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CES 2013 round-up: Paper tablets, eight-core chips and Ballmer surprises

11 Jan 2013

LAS VEGAS: The 2013 CES conference was about all things big. Big crowds, big stars and big screens. As the show winds down, V3 is taking a look back at the biggest stories from the biggest show of the year.

The show kicked off Monday night with a keynote from Qualcomm boss Paul Jacobs. The presentation was the first  opening keynote at CES not to be delivered by a Microsoft executive. Those who were pining for a visit from the Redmond giant were rewarded early in the presentation when Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance to preach the virtues of Windows Phone.

Qualcomm's Jacobs share CES stage with Microsoft's BallmerThe Qualcomm chief was later joined by a parade of celebrities, including actress Alice Eve, director Guillermo Del Toro and Nascar driver Brad Keselowski.

The star of the keynote, however, was actually something very small in stature. The company's new mobile processor, the Snapdragon 800 series, made its debut during the presentation. The chip promises to break new ground in the mobile space by delivering console-quality graphics performance.

While Qualcomm's new chip generated no shortage of buzz, it was TV sets that captivated many on the show floor. Much of the talk was around a new class of "4K" television sets. Offering resolutions up to four times greater than that of a standard 1080p screen, the sets offer support for HD standards not yet in use.

Sharp looked to distance itself from competitors by introducing a new hardware platform. The company believes that its use of 'Igzo' semiconductors will provide for high-resolution monitors which consume far less power than traditional screens.

Though much was made of big screens, handheld devices also captivated convention goers. Lenovo won headlines when it unveiled the S900, an Android handset which sports an Intel Atom processor and no shortage of high-end camera hardware.

Huawei Ascend W1Huawei joined the handset parade when it revealed a new smartphone, its first to run the Windows Phone operating system. The W1 is set to launch later this year in the UK on O2's network.

Intel also made noise in the mobile space when it announced that it would be producing an Atom processor designed for low-cost handsets. The company hopes that the chips will prove a success in emerging markets where low-cost smartphones are popular.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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