Finally got around to posting this….
CES 2010 began pretty well today. Arrived in Vegas around 11pm on Thursday night, and went to the hotel. While I expected the down economy to keep a lot of people home, along with big companies, I didn’t expect the strip to be this quiet.
Got to the show and headed towards the home theater/media area. I’ve been contemplating picking up a home media server for a while to hook up to our big 46″ LCD at home. Between Hulu, Youtube, Netflix (if I sign up for it), and downloaded TV shows and movies, it seems like a great addition to cable service where we don’t subscribe to the premium movie channels. From speaking to friends about the various offers out there, Boxee came up frequently.
The iTam tam. This is the most visually appealing iPod dock/speaker i’ve seen. One problem, you need to let guests know that it isn’t a seat.
The neatest product that I can’t find more than one segment to market to:
The Entourage Edge. It’s a clamshell design product, with an e-book reader on one side, and an Android PC on the other. I can see how this could be handy to students whose teachers send out class notes, where they can annotate and mark-up the e-book pages and transfer those back to the computer for sharing. But, I would find that without an actual keyboard the Android PC side of the product is woefully underpowered for things you’d want to do. Go over to a website? Start typing on the virtual keyboard (you can plug in a USB keyboard). Still, a very cool mashup of two popular technologies.
Sony’s booth was packed, where my father and I took a break on the Gran Torismo 5 video games. We both left thinking neither of us will get in the car with the other again.
The biggest ‘gee whiz’ product I saw were the Samsung LED and OLED TV’s. The worlds slimmiest TV was there, at 6.9mm. I haven’t done much research on the current prices of LED TV’s, but I can’t imagine they are in the sweet spot for most customers currently. Once prices come down, these incredibly flat and incredibly gorgeous TV’s will replace today’s flat screen LCD’s and Plasmas
Also swung by the Ergotron booth. While not sexy, they make a lot of ergonomically-correct desks and computer monitor stands. They were having a contest that if you tweet a photo of you and one of their products, you’ll be entered into win one of them. Check.
This was mostly a day to go back over some products that we wanted to hear more about. I went back towards Intel and played around with some of the netbooks there. If I get one, it would be one of the MSI Wind’s or Lenovo Ideapad. Both had keyboards that didn’t make my hands feel cramped.
I went back over towards Boxee and played with the interface a bit more. Pretty slick, although from what I saw, it handles network files only via CIFS (Samba), so if I ended up picking one of these up, I’d have to setup Samba along side NFS at home. No big deal, but something to add to the to-do list.
Saw on my Twitter feed, that I was one of the winners of the Ergotron contest. (Several days later….) I’ve been exchanging emails with a person in their marketing department. Since the contest was for a single monitor stand, and I have two at home, they are donating the single-monitor stand to a local school, and sending me a dual/triple monitor stand to review (and keep). The power of the Internets…
As part of our annual trip, our group rents a room at a local sports bar or tavern to watch the first Saturday of NFL Games. In years past, we have rented out a room at the ESPN Sports Zone. Big room, bunch of big flat screen TV’s, some comfortable leather chairs, and a minimum of food/drink we have to order. This year, we booked a ‘Luxury Skybox’ at Lagasse’s Stadium Sports Bar at the Palazzo Hotel. This is now the benchmark for places we rent out. We had about 30-35 guys, and room for more. Three huge couches with ottoman’s to relax, a pool table, and a terrace with two more couches and TV’s to match. This terrace by the way, overlooked Las Vegas Blvd. This is the way to watch the games, I highly recommend it.
Had a great time overall, it’s always neat to see the new products out there. I don’t know if anything hit me as a ‘must have’ for the coming year. Some evolutionary improvements to the home theater space with Boxee and the other products. TV’s will continue to get brighter, thinner and lighter with better resolution. Intel had its new stable of CPUs to show off, typical enhancements on power and battery-usage.
Until next year.