CES 2010: That’s a Wrap

Although we still have a few CES stories in our backlog, I wanted to get my show reflections up while the feelings are fresh. Overall, the 2010 edition of CES was significantly more enjoyable than 2009. The malaise that permeated last years event, has been replaced with optimism. And, while the show covered less square footage and we may not have witnessed any revolutionary new technology, there was cooler stuff to see. Additionally, more vendors seemed to brief folks from off-site suites (which the CEA may not be thrilled with) or in private booths, enhancing my experience and coverage — more intimate, meaningful conversations, with better pictures. Trust me, the four halls of the LVCC are a mess. And this is a better way. In the video above, Jason Hiner, of ZDNet’s TechRepublic, quizzes me on the top tech of CES. Having caught up on sleep (and given my ability to edit), I’ll take this opportunity to elaborate a bit on those trends…

In the mobile space, Google’s Nexus One introduced a day before the show received most of the handset attention. In fact, many of my peers arrived from California with unit in hand or had them overnighted to their Vegas hotels. Because that’s how we geeks roll. The HTC hardware is quite handsome and the processor blazes. But I’m willing to bet Android would be even more sprightly with additional software optimization. (And I wouldn’t mind Sense UI riding on top.) But the talk of the show, the first 24 hours, was reserved for Lenovo’s Ideapad U10 — not only is the hybrid laptop/slate innovative, it’s sexy. Something new to the Lenovo brand. The e-reader space appears to be exploding, but the period of single-function devices will be short. Wouldn’t you rather have a Kindle (slate) that also contains a webkit browser and dual mode Pixel Qi screen? Beyond hardware, both Clear and Sprint are making headway with their 4G WiMax initiative. And I’m contemplating replacing my MiFi with an Overdrive.

In the digital media living room space, I saw a whole lot of boxes — most aggregating both Internet content along with personal content behind a single UI. And some took it further by also incorporating broadcast content. Of the new hardware, the Popbox and Boxee Box look most promising. And it’s safe to assume Roku will continue innovating. But what I didn’t see was surprising. Maybe a headless WHS was a stretch, however I’m astonished there were ZERO Windows Media Center extender announcements. Most perplexing, given Microsoft’s show emphasis on home entertainment (Media Center, Mediaroom) including the various new PC CableCARD technologies. In addition to the media boxen, tons of televisions were on parade at CES. Many unbelievably slim, with nearly edge-to-edge displays. 3D TV was also a hot topic. And a frequent subject of debate. I remain skeptical that we’ll see any sort of mass adoption, let alone interest, in bringing 3D home this year.

Beyond the tech, the most meaningful part of CES is still the personal connections. It was great fun catching up with too many folks to even attempt listing, plus meeting a slew of new, interesting people. Speaking of people, I’ll close by rerunning our instant classic Team ZNF photo where we flash the 3D gang sign.

5 thoughts on “CES 2010: That’s a Wrap”

  1. I regularly follow and participate in the chatter in the Roku forums and there is no doubt that the introduction of the Boxee box and Popbox has created a lot of buzz. It will be very interesting to see what Roku does between now and the time the competing boxes come out and see how the boxes compare at that point.

  2. Jon, I thought the same thing. Maybe it’s time for a Zatsnotfunny podcast! Thanks for the great CES coverage, Dave, lots of great info. I, for one, will either be shelling out $400 for the Ceton quad-tuner card or getting a prebuilt system from Ace. I don’t know if you talked to the people from Ace Computer, but they were great to deal with when I bought my first Cablecard PC. Ceton + Intel i5+ H55 mobo= bit streaming and near perfect HTPC. Can’t wait until April!

  3. jon, hopefully funny in a good way. ;) I’d like to think what you see is what you get with me and that I speak and write in a similar voice. Well hopefully I write with fewer ands & uhs, while waving my hands a bit less!

    Hogues, I’ve guested on a few podcasts and once upon a time was offered a co-hosting gig with Ben on EngadgetHD but couldn’t really commit at the time. Personally, I don’t listen to many podcasts… and would rather do video. Which I’ve flirted with a few times. But, again, not sure I have the time for anything regular. And who knows how many people would enjoy it.

    Didn’t see the Ace people, but I like the Media Center experience. When the Ceton hits, if there’s any new extenders, I’ll consider it. Oh, I did see a Zotac mini. Amazing what you can cram in a SFF PC these days.

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