What to expect this CES 2010

It’s Tuesday already for everyone around the world except Hawaii residents. The biggest thing we’ve been hearing on the net and in the media lately is the Consumer Electronics Show 2010 (CES) being held in Las Vegas. CES is where many electronics and technology companies come out to showcase their greatest concepts and launch their latest products. For the computing sector, I’ve got a small list here of what to expect from this year’s CES:

  • Pine Trail aplenty – Lots of netbooks sporting Intel’s latest N450 Pine Trail processor. While offering roughly the same 1.66 GHz clock speed compared to its predecessor, the N280 processor, this latest Intel processor sips even less power than ever and sports a marginally better integrated graphics chipset (but no, you still can’t play Modern Warfare 2 or Need for Speed Shift on your N450 netbook).
  • Tablet PCs – Expect to see a lot more computer manufacturers entering the tablet fray. CES has barely begun yet we’ve already seen Lenovo come up with a “hybrid” netbook/tablet today and an accidental information burst from an internet retailer detailing HP’s upcoming Touchsmart tablet… and of course, the ever-present, ever-discussed speculation about Apple’s tablet, the iTablet (or not).
  • Core i3 and i5 for notebooks – Both Intel’s Mobile Core i3 and Mobile Core i5 will finally see the day of light in many, many full-sized notebooks this year. As proven by initial benchmarking of new Core i5 processors against last year’s Core 2 models, we’re gonna see quite a speed boost from Intel’s latest with similar/less power consumption… and while it hasn’t happened yet, this is probably going to lead to the complete replacement of Core 2 “Socket P” processors by their Mobile i3/i5 counterparts. We’re already seeing Core 2 processors being phased out.
  • More graphics power – ATI made a big bang last year with the 5000-series graphics cards and their famous performance benchmark numbers and have already come out with ‘notebook’ versions of their 5000-series graphics. Nvidia recently added their new GeForce 300 series graphics cards for notebooks, which offer a supposedly large leap over their predecessors. Reliable sources have also told me that there are still yet-to-be-announced Quadro Mobile variants of their GeForce 300 series for CAD work in mobile workstation models.
  • Touchscreens and High Definition everywhere – With even the most basic of digital cameras about to feature 720p HD movie recording capabilities, computer manufacturers will be touting their HD features here, there and everywhere. “HD” displays, “HD” graphics, Blu-ray drives, HD this and HD that. They’ll also be quick to offer more touchscreen devices, and touchscreens on more devices. Savvy? More touchscreen phones, touchscreen LCD displays, touchscreen all-in-one computers, touchscreen tablets, optional touchscreens on notebooks (whose extra charge I would fail to justify unless a stand for holding my arm up to the screen for prolonged periods is included)…

I would say 2010 is a terrific year to go out there and shop for new gadgets; especially notebooks. With so much new and improved stuff (as in REAL, justifyable improvements), notably Mobile Core i5 and next-generation ATI/Nvidia graphics cards, getting a notebook this year would be great, because there’ll be a big leap in performance over last year’s models. And of course, who knows what other interesting things the year may bring in the tech area. I foresee lots of exciting, shiny stuff in my crystal ball 😉

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