Top technology companies came to Las Vegas to show off their latest innovations in consumer electronics, but despite the plethora of TVs, computers, phones, cameras and other gadgets on display, it was clear the industry is bracing for a very tough year.

While there were a few bright spots at this year's subdued Consumer Electronics Show - such as low-cost mini-laptops known as netbooks - what emerged was a picture of scaled-back investment plans, more job cuts and stagnant growth with no signs of improvement.