Gadget Alert: Check Out Our Favorite New Gizmos From The Consumer Electronics Show

Get an advance glimpse at next year's must-have holiday gifts.

While you were still figuring out the settings on that new iPod you scored for the holidays, thousands of electronics manufacturers gathered in Las Vegas to unveil the next crop of must-have gadgets that you'll be figuring out after some holiday in the future. It's called the Consumer Electronics Show, and earlier this month more than 2,500 companies transformed Sin City into a digital playground, showing off an endless array of items that beep, ring, flash, download, upload and heaven knows what else. Here's a look at some of the most intriguing gizmos and gadgets on the horizon.

Kodak Easyshare V570

Meet the world's first dual-lens digital camera! This 5-megapixel camera seamlessly switches back and forth between wide-angle and optical zoom lenses. "The optical zoom lens is just as good as what you would get if you were going close-up on a regular digital camera," said Noah Robischon of Gizmodo.com. "It's like the best of two cameras in one." The V570 provides up to 70 percent more width than the average camera, and there's also a 2.5 inch LCD screen as well as a function that helps you "stitch" together three pictures for a crisp, 180-degree panoramic image. The V570 is in stores now for $399, but keep in mind that prices on digital cameras tend to drop quickly. (www.kodak.com)

Samsung Digimax i6

Another camera that has slimmed down and dressed up this year is the Digimax. At just over half an inch wide, this 6-megapixel camera packs quite a punch. What's new? It's now a portable media player: Not only can you record video clips, but you can download just about any kind of video file onto your camera to watch later. And, like virtually everything else these days, it's also an mp3 player. Look for it in March for $299. (www.samsung.com)

Motorola ROKR E2

While the ROKR's first attempt to marry a mobile phone and iTunes had many calling for an annulment, for the E2, Motorola has fixed many of the major problems and added some new features. For example, the new ROKR has a regular headphone jack (no more listening to music through the phone's earpiece), and there are dedicated music keys on the side of the phone so you won't need to use the keypad. Other upgrades include new software, USB 2.0 support for faster downloads and expandable memory for up to 500 songs. "This is a massive improvement," Robischon said. "Everything they got wrong on the ROKR E1, Motorola got right on the E2." And don't worry, it still has a 1.3-megapixel camera with flash. The E2 will be available at some point within the next six months, with wireless companies setting the price. (www.motorola.com/rokr)

Motorola H5 Miniblue Headset

People will think you're crazy when you walk around talking on your phone while wearing this new, quarter-ounce headset. How do they make it so small? Well, instead of using a traditional microphone, it captures the vibrations of your voice as they travel through your ear canal. You get about two hours of talk time, but the charger holds more juice than the headset. "You basically get to extend the life of your earpiece dramatically," Robischon said. "But you don't have to plug it into a wall all the time. It's a really nice piece." No price has been set yet, but it'll be out before summertime. (www.motorola.com)

Samsung YM-P1 Portable Media Player

Record all of your favorite shows onto this player and watch them on its 4-inch color screen — or plug it into another TV and watch whatever you've got there. This device handles movies, music and television in a variety of formats. With a battery life of up to six hours for video and 15 for audio, you can watch a couple of movies and still have tunes for the trip home. Expect the YM-P1 on shelves in February for $449. (www.samsung.com)

Handheld Entertainment ZVUE 250

Don't have $449 to invest in watching videos from the palm of your hand? Then check out Handheld's ZVUE 250. You can put videos, music and photos on the ZVUE from the company's subscription service or anywhere else you get your content — and with two headphone jacks, you can watch with a friend. The 250 will be out soon at Wal-Mart for $129-$150, but you can get the earlier version, which runs on AA batteries, at the big-box store now. (www.zvue.com)

Sony Giga Panel Xplod MEX-1GP

Now you can download your mp3s straight into your car stereo: This detachable unit has a USB ready, one-gigabyte mp3 player, as well as your standard AM/FM radio and CD player. Just hook up the Giga Panel to your computer and dump up to 500 songs onto your car stereo. On the downside, this stereo isn't Mac compatible, and you can buy a detachable car stereo with an mp3 input for as little as $100 these days, so this is a bit pricey for one-gig of flash memory. On the other hand, you don't need to navigate from your player. Start downloading in February for $349. (www.xplodsony.com)

Sony Reader

Bringing books into the digital age has been tough: Folks have been trying to create an eye-friendly way to transfer the printed word to a screen for years. Well, they've finally done it. The Sony Reader uses E Ink™ technology, which is a lot like a hi-tech Etch-a-Sketch. What looks like black-and-white ink is really four shades of gray that turn pages by moving electronically across the Reader's screen. You can quickly download books from a variety of publishers with a USB cable. The Reader weighs less than 9 ounces and has a battery life of about 7,500 page turns. For $349.99 you can read books, comics or news you download from the web, starting this spring. (www.sony.com/reader)

Flexity PowerSquid

Now you've got your phone, your portable media player, a computer, a printer and maybe an Xbox. Where are you going to plug all those things in? Your average powerstrip or surge protector doesn't have enough room for the bulky transformers on today's gadgets. Enter the PowerSquid: with its outlet tentacles and room for phone lines, DSL and cable access, this electronic cephalopod has got you covered. Join the SquidSquad today and get one at their Web site for $49.99-$79.00. (www.powersquid.net)

Gibson Digital Guitar

Welcome the classic Gibson Les Paul guitar to the digital era. Guitar geeks take note: Gibson is calling its new Hex pickups the greatest innovation since the Humbucker. Each guitar string can be fed through its own channel via a Breakout Box, which means each string can get its own delay or effect. "You can use this onstage to make sounds that people haven't really heard before, and do things that really blow them away," said Robischon, noting how cool he thinks it is to see a guitar plugged into an Ethernet cable. Your ears have until spring to prepare — use that time finding $4,000 to drop. (www.gibsondigital.com)

Numark iDJ

You don't need tons of vinyl to be a DJ: With the iDJ, all you need are two iPods, so borrow one from a friend and get mixing. The console lets you fade back and forth between any kind of iPod with a bottom connector. There's even a video output, so you can mix video through a television if you have a video iPod. The iDJ also lets you plug in all sorts of non-iPod devices. You can't scratch with an iPod, but you can hook a turntable up to the iDJ and marry the new school to the old school. It's out now, and at $249, it's a lot cheaper than the requisite record collection. (www.numark.com)

Lego Mindstorms NXT

Pimp your Legos! With its own 32-bit processor, the newest edition of Lego's popular robotics line can take quick advantage of its innovative features. Some of them, like a motion sensor that helps your robot react to you, were developed by fans. The software for this round of Mindstorms is PC- and Mac-compatible. "It's very easy to understand," Robischon noted. "You don't even need to know math!" Your new robot friend can be controlled from any Bluetooth phone! So, get cracking: If you pick up Mindstorms NXT this August for $249, maybe you can develop a feature for the next generation of NXT. (http://mindstorms.lego.com)

Gamerunner

Why let your character get all the exercise when you're playing videogames? The Gamerunner hooks up to your PC or gaming console via a USB cable and lets you walk, run, drive and shoot in any first-person-perspective game. Don't worry about losing your breath: The Gamerunner is tuned for walking so you can play for hours and burn off that pre-game snack. Sit tight until September for the $450 consumer version. (www.gamerunner.us)