Last week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Lots of new big screen TV’s with some great resolution like 4K (4 times the number of pixels), as well as a new breed of Smart TV’s. I had my eye on some of the new 80″ TV’s, I could just visualize one or two of them in my TV football room. Lots of tablets, it seems like every manufacturer had a tablet of sort, mostly running Android. There were literally hundreds of displays of cases for iPhones, iPads and most Android devices. Audio headsets and lots and lots of audio gadgets. Audio and Video Equipment for your car, your home or personal devices. Any and all other business and personal gadgets, devices, Apps and much, much more.
Some of the booths were downright ostentatious in size and display. The biggest was probably Panasonic, absolute huge. Microsoft also had a huge display with some of their partners exhibiting with them. The one thing that stood out was that just about every laptop manufacturer had an Ultrabook on display to compete with the Apple Macbook Air. If you put some of them next to each other it was difficult to tell them apart, the Apple Macbook Air is still unique in that it has a keyboard that lights up and off-course is the only one that runs OS-X Lion. Most of the Ultrabooks featured Instant-on, no DVD drive, beautiful screens and typically between 2 and 3 pounds, pretty much the same weight as the Netbooks they are trying to replace. In talking to some of the manufacturers they were all around the same price as the Apple Macbook Air but some were more expensive. Apple has that huge buying power that makes them so competetive.
I spent some time with Nokia in the Microsoft display area and I was impressed with the new Lumia 900 Smart Phone, that will be on sale in March in the US. With its 4.3″ AMOLED screen and Windows with Mango, it was very light and easy to handle with solid construction. The screen color separation was incredible and the black was really black, enhancing the other colors. As an iPhone user I’ve only had casual exposure to Android phones but what I saw of the Lumia 900, it over shadows those Android devices by a wide margin. It’s my opinion that if the Android market keeps fracturing like it is, it will provide an opening for Microsoft to positions it’s smartphones well against Apple and Android. I liked the Metro implementation on the home screen with little blocks of information that can immediately launch with a single tap. Its unique and different that may just appeal to a large segment of users.
The two days were not enough time to take it all in, but what I did see was some old, some new and some very exciting new “stuff”. The show was at the Las Vegas convention center that is attached to the The Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) and it was very convenient being able to be in a room at the hotel. My wife Kathryn (the president of Fulfillment Express, Inc.) got me into that hotel at the last minute, I don’t know how she did it, since it was sold out, but she is a genius when it comes to traveling. Just remember if you go to shows like this, wear your most comfortable shoes, its grueling to be walking on the concrete floors for several days. I learned this lesson years ago in the early 1980’s when I used to go to conventions in a three piece suite and white running shoes. Everyone always looked at me a little strange, but typically after the first day on the concrete they all thought that I was the smartest one there.