10 Highly Anticipated Gadgets for 2011

2011 should be a great year for gadget lovers. From new “iPad killers” to 3D handheld gaming, we expect new innovations and improvements on perfection. Below are our picks for the 10 most highly anticipated gadgets in 2011.

1. Blackberry PlayBook

From what we know about Blackberry phones, RIM’s Blackberry PlayBook may very well be the most impressive non-iPad tablet to hit the market. Like Blackberry phones, the Playbook will be catered to the business market and will have a Dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and the ability to output 1080p video. Blackberry’s tablet also boasts what RIM calls “true multitasking” and Adobe Flash and Air support.

2. Nintendo 3DS

The device that rocked 2010’s E3 and 2011’s CES will finally hit the shelves this year. The Nintendo 3DS will give gamers the ability to play 3D games without requiring 3D glasses. Boasting graphical performance enhancements over early DS versions , the 3DS will have backward compatibility with their games.

3. iPhone for Verizon

The iPhone 5 will likely be released in 2011, but in true Apple fashion, we know very little about it. The most anticipated iPhone, however, is the one that everyone expected to see Verizon release in 2010. Sometime in 2011, that long wait should be over. It will have almost identical hardware to the iPhone 4, with the exception of a modified antenna to support Verizon’s CDMA network and left-handers.

4. iPad 2

The iPad 2 will catch up with the iPhone 4 features by adding a version of the phone’s vivid retina display. Other rumored features include a rear-facing camera and slimmer build with rumors of the next generation iPad between January and April 2011.

5. Sony VAIO 3D Laptop

If Nintendo’s 3DS is revolutionary for gaming, Sony’s VAIO 3D laptop should at least make waves in the mobile computing arena. Sony is pushing the envelope on 3D technology with their TVs and PS3, but it is not clear yet what advantage this laptop will offer beyond 3D capability, and if 3D alone will make it worth the price.

6. HP PalmPad

Not to be outdone in the tablet department, HP’s PalmPad is expected to be the offspring of HP’s marriage to Palm (aside from their fancy new printers). It will feature the latest version of WebOS which was previously used only in the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, despite the Pre’s failure to reach multitudes.

7. HTC Knight 4G

The HTC Knight 4G has been called a smaller copy of the HTC Evo 4G . Does the smaller size mean it is slower and offers less features? That is not clear yet, but rumors seem to hint at that. It will still support Sprint’s 4G WiMax, have a sliding QWERTY keyboard, and may attract those who prefer something small and sleek to a phone that is large and powerful.

8. Chrome OS Notebooks

Google draws attention no matter what it does, and although most people are not yet sold on Chrome OS as a viable operating system, Google’s distribution of their prototype Cr-48 will undoubtedly sway some geeks in their favor. The final hardware specs are unknown, but like the Cr-48, the first Chrome OS Notebook will likely feature specialized keys to replace function keys and Caps Lock, fast boot times, quick suspending, and of course, the web, the whole web, and nothing but the web.

Most of the gadgets mentioned above have rumored features, but the two below are rumored gadgets themselves. If these never hit the shelves, don’t forget this disclaimer!

9. PlayStation Phone

Images of the alleged PlayStation phone have been swirling around the web. The Sony Ericsson portable gaming phone will reportedly run a version of Android and have its own gaming marketplace. This, however, is only one of the many speculations about the device. Thus far, nothing concrete has surfaced, and Sony is keeping quiet.

10. Wii HD

The Nintendo Wii continues to be the top selling gaming console with its family fun orientation and large collection of party-style gaming titles. Few complained about its motion sensing abilities or controller, but plenty have been disappointed by its graphics. With a maximum resolution of 480p, the Wii is like a step back in time from its competitors. Perhaps a HD version of the Wii is on the horizon. Even if Nintendo make no other changes to the console, gamers everywhere would rejoice with HD video.

Lior Levin  is a marketing consultant to a live chat support software company and also advises to a neon signs shop.

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