A razor-thin television from LG Electronics was crowned best gadget of the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday and Microsoft was a big winner in its final appearance at the annual trade event.
The 55-inch TV set set from the South Korean electronics giant is just 4mm thick and it uses an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) 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 the show 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 the show, 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 will not be for just anyone — the 55-inch LG OLED TV is expected to cost several thousand US dollars.
Microsoft, which announced that this year’s show would be its last, saw products powered by its Windows software scoop a couple of awards.
An Android-powered tablet computer from Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), 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 screen, is powered by the latest version of Android software for tablets and it costs US$250, half the price of the cheapest iPad.
The Lumia 900 touchscreen from Finland’s Nokia was named best mobile phone and the Envy 14 Spectre laptop from Hewlett-Packard was tapped as the best computer.
The Lumia 900, which runs the Windows Phone 7 operating system from Microsoft, 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 next month for US$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.
Other winners were the mirrorless Fujifilm X-Pro 1, which was named the best camera, and the MakerBot Replicator, which snatched the title of Best Emerging Tech Product.
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 the show 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 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 Hewlett-Packard, which has since stopped making mobile phones using Palm’s webOS mobile operating system.