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CES Recap: A Little Smaller, But Still Leaves Me Wrecked

Kim Hart

Well, it's the last day of CES 2008 and the show is still going strong. But the taxi lines heading to the airport are growing pretty quickly.

Last night I had a quick chat with Albert Lin, an analyst with American Technology Research and a CES veteran. This being my first time at the show, I was blown away by the number of little-known companies doing impressive things and the extravagance of the displays put on by the household names. But he said the show actually seemed a bit smaller than previous years. (Surprising: It seemed pretty darn huge to me.)

Why? Lin said the poor economy kept some companies from spending the money to get here. Some wireless firms like Verizon Wireless that have increased their presence here over the past few years have scaled back. Instead, they'll be more likely to go all out at the wireless industry's own trade show later this year.

Also unlike past shows, this year's didn't reveal a new must-have product. There's usually an idea that steals the show and gets a lot of media attention. This year, the biggest trend I noticed was finding ways to hook your TV up to the Internet. Sharp's pushing its Aquos Net, Panasonic has its Viera system, Comcast will let customers use their TV as a remote control for Web-based entertainment and Sling Media lets you do the same.

Even the 150-inch plasma TV from Panasonic didn't get the same level of "ooohs and aaahs" from attendees. Last year Sharp's 108-inch TV was all the rage.

Lin said he thinks there's a saturation point for products like that. "I think there comes a point where it's just too much," he said.

I don't have any newfangled gadgets in my suitcase as I head to the airport, but I have the blisters on my feet, my well-worn-in shoes and lopsided shoulders from carrying my laptop around.

I can definitely see what all the fuss over CES is about, but I must say I have never been more ready to get back to Washington.

Until next year, that is.

Thanks everyone for tuning in to read and watch our coverage of the show. I'll be back blogging after I get a little R&R!

By Kim Hart  |  January 10, 2008; 2:05 PM ET  | Category:  CES 2008 , Kim Hart
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CES tried to compensate for the poor environmental record of electronic makers and retailers by inviting green tech manufacturers and making the actual convention greener. Thats only half the pie though b/c consumers have to do their part by recycling old gadgets.

Posted by: crumbrye1 | January 10, 2008 4:24 PM

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