As we leave Las Vegas and tie a bow around CES 2010, here are some general observations from the ETC reporting team:
The show had a super-dynamic feel. Last year, people were depressed and the event felt a bit empty. This year – despite speculation that the confab would suffer from lack of big announcements and the effects of a limping economy – the high level of energy surprised us. The show was slammed and there was a LOT of optimism in the air… and it was infectious.
As predicted, 3D was everywhere. It was perhaps even a bit more everywhere than people imagined. Last year’s backroom demos were this year’s front-of-booth highlights. DirecTV live 3D feeds and actual 3D Blu-ray discs playing on actual Full-HD 3D displays were in almost every major CE booth. There was also a lot of live 2D-3D conversion around – maybe disruptive or perhaps just a nice parlor trick for 3DTV buyers to show their friends.
Over-the-top Internet-connected devices were everywhere, too. Last year, we saw ethernet jacks in a few TVs from the CE companies and widgets, etc. on some Blu-ray players. This year, it’s gone mainstream. The majority of the sets from the major manufacturers have ethernet, EVERYTHING is connected, Skype is now available in HD for HDTVs and PCs, and even Vizio has a strong play with its huge line-up of affordable, easy-to-use, wireless networked TVs.
All of that said, there was no “Pet Rock” at the show – the single must-have gadget. The Best in Show award from CNET’s Best of CES awards went to Panasonic for its VT25 series of 3D-capable HDTVs…and NetShelter’s Last Gadget Standing top winner was the Boxee Box from D-Link that helps you share Internet content with your HDTV. But as Google and Apple had hoped for, everyone was talking about the Google Nexus One smartphone and the rumored-to-be-coming-later-this-month Apple Tablet, both of which were not at the show.
Tablet PCs, netbooks and e-readers with a wide variety of screen sizes and functionality took on a surprise presence at the show. We were particularly impressed with the enTourage eDGe, the first dualbook e-reader. This cool device flips open to two screens: the first is an LCD screen with the functionality of a tablet notebook and the second is an e-paper screen for reading, highlighting and annotating documents. We’ve just scratched the surface of possibilities with these affordable and increasingly popular devices (just think about the Kindle…).
Before we sign off, we’ve included a part 2 to our parting thoughts, a brief list of things to watch for in 2010. Be sure to check it out.
And it seems only fitting that we include one final video. Carolyn Giardina, one of our roving show floor reporters, wraps up her video coverage of CES by providing a brief overview of this year’s trends – from 3D everywhere to over-the-top tablet PCs to emerging technologies such as 4G networks.
Thanks for reading the blog for this year’s CES 2010. A special thank-you to ETC’s sponsors who make our work possible. We’re Leaving Las Vegas…
KC Blake, Sarah Blake, Carlos Crooks, George Gerba, Carolyn Giardina, Bryan Gonzalez, Frank Irving, Leander Kung, Phil Lelyveld, Edie Meadows, Paula Parisi, Mark Schroeder, Rob Scott, William Sheng, David Wertheimer, Joyce Yi
And our sponsor-contributors/tipsters:
Wendy Aylsworth, Bryan Ellenburg, Bob Kisor, Bob Lambert, Theron Trowbridge
Read the team’s thoughts on trends to watch in 2010