CES - It's a marathon, not a sprint.
So that was CES 2011. We’re finally sat in our hotel room resting our feet, and calculating the number of steps and miles walked. We’ve met with so many companies we’ve lost count – and have filled a large sports bag with press releases (on paper, CD, and memory stick). It’s been six solid days, from before the show opens to when we finally put our PCs away well past midnight…Read more.
As we look back on the themes and trends we spotted as we walked the halls and the press events, perhaps it’s a good idea to pass on the tips we’ve learnt over the last few years on just how to survive the monster that is CES.
CES: Dell unveils 7 and 10-inch Android tablets.
Dell announced a new 7-inch 4G tablet and a prototype of a business-focused 10-inch device at CES 2011 on Thursday.Read more.
The Dell Streak 7 is a 4G Android tablet, to be made available initially for T-Mobile in the US. Powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core ARM processor, it has a 7-inch HD capacitive touchscreen.
Michael Tatelman, vice president and general manger of North American consumer sales for Dell, stressed the screen's robustness. "It uses Gorilla Glass, which will take the rough treatment that these devices will get," he said at the press conference at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.
CES: Windows to run on ARM chips, says Microsoft.
Microsoft has demonstrated a future version of Windows running on both ARM and x86 processors, and has announced partnerships with ARM processor vendors Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia.Read more.
The software maker's president, Steven Sinofsky, presented the demo at a CES 2011 press conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Sinofsky said that neither user interface nor development approaches were being shown.
"We're looking at the hardcore engineering work we've been doing to work on a new class of hardware, where customers are demanding a tighter integration between hardware and software," he said.
CES: Asus launches Honeycomb tablets.
Asus has introduced four new tablets, three based on the upcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system and one on Microsoft Windows 7.Read more.
The Eee Pad Memo, Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Slate EP121 were unveiled at CES 2011 on Tuesday. They will take on rivals from Apple and Acer by presenting innovative features in a range of product formats, Asus's chief executive Jonney Shih told journalists at the Las Vegas electronics show.
"We admire Apple, which offers great innovation, but they provide very limited choices for customers," Shih said. "A combination of innovation and choice is a better way to serve customers."
CES: Asus Eee tablets add Android, Windows.
Asus has debuted four tablets at CES 2011, so here's a closer look at the three tablets based on the upcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system — the Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Pad Memo — and the Eee Slate EP121, powered by Microsoft's Windows 7.Read more.
Hands-On: Lenovo 10-Inch Win7 Tablet.
While Lenovo’s hybrid U1 Android Slate/Windows 7PC got most of the attention at CES 2011, sitting next to it in the restaurant Lenovo had taken over for the show was a slim 10” slate. This was the prototype of a Windows 7 slate, and we gave it a quick spin. Like most modern tablet PCs it has a dual mode touch screen, with capacitive touch and a Wacom-style pen. It’s a good combination, and the touch screen was very responsive – working well with mouse and pointer optimized Windows user interface. The pen worked well for entering text, using Windows 7’s built-in handwriting recognition tools.Read more.
Reviews and first looks:
CES: AVerMedia AVerComm.
In these cash-strapped and green days good video conferencing is increasingly important, saving time and money by replacing travel with a meeting in the comfort of your own office. But desktop video conferencing quality isn't reality – and not every business can afford the complexity and the requirements of HP Halo or Cisco Telepresence.Read more.
CES: Viewsonic Viewpad 10S and Viewpad 4.
Viewsonic's Android tablets haven't particularly impressed so far, offering the usual ODM basic touch features and running a phone OS stretched to fill a larger screen. We spent some time at CES 2011 looking at their next generation of devices.Read more.
CES: Synaptics "Cervantes" External Trackpad.
Trackpads are ubiquitous on notebooks and the majority of them are made by hardware supplier Synaptics. At CES we saw the Cervantes reference design for an external trackpad designed to use with a desktop PC - or as a controller for home media devices like Google TV.Read more.
CES: Data Robotics Drobo S.
With Microsoft's next generation Home Server dropping support for its storage fabric technology, Data Robotics' Drobo offers an alternative approach to building large amounts of storage using mis-matched disks. Unlike traditional RAID arrays which require all the disks used to be identical in size, Drobo's BeyondRAID storage array allows you to increase the amount of storage in an array each time you add or replace a pair of larger disks. There's no need to worry about matching disk manufacturers, sizes, or even speeds; the Drobo S handles all that for you.Read more.
CES: iHealth BP3 Blood Pressure Monitor.
One of the trends we spotted at this year's CES was an explosion in tools for personal health monitoring, from devices that monitor homes for movement patterns to personal brainwave monitors that track just how you sleep. One thing that drew a lot of the devices together was support for cloud services, for sharing information, and the ability to use mobile devices as user interfaces.Read more.
iHealth's BPM3 Blood Pressure Monitor caught our attention, as it brought several of these trends together in one device. Looking like a piece of Apple hardware with its smooth white lines, the BP3 is an iPhone/iPad dock with a difference — under the white dome is an automatic blood pressure monitor, with all the control software running on the connected iOS device. That last point is what really makes the difference, as it simplifies what could otherwise be a complex piece of medical equipment.
CES: Motion CL900 Tablet PC.
If there's one company you'd expect to deliver a successful, well designed slate format Windows 7 PC, it'd be Motion Computing. Specialising in Tablet PCs since the earliest days of Windows XP Tablet Edition, Motion has consistently delivered powerful and light Windows slates. You probably won't have heard of them, though, as they've been niche devices, selling into vertical industries – especially field service, aviation and health.Read more.
It’s that heritage that gives Motion's CL900 an edge over the current crop of Windows slates. It's not going to be the cheapest device out there – but it's likely to be the tablet that gives the best value for money. It's also likely to be the one that gets the most out of Intel's Oak Trail generation of Atom processors. Early Atom slates struggled to perform well, but Oak Trail is not only more powerful, with support for many key slate functions (including hardware accelerated graphics), it's also more power efficient, extending battery life significantly.