The Best of CES 2012
Highlights of the 2012 International CES
In case you didn’t know, the 2012 International CES - the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow featuring more than 2,700 exhibitors - is taking place in Las Vegas from January 10 to 13. In fact, since the 8th, we’ve been bringing you the latest tech announcements from The Entertainment Capital of the World, and we’ll continue to do so till the CES curtains fall.
So, what have impressed us so far now that we've come to the conclusion of CES 2012? For a start, we’ve seen some pretty amazing TVs such as LG's 84-inch 3D Ultra Definition TV and 55-inch 3D OLED TV, Samsung’s first 55-inch Super OLED TV, and Sony’s 55-inch ‘Crystal LED’ display. Even Lenovo is showing off a 55-inch Android 4.0-based TV. Is 2012 going to be the year of OLED TVs (suddenly, 3D seems so yesterday)? We shall see.
How about the mobile front? While we’ve witnessed first hand what Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon S4 processor is capable of, we also came away impressed by the company's various wireless solutions that range from practical applications to innovative options. It’s also really nice to see Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop working together to bring Sesame Street characters onto mobile devices - by way of augmented reality technology, that is. Huawei was also on deck to show us its pair of Android 4.0 smartphones, the Ascend P1 S and P1. On the tablet side of things, we had to reach for a ruler to see if the Toshiba Excite X10 is really 7.7mm thin.
We also attended Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote and it’s perhaps of no surprise that the company’s focus this year will be on getting Windows 8 ready for prime time. Remember, this new OS will run on both PCs and tablets, and support both x86 and ARM processing architectures. The Redmond-headquartered company and NVIDIA also showed us a Windows 8 tablet running on a Tegra 3 ARM-based processor. If you think you've known everything about Tegra 3, think again. NVIDIA has just spilled the beans on two more features of its mobile super processor. The graphics chip giant also shared with us other possible applications for these Tegra chips (hint: cars). There's plenty of action going on over at AMD too. The company is now furiously working on getting its Fusion APUs ready for tablets, among other stuff.
If 2012 isn’t going to be the year of OLED TVs, it surely is going to be the year of Ultrabooks. Acer’s 13-inch Thunderbolt-equipped Aspire S5 has caught us attention, as do Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga, which is both an Ultrabook and a tablet, and Dell’s XPS 13. And we've spied more over at Microsoft's booth. Intel on the other hand has shared with us that it’s now exploring other user interaction methods (such as speech recognition) to improve user experience on these super-slim notebooks. Think Siri for Ultrabooks, and you get the idea. And finally, it looks like we’re going to see smartphones based on Intel’s architecture (previously codenamed Medfield) pretty soon. The first wave of smartphones using Intel processors is going to come from Lenovo and Motorola Mobility; the latter has already inked a multi-year, multi-device strategic relationship with the chip maker.
Of course, CES isn't just about TVs and mobile devices. There are many other CE and IT products on show, including (but not limited to) digital cameras (yes, we managed to spend some alone time with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, Canon PowerShot G1X, and one particular 'smart camera'), lenses, networking devices, storage devices, PC components, and gaming devices. To prevent you from being buried by the deluge of news, we’ve curated a list of major CES announcements and feature articles right below. But, if you're not too keen on sifting through tons of reports that we've been churning out during CES 2012, we have a quick summary of the biggest trends from CES 2012 in this video roundup:
Top News & Products from CES 2012
900Mbps Wireless 802.11n routers are just about making their appearance, but guess what? 1300Mbps Wireless 802.11ac based routers have started to pop up at the CES show, though they are still a long way from retail. Buffalo was one such vendor teasing the crowd with their prototype.
FEATURE / 13 Jan 2012
We managed to get some alone time with the new Canon PowerShot G1 X digital camera at the Canon's CES booth. Here are our first impressions of this highly talked about prosumer digital camera.
AMD's Fusion is ready to tackle consumer electronics devices and that's exactly what AMD showed us in their meeting room at CES with AMD APU based tablets running Windows 8 and an Android ICS x86 port. Plus, there's even a TV powered by an APU too.
For those that require their HDMI cables to extend beyond standard lengths, you'll need to use an HDMI repeater to achieve the distance required reliably. But now, a company demonstrates a straightforward solution using a point-to-point optical cable.
NVIDIA primes Tegra 3 as the enabler for tablets in 2012 and shows us examples of how consumer expectations and demands of a tablet have evolved. Plus find out what the tiny Tegra SoCs are doing in super cars.
Altec Lansing's latest LIVE 5000 speaker system comes built-in with Wi-Fi for accessing music in the internet and home network. It also allows users to control playback using iOS and Android devices wirelessly through Wi-Fi.
Polaroid is bringing instant photography back to fans with the new Z340 Instant Digital Camera which takes advantage of Polaroid's ZINK printing technology.
Sigma announced the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, the world’s first 180mm macro lens that offers a magnification ratio of 1:1 and a large maximum aperture of F2.8. We managed to snatch the lens from their booth at CES for a brief test.
Touted as (currently) the world's thinnest and lightest tablet, the Toshiba Excite X10 got the hands-on treatment from us at CES 2012. Check out what we have to say about the Japanese company's aneroxic tablet.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors are moving beyond the Android smartphone and tablet space, powering a new wave of Windows 8 tablet and smart TVs starting with Lenovo's K91 SmartTV that was announced at CES 2012.
Sigma will begin introducing new lenses for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras starting with two prime lenses available for Micro Four Thirds and E-mount cameras.
Thunderbolt based storage solutions are steadily increasing in availability and Western Digital finally joins the elite group of Thunderbolt equipped devices with its My Book Thunderbolt Duo.
Poised to challenge its rivals who have been in the interchangeable lens camera market for quite a while, the new Fujifilm X-Pro1 with its 16-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor is the new ILC to watch out for. Here's our brief hands-on with Fujifilm's star of the year from CES 2012.
Panasonic has announced its latest prosumer full HD camcorder - the HC-X900. This 3MOS-based camcorder now supports 1080/60p (50p) recording based on the AVCHD Progressive format.
You'll probably know the Polaroid brand for its instant cameras. But have you seen a Polaroid camera, and to top it off, runs on Google Android? We got some hands-on time with the Polaroid SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera, and here's our initial impressions.