Outside of Windows 7 going beta, by far the biggest attention getter at CES in Las Vegas has been the Palm Pre, the smartphone that many in the media are saying will save the struggling company. Gizmodo calls it “maybe the most important handset to be announced in two years.” Ubergizmo has a great review of the Palm Pre. Speaking of phones, the LG Watch Phone also got a lot of buzz and raised the level of Dick Tracy references to a height not seen in decades. “Our new 3G Touch Watch Phone is stylish, sophisticated and the height of technology, but it’s also undeniably fun. How else can you reenact those scenes from your favorite sci-fi or spy movie?” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. Something else getting considerable attention is wireless USB. Wireless USB works at up to ten meters’ distance, and it looks like a lot of vendors will be using it soon in notebooks, hubs, and phones.

We’ve been hearing about charging mats for awhile, and they were on full view in Las Vegas. These mats will replace the charging wires we need for our gadgets. Along with wireless USB, charging mats promise a bright future without a confusion of wires on our desks and around our feet.

3D was also really big this year, as TV manufacturers continue their push to bring theater-quality 3D into the home. It is expected that 3D TVs will begin to enter the home market next year.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of CES 2009 was for Microsoft, whose launch of Windows 7 beta far out-buzzed anything coming out of Macworld in SF, even Steve Job’s hormone imbalance. For at least one week this year, the Redmond, WA, company was able to out-buzz Apple the old-fashioned way, with their products.

By Mark Alvarez