Shadowing a fund manager at CES

January 11, 2012

More than 140,000 people descended (or will descend) on Las Vegas this week to kick the tires on a new wave of consumer electronics gadgets. Of those, a relatively small contingent (estimared? 3,500) are portfolio managers and other financial professionals earnestly seeking to place informed bets on the Next Big Thing.

We tagged along as Hampton Adams, head of research and a portfolio manager at Pasadena, California-based Gamble Jones Investment Counsel, hiked around a CES showfloor spanning 30 football fields in a pair of comfortable loafers, taking a first-hand peek at the technology industry’s latest offerings.

Inevitably, Apple always features high on Adams’ agenda even though the consumer electronics trendsetter isn’t even officially there. He wants to see what might be gleaned about Apple from its competitors.

Here’s a photo log of some of the highlights of our nine-hour odyssey. We’ll publish more details of his discoveries on


Starting the day with a keynote by Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs, who reassured the audience he didn't mind them playing with their phones while he talked but didn't give much news.


Trying to break Corning's super-strong Gorrilla Glass used in smartphones. Execs there say it's in most smartphones, but don't want to talk specfically about iPhones or iPads.


Samsung's Galaxy Note -- somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet.


Intel's exhibit was a sea of Utrabooks. Gone is the ocean of unsuccessful tablets from last year.


Pleasantly surprised by a demo of Intel's reference smartphone. No heat off the back of the phone after a heavy session of video.


A little surprised that Microsoft's display for its much anticipated Windows 8 operating system was given only as much space as Microsoft's long-established Hotmail.


Looking, and listening, to a reference tablet powered by Qualcomm's new S4 processor.

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