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25 Cool Consumer Gadgets That Matter To Business

Our Test Center checks out and rates the hottest digital electronics to come out of CES this year.

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They get the attention. They have the sex appeal. They're cool and everybody wants them.

They're digital electronics and tens of thousands of people flock to Las Vegas every year to pay homage to them in a pilgrimage known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But what does this mean to the commercial information technology space, and what does it mean to solution providers? Customers talk about them. Techs play with them. You probably even want a bunch of them yourself.

While the consumer space seemingly gets to have all the cool toys, there can be digital electronics for business that solution providers can use to deliver value, make a profit and get people talking. The trick is to distinguish between what is merely eye candy and what can fulfill true business needs. To that end, CRN has taken a look at dozens of devices that could fit that bill. We've also looked at some devices that look nice but don't really sync up with what the channel does best: deliver value and solve business problems.

Along the way, we've developed a "Channel IT Quotient" that examines each device for business functionality, profit potential for solution providers, return on investment potential, cost of acquisition and "wow" factor. The devices are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Yes, there are thousands of devices in the market and we haven't gotten to all of them. Yet. For now, here's some of what we've found.

 
 
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