The good, the bad and the ugly from Las Vegas

Steve Dinneen
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The dust is settling after what turned out to be something of a damp squib at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The ultrabook (read: thin laptop) was king, with most manufacturers launching rivals to Apple’s lauded MacBook Air. Mobile had a big presence but hero releases were thin on the ground – perhaps waiting for Mobile World Congress, which is just around the corner.

TVs dominated the floor-space but improvements were incremental, with Samsung’s innovative upgradable set taking most of the headlines.

Tablets continued to arrive thick and fast and showed little sign of catching up with the iPad.

And no CES would be complete without a wide selection of crazy, useless gadgets that nobody in their right mind would spend their money on.

We take a look at the good, the bad and the very, very ugly.

Best in show
LG’s new super TV is just four millimeters thick. The 55-inch screen uses OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, technology, meaning there is no back lighting. The colours are lush and the blacks are like the night sky on a moonless night. Little wonder this was crowned the best gadget at CES.

Best big boy’s toy
This car with a camera mounted in its front grill is controlled by your iPhone and beams the video feed straight back to your handset. This is the perfect toy for the kid who never grew up.

Best mobile
The Lumia was the surprise hit of 2011 and Nokia has started 2012 with an upgrade. The 4G capable version looks almost identical to its predecessor and is only available in the US at the moment.

Weirdest gadget
Ever wanted to change the TV with the power of your mind? Then the BrainWave is for you. The futuristic-looking headset reads electrical signals coming from your brain and beams them to your TV. Unfortunately it only recognises “up” and “down”.

Best laptop
The HP Spectre was the pick of the crop of ultrabooks. The razor-thin machine combines great looks with a kick like a mule, further paving the way for a generation of minimalist laptops.

Best tablet
The seven inch Memo is a compact, powerful tablet that will sell for just $250 in the US. It seems more targeted at people considering buying Amazon’s Kindle Fire than an iPhone killer. Any decent competition in the sector is very welcome.

ATOM Z2460
Biggest release
Microprocessors may be hard to get excited about in isolation but this new chip from Intel is a very interesting proposition. Aimed squarely at the smartphone market, it represents the biggest challenge yet to ARM’s dominance of the sector.