The dust has settled once more over Nevada, the fat lady has sung, the final whistle has well and truly been blown and the staff of whathifi.com have a supernaturally bad case of jet lag. That's right, folks – we're back from CES!
This year's show was a real spectacle. It's hard to convey to anyone who hasn't been to CES just how huge the Vegas show actually is. No European event even comes close to this goliath-like technology convention, both in the scale and the variety of its content. Walking around, it's hard not to stop and gawp at slick presentations given by shiny-toothed fembots, or the eye-boggling banks of giant TV screens constructed by the world's largest manufacturers. The show is quintessentially American – big, shiny and weird.
Predictably, tellys are getting slimmer – while the pioneering suggestions for 3DTV were getting a lot of visitors hot under the collar. But CES 2009 wasn't all about TVs: during my time at this year's show I saw the world's first 10-megapixel projector from Sim 2; examined some commendably eco-friendly brackets from Omnimount; and had an enjoyable ten minutes listening to some digital speakers from Meridian. Amongst many, many other things...
My trusty blogging kit (pictured above) served me well: the battered old Mac G4 Powerbook I've been rocking for what seems like aeons is still, remarkably, among the land of the living (note to self: bite the bullet and buy a new Macbook...). A recently Acquired Canon MD235 digital camcorder also fits the blogging bill with aplomb.
I needed a cam for CES that would record to DV tape (not HDD), and one that had an input for a good external microphone, and this compact Canon did the job perfectly. I used it to film a video show report – which will be on the 'Video' section of the site tomorrow – so check that out.
Another likeably rugged product is that Olympus LS-10 voice recorder. Just think of it as the dictaphone de jour... you can record voices in PCM, or 3 choices of bitrate for both MP3 and WMA.
And that neat little Pentax Optio S12 camera – for those casual point-and-shoot moments – rounds off my essential blogging gear.
And now we're back, a little frayed around the edges but essentially intact. Unlike, say, my luggage. Which as I write contains everything I own and is in Dallas, Texas.
Ho, and indeed, hum.
But one thing's for sure, CES 2009 was an experience. From late-night arguments over the merits of 3DTV, to long afternoons spents plodding the Las Vegas Convention Center, it was an enlightening and entertaining experience. Now I can't wait to see all those products we brought you the news on – so we can test them fully and bring you the reviews here on whathifi.com.
That's it for now: I haven't had a real night's sleep in days and all my clothes are in a town I know little about beyond vague childhood memories of J.R. and Sue Ellen. Which is a bit odd if you ask me. Look out for the CES video show report – online tomorrow!