Like giant, transformable robots, once a year a contingent of editors from HotHardware change form and morph from our typical, reserved, hardware-loving selves into fast walking, fast talking scoop hunters throwing hip-checks and stiff-arms on the insanely busy show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As many of you are no doubt aware, CES is held at the gigantic, 3.2 million square foot Las Vegas Convention center, but numerous other exhibits spill out into adjacent hotels and resorts. The sheer number of things on display, and the busy means of transit between them, necessitates the aggressive transformation. If you want to catch a glimpse of the hottest in upcoming consumer electronics and speak to a company representative one-on-one, and a gaggle of camera toting casual geeks are in your way, sometimes you’ve just got to throw an elbow or two to shorten the line. We didn’t make the rules.
We realize, however, that traveling to CES simply isn’t in the cards for many of you. And we wouldn’t want any of our loyal readers locked-up and charged with assault for all of the necessary turbulence anyway. So with that in mind, we snapped of a multitude of pictures and spoke with a myriad of people to put together this year’s CES Photo Report. We’ve got news and information from over 20 PC-centric companies on tap, so strap in and enjoy the ride – sans the hip-checks of course.
One of the first stops on our jaunt through CES was Dell’s booth and related suite at a nearby hotel. Dell’s booth was chock full of the company’s high-end displays, like the recently released UltraSharp 3008WFP 30-inch LCD and the sleek Crystal. A number of high-end Alienware notebooks and desktops were on display as well, including the custom painted number pictured here.
Some of the most interesting things Dell had on display weren’t meant for public consumption, however; at least not yet. Behind closed doors we were shown some concept products that may (or may not) go into production. We saw a wireless keyboard styled after the new Crystal LCD, a home entertainment station of sorts that married audio and video into a single, futuristic looking console, and a tri-LCD setup that could be twisted into a number of different configurations thanks to its hinged arms. As hard as we tried, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures of these unannounced products, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted if more information is made available in the future.
Microsoft’s CES display is always an interesting place to catch a glimpse of current cutting edge PC technology and upcoming products. This year, Microsoft’s booth was loaded with ultra-mobile devices and Smart Phones based on the Windows Mobile OS, Zunes and their related accessories, and machines built around Windows Vista and Vista Home Server.
A large portion of the booth was also dedicated to Games for Windows. In that section, AMD’s Spider Platform was on display, complete with a pair of Radeons running in a CrossFire configuration, as was an NVIDIA-powered 3-way SLI rig. A number of upcoming games were also being demoed, including Conflict: Denied Ops, Space Siege, Frontline: Fuel of War, and Age of Conan. We played Conflict: Denied Ops and really dug the graphics and control scheme. And Space Siege looked great too – think of it as Dungeon Siege meets Buck Rodgers, with great graphics and physics.