| By Becky Waring |
Tablets, smart phones, connected TV apps — this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was replete with the latest fad products.
But there were also many electronic gems with some staying power. I found a bunch — including the best way to send video from your laptop to your TV, alternatives to the fading Windows Home Server platform, and routers with muscle.
What to look for in your next laptop
This looks like a good year to buy a new laptop. USB 3.0 is starting to gain some traction, and Seagate announced that major vendors such as ASUS and Dell will be offering the high-performance Momentus XT hybrid hard drive I recommended in an Oct. 21 Top Story.
Glasses-less 3-D is even on the radar. As reported in an Engadget story, Toshiba hopes to ship a 3-D-capable notebook by the end of this year. Although 3-D movies and TV shows are still few and far between, 3-D gaming is starting to take off. The animation in games lends itself well to 3-D.
But the big CES laptop story, buried under the onslaught of ARM and Atom-powered tablets, was Intel’s second-generation Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, collectively known as Core 2011 (or Sandy Bridge).
Yes, Core 2011 processors are way faster and more energy-efficient than current Core processors (check out the impressive numbers in a recent CNET story). But Core 2011′s real significance is the new technologies it enables — lightning-fast video conversion, instant wireless HD streaming from laptop to TV, and 3-D content playback.