Hot Show, Cool Products: A Transparent LCD TV, A Two Screen Laptop And More

Imagine a midtown Manhattan sidewalk at lunchtime. Now you have the feel of this year’s CES.

The nation’s largest consumer electronics show clearly feels busier than last year, with an estimated 125,000 people in attendance. Crowds are flocking to tablet computers, 3D televisions, tiny digital camcorders, sleek laptops, and more.

But here are some products that aren’t catching the glare of the cameras, but which are innovative and interesting in their own right. Some may turn into the sleeper success stories of 2011 or 2012. Some may not. In either case, they are creative:

Here is a transparent LCD display from Samsung that is slated for use in televisions, retail signage and laptops. The more efficient use of ambient light saves power, and the see-through nature of the panel allows shoppers to see window displays or merchandise inside a glass case. Samsung says the new LCD display will begin showing up in products this year.

The Acer Iconia laptop is the first portable I have seen with two display screens. One benefit is the ability to scroll through long lists of information and data streams. The lower screen shifts to a software keyboard for more traditional use. The product may not catch on, but it is an interesting approach to an establish product category.

Zagg’s Zaggmate truly needs little description. It is a carrying case and stand for the iPad. It has a keyboard. Light and inexpensive, it is worth a look.

Not pictured is a prototype OLED television from LG with 3D display. You need special glasses to view it (several manufactures including Sony have begun showing off 3D LCD TVs without glasses required). But this LG had both the best picture and best 3D display I saw at the show. Keep your eyes open for OLED (organic light emitting diode) machines next year and beyond.