Greetings again from Las Vegas.   CES is now over, and I have had a chance to sort through some of the material I gathered, and shipped the remaining 34lbs back to Australia – to be absorbed when I return home.

Some interesting stats – over 30,000 international visitors attended CES this year, as part of the over 125,000 attendees. For the first time, CES was open to local traders, in addition to the standard “industry only” rule.

I didn’t attend CES on Saturday, as it was my Sabbath. Instead, I observed the Sabbath with 60 other CES folk (mostly exhibitors who closed their stands for the day). I later learned there was at least one other similar gathering with over 300 attendees! interestingly CES will revert to weekdays next year.

Sunday was action packed – but without the crowds from earlier in the week. First stop was the Research In Motion (RIM) stand – makers of the BlackBerry. The focus was of course the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This 7″ tablet packs a lot into a small package. Weighing 400g, it has a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 and is powered by a dual core OMAP 4430 1GhzRAM. Different to other tablets, there is no “clutter” from icons around the bezel. Instead you swipe your finger from the bezel onto the screen to perform certain activities. Syncing with your BlackBerry is via bluetooth. The model I saw did not have 3G capability – but RIM have partnered with Verizon to run on their new 4G network.

The forward facing and rear cameras are handy, and I can see the dedicated BlackBerry customer base embracing the PlayBook.  I am looking forward to taking it for a test drive when it becomes available.

Motorola Xoom tabletNext stop was Motorola. If I told you the Motorola Atrix has a docking station that looks very much like a laptop computer you would think I had too much of Las Vegas. The laptop dock lets the Atrix really open up. The web top application launches automatically when the Atrix is docked. This is something revolutionary, and I will be writing more about this one upon my return.

Then there was the Motorola tablet……..the Motorola Xoom. I think it was the best Android tablet of the show. 10.1 inch screen and Android 3.0, this is going to be the serious contender of 2011.

A little less low-tech but nonetheless very interesting is the Stedicam Smoothee from Tiffen. If you have an iPhone or FLIP video cam, this is the product you must take a look at. Mount your device and shoot as much video you want. Smoothee lets you capture video without the shakes you normally get with hand held video.

Couldn’t let the show go by without one bit of geek clothing. This year it’s the iHat Wireless Cap. Powered by 2 AAA batteries for the transmitter and 2 AAA batteries for the Receiver, It comes with removable speakers. See more about it at

If you have ever dropped your phone into the sink or worse, you will be happy to hear that someone has a solution that might actually salvage your phone. Dry-All – First Aid for wet electronics – does just that – remove the moisture from your phone.

Finally, it was great to see the Australian presence at CES with Gecko Gear. Recognised as one of the leading developers of accessories for iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as laptops and other high end products, Gecko products are designed in Australia for a global market. Look out for my review of some of their range when I return.

Before I go and enjoy the next part of my holiday, let me summarize CES as an amazing experience. It’s mind-blowing to see the size of some of the major sponsors – including Sony, LG and Panasonic. Bigger than a lot of our houses. The emphasis this coming year will be on integrated televisions, tablet computers and differentiation.

I look forward to sharing more information with you soon. Many thanks for reading – hope you have found it interesting.

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