CES 2011 is now officially over, the ViewSonic birds (pictured above) have flown back to their cuddly nests, and the world's tech journalists are sloping off home, new barstaff spouses in tow, leaving the Nevada desert gladly nerd-free for another year.
We took home a bumper haul of excellent tech news, including a raft of new tablets and smart phones. But now that the dust has settled, what were we hoping for that never arrived?
Now, to be clear, there was a good deal of Windows 8 news at CES -- Windows 8 will be compatible with ARM architecture, which essentially means it should run smoothly on non-PC devices, such as tablets and smart phones. It's also not great news for Intel, which has close to ties to Microsoft and the Windows platform.
What we didn't see, however, was any kind of glimpse at the Windows 8 interface, whatever it may look like.
We know what we want to see -- we really like Windows Phone 7, and its trendy, slick, tiled interface. The desktop Windows 7 isn't a great tablet interface, with its tiny, finnicky buttons, so we'd love to see something that borrowed from the touchscreen friendliness of the mobile version in Windows 8. Sadly, there was no hint of any new interface from Ballmer's gang at CES this year. Oh well, try again in 12 months, we're sure the world of tech won't have moved on too rapidly.
The PlayStation Phone
Sony can deny and no-comment as much as it likes, we know there's a PlayStation Phone hidden somewhere up its sleeves. Sadly, at this year's Sony press conference no such device was unveiled.
Rumours of the PlayStation Phone have persisted since sneaky prototype photos popped up in October last year -- in fact it might well be called the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. We'd hoped Sony would finally admit defeat and reveal the fabled phone, which, if the millions of leaked images and videos are accurate, will have PlayStation controls that slide out from beneath the touchscreen. And it runs Android! Heavens.
Still, we're hoping to see the PlayStation Phone appearing at Mobile World Congress in February, alongside a host of other beautiful smart phones. And we did get the Xperia Arc, which is some small consolation.
An Apple announcement
Apple has a history of trumping massive tech events with a gigantic announcement of its own, but the Cupertino-based iGiant kept oddly quiet during this year's CES. Sure there was the official opening of the Mac App Store, but that's boring, and it was only the opening, not the announcement.
Truth be told, even though we were all-hands-on-deck devoted to CES coverage, we were hoping just a little bit that Apple might decide to lift the lid on the iPad 2 -- an announcement that certainly would have trumped all news from the conference, and could well have blown away some of the (frankly brilliant) tablet devices that emerged at CES. But it looks like we'll have to wait.
Palm WebOS tablet
We weren't short on tabletty goodness this CES, but one notably absent party was HP, which was expected to demo some Palm-branded devices, running the new WebOS operating system.
And yet, there was nothing. Oh well, we expect HP will unleash WebOS on the world a little later this year. For now though, we'll make do with all the glorious Android 3.0 tablets due out in the coming months, not to mention the touchscreen wonder-window that is the BlackBerry PlayBook. Here's hoping HP's lackadaisical attitude won't cost them valuable traction in the tablet market.
Seriously guys, the events in Back to the Future Part 2 take place in 2015, there's no time to waste. Get on it, scientists.