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Monday, January 11, 2010

CES 2010 Shows Best of Tech

If this year's CES was a blockbuster movie, its title would be CES 2010: The Rebound. This year's show featured both an increase in attendance, and from where I stood, a more diverse and advanced array of innovative products than ever before.

This was I believe my 7th CES show. I skipped last year, and I wasn't the only one. PC Magazine reported that attendance fell from 140,000 to 110,000 last year as corporate budgets tightened. This year was up to 120,000, a respectable improvement. In terms of products, I was impressed. There were some neat new gadgets, with refreshingly many from startups and small companies. In fact, a west coast based startup called Boxee won the prestigious Last Gadget Standing award for their internet video to TV appliance.

The booths were impressive. The big companies, like MSFT, Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic impressed as always, with up and comers like LG upping the ante. Yet for all the majors and their dazzling, hyped products, there were many less known competitors, particularly from Asia, competing in new product categories. I lost count of how many unknown netbook and e-readers I saw thrown into the ring with devices like the kindle. Overall, it was encouraging to see so much progress, innovation, and energy in this corner of tech.

Highlights of CES included:
  • Keynote from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. Microsoft also presented Windows 7 and their innovative now motion-sensing camera for the XBox called Nadal.
  • 3D flat screen TV's - They were everywhere, along with new camcorders to support the format.
  • Netbooks - mini laptops optimized for travel
  • Smartbooks - Smaller netbooks with always-on internet connections.
  • eReaders - Electronic readers like the Kindle, Nook, etc.

Michael Mullins
TLP Boston 2010

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