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12/30/2010
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Eric Zeman
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CES 2011 Preview: Tablets, Smartphones, And More

The electronics industry is gearing up for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which kicks off January 6. The leading vendors are expected to introduce a host of eye-catching new offerings. Here's what InformationWeek anticipates will be unveiled at the show.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Samsung Galaxy Tab Teardown

The Consumer Electronics Show is where makers of electronic devices showcase them for would-be buyers and the press. Attendance at the show this year, which will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, is expected to attract more than 120,000 people. While that's down from previous records, it's still enough to ensure Las Vegas will be teeming with activity between January 6 and January 9.

Press conferences are being held by many of the marquee vendors in the electronics space, including Motorola, Panasonic, ASUS, Toshiba, Casio, Sony, Samsung, LG, Intel, Audiovox, Pioneer, General Motors, Skype, and T-Mobile USA.

InformationWeek sees two major trends developing at CES 2011. The first will be the widespread introduction of Android tablets. The second will be the take-off point for Long Term Evolution (LTE) and other 4G technologies. Beyond these big two, a number of smaller trends will emerge concerning smartphones, 3D TVs, connected cars, and laptops.

AndroTab

Motorola has already set the stage for a tablet announcements at CES, with a teaser video released before the Christmas holiday. The video depicted a number of historical tablets (10 Commandments, Rosetta Stone, iPad, Galaxy S) and led up to a Motorola tablet. The tablet is set to be unveiled at Motorola's press conference, on Wednesday.

Earlier in December, Google's Android guru, Andy Rubin, showed off a prototype Android device running Honeycomb (on Motorola hardware), a new version of Android made especially for tablets. Honeycomb was designed from the ground up to support tablets. It will boast features such as mobile video chat and won't require hardware buttons, allowing users to hold it any way they wish.

Motorola isn't the only company planning to debut an Android-based tablet at CES. ASUS, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, LG, Toshiba, and others are preparing to show off Android tablets, though there's no word if any of these will run Honeycomb.

It is less probable that Palm will show of a webOS tablet at CES, though we may see a bit more of RIM's PlayBook. Neither has scheduled press conferences during the show. One thing you can be sure of, CES 2011 will officially kick off the Year of the Tablet.

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