In addition, Smarthouse
that HTC could launch a tablet
PC running the Google Android operating system, claiming that "an
Android-based device ... is set to be shown privately to core HTC
customers at the CES Show." This tablet will supposedly "incorporate
new Qualcomm processors, touch technology and new software from Adobe."
CES will also see functionality introduced in the area of e-readers.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil plans to use the event to roll out Blio, an application
that supposedly allows e-books to be read on any device with an operating
system, including netbooks, laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones.
"Unlike any other system on the market, this platform will display
books just as they were printed with the same colors, fonts and layouts, and it
will support full media functionality such as graphics, video, games and Web
links," a Blio PR representative wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK, adding that
the application will be on display at the Microsoft booth.
Netbooks represented a double-edged sword for the PC manufacturing industry
in 2009. On one hand, they were the one surefire seller in a year where PC
sales otherwise declined; however, ultracheap devices translates into low
margins for manufacturers.
here for eWEEK's review of netbooks and laptops from 2009.
The tech industry will try to solve this issue in two ways, both of which
will likely be visible at CES. First, it will continue to offer netbooks-although
the newer devices may be even more stripped down than in the past; think a
smartphone with a larger screen and keyboard and no receiver, and you have the
Second, manufacturers will be offering netbooks with larger screens and more
powerful processors at a higher price point. One example is Lenovo's ThinkPad
X100e, powered by AMD Athlon Neo single- or
dual-core processors or else the Turion dual-core processor, and being offered
with an 11.6-inch high-definition display for less than $500.
Netbooks will also be refined and made more robust, as evidenced by new
offerings from Samsung. The N210, N220, N150 and NB30 will offer 10.1-inch
displays, as well as applications that speed Web connectivity.
But at least some of the focus will be on devices that offer higher margins.
In summer, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
suggested that "ultrathins," which offer more powerful computing and
higher cost along with a netbook's portability, would be something that
Microsoft would push for along with its manufacturers. Whether such a concerted
effort can be made to boost hardware and software margins, given the fragmented
nature of the PC marketplace, remains to be seen.