CES 2011: Tablets, TVs and Other Tasty Tech Trends
Potential highlights include...
CES 2011 is nearly here, and The VAR Guy is expecting lots and lots of devices without keyboards. The event, Jan 6-9 in Las Vegas (of course), may turn out to be the biggest device battleground in a long time, now that certain technologies have matured. Here’s our resident blogger’s take on what we can expect from CES 2011.
Potential highlights include…
1. Tablets: Surprise! (Or not.) Tablets will take center stage at CES 2011. Just about every company with a tablet strategy took a step back after they saw how Apple did things with the iPad. Plus, Android has matured to Honeycomb and apparently has been built for tablets now. Not to mention that technology for smaller and denser storage, via SSD or otherwise, has become more widely available, and let’s not forget, HP bought Palm. If every tablet that was supposed to launch in 2010 actually came to market then, they’d all look half-baked. Plus, a number of manufacturers — including Lenovo — have teased us about showing off their own tablet device at CES 2011.
2. Netbooks: Google’s Chrome OS has come into its own, which means that netbooks will be hot once again, and cheaper, now that the devices won’t need Windows to run and Chrome OS is essentially free. After the initial January 2009 blast of netbooks with Windows XP on a 9-inch screen and a cramped keyboard, the technology has evolved into a 10-inch to 11-inch super-thin device that is more purpose-driven. Expect a lot of this.
3. Cheaper 3D TV: CES 2010 featured a lot of 3D, and one year later the technology has matured to be (just barely) affordable. Still, 3D is not top of mind for many consumers. The price point of the TV and a 3D-enabled playback device, in addition to the scarcity of content and the need for 3D glasses, has put people off. Our resident blogger is betting that manufacturers will try to overcome those obstacles by showing off TVs that offer 3D without glasses (like Nintendo is planning with its new Nintendo DS game device) even though the technology is not quite yet mature.
4. Internet-Enabled TV: Internet-enabled TV is a sure bet to be one of the biggest debuts at CES 2011. People love Netflix and YouTube — they’re just not big fans of watching videos on their computers. Vizio has already launched a line of TVs with these apps built in, and many others will likely do the same. You can expect Google TV to be integrated into some TVs, too, but The VAR Guy suspects most manufacturers will provide a basic interface to access particular content.
5. USB 3.0/4G Speed: USB 3.0 is slowly reaching the mainstream. It may not get the big press, since you can’t “physically” see data transfer, but The VAR Guy suspects a lot of small devices and/or external storage hardware at CES 2011 will be supporting USB 3.0 and demonstrating just how fast 625MBps really is. Plus, more 4G devices will see the light of day, including WiMAX devices.
The VAR Guy also sees iPad 2.0 just around the corner, which will create it own buzz at CES 2011. Stay tuned for updates as the show progresses.