The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up last week. While the show used to have the geeks' full attention in the past, nowadays it mostly just serves as a place holder to whatever 800-pound gorillas are coming down the pike from Apple and Google.
Some of this can be attributed to the far-off release dates for all the gadgets shown. (Most everything had "coming Summer 2011" attached to it.) But much of it has to do with knowing full well something being demonstrated by a company could be complete vaporware and might never see the light of day.
Last year's HP "Slate" is a perfect example: It was demoed by Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer during the CES keynote yet never actually became a real shipping product.
Keeping that in mind, the focus of the show was clearly on the coming wave of "iPad killers." Just about every heavy-hitter in the industry had one to show off, yet none were even close to being finished and no prices were announced. Apple has such a huge head start (and most people expect an iPad 2 this year) the battle is clearly for No. 2 in the tablet space.
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Of note was the Motorola Xoom, which will sport a 10-inch screen, a dual-core processor, two cameras, Android 3.0 (the first Android OS designed specifically for Tablets) and offer 4G connectivity on Verizon.
A big disappointment was the Blackberry Playbook. Despite a beautiful 7-inch form factor and new custom designed OS, the device inexplicably must be tethered to a Blackberry in order to access the e-mail and calendar programs. Fine for Blackberry users, but what about the rest of us?
Besides tablets, there were plenty of gadgets and announcements that piqued my interest and might require the credit card later this year. Here are my favorites:
THE BEST OF CES
Morgan Bonner is Pre-Press Manager and a systems administrator for the Packet and Gazette