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CES 2010 Predictions: What Will Be Hot Next Year?

12.23.09

The tech industry is gearing up for January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but what should we expect? Will recession woes continue to hinder major announcements or will someone surprise us? We asked our analysts to [VERB] a few predictions about [PRON] you can expect to see from CES.

Laptops – Cisco Cheng

Laptops and Netbooks at CES 2010 will be riding the coat tails of Intel, which has already announced new processors and chipsets in "Arrandale" (for laptops) and "Pinetrail" (for netbooks). So this year you'll see processor brand names such as Intel Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 instead of the soon-to-be exiting Core 2 Duos.

With netbooks, it'll still be the Atom processor, but around it will be a different supporting cast and a more energy efficient one at that, promising over 10 hours of battery life.

Not all clamshells will have an Intel processor, though. This year's CES 2010 will give rise to a new class of netbooks, called SmartBooks and tablets.

SmartBooks will run some variant of an ARM processor, with Qualcomm being a heavy favorite. They will not run a Windows operating system (Linux, most likely) and promise to cost as little as $200 per device. The term tablet is similar to SmartBooks in parts and software, only it won't have a physical keyboard, or at least one that's permanently attached. Tablets will take the e-book reader space to the next level and hopefully have more success than MIDs − the previous term for touchenabled netbooks without a keyboard.

Desktops – Joel Santo Domingo

The netbook revolution of 2009 has benefitted the desktop space. The same power-saving processors and motherboard chips from netbooks are now showing up in a plethora of ultra small nettop PCs.

While these desktops do not promise better battery life, they do promise smaller, quieter systems, which can be hooked up to large displays, like the 50-inch HDTV in your living room.

Don't count "traditional" desktops out though: they're still the go-to PCs in a business setting, particularly since they're less fragile and easier to service than laptops. Besides, traditional workers who live in cubicles don't need the portability of a netbook or notebook PC. They're going to get smaller, but desktops will still be on workers' desks for quite a few years to come.

(Adapted from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357541,00.asp)

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