Earlier this week, Esquire travelled to Las Vegas to navigate the 2,700 exhibitors at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Here's our pick of the technological highlights coming your way over the next 12 months:
1. Samsung 3D TV
It's official: 3D entertainment is finally coming to a sofa near you. But while a number of brands have arrived at this year's CES with 3D-ready sets, none has done so with as much elan as Samsung. Its 55 inch, Series 9000 flagship is both the world's slimmest LED TV - at 0.28 inches, it's the thickness of an HB pencil - and the most tactile design we've laid reverent digits on.
Even the remote control is a world first - its glass display moonlights as a secondary TV screen, so you can keep one eye on the cricket while you're enjoying another quarter-final exit from the World Cup. And, much like the iPhone, a range of custom apps for Samsung TVs will also soon be available, from LOVEFiLM downloads to weather reports.
Finally, it can also project impressive 3D content through its companion 3D Blu-ray player, but the good news is you won't have to restock your whole film library. Thanks to a processor hidden in the screen, the TV will ably convert any 2D moving images (be it from a DVD, Freeview or videogame) into 'virtual' 3D, which should easily make up for how self-conscious you'll feel wearing a pair of plastic goggles in your living room.
2. Lenovo hybrid notebook
Within the next three weeks, Apple is set to unveil its feted iSlate multimedia tablet, so full marks to Lenovo for pipping it to the post with the U1. A seemingly conventional netbook boasting 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state hard drive, its 11.6 inch LED screen detachs to become a fully-independent, touchscreen PC with around four hours of battery.
3. LG mobile phone projector
On its own, the Expo handset (aka the LG GW820) is a stylish, slimline smartphone. Replace the battery pack with the optional Pico device, however, and it becomes a portable video projector capable of displaying practically any multimedia content. Weighing just 50g, it can throw a screen size of around 100 inches, and the image quality is impressively crisp - you can even manually adjust the focus. While LG wouldn't confirm the exact battery life (the projector contains its own battery to power it and the phone simultaneously), it claims the Pico will capably outlast a portable DVD player.
4. Panasonic 3D video camera
No prizes for guessing why Panasonic's groundbreaking video camera has already been nicknamed WALL-E. The world's first full HD 3D camcorder promises to make the rather complex process of 3D film-making a doddle, thanks to its lightweight, 3kg form-factor, and the fact it can record three-dimensional content directly onto dual memory cards. It's due to go on sale in the autumn for around £13,000 and, unsurprisingly, the adult film industry wants in.
5. Logitech laptop speaker dock
Try and ignore the fact this bears, at first, a rather unappealing resemblance to a TV dinner tray. The Lapdesk N700 is a delightfully low-fi speaker solution designed to compensate for the tinny sound typically generated by laptops. Powered by a USB connector, its 2 Watt drivers provide a decent blast of audio to enhance video and music downloads, while a built-in fan prevents your computer (and, more importantly, your lap) from overheating. This ingeniously simple device is already available to order for around £70. www.logitech.com