7 cool things to look forward to at CES 2009

CES showfloor
CES 2009 is almost upon us. Here's what to expect

CES, the world's biggest Consumer Electronics Show kicks off on Wednesday, with over 2,700 exhibitors flashing the gadgets you'll want to be seen with over the next 12 months.

TechRadar will be there in force to bring you blow-by-blow coverage. But here's a taster for the kind of stuff you can expect to see emerge at the show.

If you see anyone from the TechRadar team on the show floor, come and say hello!

1. Ultra-thin TVs get real

We've seen these before, but TV makers from Samsung to Sony are now turning the concepts they've shown off previously into real products you can actually buy. LG's take is the LH95, a LED-backed HDTV measuring 24.8mm thin and boasting a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. LG has also teamed up with US online movie provider NetFlix for the launch of a range of broadband-enabled TVs at CES 2009. This will enable you watch movies provided by NetFlix directly on the TV – no external devices required. Other TV firsts making their debut at CES 2009 will be a 7mm thin TV from JVC and an even skinnier 6.5mm one from Samsung. Rumours suggest that Sony will also radically expand the number and range of OLED TVs it sells.

2. Laptops galore

No CES is complete without a flurry of laptop announcements from PC makers, and Lenovo is leading the charge. It has already three new Y-series laptops touting 14-inch (Y450), 15-inch (Y550) and 16-inch (Y650) displays and armed with a variety of Intel Centrino 2 processors, Nvidia graphics and optional Blu-ray drives, according to CNET.

3. More beef for Blu-ray

It's proving to be an uphill struggle for the world's HD optical disc format of choice, which is why consumer electronics makers are pulling out all the stops to get the players out of the shops and into your hands. LG's take is to add broadband connectivity and team up with NetFlix again to enable you to download movies over the internet, while Sharp is posting Blu-ray players inside its latest-gen Aquos LCD TVs. ezGear is also aiming to make Blu-ray much more affordable at CES 2009, launching the bluCobra EZ3000 in spring for just $400 (£275) or less.

4. Palm's Nova and other mobiles

Two years on and few mobile makers have been able to mount a credible challenge to the iPhone phenomenon. Palm may be hoping to change all that with the launch of the Nova – which sports an 'amazing' new OS, QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. LG is also expected to launch the LG-GD910 – a 3G phone supporting HSPDA speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, that you wear on your wrist.

5. Windows 7 and other Microsoft announcements

As ever, one of the highlights of this year's CES will be Microsoft's keynote on Wednesday – CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to reveal further details about Windows 7, while Entertainment and Devices Division supreme Robbie Bach will wax on about Xbox 360 and Zune. Will there be a Zune phone? Current rumours says not.

6. Intel, Adobe and the state of solid state

CES 2009 will also be the perfect showcase for the announcement made by Intel and Adobe today about bringing rich web content to TVs and other devices. We can also expect see a wider range of solid-state drives for notebooks and other devices – Toshiba's 512GB SSD being just one great example.

7. Stuff you don't need, but just want anyway

With 2,700 exhibitors taking up 1.7 million square feet of floor space, you can expect to see a heck of lot of stuff at CES 2009 that isn't a sexy Size Zero TV or phenomenal new phone. Expect to see a lot of gadgets like the chumby, which makes the web more accessible, more user-friendly and, erm, cuddly for everyone.


More CES coverage on TechRadar

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