My first CES

John Walton
Cell Phone Editor
| January 12, 2010

I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to attend CES for the first time this year and was also lucky enough to arrive one day earlier and leave one day later than my colleagues. I thought that would leave me a little Vegas time. I did spin the occasional one-armed bandit before any tech events and I was able to see the BODIES exhibit (for the second time) while waiting for my flight out. What I didn't realize, when scheduling my time in Las Vegas, was just how much stuff would be packed into our three official work days. CES is huge.

CES is huge not just in terms of the level of participation, number of products, and sheer volume of attendies, but also in how it is arranged physically. Or, should I say geographically? Even if you limit the "real" event to the enourmous collection of booths and anouncements that occur within the walls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the scale is staggering. And while I was there specifically with Android in mind (and therefore kept my eyes and ears open specifially for related products) it seemed to me like Google's OS had a very strong presense throughout a good chunk of the festivities. It really is everywhere.

Of course we saw the Nexus One and Sony Ericsson's X10, as well as the anticipated Motorola Backflip, but there were a suprizing number of cool Android products that I was expecting that turned out to be better than I had imagined. I also saw a lot of doohickies that I never even thought to imagine at all. There was LG's GW620, and GT540, Spring Designs' Alex e-reader. Android-powered microwave and the Compal Tegra-powered tablet were present as well. All of them cool, but unlikely to be found in my posession. Although Nexus is the most likely next purchase on my list, I'd have to say the most fascinating things I saw at CES occured at a Lenovo press conference.

Lenovo is into the idea of snaping gadgets into shells for the purpose of modular compatability. The IdeaPad - a Linux tablet that pops into a laptop lid to become a Windows computer - is probably the most dramatic example we saw of this concept. But Lenovo's new OPhone (Android-cased OS) powered LePhone seems more practical an example. This one is ready for a snap-on QWERTY, dashboard cradles, and who knows what else. Oh, and it is sexy. Sadly, this one is slated for China and we may not see an equivalent in the States for some time. I'll be keeping an out.

I personally enjoyed meeting up with the other PhoneDogs at CES...really for the sake of meeting up with the other PhoneDogs! The tech coverage (and chance to fiddle with electronics) is gravy. I don't expect to be attending too many more events like it. These things are much easier to cover from my office. Now to catch up on all these notes I have...