MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Manny De Los Reyes - The world’s biggest annual tech trade fair, the Las Vegas-based Consumer Electronics Show (CES), opened its doors last week and wasted no time unleashing a plethora of drool-worthy gizmos and gadgets.

Living up to fever-pitch hype and anticipation, a seemingly never-ending parade of smartphones, tablets, “phablets” (phone-tablet hybrids), and humungous TV sets debuted one after another.

We waded through the flood of new products to see which of the trending ones hold the most promise to make its mark in the global tech world this 2013. Here they are without further ado…

Sony Xperia Z

Borrowing advanced technologies from its TV and digital camera arms, Sony endowed its flagship smartphone with a five-inch full-HD 1080p Reality Display and a stunning 13MP camera. What makes the Xperia Z unique is that its ports (Micro USB, micro SD, SIM card) are all hidden to make the handset water-resistant up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.

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Boasting a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Xperia Z is the first smartphone to integrate a full high-definition 1080 x 1920p five-inch display and can capture High Dynamic Range video.

The 7.9mm-thin Xperia Z is NFC-capable to enable wireless sharing between other Sony devices, including Smart TVs, wireless speakers, and tablets. It also offers 4G LTE connectivity. The handset will launch globally this quarter and will run Android 4.1 with an update to 4.2 Jelly Bean to follow soon after.

Lenovo Ideacenter Horizon Table PC

Fancy a game of Monopoly? On a tablet? You can with Lenovo’s huge 27-inch IdeaCenter Horizon Table PC. As a Table PC, Horizon can lie flat on any surface, lets two or more people use the screen at the same time, supports interactive physical gaming accessories, and is designed for touch-screen gameplay among several players.

Horizon takes advantage of Windows 8 touch functionality to bring customized games to life in a way players have never before seen. Horizon can also easily transform into a 27-inch high-performance desktop to handle whatever productivity tasks users need to do.

Samsung Series 7 Chronos

Delivering pro performance in a slimmer and lighter package, Samsung’s new Series 7 Chronos provides enhanced processing power. Ten-finger multi-touch capabilities enhance the overall experience, allowing people to interact directly with the screen as well as the touchpad and keyboard.

With a full-aluminum body, the Series 7 Chronos follows the design DNA of its predecessor while packing a powerful Intel quad-core processor with up to 16GB of memory, up to 1TB of storage and dedicated 2GB external graphics into a slim chassis that measures just 20.9mm. The computer wakes up in just two seconds and boots up in 12.

Huawei Ascend Mate

Huawei launched the 6.1-inch (with a 720p HD display) Ascend Mate phablet with a 1.5GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor and a 4050 mAh battery. The pocket-busting screen size makes it the largest smartphone to date. Huawei plans to commercially launch the Ascend Mate in China next month.

Samsung NX300

Hot on the heels of its game-changing Galaxy Camera, Samsung went smart camera crazy at CES 2013, unveiling a brace of new models which can share photos via Wi-Fi. The Smart Camera app for Android and iOS devices has been given improved Remote Viewfinder and Mobile Link capabilities as well as the new Autoshare function that enables photos to be shared automatically and immediately with a connected smartphone.

The camera that grabbed the spotlight, however, is the NX300. Besides Wi-Fi, the NX300 features an optional lens that can flip from 2D to 3D capture in both still and video format. It has a 20.3MP CMOS sensor, a tilting 3.3-inch AMOLED display, and a sticker price of U$749.99. (The 45-mm 3D lens option is priced at $499.99.)

Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71

This is a fairly unassuming device, hardware-wise — seven-inch 1024 x 600 display, 512MB RAM, 1.2GHz processor — but the “sub-$150” price should help it stand out in the cutthroat small-tablet market. (The well-known Acer name doesn’t hurt.) The Jelly Bean-powered B1-A71 is perfect for new tablet users or families that need a second tablet for the kids.

Asus Qube

Here’s one for couch potatoes — at least those who live in the world of Netflix and Amazon. The Asus Qube will enhance your couch potato experience via Google TV. With the Qube, users get more than 100,000 TV shows and movies, which includes Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, and many more.

Needless to say, there are loads of games and apps as well. The Qube also comes with a remote with a QWERTY keyboard that can perform gesture controls and voice commands, as well as 50GB of cloud storage and a mobile app that transforms your Android device into a remote.

Lego Mindstorms EV3

A Lego for your smartphone. The Lego Mindstorms’ EV3 Intelligent brick sports nifty features like an infrared sensor, Linux-based firmware, a USB port, and an SD card slot. It works with iOS and Android, so you can use a smartphone to remotely control your Mindstorms EV3 creations.

The programming software works on both Windows and Mac OS X. The new brick also comes with Bluetooth support and you can program it without having to connect the brick to your PC.

Nvidia Project Shield

Here’s the cure for those nagging “Are we there yet?” questions. Nvidia’s Project Shield is a handheld gaming device dedicated for those long road trips.

Project Shield resembles an oversized gaming controller with a fold-up flat-panel display on top and works in combination with software in a client device. The device promises high-quality computer graphics and gaming on devices with relatively modest graphics processing ability.

Samsung S9 UHD TV

At 85 inches, the Samsung U9 might just manage to kill all your desire to watch movies on the silver screen. It boasts the next-generation Ultra High-Definition (Ultra HD) 4k resolution.

What’s a bit less interesting is this giant HDTV’s new “Timeless Gallery” frame design. The frame is simple, yet elegant — and removable in case you want to mount this movie-screen wannabe to a wall. This might just be the Ultra HD (4K) resolution TV that will redefine TV viewing as we know it.

Sony TD30V

Want to shoot your own Avatar? Now anyone can be a 3D movie maker with the $1,000 Sony Handycam TD30V. It’s much smaller and more affordable than previous years’ 3D camcorders. You can view 3D directly on this camcorder’s 3.5-inch LCD — without the need for 3D glasses.

Coby MID1077-8

The MID1077-8 is Coby’s new high-end tablet. This one sports a 10.1-inch HD display, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.2. It comes with either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage — expandable via microSD card. Coby lined the outside of this solidly built tablet with a chrome-like material which gives it a premium feel.

LG EA93 UltraWide Monitor

LG’s EA93 UltraWide monitor is the world’s first monitor to boast a 21:9 aspect ratio, making its screen closer in proportion to that of a movie screen. At 29 inches, it offers an expansive display and superb multitasking and multimedia capabilities. It’s also great for watching films and other widescreen-format content.

It comes equipped with LG’s immersive, thin-bezel Cinema Screen design. The UltraWide was designed for maximum productivity. It’s ideal for analyzing documents in their entirety, as its extra screen width means more spreadsheet columns are viewable at any one time. Bean counters, your monitors are ready.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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