The 2006 Consumer Electronics Show will make room for business tools, including notebooks and handhelds, alongside its traditional rows of flashy TVs and other consumer gadgets.
Some familiar business-style products will part a sea of gadgets and doodads at the International Consumer Electronics Show
in early January.
The annual convention, which is known for displaying everything from enormous flat-screen televisions to tasers and robotic dogs under the bright lights of Las Vegas, will also play host to a number of more buttoned-down products in 2006, including a new crop of notebook PC products.
Businesses might normally ignore big-screen TVs, tiny cellular phones, DVD players and other consumer gear being displayed at the show. However, much of the technology built into those devices finds its way into corporate gear.
"Treos and BlackBerries and a lot of handheld devices are certainly appropriate in the business environmentsometimes even more so than consumer," said Steve Baker, an analyst at The NPD Group Inc.
"Flat-panel televisions arent just a consumer technology either. Youll see lots of talk about how a lot of the big, flat screen TVs can work for public displays," such as advertising, he said.
Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini, who will take the stage for a keynote on Thursday afternoon, will have a broad range of news to share. In addition to launching a new branding strategy that largely shelves its traditional "Intel Inside" tag line, and introducing a new nomenclature for its mobile chips, the chip maker will launch Napa, its newest notebook PC platform.
Napa, an important platform for businesses in that it claims both double-digit performance gains and longer battery life
for notebooks, includes Intels dual-core Yonah processor,
a successor to its Pentium M, as well as a new enabling chip set with higher performance graphics built in and a new wireless module.
The company is also expected to unveil a new name for its mobile Pentiums along with Yonah and Napa. The company is expected to call them Intel Core processors, with dual-core versions being marketed as "Duo" chips and single-core versions dubbed "Solo."
Click here to read more about Intels mobile processor plans for 2006.
Intel has said its Napa platform will result in more than 220 notebook designs, about half of which will come out within a month of Napas introduction. Among them are expected to be Lenovo Group LTD., whose ThinkPad line will incorporate Napa, according to outgoing CEO Steve Ward.
"Youre going to see our product line expand" with Napa notebooks, Ward said in a recent interview with eWEEK. "At CES in January, my expectation is that Lenovo will have more of the latest Intel technology in our PCs than anyone else."
Gear and announcements to expect.