The one thing that defines CES is that virtually all the world8217;s tech manufacturers (except Apple) get together to launch the next big thing in technology, kickstarting the trends for 2019 and showing off all the hot products to get excited about.
CES always takes place in Las Vegas Nevada, primarily due to the vast amount of hotel rooms and exhibit space in the city. The show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center but huge amounts of exhibitors also take meeting and showcase space in several other world-famous Las Vegas hotels such as The Venetian and Wynn.
CES 2019 itself starts on Tuesday 8 January and lasts until Saturday 12 January. We8217;ll be there from Saturday 5 January as some companies start press conferences across the weekend. The main press day is Monday 7 January which is when the majority of the announcements will be.
CES started in 1967 and, although it originated in New York, the first CES in Las Vegas was held in 1995. Last year over 182,000 people attended CES including 69,000 exhibitors (connected to around 4,400 exhibiting companies) and almost 7,000 members of the media 8211; including us! 63,000 of the total number visited from outside of the US.
We8217;re expecting Intel to talk about 5G at CES, even though its 5G smartphone modem won8217;t be ready for integration into devices until 2020. The company has scheduled a press conference at 4pm PT on 7 January (12am GMT on 8 January).
LG at CES 2019
We8217;re expecting 4K and 8K announcements from LG who have a press conference at 9am PT on 7 January (5pm GMT). The company is also holding an evening keynote at 6.30pm on 7 January (2.30am GMT on 8 January). Rumours persist that the company may also show a foldable phone as well as a foldable 4K display.
We don8217;t yet know what Nvidia will be doing at CES, but expect a lot of talk about driverless car tech, while there should be some new PC gaming innovations, too. The company has scheduled a press conference at 8pm PT on 6 January (4am GMT on 7 Januart).
We8217;re expecting Samsung to announce new TVs at CES as well as further previewing its first 5G handset which is expected to come to the US initially. The company has scheduled a press conference at 2pm PT on 7 January (10pm GMT).
Sony at CES 2019
We8217;re expecting Sony to announce various new products at CES (the invite below says 8220;across the Sony Group8221😉 and the company has scheduled a press conference at 5pm PT on 7 January (1am GMT on 8 January).
Acer8217;s trump card at CES 2018 is a laptop that8217;s as thin as a smartphone. The Acer Swift 7 is just 8.98mm thick and you get a modem in there too giving you LTE connectivity, Intel Core i7 power and an asking price of £1,599 for that 4G model. Being skinny is expensive. You can get your hands on one in April 2018.
Acer has also updated its Chromebook 11, bringing in USB Type-C connections and Google Play to fill your £249 laptop with apps. The new Chromebook 11 will be hitting the UK in March 2018.
Amazon Alexa at CES 2018
Amazon doesn8217;t attend CES but that doesn8217;t mean you won8217;t hear the company8217;s name mentioned.
We8217;re expecting Alexa to be featured in even more devices in 2018, as Amazon continues to dominate the smart home stage and already we8217;ve seen announcements bringing Alexa to more devices.
For the bathroom, Kohler has an Alexa-powered mirror and more, while Amazon itself has announced at Alexa is coming to headphones, watches and more. Alexa will be in LG8217;s fridge, it8217;s coming to PCs and a whole lot more. So much, we wrote a separate feature about it.
Asus has updated some of its laptops, with the ZenBook 13 being a natural MacBook competitor. There8217;s also the slightly more substantial X507 which comes with more powerful graphics, so might be the lightweight machine for those who like to game.
There8217;s also a range of new connectivity innovations from Asus, including the Lyra Voice, which is both an Alexa-powered speaker and a mesh network device designed to banish Wi-Fi dead spots in your home.
B&O Play has launched the new H9i headphones, which will not only deliver stunning sound, but in this twist get touch controls on the ear cups. That will let you control music. These headphones also have more enhanced noise-cancellation, along with a proximity sensor to turn off the music when you remove them from your head.
Beyond the BlackBerry manufacturers TCL did confirm that there would be 8220;at least8221; two new BlackBerry devices launched in 2018. There8217;s no word on what they might be, but we might learn more at Mobile World Congress.
Casio has launched a couple a techy G Stock watches, adding popular features into those devices to help keep smartwatches at bay. The first new G Shock the GBA-800 offers step tracking and other fitness related functions, connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth to talk to a companion app.
Meanwhile the new Casio GBA-1000 has a solar panel in the display and supports GPS navigation. The solar panel acts as a power backup for the GPS function, meaning you don8217;t kill the battery when using it for navigation. You can plan routes on your phone and transfer them to the water for navigation.
If you8217;re into creating video with your smartphone, there8217;s little better than the DJI Osmo 2 to give you a stable and versatile platform to do so. Updated from the previous model, the Osmo 2 can now give you portrait shooting and the price has dropped considerably. For the ultimate in mobile video, it8217;s Osmo all the way.
Sometimes it8217;s the simple things that make all the difference and the Eve Button is one such example. This comes to the rescue of Apple HomeKit homes, allowing you to assign three functions to the Button for different press styles. This will let you automatically enact HomeKit scenes, for example, just by pressing the button. It could be a master power button for your home, turning on or off all your lights, or it could be set scenes in a room with a simple touch.
Garmin has announced the Forerunner 645 Music, it8217;s latest sports watch which introduces something missing from the line from the last few years 8211; offline music. You8217;ll be able to connect Bluetooth headphones to your 645 Music to take with you on the move. There8217;s also Garmin Pay, as well as all the fitness tracking skills that the Forerunner series offer.
Google doesn8217;t always make a big splash at CES with its own hardware 8211; that8217;s normally saved for Google8217;s own events 8211; but as Google Assistant emerges as a dominant player in the smart home, Google has setup camp in Vegas to promote Assistant and the new twist it8217;s offering with smart displays.
That8217;s right, Google is moving to challenge the Amazon Echo Show, putting a new visual version of Google Assistant into what it8217;s calling 8220;smart displays8221;. There are a range of devices expected in 2018, with Lenovo and JBL stepping up and showcasing the first two examples, but with LG also seeming to have a model that it didn8217;t announce.Think Google Home with a display and you8217;re on the right track.
Like Amazon8217;s Alexa, LG has already confirmed that it8217;s ThinQ speaker will be GA compatible and there8217;s also a move toward Google Assistant headphones, with Sony, JBL and more offering the new connectivity options.
Google8217;s push on VR also took a step forward thanks to Lenovo announcing the Mirage Solo, a standalone Daydream headset. This works with the Mirage Camera too, a new VR180 camera, another format that Google is pushing.
HP announced the HP Envy x2, a Windows 10 2-in-1 powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform in late-2017. The company has confirmed that this will cost £999.99 for the 4GB/128GB model, while the step-up 8GB/256GB model is £1199.99.
What8217;s perhaps a surprise is that the HP Envy x2 will also be available in an Intel version 8211; i.e., a more conventional hardware build for a Windows 10 PC. Just make sure you8217;re buying the version you actually want.
HP has also used CES 2018 to update the excellent Spectre 15 x360, which the company is claiming is the most powerful 8220;convertible8221; PC, meaning there8217;s a lot of flex in the hinge. There8217;s also the choice of AMD or Nvidia graphics, which is where the power claim comes from.
There8217;s a new HTC Vive Pro on the block, updating the original version with a new strap for added comfort with built-in headphones which now support Hi-Res audio. There8217;s also a step-up in the resolution of the internal display, so things look better too.
There are tweaks all over this new version of Vive, as well as an official wireless adapter coming in 2018. But what we don8217;t currently know is how much this new version of Vive will cost.
JBL not only announced a range of speaker and headphone updates, but is working with Google on a range of devices that are a little smarter. Yes, it8217;s all about smart headphones and smart displays.
First up is the JBL Link View. This joins JBL8217;s existing family of Link devices, but has a display, hence the view name. It8217;s not just a dumb display either, it8217;s a Google Assistant-powered display, so it will let you talk to it, control your smart home and a whole lot more. There8217;s the promise of good sound quality too.
On the headphone front, the JBL Everest GA headphones offer compatibility Google Assistant. Rather than having to touch or talk to your phone, you8217;ll be able to access Google Assistant from your headphones to do things like ask questions, change the volume or play specific music. There are two versions of the Everest, the 710GA which are on-ear and the 110GA which are in-ear.
Lenovo has already announced a range of updated ThinkPads for business, but it8217;s the Snapdragon-powered Lenovo Miix 630 which should grab your attention, as a portable 2-in-1 one promising amazing battery life. If you8217;re really after a ThinkPad, the new X1 Carbon is difficult to ignore.
Lenovo has also been one of the first to step-up with the Lenovo Smart Display, as new category of Google Assistant devices. It has a quirky design and rivals the Echo Show, coming in either 8 or 10-inch sizes.
Lenovo8217;s Mirage Solo is a new breed of VR headset, being a self-contained Daydream device with no need for a smartphone in the front 8211; it8217;s all built-in. This is partnered with a VR180 camera that takes a special format of photo designed to be more immersive
LG at CES 2018
LG has also announced that LG ThinQ (say: 8220;thin cue8221😉 is going to powering many of the devices in 2018 line-up from the company. This isn8217;t limited to appliances 8211; although there8217;s a connected air purifier 8211; but LG has also announced a smart ThinQ speaker, which also offers Google Assistant, as well as a new Dolby Atmos soundbar.
Of course there8217;s an updated InstaView fridge, now with a 29-inch display and Alexa integration, as well as a full collection of connected appliances and powered by ThinQ.
LG has also confirmed the new OLED and Super UHD LED TVs will have voice recognition and control through an included remote, also supporting Google Assistant. There will be the range-topping W8 Wallpaper OLED, followed by the E8 and C8, which are top-tier OLEDs, while the AI OLED B8 slips into a slightly lower tier.
You8217;ll also be able to buy the CLOi robot, which is a smart assistant connected to everything; exactly how it might be better 8211; besides the cute looks 8211; than Alexa or Google Home, we don8217;t really know. LG also appears to have a Smart Display with Google Assistant, it just didn8217;t announce it.
Nokia at CES 2018
While Nokia didn8217;t show up with a stack of new phones, it has made some announcements in its health department. The biggest is that Nokia Health Mate is now compatible with Alexa, so you8217;ll be able to ask Alexa questions, like how far you walked that week.
Nokia has also launched Nokia Sleep, on a mission to use technology to increase your wellbeing. This Sleep sensor becomes part of your bed and can also been linked to other smart devices, so it will turn off the lights as you fall asleep, for example.
Nvidia has made sweeping announcements about PC gaming through Nvidia GeForce Now, which gives you access to a powerful cloud-based PC so you can run games on your older machine at home without a hardware update.
Nvidia has also pushed forward the idea of BFGDs. Big format gaming displays are designed to give you a monitor for gaming with a few more skills, thanks to the integration of Nvidia8217;s Shield technology. That means that not only will you have a monitor specced for gaming 8211; with Acer, Asus and HP announced an BFGD partners for the 4K 120Hz HDR displays 8211; but you8217;ll be able to stream your favourite services too.
Panasonic has announced updates to its TV line-up, including new OLED models. Following the success of the EZ1000 (EZ1002 for those in the UK), the FZ950 and FZ800 are new OLED models, available in 55 and 65-inch sizes. Both these models feature a dynamic look-up table to ensure that the picture remains authentic, while also supporting the emerging HDR 10+ format.
The FZ950 gets boosted by a Technics blade speaker that runs the width of the TV, meaning you have complete sound system in one compact unit. Prices are still to be confirmed, but availability is set for spring 2018.
Panasonic has also continued the onslaught of UHD Blu-ray players, announcing four new models, with the UB820 offering Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ and Alexa compatibility, while lesser models strip out features to make them more affordable. The 2016 UB900 remains the flagship player.
Qualcomm is also enabling the new generation of Google Smart Displays, launching a new platform, the Qualcomm Home Hub. This platform will enable OEMs to easily develop and package up smart home devices, based on Qualcomm8217;s technology that will power and connect it. The first have come from Lenovo and JBL, with more in the pipeline.
Samsung usually goes big at CES, but in 2018, Samsung focused on talking about IoT and AI, essentially hammering home the message that all its devices would be connected and talking to each other by 2020. Expecting new products? There weren8217;t so many of those this year, gadget fans.
Samsung announced the NW700 Sound+ soundbar, which promises distortion-free sound from a compact form, with no need for a separate subwoofer. Samsung has also announced the WW6850N washing machine that8217;s fully connected, working with SmartThings, as well as a new Family Hub fridge that8217;s smart thanks to Bixby integration.
In fact, SmartThings is going to be the app that handles all things connected around your Samsung devices, with Bixby providing the AI interaction with all devices. You can even use it to setup your new TV using your smartphone.
Samsung initially announced The Wall, a new 146-inch MicroLED TV. MicroLED is a real challenger for OLED, using LEDs that emit their own light (as OLED does) and not relying on separate LED illumination (which LED TVs need). It8217;s a prototype for now, so watch this space.
Samsung is also flirting wth 8K, saying that an 8K QLED set will be available later in 2018, but didn8217;t go as far as revealing what it8217;s new TVs are for the year. For that, you8217;ll have to wait until March.
- What is MicroLED? The TV technology to take on OLED explained
Sony at CES 2018
If Samsung lacked physical product to get excited about, Sony brought the excitement by the bucketload.
There8217;s a replacement for the Bravia A1, a new Bravia A8F, an OLED flagship TV. There8217;s more powerful processing and a slightly more flexible design including a stand, so you have more placement options. It still uses the acoustic surface with speakers behind the display, so it8217;s still very much the showpiece.
There8217;s a full update to 4K HDR LED TVs too, with new XF90, XF85 and XF80 models too. The XF90 supports Dolby Vision, something also supported by Sony8217;s new Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the X700. This is some serious visual might.
One the audio front, Sony is also pushing some Dolby smarts with the soundbars that will virtualise Dolby Atmos at the press of a button. If you8217;d rather not have virtual Atmos, there8217;s new upfiring speakers you can combine with a compatible receiver too.
Elsewhere Sony is joining the Google Assistant party with headphones, with a range of different styles of in-ear headphones supporting Google Assistant. There8217;s even a set of splashproof, noise-cancelling, completely wirefree headphones with GA. Exciting times.
Sony Mobile has stepped up and announced a couple of Xperia updates. The new Sony Xperia XA2 has a 23-megapixel camera on the rear, bringing lots of megapixels to the mid-range, while sitting on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 platform. There8217;s a 5.2-inch full HD display and a fingerprint sensor on the rear.
If that8217;s just not enough phone for you, there8217;s the Xperia XA2 Ultra. This pushes the display to 6-inches, while also increasing the selfie camera to 16 megapixels with optical image stabilisation. It8217;s a big phone, for big selfies. Both new XA2 models will launch with Android Oreo in February 2018.
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