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Just a few years ago, tablet computers were something only early adopters and professionals in the medical industry owned. But innovation in the design and marketing of tablets has led to an explosion in the consumer marketplace. There are plenty of options to choose from, with different sizes, styles and features to meet the needs and budgets of just about anyone.

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At CES, tech journalists talk to each other. We share our opinions on stories, give each other a heads up if there’s something particularly interesting on the show floor and we make incredibly geeky jokes in an attempt to solicit the largest groan from the other people in the area. One discussion I found interesting was about how many journalists felt let down by the tech on display this year. It’s not that the technologies aren’t impressive. It’s more about how big companies are involved in so many lines of business they have little opportunity to stretch beyond their already massive product lines.

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Two products that have gained some buzz on the showroom floor at CES this year are the Razer Edge gaming tablet and the Nvidia Shield handheld console system. Both are aimed at gamers, both put the playing experience in your hands, complete with screen. And both promise to deliver top-notch graphic performance along with smooth gameplay. Let’s take a closer look.

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It wouldn’t be CES without a company making a weird announcement. For example, today Sharp announced that future television sets from the company will feature a special film that is modeled after the nanostructures in a moth’s eye. These structures are antireflective — they disperse light so that the moth’s position isn’t given away to a wandering predator. This inspired engineers to look into designing display surfaces with similar features to reduce reflections.

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While I was walking around the press center, I happened across an unusual sight. I saw a businessman riding a Segway tricked out with gold rims and a flame paint job. But then, this is Vegas, so I thought perhaps it was just an eccentric high roller. Turns out it was the CEO of Monster, Noel Lee. Now, I didn’t make it over to the Monster press conference — it’s impossible to see every conference on your own at CES because companies will schedule events opposite each other. But I did catch up on what’s going on with them. More after the jump!

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It’s press day at CES 2013. It’s a marathon of press conferences held by some of the largest technology companies in the world. This is the chance to get products in front of the press for the first time, to drive up excitement for new gadgets and to get the scoop on all the competition. The first press event I attended today was held by LG and they set the tone early — everything was all about smart technology, connectivity and finding new ways to control your electronics (presumably so they don’t control you).

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It’s my pleasure to officially welcome Lauren Vogelbaum, Social Media Editor at HowStuffWorks.com, as the new host of TechStuff. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lauren for several months and I have to say her intelligence, humor, energy and encyclopedic knowledge of geek culture have impressed me. I have no doubt she’ll bring a great perspective to the TechStuff podcasts!

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One of the items at CES Unveiled this year that got the press excited was the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC. It’s a 27-inch tablet style computer that reminds me of the Microsoft Surface table device that launched several years ago. It has many of the same features, including multi-touch capability and the option to use accessories as controllers on the screen. But this device also runs Windows 8 and does so with style.

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If you’ve ever had the misfortune to land at an airport and realize while standing at the baggage carousel that your bag just isn’t showing up, you know how stressful and irritating travel can be. A company attending CES 2013 this year has a product designed to help you keep an eye on your baggage no matter where it might end up. The product is called Trakdot Luggage and it’s poised to hit the market later in 2013.

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Every year, I both anticipate and dread the approach of CES. It’s a huge electronics show filled with industry analysts, press, vendors and an army of public relations representatives. This year, I expect to see several trends really take center stage: smart technology, mobile and ultra high resolution are bound to play an important role. But I also expect to see weird stuff. Like forks that help you lose weight.

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