Skip to main content

CES 2009: a blogger's guide to surviving Las Vegas

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!