Mind-numbing Bill Gates speeches, insanely long lines, devastating airborne illness: We admit it — we feel smugly superior about not having to go to CES this year. But the real problem with CES isn’t that the downside is so lousy. It’s that the upside is so limited.
To wit: Later today Panasonic is about to unveil the most talked-about gadget of the week — a really big TV. Granted, it’s the biggest TV ever — the 150-inch plasma will be 6 feet tall by 11 feet wide. We get that humans have a sort of hard-wired instinct to gawk at the world’s biggest/smallest/tallest/whatever. But trust us: Last year we saw what had been the world’s largest TV — a 108-incher from Sharp — and we can safely report that a ginormous TV looks just like… a TV.
And unlike legitimately cool gadgets, like Apple’s iPhone, there is almost zero chance that you’ll ever encounter a ginormous TV anywhere in the real world. Even if you had the money and and space (the 150-incher weighs 500 pounds and is best viewed from a distance of 30 feet) for one of these things, you’d be hard-pressed to actually buy one, because they’re the CES equivalent of Detroit’s concept cars: Showroom floor only.
Update: Yep, there it is. Barron’s normally cool-headed Eric Savitz says it’s big enough that “you can show an elephant actual size.” Really?
Now, Macworld, next week? We really do wish we’d were going to be there. Instead we’ll have to settle for playing the SAI Macworld Predictions Game.
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