The best of CES 2011… so far

CES

Wow. Just, wow. CES has been a nonstop roller coaster so far. Smartphone announcements, tablet announcements, keynotes, Android, Windows… and we’re barely into the second day of the show. Wednesday featured some massive pre-show events and Thursday didn’t slow down for even a second. As the first half of the Consumer Electronics Show is now behind us, we wanted to assemble some of the biggest product announcements so far into one giant gadgetgasm for your viewing pleasure. So without further ado, hit the break and enjoy the ride.

Things started out hot and heavy when ASUS announced four sexy tablets — the Eee Pad MeMO, Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Slate EP121. Ranging from a tiny Android note-taker to a full-blown 12-inch Windows 7-powered beast, ASUS had all the bases covered.

LG followed things up on Wednesday when it announced the “world’s thinnest smartphone,” the LG Optimus Black. Featuring Android 2.2, a stunning display and a case that is just 9.2mm thick, this sleek smartphone is definitely a stylish addition to LG’s lineup. We went hands-on with the Optimus Black and the previously announced Optimus 2X on Thursday.

Speaking of slim and sexy, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc slipped cover a bit early on Wednesday. Measuring 8.7mm thick at its narrowest point, this curved Gingerbread phone sports a 1GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera and a 4.2-inch touchscreen display. An official announcement would follow later in the day.

Next up was AT&T’s bombshell press event — the carrier announced that it was accelerating its LTE deployment. It also curiously announced that it was renaming its current HSPA+ network to “4G,” so beginning sometime in the second half of 2011, the carrier will roll out a 4G network as an upgrade to its 4G network. Brilliant. AT&T’s presser introduced us to several sexy upcoming devices, though — the Motorola ATRIX 4G sports a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and a laptop-like docking station; the Samsung Infuse 4G features a stunning 4.5-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz processor and an 8-megapixel camera; and the HTC Inspire 4G finally brings HTC’s 4.3-inch form factor to Ma Bell.

Samsung then revealed a Wi-Fi-only version of its Galaxy Tab tablet that will launch some time this quarter, likely making the tremendously popular device more attainable. And speaking of tablets, Microsoft won’t be sitting out forever when it comes to ARM architecture. A future version of its Windows OS will be compatible with ARM and other popular SoC architectures.

Motorola came out swinging this year at CES and beyond the devices mentioned above, Moto outted the DROID BIONIC — a dual-core 4G LTE phone for Verizon Wireless. Motorola also unveiled the gorgeous Motorola XOOM tablet, which is an Android 3.0 Honeycomb slate with a 10.1-inch display, a dual-core processor and Verizon Wireless connectivity.

T-Mobile was next in line, and the scrappy carrier came packing a tablet of its own. The LG G-Slate features HSPA+ connectivity and Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. T-Mobile also announced the sequel to the Motorola CLIQ, the Motorola CLIQ 2 , and the Dell Streak 7 Android tablet, which we went hands-on with yesterday. Dell hasn’t had a terribly large presence at the show, though it did announce a sexy new Android phone — the Dell Venue.

Oh yeah — we also went hands-on with RIM’s upcoming virgin tablet offering, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Again.

 

And did we mention that Verizon had quite the little presser on Thursday? The nation’s No. 1 carrier came out in beast mode, announcing no less than 10 4G devices including the HTC ThunderBolt, which we went hands-on with on Thursday, the LG Revolution, and an unnamed Samsung smartphone that we also managed to manhandle last night.

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