Gallery: Showtime at CES 2011

Today marked the official opening of the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where some 100,000 attendees get an advance look at the year's new technology. Tablets and 3D televisions are the hot items this round: the former represents a final uncoupling of the traditional Microsoft-driven PC market, which the latter represents the final uncoupling of the movie and broadcast industry's sanity. Here, Imperial stormtroopers guard Panasonic's booth at CES while 20th Century Fox's Mike Dunn announces that the Star Wars trilogy and prequels will be made available on Blu-Ray in September. (Photo: REUTERS/Steve Marcus)

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel's Dan Guerra shows off a new netbook from Dell, whose screen spins in its frame for rapid conversion to a different form factor. "You don't have to choose," Guerra said. "Flip from keyboard to multitouch tablet in a few seconds." (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Tablet PCs built around Google's Android mobile operating system will be hot this year, such as this inexpensive model from Gemtek. With PC makers no longer tied closely to Microsoft and Microsoft itself extending its software to work on multiple hardware platforms such as ARM CPUs, the so-called "Wintel" era of computing is over for good. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Not everything at CES is as portable or tasteful as a glass tablet. Moneual's blinged-out media center PC has 4GB of RAM, a terabyte of storage, 6 channel digital audio and HDMI. A sticker points out "Color: GOLD." (Photo: Rob Beschizza)

Its Play Ball PC, however, is like something from a 1970s science fiction flick: the center ball is a remote control, and the flanking ones are speakers. "It's almost like a Wiimote," said presenter Brenda Morrison. "You control everything just by holding it." (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Gigantic video walls overlook the show floor at CES, which fills Las Vegas' massive convention center and spills over into nearby hotels and temporary pavilions. (Photo: Rob Beschizza)

Not everything at the show is cutting-edge technology. Dreamgear's Sesame Street-themed protectors will soon be available, along with mountains of other merch designed to work with cellphones, iPads and other gadgets. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

A worker replenishes a basket of 3D glasses at LG's expansive booth at CES. The company showed off an impressive 84" model, if one unlikely to find its way into many living rooms. (Photo: Rob Beschizza)

Panasonic and Sony have made similar committments to the 3D television revolution, but some analysts believe the fad is already passing. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

More than 100,000 visitors attended last years' CES. Though the media is out in force, the show's focus is really on the business side. The Economist's Glenn Fleishman commented: "I always offer my condolences to colleagues who have to cover CES, because it's uncoverable, and in some ways, not entirely useful. It's a pulse of the industry, but it's not the brains of the industry." (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Camera and imaging specialists Canon wow floorgoers with a Cirque du Soleil-style stage show, complete with baffling plot and spectacular acrobatics (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Mandroid. (Photo: Rob Beschizza)

The Hershey Company chose CES as its venue to launch a new mini Reese's pieces candy line. "People keep asking why we're here," said one of its staffers at the booth. "But we understand our business."

Away from the bright lights and the crowds, deals are cut between retailers and suppliers. CES is a major point on the international circuit that helps distant manufacturers gain access to lucrative consumer markets in the west. (Photo: Rob Beschizza)

The Convention Center's North Hall specializes in automobile technology at CES, and is filled with souped-up classic cars and gigantic speaker systems. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

The House of Marley launched a range of audio gear at CES, including speakers, headphones and portable boom-boxes. A portion of each sale goes to causes that the reggae legend supported. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Huge and hugely expensive 800mm Canon lenses lie under tempered glass at CES. (Photo: Heather Beschizza)

Some of the exhibitors prefer the press take a hands-off approach to their latest gear. (Photo: Rob Beschizza)