CES: top 10 products and technologies

We roundup 10 of the most interesting things to come out of last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Apple itself has kept firmly mum about its much-rumoured tablet, but its rivals are expertly advertising its merits without Apple having to do a thing. Most guilty at CES was Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, whose attempts to steal Apple's thunder by showcasing a trio of half-developed tablets Microsoft is involved in only served to suggest that rivals to the iSlate are likely to be thin on the ground.

Key appeal: CES may have come a little too soon to serve as an accurate barometer for the tablet industry, but if past efforts are anything to go by, if anyone can get it right it will be Apple.

2010 prediction: Tablets will have to fight hard for space between smartphones and laptops, but the sheer length of time we've been waiting for Apple's effort practically guarantees its success.

Plastic Logic Que Proreader

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Perhaps because of the relatively low technical demands or the universal nature of books, e-Book readers arrived in their droves at CES, and not that many were particularly good. But Plastic Logic's certainly was, giving business users what they want a super-slim device that's intuitive to use and allows easy interaction with documents.

Key appeal: The plastic in Plastic Logic's name and the Que's transistors, which was developed at Cambridge's Cavendish Labs.

2010 prediction: With a high price and limited focus, success will be modest. We'd love to see the flexible-screened variation the Que's makers have spoken about.

Lenovo LePhone

Android had a major presence at CES, but it was largely because of a product launched before the show even started Google's Nexus One. But Lenovo's debut smartphone, while only gathering a fraction of the column inches, actually looks every bit as good, even if it's only planned for the Chinese market at this stage.

Key appeal: Hardware that stands up to the Nexus One in almost every area, and beats it in several. It's only lack of availability and the likelihood it'll be restricted to Android 1.6 that are letting it down right now.

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2010 prediction: The LePhone will be with us by mid-year, and will build a small but loyal following.

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