We like the way the folks who run the Consumer Electronics Show think. January, after all, already has enough strikes against it — bad weather, the postholiday return to work, all those resolutions we’ll never keep. Why not brighten the mood with a peek at great technology that’s soon to hit the market? Each year, CES comes through — and this year was no exception. But 2010 did have a twist. The most-anticipated product announcement — Apple’s iPad — came several weeks after the big show ended, from a company that has historically opted out of CES in favor of more intimate unveilings. And while we’re not quite sure that the iPad is the “magical” device Steve Jobs claims, we do think that it’s a promising product that warrants attention in the coming year, as are a handful of others from CES itself. Here are our picks for best new offerings for lawyers.

Apple iPad. New product rumors may make for great publicity, but they also make for great expectations. To read the Apple fan sites prior to the iPad’s introduction, you’d think the company was working on a device that would enable time travel — and keep your songs organized for the trip. In fact, what Apple did create looks a lot like a giant iPod Touch: 9.7-inch screen, 1.5 pounds, capable of running existing iPhone/iTouch apps. Among Apple devotees, that led to yawns and disappointment. They were expecting something more than something bigger.

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