Multi-core processor

CES 2011: There will be tablets

January 4, 2011: 11:45 AM ET

Dozens of tablets! Dual-core processors in your phone! LED backlighting for everyone! Live in 3D, with the inevitable pounding headache! Here's our preview of what's coming out of Vegas this week.

Take your typical Best Buy (BBY) store and multiply it by 100,000. Next, throw in quarter-mile long lines for everything food-related. Add the unmistakable arrival of the adult entertainment industry. Combine all that, and you pretty much have a feeling for the annual gadget-fest known as the Consumer Electronics Show, (CES to the propeller-head crowd) held this week in Las Vegas.

If CES is a preview of what we can expect in the coming year, not just in the latest flat-screens, smart phones and computing devices, but also in terms of economic outlook worldwide, things are looking better already. Based on the unscientific measure of lavish parties being staged and sold-out hotel rooms, the almost $700 billion global consumer electronics industry is feeling good about its chances for growth in 2011, predicted to be north of 4%.

While attendance to the show, expected to be in the neighborhood of 120,000, won't eclipse the 150,00-plus that thronged the show in 2006, the final number will undoubtedly be an improvement over the past two years when the recession put a unsurprising damper on things. This year's CES will feature around 2,500 companies, launching 20,000 new products, and displaying them across 1.6 million square feet of space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, an increase of more than 10% compared to last year's CES.

So what will the likes of Asus, Hewlett Packard (HPQ), LG, Microsoft (MSFT), Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba – basically everyone in the consumer electronics world but Apple, which doesn't feel the need to grace CES with its products  – be selling?  For starters, tablets. More

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