CES fails to deliver game changing tablet

Well it looks like the next big thing failed to show up at this year's gadget fest in the desert, CES.

Every tech hack in the known universe was expecting someone... anyone, to turn up with the game-changing tablet which would make us all go weak at the knees.

As it turned out, we got to see a few hastily nailed together prototypes, and a handful (literally) of devices which would have been called a MID a couple of months ago, but nothing to really get the juices flowing.

It looks to all intents and purposes like the ball has been handed back to Apple as the last bastion of common sense and good design. The problem is that, unlike every other box builder in the world, Apple plays its cards so close to its chest that it sometimes doesn't know how good a hand it actually has itself.

Desperate not to be caught playing catch-up, every other computer company has wheeled ambitious if uninspiring vapourware kit, most of which seems to have been based on wild guesses and conjecture from within the world's tech press as to what Apple might eventually deliver. And that's if it ever does deliver.

Wouldn't it be delicious if messianic Apple boss Steve Jobs suddenly announced at the end of March - which is the arbitrary deadline which people completely unconnected with Apple or any of its subsidiaries have attached to the release of the fabled iTablet - that he never had any intention of creating such a device.

Oh how we would laugh. How many millions of R&D dollars have been spent trying to second guess a device which does not, and may never, exist?