2010 CES Preview and Technology Trends


Hoping to start the year off right and get the jump on 2010’s hottest technology trends? Then look no further: This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the annual high-tech tradeshow that’s chock full of gadgets and technological innovations – will showcase a rather impressive number of tends we can expect to see more of in coming months from personal to automotive to hosted services. It will highlight what will likely be the fight that will define at least the first half of the year between the rumored iSlate from Apple and the massive number of Google Android devices that will populate the show. And, as an added bonus, this year’s CES will also preview the beginning of the biggest change to TV since color graphics – specifically, the introduction of 3D viewing. Let’s chat about some of the major trends we are likely to see coming out of CES and what they may mean for you in the next 12-24 months.

eReaders Everywhere

There are a lot of eBook readers launching at CES. Most are using a variant of e-Paper and are wirelessly connected. The more affordable models will have only Wi-Fi, while the more expensive products will add Kindle-like 3G connections. Expect faster page refreshes and the first color products to be showcased at the event as well, though the color products are likely to be more proof of concept than market-ready. Prices aren’t moving much either, with smaller eReaders that aren’t 3G connected starting at around $200 and larger products that are 3G connected still in the sub-$500 range. I expect these prices to drop across the board by year-end 2010.

apple-tabletTablet PCs and Smartboo** ‘R Us

One of the big battles in 2010 will be between the rumored iSlate from Apple (although it’s still not clear if this is a real name or just one of the typical red herrings Apple leaks to keep us off the scent) and the massive number of Android-based Tablets launched at CES. What is interesting is that it looks like most of the Android products have sub-7” displays while the rumored Apple tablet has a 10” display, putting it clearly in the netbook-size category and running it up against eBook readers as a potential alternative.

These appear to mostly fall into the sub-$500 class though the Apple tablet is rumored to be much more expensive, which also could be a problem or more false information. It will be interesting to watch people make the tradeoffs between tablets (which can handle multimedia more successfully and provide a better Web experience than eBook readers) and eReaders (which will have better battery life and be vastly easier to read, particularly in daylight) conditions. There will be a number of tablets with keyboards as well.

We used to call these keyboard-equipped options Smartbooks, but the company that thinks it owns the name in Germany keeps threatening to whack our wiener schnitzels if we didn’t stop. Since that sounds rather painful, we’ll try to keep from doing that more than 10 or 20 times in a given piece. (Interestingly, Smartbook AG – the folks trying to protect the name – did bring out a $3,000 netbook, and doesn’t actually build Smartbooks.) Anyhow, we expect this pricey netbook will sell like used Pampers, as with it you pretty much get a bottle of expensive champagne and the right to buy your girlfriend an “I’m with Stupid” T-Shirt.

google_android_nexus_one_htc_passion_smartphoneSmartphones and OLED Displays

Google’s smartphone, the Nexus One, could be the product of CES much like the iPhone owned the show two years ago and the Palm Pre owned the show last year. (Yes, ironically, the iPhone wasn’t actually at CES, but it took it nevertheless.) Underground reviews have indicated that it outperforms both the iPhone and the Motorola Droid, which has been the hot ticket in the fourth quarter and used heavily in the battle between AT&T and Verizon. This phone will open the door for OLED Smartphones with increasing focus on graphics potential for the next generation of devices. I have a feeling that anyone who just bought a smartphone recently is going to wish that they’d waited.

It’s an ARM World

Speaking of all of these new amazing devices, it should be noted that they are powered by ARM and not x86 like the PCs that proceeded them. Companies like Qualcomm, Marvell, and NVIDIA are driving what appears to be a revolution of cool stuff from eBook readers to these new tablets and smartphones, and all use different variations of the ARM processor. Intel will be striking back with its Atom platform, but this is going to be a fight and ARM initially appears to have the high ground.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.
Product Review

Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite hides serious upgrades under a familiar cover

After three years, Amazon's most beloved ebook reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, got a refresh for 2018. And while it may look the same as its predecessor, a handful of new features make it a worthwhile upgrade.
Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…

Inferiority is a feature now! Palm's new plan is psychotic

The Palm is a smartphone to reduce your smartphone usage, or a small smartphone for when you don't want to carry your big smartphone. Palm itself doesn't seem sure which it is, but either way, it's a product that's so witless, we're amazed…
Home Theater

Budget TVs are finally worth buying, and you can thank Roku

Not all that long ago, budget TVs were only worth looking at if, well, you were on a budget. Thanks to Roku, not only are budget TVs now a viable option for anyone, but they might even be a better buy than more expensive TVs.

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…

Smartphone makers are vomiting a torrent of new phones, and we’re sick of it

Smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, LG, Sony, and Motorola are releasing far too many similar phones. The update cycle has accelerated, but more choice is not always a good thing.

Do we even need 5G at all?

Faster phones, easier access to on-demand video, simpler networking -- on the surface, 5G sounds like a dream. So why is it more of a nightmare?

Razer’s most basic Blade 15 is the one most gamers should buy

Razer's Blade 15 is an awesome laptop for both gamers, streamers, professionals, and anyone else needing serious go in a slim profile, but its price is out of reach for many games. The new Blade 15 Base solves that problem with few…

Going to hell, again. The Switch makes 'Diablo 3' feel brand-new

I've played every version of Diablo 3 released since 2012, racking up hundreds of hours in the process. Six years later, I'm playing it yet again on Nintendo Switch. Somehow, it still feels fresh.
Home Theater

The Apple AirPods 2 needed to come out today. Here are four reasons why

Apple announced numerous new products at its October 30 event, a lineup that included a new iPad Pro, a MacBook Air, as well as a new Mac Mini. Here are four reasons we wish a new set of AirPods were on that list.

‘Fallout 76’ is nothing like ‘World of Warcraft,’ and that’s for the best

"Is Fallout 76 an MMO?" That depends on who you ask. Critics and players often cite its online multiplayer capabilities as a reason it qualifies. Yet calling the game an MMO only confuses matters, and takes away from what could make…
1 of 2