This week saw CES 2010 taking place in Las Vegas, where we got our hands on a whole load of shiny new kit that will be heading to our stores this year.
Read on for our most-read CES coverage this week.
Top five news stories
In what rates as one of CES's most compelling keynotes, Jen-Hsun Huang Co-founder and President of Nvidia drew rapturous applause from wowed tech watchers with his demonstration of the Tegra mobile chip. The processor is intended to give portable devices the power of desktops yet, in Huang's words, "only sip power". He described the chip's creation as: "the greatest undertaking since our foundation."
While the 3D TVs shown at CES in 2009 were very much in the prototype stages, this year should see the arrival of 3D TVs we can actually buy. Panasonic is keen to be at the forefront of the 3D revival and its stand at this year's CES is dominated by the technology. So what better way to shout about your 3D prowess than by developing the world's largest Full HD 3D plasma display?
Sony turned heads at its CES 2010 press conference by showing off its new Bravia LX900, HX900, NX800 and EX700 HD TV models for 2010. An undoubted star of the show is Sony's new 'Signature' range and the feature-packed Bravia LX900. Available in 40-inch, 52-inch and 60-inch sizes, this 1080p, net-connected, edge-lit LED 3D TV is an early adopter's dream.
Calling 2010 "the biggest year in Xbox history" Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment and Devices at Microsoft, announced that Natal would definitely be ready for this Christmas – though he didn't say how much it would cost despite talking up the new technology in the extreme.
Alienware has just announced a new Nvidia-powered gaming netbook with enough processing power to run high-end PC games such as Crytek's sublime Crysis - still, for many, the benchmark title that sorts the real gaming machines from the try-hards.
Top five in-depth articles
Back in October 2009, TechRadar put on its felt-edged predicto-hat and tried to guess what would be grabbing the headlines at CES 2010. We called it: New Year gear to get you excited. Our thoughts naturally turned to Microsoft's Project Natal, the Courier Tablet, legions of new Kindle-rivalling e-readers and Full HD 3D TVs. And, as this year's CES has unfolded, we've not been entirely disappointed.
For the last 10 years, Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell of Microsoft Research have been scanning and digitising their entire lives: documents, phone calls, files, chat sessions, email, the web pages they read, the TV and radio shows they watched and listened to, where they want, what applications they had open… Over the next 10 years, you're going to do the same, Gemmell told the Storage Visions conference at CES 2010.
In the opening CES keynote this year, CEO Steve Ballmer and Entertainment and Devices president Robbie Bach repeated the "three screens plus the cloud" story that Microsoft has been pitching for a while, although they concentrated on the PC and TV screens, brushing past Windows Mobile with a demo of the already-launched HTC HD2, the usual vague hint from Ballmer about bringing "the Zune music and video service to other Microsoft platforms" and the promise of announcements at Mobile World Congress next month.
The PC market might be recovering, but the 25% average market growth in the third quarter of last year means only one thing to Asus CEO Jonney Shih: a great comparison for the 56% that Asus delivered. "We are well on our way to our goal to be one of the top three portable PC vendors by 2011," Shih promises. And the secret isn't just selling lots of netbooks: "the key to this level of leadership and performance is the Asus innovation".
During his keynote at CES Intel's CEO Paul Otellini said that while computing was evolving and becoming about more than the PC, connectivity was key to this change. "Smartphones truly embody personal computing," Otellini said. "Wireless connectivity is critical and 3G is great, but it's not fast enough. 4G technologies like WiMAX are needed to deliver on the promise and potential of these new devices."
Top five hands-on reviews
At a packed CES press conference, Lenovo took the wraps off Skylight – a new 10.6-inch ARM-based netbook device running Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip. The tiny 800g notebook really is a marvel, with a good-feeling keyboard that belies its size, HDMI connector and a 10-hour battery life. We had been expecting the device to be launched, but what we weren't expecting was the use of a new, proprietary Linux-based OS. Indeed, previous Snapdragon-based netbook prototypes that we've seen were running Google's Android.
CES isn't usually the place for major mobile phone announcements, but Motorola has announced its third Android handset here. After the Cliq and the Droid comes the Backflip which, as you'll see from our snaps, includes a foldover reverse flip QWERTY keyboard. The Backflip will be coming to Europe after its launch in the US.
Sony's Dash is one of the devices that has most impressed us at this year's CES. The so-called "personal application viewer" is a nifty little internet-enabled device which packs a 7-inch touch screen and an accelerometer. There's also a USB port for connecting devices, as well as a headphone jack.
Away from the CES 2010 show floor, T-Mobile gave us a sneak peek at a product that will be coming later in the year: an ultra-thin 15" Android touch screen tablet codenamed Vega. This isn't just another Android device for the sake of doing something that isn't a PC or a tablet to take advantage of the hype about whatever Apple might or might not launch; while it's got a web browser and it will play YouTube videos and work with BBC iPlayer, the main application is a shared family calendar for getting everyone organised.
At its press conference this afternoon, Lenovo announced the LePhone – initially intended for the Chinese market. Like Lenovo's other big announcement, the Skylight netbook, it runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing introduced the handset by saying he believed the "Lephone is the best device in this category." The handset is a looker, with an 800×400 pixel screen and a proprietary Linux-based OS.
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