CES 2011 Daily Roundup for Wednesday

Today was press day at CES, and the real show doesn’t begin until tomorrow… but what a day nonetheless! The amount of news and announcements coming out of Las Vegas today was pretty crazy. Here are some of the best highlights that crossed our desks today!

Lenovo IdeaPad U1

Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 is the Voltron of gadgets. The U1 is composed of 2 parts – a tablet and a case/keyboard which join forces to become a sweet Windows 7-based laptop. On its own, the tablet portion runs a customized Android environment, Lenovo Skylight.

Toshiba Mini NB305 and NB 505 Netbooks

Both are 10.1-inch netbooks. The NB505 (pictured above) features an Intel Atom N455 processor, 1GB RAM, Windows 7 Starter, 250GB HD and a spotted, rubbery lid in 5 colors, at $300. The Mini NB305 has been udpated with a blue aluminum lid, dual-core Atom N550 processor, 250GB HD, 1GB RAM, chiclet keyboard & touchpad, for $380.

Windows 8 Armed But Not Ready

Microsoft surprised a lot of people by talking not just about the rumored Arm version of Windows, which is true, but revealing that Windows 8 will be that version. Boasting “System on a Chip”, Windows 8 should be available on just about any device manufacturers can dream up, from PCs to phones and tablets and anything else they like.

Android 3.0 Gets Holographic

After a bit of an unofficial start in which Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” video was leaked, pulled, and finally officially revealed, it has come out that it has a completely redone “holographic” interface. From their mobile blog:

Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.

Motorola’s Bionic Droid Packs Dual Cores

Bionic Droids are pretty powerful beasts by the sound of it, boasting a 1Ghz dual-core processor, a front-facing VGA camera, a beefy 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 4.3 inch 960×540 display and 1080p output, and if that’s not enough, it’s 4G to boot.

Avatar Kinect is Official But Won’t Take You to Pandora

Microsoft confirmed that Avatar Kinect rumors are true; it is coming to Xbox Live Gold subscribers this spring. The idea is that the Kinect reads your body position and posture and maps that onto your Live Avatar so that you can hang out and chat together. Kinect can now apparently detect facial expressions without 3rd party hacks, which is pretty encouraging.

SanDisk Reveals Big CF Extreme Pro Card With Equally Big Price

If you’ve got Extreme needs for storage in your camera, SanDisk has you covered and then some. 128 gigs in a package the size of a book of matches, anyone?

HTC Inspire 4G Android for AT&T

Apparently bionic droids aren’t the only ones packing some power. Another 4G offering, this one comes with Android 2.2 with HTC Sense, a 3.6 inch WVGA display and an 8 megapixel camera round back.

And that’s the highlights of today’s stories. Check back tomorrow for more CES 2011 coverage!