The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens today and the electronics editors at Consumer Reports (CR) have identified five product categories they're eager to see at this year's show.

"CES 2011 is less about revolution than evolution," said Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports.  "We likely won't see any groundbreaking new product categories, but we'll see some significant leaps in some key technologies such as computers, smartphones, and 3-D TV."

Consumer Reports has identified the following five product areas that will have an impact this year on consumers.

  • TABLET COMPUTERS. Though other tablets started to appear in the marketplace toward the end of 2010, CR found most were disappointing compared with the Apple iPad. The magazine expects the iPad will get some real competition from tablets introduced this year at the show. For example, the Toshiba Tablet will offer many features that the current iPad doesn't, including a camera, a memory-card slot, and support for Flash video.
  • PASSIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR 3-D TV. Another one of Consumer Reports' anticipated product categories is 3-D TVs made for viewing with light, inexpensive passive glasses, as opposed to the bulky and costly active-shutter glasses they've needed until now. Vizio, LG, and other manufacturers will be showing these TVs.
  • NEW COLOR TECHNOLOGY FOR E-BOOK READERS. Though e-readers -- which played a large role at last year's CES -- probably won't be as thick on the ground this year, the editors are interested in seeing the latest versions of e-book readers that use technologies, such as Mirasol, that will eat up less battery power than existing color LCD e-book readers.
  • 4G PHONES. Consumer Reports expects Verizon, along with other carriers and manufacturers, will announce many new 4G phones, using faster networks than most current cell phones use. Sprint and HTC announced the EVO Shift 4G and Samsung is expected to announce a 4G phone.
  • CAR CONNECTIVITY. CR will also be looking at innovative car connectivity solutions, including ones that implement 4G, from manufacturers such as Ford and Audi.