Consumer Electronics Show floods
YOU HAVE TO see it to believe it. A trade show so big it fills the Las Vegas Convention Centre to capacity and flows over to consume a good deal of the hotels on the Strip: 120 000 people, 1,6m sq m of floor space – and all in celebration of the latest gadgets. The Consumer Electronics Show is beyond extravaganza. And this year it was all about a new category of computer that Apple has the market whipped up into a frenzy about.
It started with the ridiculously popular iPad that Steve Jobs and co introduced last year: a simple, affordable touchscreen computer. Apple was first but at CES hundreds follow. Motorola seemed to enjoy the lion’s share of the attention at the show, with its Xoom tablet running the latest version of Google’s Android operating system dubbed “Honeycomb”.
Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Samsung and countless others were also on the Android tablet bandwagon at varying degrees of innovation. However, Lenovo had one of the more interesting takes on the matter; its LePad tablet is also an Android-based touchscreen – but with a twist. It can be docked into a shell that transforms it into a little Windows 7 laptop. LePad will go on sale in China soon, and derivatives are expected in international markets before year-end 2011 (For more on Lenovo, see page 20).
While tablets were the order of the day at CES there were also a plethora of other technologies not to be overlooked. Along with the above-mentioned Xoom, Motorola also introduced a new smartphone called the Atrix that will go on sale soon in the United States via network operator AT&T. The device can be docked with a desktopsize screen and keyboard or with a laptop dock. In either case the Atrix becomes your computer. The laptop dock can’t be used without the Atrix. It’s merely a screen, key-