that went on next door. No, it was LG’s dual-format Super Mini Blue player. The announcement seemed to irk those entrenched in the Blu-ray or HD DVD camps, and the April UK release is sooner than anyone expected. Which makes a change.Samsung’s K3, a 7mm thick, speaker-less version of its K5, was the most covetable music monkey on show, which when teamed with Shure’s new SE series would surely equip you nicely to shut out fellow commuters each morning. While somewhat surprisingly, Cowon’s little D2 looks like it could be an iRiver U10-beater in the portable video stakes. SanDisk’s View could also give it a run for its money thanks to an 8in screen and video upscaling with the optional dock.Finally, it’s an award we hate to give, but most underwhelming gadget goes to Philips’ amBX. Having a fan blast air in your face during a racing game didn’t really feel immersive – it was just annoying.Feast those greedy eyes on our video section to see the best (and sometimes weirdest) gizmos from the tech temple that was CES 2007.