LAS VEGAS (TheStreet) -- Today is the official start day of the Consumer Electronics Show, the 43 year-old trade event that serves as a high-profile launching pad for technology's biggest -- and smallest -- brand names.
Despite the recession hangover that sees much of this sector battered, more than 2,500 vendors have convened in Las Vegas to announce a battery of product and partnership agreements, all potentially stock-changing news.
While we're not likely to see any new, blockbuster tech categories emerge at this year's event, analysts expect smartphones, tablet devices, and many other niche technologies to become smarter and more web-savvy.
Each day, our tech team will bring you some of the day's most popular picks, straight from the showroom floor.
More on CES 2010
Qualcomm's Mirasol E-reader Display
Everyone else is oogling
, but we're trailing
, the not-so-quiet winner at CES (so far). The firm's low power-using Snapdragon chip set is on display all over the show, and last night it unveiled its Mirasol e-reader display, which will finally allow you to see color on your e-books. James Cathey, head business development for Qualcomm's Mirasol team, says we will see Mirasol on a real device sometime after summer.
new Android-powered Backflip's got buzz. The reversed-hinged device has not named a carrier or price yet, but it did get a lot of attention when it was officially unveiled. Co-CEO Janjay Jha told us that the Backflip
is an exciting device for the company
both stateside and overseas. The screen is clear and sharp, the QWERTY keyboard quite large for such a small-form thing. The back of the screen features a touchpad, something that seems a little counter intuitive for a smartphone. But it seems that we've entered a period where companies are making things not because the consumer demands it, but because innovation allows it. We'll have to see if demand follows the Backflip. Either way, Motorola is back in the game.
Powermat's Portable Mat
CEO Ran Poliakine visited
last October to shoot a video, he seemed pretty sure that his wireless RFID recharging solution for smartphones would be a hit. He was right; he sought us out at CES to boast that he's sold 750,000 units in two months. We've been testing Powermat's original mat with a BlackBerry Bold and an iPhone -- so far it works great. Later this year, the company will start selling a couple portable mats and the Powerpack, a battery replacement pack that eliminates the need for an external case.
Dell's Mini 3
announced they were officially joining the Android party. The new Dell Mini 3 is a Google-powered, 3G phone, similar to the ones Dell's already selling in Brazil and China.
HP TouchSmart tm2
Among the shower of tablet devices at CES is the HP TouchSmart tm2, what might be the product of a
. This model follows an earlier form that we saw years ago -- with pen input on a screen that did not need a keyboard -- and features a screen much smaller than a PC, but significantly larger than a smartphone.
Logitech's Speaker Lapdesk N700
new Lapdesk, featuring integrated stereo speakers and a built-in fan, is aimed at the growing number of folks surfing the web from their couches. Anyone who has set a laptop on his lap for an extended period of time knows they get quite hot. We see several companies here -- like
-- trying to provide a machine engineered with the right combination of cooling fans in the back and air-intake in the front to reduce its overall heat signature. What we'd like to ask Logitech: "How about a pillow and a headset?"
Lenovo's IdeaPad U1
This tablet drew huge crowds in its first CES appearance. Reporters sat three rows deep to watch reps detach the screen from the laptop. The form is great, a compact netbook-like device with rounded edges and vibrant colors with the very-easy-to remove screen. Both the netbook and screen have their own processors and batteries. What's not clear: Who will buy it, and why?
has yet to unveil any clear marketing -- there's no real consensus on how it plans to approach the marketplace.
ASUS' NX90 Bang & Olufsen ICEpower Notebook
This 10.5-lb monster with super high-end speakers and polished aluminum case drew gasps from the crowd for its look. Designed by award-winning B&O Chief Designer David Lewis, the NX90 has massive speakers on both sides of the 18.4-inch screen. Asus says the dual touchpads allow users to interact with the system in a DJ-like fashion. We'll have to see if this shows up at the nightclub on Friday night, spinning dance hits. At $2,499, it's not cheap.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.