The Consumer Electronics Show is, in a word, nuts. There’s like four million dudes (yeah, mostly dudes—fellas, stay home if you’re looking for a date) running around reporting on nine billion different gadgets that may or may not ever hit your local Best Buy, gangs of publicists trying to get you to stop at their product booths and a whole lot of people sweating the fact that they’re getting a first-hand look at the future of technology.
But when it comes to CES, I swear I’m not like the rest of these dudes. Case in point: I’m pretty sure I logged more hours during CES 2009—my first trip to the Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas— downing Bloody Marys at the MGM Grand than I did on the actual CES floor. It is Sin City, after all, and regardless of how cool your super-duper MP3 docking station is, there’s a good chance it’s nowhere near as cool as partaking in everything else that Vegas has to offer. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t see what I had to see while I was out there last year. I fiddled around with the widgets on a couple of Sony TVs, peeped some sharp Kodak cameras and even managed to sneak a peak at last year’s blockbuster CES product: the Palm Pré. But to tell you the truth, by the time I hit Newark Airport three days later, I forgot most of the stuff I saw (Blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcoh…) and had to use the ’net to refresh my memory when I got back to the VIBE offices anyway. And that’s the thing about today’s CES: You don’t actually have to be front and center for every single product to figure out what’s cool and what’s not when it comes to technology. In fact, it’s impossible to do it.
It’s one of the reasons I didn’t head out to Vegas this year (well, that and the fact that the recession’s still got my pockets lighter than a Macbook Air). Instead of pushing my way through crowds of people for four days and rubbing elbows with a bunch of guys who are absolutely geeked about all the freakin’ tablets at the show this year (seriously, guys? Tablets? You’re this amped about tablets?!), I decided to stay home and monitor the action from the comfort of my computer. But just because I wasn’t in Vegas this year doesn’t mean I can’t still spot the goods. Here are the ten products from CES 2010 that you absolutely need to know about this year. Skip the lines and check ’em out… ––Chris Yuscavage