On Location - CES 2011
Having worked many trade shows in the past such as CTIA and E3, the "road rules" at CES were familiar to me. What was unfamiliar was the convention center itself - I needed a while to learn the layout of the six halls. It actually took me a good half hour to find just the coat check once I arrived, but after the first day I pretty much knew where I needed to go.
My first stop was of course South Hall on Thursday morning, opening day of the exhibits. I tend to walk the show floor at a brisk pace, and it didn't take me long to cover all the booths inside the entire South Hall by lunch time. North and Central halls were covered during the other half of the day. For one thing, I get to take in the entire show in a single day, as I don't stop and gawk at every single booth or block traffic for others. The advantage is that when I do find something worth my attention, I can devote my time to that particular exhibit. The downside is that my feet ended up doing at least 12 miles of rapid walking in the first day - hey, the exercise never hurts!
Day two was spent visiting specific exhibitors of interest, as well as returning to those I spotted on the first day that I wanted to follow up with. While I didn't get to distribute as many business cards as I would have liked, I'm confident my efforts will be showing here on lgpOnTheMove in the coming weeks and months. I also spent this second day taking the bulk of my product photos, as the crowds tend to wither off after all the opening day hoopla.
Slates were definitely a hot item at the show, and I saw many booths showing off both Android and Windows-based products. I was actually pleased at the number of Windows 7 slates I observed - clearly Android and iOS are not the only game in town. Fujitsu, Viliv and MSI, just to name three, all had Windows 7 slates on display that will be going on sale later in the year.
Over at the Verizon Wireless booth, the company made a big splash with their 4G LTE product announcements. Chief among them was the new Samsung LTE hotspot device. Similar to the Clearwire 4G Clearspot I am currently testing, the Samsung product pushes Verizon's LTE network over wifi to multiple devices. While the company rep had no details on the price, battery life or plan details, I can only hope that the suits putting on the big-bucks presentation intend to reassess their current 4G plans and eliminate that wretched 5GB/10GB bandwidth cap - I refuse to drive on a freeway that has stop signs every 5 miles!
Over at the Sony booth, I got to sample an AMD Brazos netbook. The new 11" Sony VAIO Y series promises performance better than Intel's Pinetrail with battery numbers equal-to or better, with pricing starting at $549. Pushing a battery life of 6 hours and a weight of 3.2 lbs, this should be very similar to the HP Pavilion dm1z I was so pleased with last year.
Over at the Intel booth, I was somewhat surprised to see nothing new in the netbook section, and bored at looking at the same Pinetrail netbooks that have been available for almost a year now. Most of the action was happening in the tablets section of Intel's booth showing off the various Android and Windows 7 slates. Considering that Oaktrail is Intel's own product, they are certainly down-playing it to a point that it raises the question - what does Intel want consumers to see this year? More of the same?
I had two full days to experience my first CES this year, and I have to say that my trip was well worth it. Alongside getting to enjoy the sights and fun of Vegas again, I've come away with a much better understanding of the gadgets to come in 2011 along with the technology behind them. Events such as CES certainly encourage face-to-face communication, and I was happy to meet many new people at the show who's products I have used or will be using. Most importantly, CES has helped promote lgpOnTheMove, and I'm looking forward to more widespread recognition from both readers and manufacturers.
Will I be coming back to CES 2012? You bet!!!