CES Press Day: Slates, hybrids and 3D upscaling

CES calling… and the stream of pre-show press conferences is now over, culminating in a keynote speech from Microsoft's Steve Balmer. Sadly, Ball

CES calling… and the stream of pre-show press conferences is now over, culminating in a keynote speech from Microsoft's Steve Balmer.

Sadly, Ballmer didn't announce the the dual-screen Courier tablet we were hoping for - instead he reiterated that the jaw-dropping motion control system Project Natal will be out for Xbox 360 before Christmas 2010. In the meantime, there's Xbox Game Room, a virtual retro arcade where you can challenge your friend's avatars to battles, which sounds totally Trontastic.

Ballmer also revealed new 'slate' PCs from HP and Archos. These are essentially multi-touch tablets, and HP's slate is currently only in prototype form and not due out until later this year - which leaves ne wondering whether microsoft decided to rebrand tablet PCs as 'slates'

before or after it heard that Apple had registered iSlate.com.

Thin screens were also the order of the day, with LG leading the race with an LCD that's less than 7mm thick. And if you want to take your home cinema with you, you're in luck - both LG and Samsung announced mobile phones with built-in - or at least add-on - pico projectors. Massively gimmicky, but pretty cool nonetheless.

Dell and Lenovo announced Android-powered phones, too, but both pale in comparison with Google's Nexus One - which still ranks as the most exciting thing at CES, even thought it wasn't actually announced at CES.

But in the end the award has to go to the Lenovo U1 hybrid, a netbook with a detachable screen that turns into a multi-touch tablet. Very cute. Why not read our full hands-on with the U1.

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