Tag Archives: Consumer Electronics Show

The Emerging Trends of CES 2012

CES 2012 has ended – drawing to a close rather too quickly for those of us either in attendance or glued to the Web watching endless coverage of it. The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was a triumph in terms of visitor numbers, with a record attendance. But many reported it being a trifle dull in terms of what was on display.

Craig Lloyd gave us great recaps of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of CES 2012. There were some definite trends emerging, ones that will likely shape the technology landscape for the next 12 months and beyond.

Big(ger) Screen TVs

The majority of people have now upgraded from their old CRT television to a new, big, flat-screen TV. Or at least the majority of those I come into contact with. This means the TV manufacturers are having to find new ways of generating sales. The big trend of CES 2011 was 3D, and while that’s still being bet on in a big way, it’s now standard on most new TVs being sold.

This year saw the emergence of OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology, as seen on LG’s impressive new 55-inch television. But the 55-inch OLED is a little on the small side, with screen sizes stretching up to 84-inches. Smart TVs are also gaining a foothold, although it’s going to need one platform to rule them all before people really get interested. Google TV perhaps?

Ultrabooks

Ultrabooks are essentially the PC equivalent of the MacBook Air. They’re powerful laptops made thinner and lighter. Manufacturers including Acer, Dell, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba are all betting big on Ultrabooks, but the high cost of the product is somewhat prohibitive for mainstream consumers at this point in time. And those with cash to burn will likely go with the Apple product instead.

Tablets

Tablets are emerging as the next big thing in personal computing. The touchscreen is a natural user interface, and the ultimate portability of tablets means they’re biting into the laptop market strongly. Unfortunately only the Apple iPad has managed to live up to the hype so far.

However, the sheer number of tablets at CES 2012 suggests Apple may soon have something to worry about. We’ve already seen the Amazon Kindle Fire provide the template for an affordable Android tablet, and many more are likely to follow in its footsteps. Including the $100 OLPC XO-3 tablet.

Windows

Microsoft may have only been a small part of CES 2012, but Windows was everywhere.

Windows Phone has already been written off by many, as it’s assumed to be too far behind iOS and Android to ever catch up and make its mark. But Microsoft has managed to get several handset manufacturers on board, including Nokia. The Windows Phone platform is now considered a dark horse.

Windows 8 is on its way, probably by the end of this year. At CES 2012 it was present on several of the tablets and laptops being developed by Microsoft’s partners. Windows 8 is an incredible gamble due to its new Metro UI, but it could just pay off. And in a big way.

Celebrity Endorsements

By far the least edifying sight at CES 2012 was the number of celebrities on display. Most of whom were present to endorse a company or product.

Justin Timberlake was there as co-owner of MySpace, Will Smith popped by the Sony press conference, Will.i.am gave an embarrassing performance as Intel’s Director of Creative Innovation, Justin Bieber sold out to show off a Vietnamese dancing robot, and a whole host of Z-list celebs put their name to headphones.

Dr. Dre has a lot to answer for.

Conclusions

As if you couldn’t already tell from the above, CES 2012 was a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly. And Justin Bieber. I suspect next year will be more of the same, with more visitors pouring in to see less and less genuinely-exciting products. And Justin Bieber. I cannot wait.

Image Credits: LGEPR, Ceo1017, and HighTechDad

CES 2012 Wrap-up: Things We Missed

Last week was absolutely jam-packed with new product announcements and unveilings. Since things have now calmed down and all of the keynotes are in the books, I figured I would take this time to catch up on products that were missed during CES 2012.

Gorilla Glass 2

Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, unveiled the second generation of their scratch-resistant glass. It’s called Gorilla Glass 2 and it’s 20% thinner than before, but equally as tough. With the extra thinness, Corning says that the new glass will enable brighter images and greater touch sensitivity. Acer, Asus and several other PC manufacturers are already on board to bring Gorilla Glass 2 to their laptops and tablets.

Razer Fiona

Razer unveiled their newest project called Project Fiona. It’s a PC gaming tablet that has two physical controllers attached on the side. It looks a little weird at first, but this might be something that could catch on in the future. It runs on a third-gen Core i7 processor and will be packaged with Windows 8 when it releases. The display is a 10.1-inch 1280×800 screen. This is just a prototype, so many features still have yet to be decided upon.

iPad 3 Prototype at CES?

iLounge has reported that they saw the iPad 3 at CES. They said that the third-gen iPad is thicker by about 1mm and has an improved camera, but other than that, iLounge says that, cosmetically, you should expect an iPhone 4/4S type update. There are rumors, though, that the next iPad will have a higher-resolution display and come equipped with LTE.

You might have not known this, but Apple attended CES. Probably not in the form that all of the other companies attended, but Apple sent 250 of their employees to “scout” the competition at CES. So, while the company isn’t participating in such an event, they are very much into what’s going on.

Dell’s First Ultrabook

Dell announced their first ever ultrabook coming in at a price of $999. The XPS 13 will be released toward the end of next month. It’ll run a Core i5 processor (upgradable to i7), a 128GB SSD (upgradable to 256GB), 4GB of RAM and Intel HD 3000 graphics. The display will be protected by Gorilla Glass and the entire unit will measure just 0.24-inches thick at its thinnest point.

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX

Motorola’s Droid RAZR is a really thin phone, but they had to make some sacrifices in order to make it that way. They had to resort to only a 1700mAh battery, which wasn’t quite enough to power all of the components for a decent amount of time. However, this is where the RAZR MAXX comes in. It’s got a 3300mAh battery and still manages to keep its thickness t0 only 8.9mm. This should be good enough for 8-hours of use, but one just has to think that the Droid RAZR is now an outdated phone after being on the market for not even two months.

CES 2012: Day 3 Recap – Qualcomm, Viewsonic, and Intel

Day number three of CES 2012 was definitely less hectic and more manageable, but today was the opening of the CES show floor where companies were unveiling and showing off all of their new toys at their respective booths. However, we did have some very notable companies stand up to deliver keynotes, including chip makers Intel and Qualcomm.

Qualcomm

Image Credit: Engadget

Qualcomm’s GameCommand gaming aggregator app was announced back in November, but the company is finally releasing it today. GameCommand puts all of Android Market’s games in one place (that way user don’t have to go searching around) and also offers some exclusive games that aren’t available in the Android Market, including titles that were built using Qualcomm’s GamePack optimizing program.

The company also rolled out a new Snapdragon processor built for smart TVs and set-top boxes. The Snapdragon S4 MPQ8064 is a quad-core processor that clocks in at 1.5GHz and it will available in Lenovo’s upcoming K91 smart TV. The CPU also has Adreno 320 graphics and WiFi connectivity. No word yet on when the CPU or the K91 will hit the market.

Viewsonic

Viewsonic has launched two new tablets, the ViewPad 10pi and ViewPad 10e. They both run Android 2.3, which is kind of a bummer, but the 10pi is able to dual-boot with Windows 7. The 10pi boasts an Intel Oak Trail z670 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD and a 10.1-inch 1280×800 IPS display. There’s also a microSD slot and a couple of USB ports. A 3 megapixel main camera graces the back, while a 1.3 megapixel webcam sits on the front. All of this is stuffed into a form factor that’s 18mm thick and weighing around 29 ounces.

The 10e is a little less powerful with a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal storage. Both models will be available in the U.S. and will sell for $399 on Amazon.

Intel

Image Credit: Phandroid

Intel is now officially getting into the smartphone market. The company has announced the Atom Z2460, which is a 32nm processor clocked at 1.6GHz. Lenovo and Motorola will be releasing phones with Intel’s new chip. Lenovo has already come up with theirs — the K800, which is still a mystery as far as details, but it does have a 4.5-inch 720p display and will only be available in China for the time being. As Motorola, they say that they’ll have Intel smartphones out by the second half of this year.

Intel is also working on putting their chips into Windows 8 tablets in the form of 32nm Clover Trail SoC (System on a Chip). Details on that are scarce so far.

Other Fun Stuff

– Razer unveiled a new version of the Naga mouse. It’s called the Naga Hex — only six thumb buttons in the shape of a hexagon.  It’ll cost you $80 and will begin shipping later this month.

– Adobe has given the green light to a free public beta of Lightroom 4.

– Mercedes Benz has announced in-car Facebook integration for those who crave Facebooking and driving.

Stay tuned to Techerator for more CES updates this week!

CES 2012: Day 2 Recap – LG, Samsung, Vizio, and Microsoft

The second day of CES-ness is now behind us and wow, was it a busy one! Numerous companies held their press events today, including Microsoft, which hosted the opening keynote for this year’s CES. To say the least, tons of stuff happened. Since I won’t cover everything (that would literally be like writing a book) and to save your sanity, I’m just going to go over the bigger highlights of the day that matter.

LG

Image Credit: VentureBeat

LG introduced its 2012 lineup of HDTVs and they don’t seem to disappoint. More than half of them are either 3D capable or Smart TVs. LG’s Cinema 3D Smart TVs range from 55-inches to a whopping 84-inches. The 84-inch model packs an “Ultra High Definition” (UHD) display that squeezes 8 million pixels with a 3840×2160 resolution. It’s only 28mm thick and has a tiny 1mm bezel.

LG also announced their new flagship phone, the Spectrum. It features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor covered up by a massive 4.5-inch 1280×720 IPS LCD screen, giving it a ppi of 329 — better than the iPhone’s Retina Display. It also has 1GB of memory and 4GB of internal storage. LG will be releasing the Spectrum exclusively on Verizon on January 19 for $200 on-contract.

Samsung

The Galaxy Note has officially been announced, even though we knew it was coming of course. It boasts a whopping 5.3-inch screen with a 1280×800 AMOLED display, making it a half-phone, half-tablet. It has AT&T’s 4G LTE built-in and rocks a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. AT&T hasn’t said when it will be available, but if color selection means anything to you, the Note will come in “carbon blue” and “ceramic white.”

Samsung also unveiled its Smart 3DTV lineup, and they’re nothing short of crazy. The TVs support voice control, motion control and face recognition. They also run on SoC (System on a Chip) kits that users can upgrade starting in 2013 when Samsung releases upgrade kits. Samsung says that this allows the user to upgrade their television without actually having to replace the entire unit.

Vizio

Vizio, long-time maker of HDTVs, has now entered into the PC and tablet market with an all-in-one machine, three laptops and a tablet. The all-in-one PC is still somewhat of an unknown as far as specs, but the company’s YouTube channel goes over the products a bit. As far as the laptops, they’ll come in three different sizes: 13-inch, 15-inch and “full-size.” Just like the all-in-one, specs are hard to come by at this point.

Vizio’s tablet is a 10.1-inch model that they’re calling the M-series. It’s also apparently powered by an unannounced processor, so they’re not able to talk details just yet, but all of these new products by Vizio are due out this Spring/Summer.

Microsoft

Microsoft actually didn’t have much to announce for the first time. CEO Steve Ballmer and company mostly discussed already talked-about subjects, including topics about the Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. However, there were a couple of new things.

Nokia and Microsoft announced the latest Nokia Windows Phone, the Lumia 900. It’s a 4G LTE phone with a 4.3-inch AMOLED display. It runs on a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm CPU and 512MB of RAM. It’ll be arriving within the next couple of months exclusive to AT&T. The Lumia 800 will also be coming to the U.S. unlocked within the next few months, Ballmer says.

Microsoft also unveiled the Windows Store, which is the equivalent to the Android Market or the iTunes App Store, but for Windows devices. It’ll be available on Windows 8, as well as Windows Phone in the future.

Lastly, Ballmer mentioned that Kinect is coming to Windows February 1st.

Bonus: Microsoft partnered with ZeptoLab to bring a HTML5 version of Cut the Rope directly to the browser. Anyone with a computer can play the game. If you’ve never played it before, do it now!

Other Fun Stuff

– Netflix has announced availability in the UK (£5.99/month) and Ireland (£6.99/month).

– microUSB 3.0 is coming to smartphones and tablets near you as early as late this year.

– The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is coming to Sprint.

– The HTC Titan II, the first LTE Windows Phone, will be hitting AT&T.

– Asus’s Transformer Prime tablet hybrid will be getting Ice Cream Sandwich.

Stay tuned to Techerator throughout the week to get more details from inside CES 2012!

CES 2012: Day 1 Recap – Acer, OLPC, and Lenovo

The first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 is under wraps. Overall, it was quieter than what it will likely be later today. Acer and Lenovo held the only press events, but there were certainly some bits and pieces that were revealed throughout the day that are worthy for a spot in today’s recap.

Acer

Acer announced what they claim is the “world’s thinnest ultrabook.” The 13.3-inch Aspire S5 is a mere 15mm at its thickest point and weighs just under three pounds. It comes packing with HDMI, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports. The S5 can also be woken up from a smartphone and can immediately log into email and social network accounts. Specs are still something of an unknown, although we do know that it will run an Intel Core processor and it’s coming in the second quarter of this year.

Acer also announced another ultrabook model dubbed the Aspire Timeline Ultra. These will measure in at 20mm thick and will come in 14- and 15-inch variants. This laptop will run some type of Intel Core i processor and sport HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. The Timeline Ultra will ship sometime during Q1 2012.

Acer is also getting into the cloud business with their new service called AcerCloud. It’s pretty much the same concept as Apple’s iCloud, as in it “securely connects all personal smart devices for anytime, anywhere access.” It’s almost too close to iCloud, in fact. The graphic explaining the service is almost identical to Apple’s. In any case, AcerCloud will be out Q2 2012.

Lastly, Acer finished up their presser with a teaser of their next-gen, quad-core Iconia Tab A700. It’ll have a native 1080p display and be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip clocked at 1.3 GHz with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board.

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

The makers behind the XO laptop for underprivileged children came out with their own tablet. Just like the laptop, it’s a cheap, educational tablet made for children who live in poor parts of the world. It has an 8-inch display and comes with both a USB port and micro USB port. On the inside of the tablet, there’s a Marvell Armada PXA618 SoC processor and a battery that will deliver between 8-10 hours of juice.

It’s obviously not going to outperform the iPad or any other mainstream tablet for that matter, but for a $100 target price that the company wants to meet, it’s certainly not a bad device. However, you won’t be able to buy one of these yourself. They’re only sold to specific countries in bulk.

Lenovo

Lenovo unveiled their own transforming tablet/laptop device to take on Asus’s Transformer. It’s called the IdeaTab S2 and is equipped with Android Ice Cream Sandwich. It runs on a Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has up to 64GB of storage. It weighs in at just under 1.3 pounds and is just 8.7mm thick. For now, the S2 will only be released in China, with a worldwide release coming later.

They also announced the K91 Smart TV that runs on Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 55-inch (or 42-inch) 3D-ready, LED-backlit, 240Hz display. A 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor powers the software and has a built-in 5 megapixel webcam for video calling. The K91 is also a China exclusive, but no word on a worldwide or U.S. release.

Lenovo is also stepping into the smartphone market, announcing the S2. It’s really nothing special (even Lenovo admits that), since it only runs on Android 2.3, but Lenovo says it’s great for enterprise use since it has a secure kernel. The phone is already being made available to China customers for $400. No word on a U.S. release.

Other Fun Stuff

– It’s confirmed that Samsung’s newest device, the Galaxy Note (which looks to be a mix between a phone and tablet), will be headed to AT&T. We’ll hear more about the device in Samsung’s presser later today.

– Parrot, makers of the A.R. Drone, unveiled the 2.0 version of their remote-controlled quadricopter. This time around, the learning curve is much easier and on top of the updated build quality, the A.R. Drone 2.0 now records 720p footage.

Keep your eye on Techerator for more CES 2012 coverage throughout the week!

Consumer Electronics Show 2012 Preview

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the one time a year where consumer electronics and other gadgetry hits an all-time high. The entire technology industry converges in Las Vegas, Nevada for a week of press events, unveilings and demonstrations of the latest toys and concepts that have yet to hit the public market. Needless to say, it’s the craziest time of the year for anyone that’s into technology.

CES 2012 will officially run from Tuesday, January 10th to Friday, January 13th, but we guarantee that much will occur a couple of days before the official opening, including the opening keynote. Many companies will also be hosting their own private press events days before CES actually begins.

So what kind of things should we expect to see at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show? Fortunately, there’s never been a moment when a CES preview has put me to sleep and this year is no different. Here are some of the important highlights of what we should expect at CES 2012.

Windows 8

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will once again be giving the opening keynote of CES 2012, and you can bet that he’ll be using the allotted time to discuss Microsoft’s most recent project, Windows 8. It’s rumored that Ballmer and company will be publicly releasing a second beta of Windows 8 at CES 2012. Ballmer also might be showing off a handful of ARM and Intel-based Windows 8 tablets that will end up launching later in 2012. Also, you should expect the Microsoft CEO to talk at least a little about the Xbox 360 and some of its recent updates as well as future plans for the console.

Microsoft has also announced that CES 2012 will be their last major appearance. This will be their last keynote and they won’t be setting up a booth on the show floor, but they did say that they will still attend CES “to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries.” Just don’t expect any big things from them at CES in the future.

Ultrabooks

Trademarked by Intel, the term “Ultrabook” refers to a very thin and lightweight laptop, similar to a MacBook Air. Be assured that Intel is hitting the ground running with this (and has been the past few months) to try to prevent rising competition from ARM-based tablets, so we’ll probably see a lot of Ultrabooks being announced at CES by companies like Asus, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba.

Android Devices

In all honesty, I will be absolutely surprised and appalled if Android conversation doesn’t come up at least a few times throughout CES 2012. However, I don’t think that will be a problem at all.  We should expect to see faster Ice Cream Sandwich devices being unveiled, as well as just as much hype of 4G LTE as last year.

As usual though, all of the big mobile phone contenders will be at CES 2012 in some fashion or another. However, Motorola has, in fact, cancelled their press conference (but will still have a booth on the floor) and HTC has yet to schedule their own presser.

Gaming

Both Sony and Nintendo will be strutting their stuff at CES this year. Sony will be putting their PlayStation Vita on display, as well as a few games to check out. As far as the PlayStation 3, Sony will most likely continue to delve into the 3D portions of the console, so don’t expect the 3D fad from last year’s CES to die off just yet.

Nintendo will apparently be alive and well at CES this year. Their current project, the Wii U, will be making its second appearance at CES 2012; its first appearance was at E3 2011 back in June. CES goers should be able to get a more thorough hands-on session with the console this time around.

Other Fun Stuff

– Nokia’s having their press conference on Monday the 9th and from the looks of their invitation, we’re going to take a shot in the dark and say that they just might be discussing Windows Phone. Some brand new devices, perhaps?

– Nvidia has also scheduled their press conference for the 9th, which leaves the door wide open for speculation of a Tegra 3 announcement.

– Google TV might be a talking point at CES 2012. It’s even been rumored that LG plans to unveil a Google TV-ified television sometime that week.

– Car tech will most likely be a hot topic at CES 2012, since the big wigs at both Mercedes-Benz and Ford will be there to give keynotes.

Keep an eye on Techerator for full upcoming coverage of CES 2012!

Image Credit: TechCocktail, chialinshih, blogeee, Sham Hardy