CES: Tablets, Smart TVs, and The Beer Computer

Lots of computer power on tap.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Motorola Xoom Android Honeycomb tablet is displayed during a press event at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Venetian January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology tradeshow, runs from January 6-9 and is expected to feature 2,700 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 126,000 attendees.

    CES is officially on, and we've been testing brand new products for a day and a half.  There is a lot of cool stuff coming our way, and as if the tech rally and job growth isn't enough to make an ailing economy feel better, a Silicon Valley company has a pretty remarkable way to end your coding session with a cold beer.

    The geniuses over at Nividia, a Silicon Valley graphics chip maker, designed a computer that doubles as a beer tap.  Yes, it has all kinds of advanced chips and technology inside, but do you see the CO2 cartridge on the side?  That's to pump beer.  The tap on the top is fully functional, and let's just say the Nvidia booth is one of the more popular places to hang out here.

    Oh, and did we mention that there's probably a tablet in your future?  You'll have dozens to choose from.  None of the ones we've seen looks to take too big a bite out of the Apple iPad, but Samsung is definitely onto something with its Galaxy Tab.  No price tag yet, and a release date of later this year, but look for this one:  It's really easy to use, the graphics are great, and, like the iPad, it feels right when you're flipping through your favorite apps.

    Also be on the lookout for the tablet from Motorola (which somehow gets its power from your cell phone), 3D TV from Sony that of course promises to "revolutionize television" (it actually looks cool, but 3D has yet to take off in the consumer market), and some neat software from a Bay Area startup called Fanhatten that we got a preview of as well:  This lets you stream all sorts of movie and web content to your TV very smoothly and easily.  They probably need a partner to sell with, but so far, it looks like a name to follow.

    And for Nvidia?  A quick look at early stock numbers shows Nvidia stock among the NASDAQ leaders.  Yeah, they have a new chip, but I think we know the real reason for the pop:  The Keg-Puter.

    Scott is on his way back to the show floor.  You can get his updates on Twitter:  @scottbudman