It won't be too long before CES 2011 is upon us. Taking place from 6-9 January 2011 in Las Vegas, CES sets the tone for the tech year.
Apple may not be present, but just about everyone else is – from the electronics giants such as Sony, LG and Samsung to the tiniest software companies. CES covers the whole gamut of technology, so you'll also find Microsoft and Nvidia alongside names such as Kodak and Polaroid.
CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is the place where the industry meets, does business and – most importantly for you – launches new kit. TechRadar will be there in force to bring you the latest news and hands-ons from the event, but what can we expect to see there?
Last year, 3D was the main theme alongside every single company talking about the environment. This is a slightly odd thing to hear in Vegas, which is possibly the least environmentally friendly location known to man. Expect those companies who haven't yet gone big on 3D – such as Sharp – to go fully 3D this time around.
We'll also see plenty of universal glasses available – specs you can use with various 3D TVs, not just those from one manufacturer. And expect a lot more hype behind 3D Blu-ray.
Traditional LCD will seem like old technology at CES 2011 – it'll be LED all the way. Movement on the next-gen OLED tech has been slow so far, with only Sony, Samsung and LG really demonstrating anything of worth.
Sony has had its 11-inch on-the-market XEL-1, Samsung with an OLED laptop and 40-inch TV demos and LG with the UK's larget OLED TV, which clocks in at 15 inches. Expect far more to come at CES from various manufacturers.
Highlights from CES 2010 included Samsung's LED 9000 series and the first look at the Toshiba Regza Cell television – though we've since learnt that the Cell is yesterday's news and will be replaced by the new Cevo processor.
As well as connected TVs, there will also be plenty of other connected devices – we'll surely also see a plethora of Google TV devices. Google TV will come to the UK in 2011.
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In terms of computing, we're expecting lots and lots more in the way of tablets. Dell has not been too secretive about its desire to produce larger siblings for the Dell Streak, so expect more from them.
Likewise HP – we'd predict that the leading PC manufacturer won't be too far behind with a tablet-based device. Lenovo also had plenty of Snapdragon-based devices at this year's CES. Will we see more at CES 2011? Will it be the LePad?
But the most interesting part will be the operating systems these guys end up using. Will the buzz continue to be around Android (which Google says isn't yet ready for tablets anyway) or will we see something new from Microsoft or will the Redmond giant just hope for the best with standard Windows 7? And what of Chrome OS – it's all gone quiet on that front.
We're also expecting plenty of announcements from Intel and Nvidia, so watch this space for more.
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Registration for CES 2011 is already open to the industry. "The energy and buzz surrounding the 2011 International CES is already in motion, as we prepare for dynamic new exhibit areas that reflect the vibrant CE industry," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences, CEA.
"The new Connected Home Appliances and Broadband Telecommunications TechZones are two of many new attractions at the 2011 CES."
Join us in January for the very best CES 2011 coverage you'll find.