NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Next week marks the biggest week on tech's calendar as the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas.

Not only will all the gadgets from the future be there, so will TheStreet. And amid the buzz about connected cars and connected TVs, tablets and 4G wireless, we will be zeroing in on the pertinent investment news that could influence stocks.
2011 CES

So what's in store? Microsoft's ( MSFT) new, new tablet plan, Verizon's ( VZ) 4G devices, and Motorola's ( MOT) Google ( GOOG) Android-Honeycomb tablet, for starters.

Here are a few other highlights.

ARM-based processors

Nvidia ( NVDA) has scheduled a press conference Tuesday, and the expectation is that the chip shop will have a beefier graphics processor for laptops and a slew of mobile devices to show off its Tegra 2 dual core processor. One guess is that Nvidia will feature the LG Optimus 2X Android phone, running a Tegra chip.

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The stock

Nvidia has had difficulty expanding its business beyond graphics chips. Every year for the past three years, it has promised an ARM-based mobile chip; this may be the first time Nvidia delivers. Qualcomm ( QCOM) and ARM ( ARMH) will also be showcasing similar chips at the show.

Mini Notebooks

Asus and Toshiba also present Tuesday, and it wouldn't be a shock to see them unveil some ultra-thin notebooks. Apparently Acer and Asus and a number of other computer makers have developed new models that take after the sleek design of the Apple ( AAPL) MacBook Air.

The stock

Apple's MacBook Air is the new netbook to beat. Slumbering giants like Dell ( DELL) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) can't get out-maneuvered again in this category.

Connected TVs

Yahoo! ( YHOO) has a demo in the works on how it plans to play a role in the great bridge between Internet and HDTV. And TV makers like Sony ( SNE), Samsung, Panasonic ( PC) and Toshiba -- among many others -- are expected to emphasize Internet proficiency. But Google's Google TV effort may have dealt the group a bit of a setback.

The stock

Instead of forging the happy partnership between Hollywood and Net TV it hoped for, Google has been seen as an adversary. Failed negotiations with ABC, CBS, and NBC have caused the studios to block shows from Google TV. It's a bad start to a promising service, and Google needs to break the standoff.
Google TV


Microsoft, Motorola and Palm will once again have tablets to talk about -- and maybe even to demonstrate. In 2010, Microsoft misfired on the Courier device, killing it before it ever really took shape. This time around, Microsoft is expected to brandish tablets from Samsung and Dell.

The stock

Microsoft's tablet demo should mark the software giant's big step toward ARM-based mobile systems. The company will likely unveil a version of Windows for tablets. This would be a crucial step just like Windows Phone 7 was in smartphones, but, similarly, it could take years to pay off.


Verizon has scheduled a 4G press conference for Thursday, Jan. 6. The nation's biggest wireless player will pull back the big red curtain, if speculation is correct, and show a collection of 4G devices. Among the selection could be 4G phones from HTC and Motorola, and quite possibly a 4G tablet from Motorola running on Google Android's Honeycomb operating system.

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The stock

Verizon's bold effort to be the biggest, fastest network didn't work out too badly with FiOS. So an early lead in the race to deliver the biggest pipe in wireless could have some payback. But that's all secondary to the prospect of a Verizon iPhone, which you won't likely see in Vegas this year.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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