It’s that time of year again – when the world’s latest and greatest technology is showcased in the Nevada desert. That’s right – CES. CES is the world’s biggest trade show, taking over the entire Las Vegas strip with a ton of new and interesting product announcements. The show doesn’t officially kick off until Tuesday (January 9th), but we have a good idea of what to expect.
Most major manufacturers show off their new TV lines at CES. This year, however, it’s going to be a bigger deal than usual, thanks to the World Cup. Soccer’s biggest game usually gives TV sales a huge boost. OLED will be the big news. Expect an almost exclusive line of 4K TVs, with 1080p models relegated to the bargain basement. In fact, 2018 might be the year of 8K resolution sets. Prototypes and concept screens have been showcased for the past few years, but now that the HDMI 2.1 standard has been finalized, there’s no reason a company couldn’t sell a set right now. Yes, the video is from last year’s CES, but it highlights the difference between the two.
CES isn’t usually the place to go to find new smartphones. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some big names hitting the show. All eyes will be on Sony, with at least one Xperia slated to arrive during their press conference. The latest rumors point towards a much-needed design change, with skinnier screen bezels that should make the Xperia line feel fresh again. Samsung has already confirmed one phone for the show: the Galaxy A8, a mid-range alternative to the Galaxy S8 with a similar spec sheet and a few standout features, like dual front cameras for selfies with blurry backgrounds. Rumors had been swirling that the Galaxy S9 would be shown off, too (possibly behind closed doors and under embargo) but that seems like a long shot. There’s no word of the foldable Galaxy X, either. We also know that there won’t be anything new from Google or Apple. Both do their own thing, on their own timeline.
Thinner, Lighter and Longer Lasting Laptops
Most of the big laptop makers usually make their announcements at Berlin’s IFA show in September. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be offerings at CES. What you can expect are thin and light models from the likes of Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, and Lenovo. Dell’s awesome XPS 13 is overdue a performance upgrade, in both laptop and 2-in-1 form. The Lenovo Yoga convertibles could use an up-to-date flagship, too. OLED screens are probably the upgrade we’re most looking forward to, but better battery life is always a good thing, too.
Specifically, you should be on the lookout for headphones. You can expect some seriously high-end headphones from companies like Audio-Technica, Focal, Sennheiser, and AKG – in both wired and wireless varieties. Active noise canceling is going to be a big deal this year, so don’t be surprised if some well-known models get updated with the ability to strip out background noise. The other big trend will be truly wireless in-ears. With more smartphones ditching the headphone jack altogether, and Apple making a big splash with its Airpods, there are going to be plenty of companies trying to eliminate cables from the equation.
At CES, wearables aren’t just smartwatches. An official CES preview event revealed some smart underwear that reduces radiation from smartphones, as well as an intelligent scarf that’s designed to cut down on air pollution. Both will be at the show, and they both give you a taste of the weird and wonderful things to expect. Of course, the big names will be there too – Fitbit and Garmin as well as Nokia. These boxers did make an appearance at CES 2017, so it will be certainly interesting to see how they’ve been improved.
CES is no stranger to drones, with a dedicated flying zone for showing off all manner of quadcopters at last year’s show. This year, expect the big news to come from major manufacturers like DJI, Yuneec, and Parrot. DJI is such a brand name now it can hold its own dedicated launches, away from the hustle and bustle of a trade show, but that doesn’t mean there would be a model refresh, or a new color option to give us reason to drop by the stand. The Osmo handheld camera gimbal could potentially see an upgrade, too.