As 2011 dawns, one of the most anticipated tech event draws near and near. An event that gives an opportunity to many of the leading home appliance and electronics producing brands to unveil and advertise their latest designs and innovations, hottest gadgets and gizmos, and whatnots for the entire world to see. Yes, dear readers, it is that time of the year once more when all the gadget makers, tech tycoons, buyers, sellers and those of us who just want to know what new innovations the forthcoming year has in store for us, and are very keen observers of the industry, all colonize at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Haven’t guessed it yet?? I am talking about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011, of course.

What is expected of this year’s CES?? Well, according to my sources, there is not going to be just one show-stealer this year. When the mega event kicks off this Wednesday, expect all of the products that you love; tablets, Android phones in 3D, TVs connected with the internet, robot. In short, everything that we have come to love will be there. Better yet; there will be lots of them and they will be better and faster.

Expect much tablet news come 2011. Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, we did not see any competition and iPad went unchallenged. Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was eventually released, offering some competition. It was such a year for the apple gizmo that led New York Times to conclude that 2010 was indeed “the year of the iPad”. Given iPad’s success and virtually no competition, tablets are among the most anticipated products at the CES 2011.

A Toshiba 10.1 inch tablet is to be unveiled for sure. CEO Microsoft Steve Ballmer showed off a Windows 7 HP Slate at the CES 2010 and HP has finally confirmed its shipment. However, HP has no intentions of showing the product at CES 2011. Instead, a WebOS based model is expected to make a huge impact. However, and this may come as a shock to you but the product will not be shown at CES 2011. Who would have thought??

Apart from the Toshiba and HP tablets to look forward to, rumor has it that RIM, Microsoft and Motorola will also be revealing tablet devices at the CES 2011. However, it is speculated that whatever Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer shows on stage will have a physical keyboard of some sort. The tablet might as well be called an oversized smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard.

I did hear a few birdies speculating that there could be an updated and upgraded version of Microsoft Windows (perhaps a Windows 8??) for tablets. However me and many others do not think that this will happen. It is believed that many OEM partners think that Windows still needs a keyboard and a mouse and whatever upgraded version we do see will be a Windows Embedded Compact for tablets and it will most probably be lurking underneath OEMs own interface.

I believe that Android will be the tablet winner at CES 2011. Android 3.0 or the “Honeycomb” is expected to be major tablet OS. A 10 inch Motorola tablet has already been spotted and there will be many tablets running on an Android friendly OS.

Techradar has reported rumors of an 8.9 inch LG tablet. It will be running on the new Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”. This might be a gadget to look forward to at the CES 2011.

A number of new e-reader will also take to the stage (probably half of these will be actually tablets). Since Barnes and Noble’s has decided to go color with their LCD Nook will inspire many to follow suit, although few will be good enough.

All in all it seems that2011, just like 2010 “the year of the iPad”, will certainly be declared “the year of the tablet”.

CES is not just about tablets. HDTV’s will dominate the landscape. And guess what ?? this time around, size does matter. It is expected that one of the largest panels, and the thinnest LEDs possible. However, size is not the only feature that will blow you away. This year, the hype is all about Internet TVs. Almost all the models will be internet ready and a majority will look more like computers and less like TVs.

I believe that HDTVs will be closely followed by 3D ones. However since they have already been sold in 2010, there will be only a few innovations not viewed by the public. Rumor has it that enhanced 3D glasses sometimes called universal glasses, smaller screens and glasses-free innovations.

It seems that LG is planning to make an impact on CES 2011. It was recently revealed that the company will reveal the world’s first full LED 3D TV. It is also expected that LG will introduce a mobile digital TV with a 3D screen. The unit will contain a LG2161R MDTV microchip along with non real-time technology. There is more; interestingly enough, the device is capable of receiving broadcasts even at speeds of 200 km/h.

On a lesser exciting note, it is speculated that Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba have a few integrated devices to show off. However, I believe that another blu-ray player is not much of a thriller.

A few weeks ago, a number of blogs were abuzz with rumors that Microsoft is planning to announce a TV services competitor. This did come as a surprise because Microsoft has positioned the XBOX as a living room extension. The interesting thing about the servix=ce is that one will be able to view TV with a few friends in a completely virtual room.

It has also been rumored that Microsoft will announce a XBOX Kinect update called Avatar kinect. Users will be able to interact with each other on kinect using their, wait for it, LIVE Avatars.

There will, of course, a lot of mobile phones at the CES 2011. However with the Mobile World Conference just about to convene, it is highly unlikely that we will see anything out of the ordinary. Motorola Cliq2 is a rumored smartphone that will be debuting in CES 2011. Verizon will most probably not reveal its much anticipated 4G iPhone and even though the CEO will be talking during the Innovations keynote, dint expect him to reveal the phone at CES 2011.

A lot of appliance producers will be looking to unveil their internet connected devices. Kenmore and Whirlpool are expected to be there. We will see appliances with “apps” that will, perhaps text the user on his cell phone when the laundry is done or when the drier needs to be emptied.

Internet, software applications, position-locator services will also be a part of automotive innovations that we see at CES. Toyota and Ford are promising something huge but won’t tell but I am guessing broadband connectivity in cars and all that computer prowess under the hood to come out in the open to help in navigation and entertain the driver.

CES is a huge event and many of the more interesting things are found backstage and in the by halls. A new Pleo robotic pet, some better battery technology, greener and eco-friendly energy sources are always expected at the CES. Also, CES would not be the same without the plain oddball stuff like some high tech candy machine from Reese’s Pieces. Without these, CES wouldn’t be the same.

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