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LG TV named best gadget, Microsoft bows out in style
by Staff Writers
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 12, 2012

A razor-thin television from LG Electronics was crowned best gadget of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Thursday and Microsoft was a big winner in its final appearance at the annual trade event.

The 55-inch (140-centimeter) TV set set from the South Korean electronics giant is just 0.16 inches (four millimeters) thick and uses OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, display technology.

OLED TVs do not require backlighting and feature better color contrast than standard flat-screen LEDs and LG and another South Korean titan, Samsung, both wowed the crowds at CES in Las Vegas with 55-inch models.

A panel of experts from technology news site CNET awarded the LG 55EM9800 the title of "Best TV" at CES but also named it "Best of Show" among the thousands of new products on display at the four-day event.

CNET said it gave the nod to the LG TV over the Samsung model in part because it has an actual shipping date -- the third quarter of the year.

When the super-set does finally hit the market it won't be for just anyone -- the 55-inch LG OLED TV is expected to cost several thousand dollars.

Microsoft, which has announced that this year's CES will be its last, saw products powered by its Windows software scoop up a couple of awards.

The Lumia 900 touchscreen from Finland's Nokia was named best cellphone and the Envy 14 Spectre laptop from Hewlett-Packard was tapped as the best computer.

The Lumia 900, which runs on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system, is seen as Nokia's bid to break into a US smartphone market dominated by Apple's iPhone and handsets powered by Google's Android software.

The Windows-powered HP Envy 14 Spectre is what is known as an "ultrabook," a slim, lightweight laptop in a category pioneered by Apple's MacBook Air.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is to go on sale in February for $1,399. Pricing and availability of the Lumia 900 have not been released.

BlueStacks for Windows, a program which will ship on some upcoming Windows 8 computers, was named best software application. BlueStacks provides access to the hundreds of thousands of Android applications.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer or his predecessor, Bill Gates, have delivered the opening keynote address at CES for the past 15 years and the US software giant has traditionally had one of the largest booths on the exhibition floor.

But Microsoft announced last month that it is bowing out of the show, which attracted more than 3,100 exhibitors this year, because the January timing does not coincide with its product development calendar.

An Android-powered tablet computer from Taiwan's Asus, the Asus Memo 370T, was named best tablet at a show which featured dozens of new rivals to Apple's iPad.

The Asus Memo 370T, which has a seven-inch (17.8-cm) screen, is powered by the latest version of Android software for tablets and costs $250, half the price of the cheapest iPad.

Other CES winners were the mirrorless Fujifilm X-Pro 1, which was named best camera, and the MakerBot Replicator, which snatched the title of "Best Emerging Tech Product."

The MakerBot Replicator is what is known as a 3D printer and can make objects as large as a loaf of bread by working off a blueprint fed into the machine.

While LG and the other winners were expected to be celebrating their awards in Las Vegas on Thursday night they should be mindful that recognition at CES is no guarantee of success in the marketplace.

Last year's winner of the "Best in Show" title was the "Xoom" tablet computer from Motorola but it has failed to make any headway against the iPad.

The 2009 CES winner was a smartphone from Palm, the Pre.

Sales of the Pre failed to live up to expectations and the company was bought the next year by HP, which has since stopped making cellphones using Palm's webOS mobile operating system.

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Prize offered for Star Trek-style device
Las Vegas (UPI) Jan 12, 2012 - A $10 million prize is being offered for the creation of a Star Trek-style medical "tricorder" tool for diagnosing disease.

The X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation said the prize, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will go to the team that "develops a mobile platform that most accurately diagnoses a set of 15 diseases across 30 consumers in three days," a release from the the two foundations said.

The device must be light enough to be portable, weighing no more than 5 pounds.

The prize is intended to spur innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence and wireless sensing to create a device like the medical tricorder of Star Trek fame to make medical diagnoses independent of a physician or healthcare provider, backers of the prize said.

"Health care today certainly falls far short of the vision portrayed in Star Trek," Paul Jacobs, chairman of the Qualcomm Foundation, said.

"By sponsoring the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE competition, the Qualcomm Foundation will stimulate the imaginations of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and doctors to create wireless health services and technologies that improve lives, increase consumer access to healthcare and drive efficiencies in the healthcare system."


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First Intel-powered smartphone to debut in China
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 11, 2012
US chip titan Intel on Tuesday announced it will move into the booming smartphone market with a China debut of a handset made by Chinese computer powerhouse Lenovo. "The best of Intel computing is now coming to smartphones," California-based Intel's chief executive Paul Otellini said during a presentation on Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. "It is coming first ... read more

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