CES 2010 Special Report
January 18, 2010

CES 2010 Special Report

By Retrevo's Andrew Eisner

Ah, CES 2010, where do I start? It was a great show with more things to see than time allowed. The show was a bit smaller this year with no exhibits in the Sands Convention Center but the main convention center was jam packed with cool gadgets and gear. No question that 3DTV dominated the show with people crowding the booths from Samsung, Panasonic, LG, and others to see new 3DTVs and other cool new products.
LG claimed the slimmest LCD TV at 6.9mm using what they call Full LED backlighting. Ohers call Full LED "direct" backlighting, meaning the backlight covers the whole back of the screen as opposed to edge-lit backlights. Some people say direct backlit displays can create light glow around a light area as adjacent backlight "zones" behind dark objects are turned off. LG says they have 340 zones which is enough to prevent this problem.

Ultra High Definition TV

As we predicted, there were several UHD or "4K" TVs on display. LG showed an 84-inch UHD display. The details in the pictures were extremely sharp and crisp.

Panasonic 152-inch UHD Plasma

Panasonic was showing a 152-inch Plasma UHD display. These UHD displays are stunning in their image quality with fine details in sharp focus. The big Plasma screen looked great but exhibited a bit of glare.

Intel Was Very Much Inside
We also predicted the new Intel Pine Trail chips would be all over the show floor. Asus showed off a new Atom-based netbook, the $380 Eee PC 100PE that claims a 14 hour battery life. Other manufactures like Samsung and HP were all showing new Intel-based laptops and netbooks.

One of the Coolest Things at the Show
Yes, there’s no question the new 3DTVs were very, very cool but there was one technology demo that caught our eye.

Intel was demonstrating the power of its new Core i7 processor with a very cool touchscreen display that scrolled 3D blocks across the two sides of a cube. The display with two, 7-foot touchscreens showing feeds from 20,000 sources was powered by one laptop with an Intel core i7 processor. The 3D blocks represented photos and info about all sorts of things and when you touched a block it would open up a small window containing more information about the block.

Three Screens and DLNA

We kept hearing references to the “three screens” which refer to mobile phone, laptop, and TV screens. Everyone was talking about being able to view anything they can see on one screen on the other screens. We also heard lots of talk about DLNA the home networking standard that works over WiFi and lets devices talk to each other and allows users to use any of the three screens to control devices in the home like TVs, printers, Blu-ray players, etc. We expect to see much more activity around DLNA and connected devices in general. Someday soon your smartphone will be the control panel of your digital, “three screen,” world.

Samsung Dominated the Show

Samsung, as usual, had the most impressive display of consumer electronics with everything from a cool new color laser printer to gorgeous looking TV sets.

The Samsung booth featured multiple displays with a mirrored ceiling that made you feel like you were inside a kaleidoscope. Inside the booth were demonstrations of audio systems, new display technology, connectivity solutions and much more.

There were lots of fascinating and fun demos like this one making a case for Samsung displays' high contrast levels.

Lots of Fun Gadgets at the Show

There was a very active iPhone pavilion with lots of cases, earbuds and add-ons. This product lets you strum a guitar on your iPhone.

Interesting iPhone Case

This case from IvySkin costs $79.99 and has a glass keyboard cover and a snap-in power pack.

iPod Speaker Docks You can Sit On

This speaker dock comes in Apple colors and can support people sitting on them. They sounded pretty good and look like they can push a lot of air.

Personal Speed Radar
Pocket Radar makes a small handheld radar "gun" that you can use just like a real radar gun to measure things like fastballs at the kids little league game or speeding cars in your neighborhood. The Pocket Radar will sell for $249 when it goes on sale in March.

Make Your Own Case
Some people theorized that a lot of iPhone add-on vendors came to CES this year because they were concerned how attendance was going to be at an Apple-less Macworld Expo. In any case (haha), we were glad they showed up with cool products like the case from I Make My Case which allows you to design the graphics on your computer before the case is sent to you. A case costs $39.99.

Micro Camcorder

Astak was showing a tiny camcorder you can wear around your neck or mount on a helmet. It can also be used as a webcam.

Innovative Earbuds
These ear pieces fit over flat-style earbuds like the ones that come with iPods. They say the inventor is a runner who was looking for earbuds that wouldn't keep falling out of his ears. They cost $12.99 at Best Buy.

Strange Looking Speaker Dock…

You have to admit, it’s an interesting looking device and we have to admit it sounded pretty good. The Linx Dragon-I comes in a Bluetooth version as well.

…And One More Odd Looking Device

This surround sound headset for gamers worked pretty good but does look a little odd with this two things sticking out from the sides. The Vibras Five.One headset from Track Scan is loaded with speakers and costs around $200.

There Are Always Interesting Gadgets in the Asian Pavilions
One of our favorite sections of CES is the collection of booths from manufacturers based in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian tech centers. You can be sure to find interesting and fun gadgets at low prices. Among the earbuds, flashlights, speakers, and networking products we found some real gems.

Electric Cigarette

We saw a couple of booths offering these new smokeless cigarettes. Apparently they create some sort of water vapor or something that can contain nicotine, no nicotine, or other flavoring.

Infrared Heating Pads
I guess these have been available for quite a while but I still think the idea of heating up carbon fiber that emits infrared rays is pretty cool. These devices from +venture use less power than standard heating pads and don’t emit ELF radiation.

Odd Choice of Earbud Packaging

These may very well be good quality earbuds but we wondered why they chose the cases to look like coffins. Maybe they are trying to get in on the new vampire popularity.

iPhone Power Pack

The guy in the booth claims they are the only ones making an iPhone power pack this small. Who are we to doubt him?

Gel Mouse Pads

They look like something you might find in one of those Las Vegas souvenir shops but you have to admit, they are novel.

Gadgets for Seniors
Among the many special pavilions was one for seniors. There were many products to make using devices like telephones easier for older folks like this telephone which removes the keypad entirely.

Audio Assistance for TV
For the hard of hearing TV Ears make wireless earphones you can use when you watch TV. They cost $99.95.

Life Was Good at CES 2010

With all these cool gadgets it wasn't hard to feel good about life and how much fun it will be when they become available.