Upcoming Gadgets Worth Waiting For

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None of these highly awaited products has a firm release date, but they have us excited for their arrival.

July 30, 2011—When it comes to new technology, the old adage is true: Waiting is the hardest part.

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Technology manufacturers have a habit of getting us psyched about forthcoming products, but leaving us hanging when it comes to actual release specifics. Though frustrating, it’s a smart marketing tactic, really. Get people talking about your gadget, building up so much anticipation that we can barely wait to get a hold of the thing. The annual Consumer Electronics show is a perfect example. We see tons of cool tech every January, companies let us put our hands all over it, but what we never see are dates. For every gadget at the show, there’s a nebulous future release timeframe, and we often don’t see it in the lab for testing until many months later—and sometimes not at all. In the interim, we wait.

This approach can also backfire. Sometimes the hype gets so huge that there’s no possible way a single phone, tablet, camera, or other device could ever live up to expectations. Remember the iPad 2 release back in March? Since Apple offered no advance information about the tablet, the maniacal rumor mill assigned all sorts of possible new features that never came to be. And when we wound up with only modest improvements over the original iPad, many people were disappointed.

Either way, this results in consumers scratching their heads, wondering if they should stick it out with their old gear, or pull the trigger on a new gadget. The eight products in the slideshow are the ones we think are worth waiting for.