Technically, it’s not day 2 of the CES but day 2 of my own trip here to Las Vegas to attend the biggest consumer electronics show in the world. I have spent the past 2 days attending the Microsoft Vista RTM Lab which has shown us just about everything you ever wanted to know about Vista. I have never seen so many laptops running Vista in one room and these were owned by the attendees, not Microsoft! I counted no fewer than 9 of those Ferrari laptops running Vista in the room and they are very sweet indeed.
One of the coolest things I saw up close today is the new Toshiba R400 Tablet PC. The R400 is a super thin convertible all in white that runs Vista and has a unique hinged screen. The most innovative thing about the R400 is the wireless port replicator that will ship later this year. The replicator has 4 USB ports, Ethernet and a wireless DVI video out. The R400 connects to all the peripherals plugged into the replicator wirelessly at a range of 3 to 4 feet. I got to see this in action and it is so cool to see the R400 immediately connect to all the peripherals (including the external monitor) simply by moving into range of the replicator. This is the way it should be.
The highlight of my day today was visiting the Microsoft Partners Pavilion before it opened to the public and seeing all the new stuff that will be announced during the CES later this week. I saw the OQO 2, the next generation OQO running Vista and sporting a Via processor running at 1.5 GHz. It also has integrated 3G by Sprint for mobile connectivity. They addressed a lot of the issues plaguing the first gen OQO including that horrible squishy screen. The new one has a nice glossy firm screen and still uses an active digitizer, which will get good use since the OQO 2 runs Vista.
I couldn’t take any pictures of anything at the Pavilion because everything was under embargo until after Bill Gates’ keynote address. Bill dropped by the Pavilion for an interview and stopped and talked to us for about 10 minutes which was very cool. He seems like a regular guy and it’s the first time I’ve met him up close. I attended the keynote address tonight and Gates introduced some cool stuff, including a home server appliance for consumers with multiple PCs at home. The home server will be produced by HP and released later this year.
Kevin attended the keynote address too and we got to visit the Digital Experience event tonight after the keynote address. We met up with Matt Miller there and had a good time running into people we know and looking at some cool tech. We stopped by the Fujitsu display and talked to those folks who were very nice. They were also showing that concept UMPC with the folding keyboard and screen:
Tomorrow the show begins in earnest and Kevin and I will be getting into a lot of trouble and taking lots of photos so stay tuned…