LAS VEGAS - Although the International Consumer Electronics Show was smaller than it was last year because of the economic doldrums, there were still interesting new gadgets on display before the exhibition wound down Sunday. Here are some of the most attention-grabbing:
• Sony Corp. released the first digital camera that has a built-in Web browser. Like some other cameras, it uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet, but the addition of a browser means the compact Cybershot DSC-G3 is much more flexible at uploading to photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa. It will be available this month for $500.
• Samsung Electronics Co. announced the Luxia line of high-end flat-panel TVs, backlit by light-emitting diodes rather than the standard fluorescent tube. They're not the first sets of their kind, but they're noteworthy because Samsung, the largest of seller of TVs in the U.S., is making a big commitment to LEDs. The sets also demonstrated eye-popping contrast, showing black images so deep that they were hard to differentiate from the black plastic bezel. No price was announced, but don't expect these sets to be cheap.
• In a move to catch up with devices like Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.'s latest crop of BlackBerrys, Palm Inc. unveiled a new smart phone, the Pre, which sports a large touch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Pre will be available on Sprint Nextel Corp.'s wireless network in the first half of the year. The price was not released.
• Sony also pulled back the curtain on its latest mini notebook computer, the Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC. The tiny device — which weighs 1.4 pounds and fits easily into a shoulder bag — runs Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista operating system and has an 8-inch screen. It has a GPS sensor and built-in mobile broadband capabilities, but to save space, it has replaced the standard touch pad with a "pointing stick." It's available for pre-ordering at the Sony Style Web site for $900.
• Polaroid Corp. resurrected the instant camera with the PoGo, a combination of a digital camera and a small color printer that produces 2-by-3 inch, sticky-backed prints. This comes just after the company shut down manufacturing of film for its traditional cameras. The new camera is due to be available in the spring for $200.
• LCD TV prototypes from Sony and LG Electronics Inc. impressed with smooth-looking, high-definition, full-color 3-D movies. Previously, plasma and rear-projection sets were the leading HDTV candidates for 3-D home viewing, but clearly, LCDs are contenders too. They're viewed with cheap polarized glasses of the kind used in 3-D movie theaters. The sets are at least a year away from the market.
• LG unveiled a wristwatch cell phone, the first with cellular broadband access and a camera. That means it could make two-way video calls, much like Dick Tracy did in 1960s comic strips with his two-way "Wrist TV." The LG GD910 will go on sale this year at an undetermined price, but it's unclear if it will be sold in the U.S.
• Want to mount that flat-panel TV on the wall without having cables dangling from it? Southwire Co. demonstrated a new product in its Flatwire line of paper-thin electrical cables, which can be glued to the wall and painted over. Previous Flatwire products have carried low voltages, but the new one carries 120-volt household current. Nervous about a thin, 3-inch wide plastic-covered tape carrying lethal current? At the booth, a Flatwire representative hammered a nail through a live wire, demonstrating that it only tripped the circuit breaker. Underwriters Laboratories, which certifies electrical products, is still evaluating the safety of the product.
• Backing up your home computer can save you a lot of grief, but few people do it. Storage Appliance Corp. announced the Clickfree Transformer Cable, which plugs in between a PC and any external USB hard drive. It turns the drive into an automatic backup device, scouring the PC for data with only minimal input necessary from the user. The company started selling it last week for $60.