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CES 2009: Three Gadgets I'm Already Craving

CES 2009 is in full swing and as interesting as the technology on parade is the mood at the conference. And while I'm not in Las Vegas, I have been following the trends, mood and gadgets from the web (namely blogs, Twitter and Facebook). Day one of CES '09 ended much like yesterday's MacWorld keynote: nothing game-changing... but some of tantalizing moments. Thanks to Gizmodo, here are the three gadgets that I'm already craving (and when the price tags are announced, I'll be cringing):

1. Linksys Wireless Home Audio System Streams All Around Your House

why: there is no great wireless audio system. This looks like it could be it. If this was out a couple months ago, perhaps I'd have purchased instead of the Bose Companion. More on Gizmodo

#2. Modbook Pro: 1/2 iPod Tablet, 1/2 MacBook Pro

Why: Simply put, I want an iPod Tablet. This looks like an amazing product... with an amazing price tag: $4,999. Totally unreasonable price - but it looks amazing. More on Gizmodo

#3. Eee Keyboard: Gorgeous Touchscreen Keyboard

Why: A slim keyboard with tons of ports and the equivalent of an iPod Touch attached to it. Amazed we haven't seen similar concepts yet. More on Gizmodo

Next Generation Remote Control Extender

I've written about (maybe even complained?!) Techmeme becoming Gadgetmeme... and I am falling into that bucket today as I have two product reviews that hopefully are useful for non-technical gadget fans like myself. You can check out the other review here. In an effort to reduce wires and ugly equipment boxes like Comcast's atrocious Motorola cable box, I bought a slim / saucer-like remote control extender from "Next Generation" that enables you to control cable box from afar... up to 100' supposedly.

It's quite clever actually - they have created a unique battery transmitter than sits within the saucer and also in your remote control.

The reviews on Amazon were amazing (194/255 were five stars; only 25 reviews were 1-3 stars). And it cost $100 less than most other options (it's just $33).

I have had some slight issues getting the sensor placed in the correct location on the Comcast Box - but I believe that is more due to Comcast's finnicky product.

Next Generation Remote Control Extender

Next Generation Remote Control

- Turns any IR remote into RF by simply installing the battery transmitter - Go room to room and control your components up to 100' away - No direct line of sight needed - Includes AAA battery transmitter with AA sleeve and receiver with built-in recharger - 433.92 MHz Unit

Product Dimensions: 9 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches ; 12.8 ounces

Reviews: 225 reviews, 194 were 5 stars

Why I Chose Bose Companion 3 Speakers Rather than a 5.1 System

We were planning on wiring our house with in-wall speakers and, after an 'audio specialist' arrived for a consultation / estimate, we weren't in love with the price and amount of necessary work, wiring, etc. So we looked for other options with three considerations in mind: 1. aesthetics: simple and small 3. flexibility: we opted against surround sound because it wouldn't work well for regular audio / entertaining. We wanted an option that was flexible for movie viewing, music, and so on. 3. price: any time you require wiring and professional work, the price mounts very quickly

So we arrived at a bizarre solution: running the television's audio through a set of nice Bose computer speakers... and you know what? It was perfect and 10% the cost of the conservative estimate. It took a few minutes to install everything and we can easily run between our media system, the radio or our iPod. And the sound is terrific - far better than running through our Samsung television.

An aside: we purchased the system from the Bose Store and, after explaining our intended set up, our salesman actually advised against their higher end computer speakers ($399). He explained that they are terrific but intended for a desk and thus optimized for a very limited radius.... His honesty saved us $150 and we ended up with a better system for our needs. I was very impressed.

Bose Companion 3 multimedia speaker system

Bose Companion 3

- Premium stereo performance for those who prefer a three-piece computer sound system - Two small desktop speakers deliver lifelike stereo sound - Hideaway Acoustimass module produces substantial low notes - Handy control pod includes volume, single-touch mute, headphone jack and auxiliary input