What we Learned from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Yesterday (Jan 13) was the last day of the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As the tired out exhibitors took down their displays and packed up their gear to head to their homes, tech insiders are left wondering what devices will shape the technology industry in 2012.

There were over 3,000 electronic firms showing off 20,000 products at this year's CES and there were indeed a few items which stood out from the crowd. The huge 55” OLED 3-D television unveiled by LG was a star of the show while tablets and ultrabooks running Windows 8 were abundant on the showroom floor. After browsing around the web reading what techies have to say, it seems as though televisions featuring cutting-edge technology were quite popular. However, most consumers won't be able to afford the new OLED TVs anytime soon.

One could also dare to say that there was really nothing revolutionary offered this year by any of the large electronic manufacturers. Of course, tablets were the focus of many conversations as dozens of firms including Toshiba and Samsung showed off their upgraded tablets that they hope will give the iPad a run for its money. Toshiba showed the world its sleek new 10.1” tablet that weighs a mere 20 ounces. This thin new tablet did receive lots of praise from onlookers. As tablet prices are falling across the board, more and more consumers are interested in these devices. Therefore can expect tablets to stay in the news all year long and to sell well throughout 2012. It has been estimated that over 103 million tablets of varying brands will sell this year.

Color E-Ink Finally Here?
Color e-book readers using energy efficient screens will be made available in some parts of the world in 2012 which is a first. Two top manufacturers of color e-book screens were at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. E Ink, the manufacturer of screens for Nook and Kindle devices was displaying a 9.7” Ectaco color e-book reader that is currently being used in classrooms in Russia.

The color e-ink devices on display in Las Vegas feature rather muted colors and therefore would never be mistaken for the bright colors we are used to on LCD screens. It also should be mentioned that the e-readers featuring color e-ink are not capable of playing video as they are limited to still photo images only. However, those who got to see the devices up close report that the readability of the color ebook readers is indeed very good. Obviously, color e-ink has not yet been developed to its maximum potential to make it a viable screen option for most ebook reader manufacturers to consider offering.

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