And…go! On Thursday the sprawling consumer electronics industry descends on Las Vegas for its biggest tradeshow, CES. For many companies, it will set the entire year’s product calendar. But how to stand out? One ploy is to jump the gun: Interesting product previews are already trickling out. There’s Lenovo’s would-be iMac (finally), packed with a Blu Ray player and a TV tuner. Energizer is flogging a solar-powered battery charger. LG is pushing a touchscreen watch cellphone. (Which maybe was cool in 1979, circa Moonraker? Oh well—never underestimate geek allegance to the fantasy gadgets of their childhoods.)
Meanwhile, in the pre-show handicapping, one of the most hotly anticipated products is Dell’s new laptop rumored to be aimed squarely at the MacBook Air. (It’s codenamed “Adamo,” which rhymes with “Alamo.” Think of this as Dell’s last stand attempt at sex appeal.) There will certainly be a pall cast by the recession, but 130,000 visitors are still expected. Other companies are promising doodads geared towards lean financial times. Can a piggybank have bluetooth? We’ll find out soon.