CES 2014: What to expect at the world's largest consumer electronics trade show
The world's largest consumer electronics trade show opens its doors on 7 January, less than a month away, and although we don't expect there to be any truly groundbreaking technology launches, there will still be plenty of cool kit unveiled for the very first time.
Pocket-lint will be attending CES in Las Vegas and bringing you all the news and hands-on from the show floor, but what exactly do we expect to see there? What rumours have been circulating already? And which random celebrities will be turning up on booths pretending to know something about the gadgets and gizmos they're endorsing? Read on to find out the answers to at least two of these questions.
Steam Machines and SteamOS
As 2014 will be the year Steam jumps from the virtual to the physical world we’ll definitely see at least one machine on show at CES. Units have already been dealt out by Valve for 300 lucky gamers to test the beta builds. One of the first commercial Steam Machines to be outed, from iBuyPower, will be appearing at CES.
The company claims that its machines will run an early build of Steam OS, but hasn't revealed any technical specifications other than the fact that they will play Steam games at 1080p in 60 frames per second.
Check back in January for our hands-on review from the event.
CSR, the company behind Bluetooth, recently released the world’s first Bluetooth dev kit for under $100. It told us that this would be on show at CES along with other innovations that will make the wireless connection technology more involved in our lives than ever before. We can’t give away any more details except to say that this will be one of the highlights of CES this January.
Check back for full hands-on details at the start of CES 2014. We promise you it will be worth it.
Samsung and LG should both be showing off their next generation of curved OLED screens. A step up from last year, these ones won’t only be curved but will also be flexible. This should mean the screen can bend to create the best viewing angle wherever you’re sitting. How that will work for groups isn’t clear.
Samsung will also be showing off its latest 110-inch UHDTV which goes on sale in China before CES even begins. We'll let you know how good the world's largest UHDTV is from the event, before you go splashing the likely £25,000 it will cost.
Glasses-free 3D and 4,000 nits bright screens
Dolby has already invited us to see this kit in action.
It's announced that it's working on screen technology to bring glasses-free 3D and a 4,000-nits super clear colour display to production level. It will be showing off the glasses-free 3D screen, which James Cameron himself is raving about, so it should be impressive. So far, most glasses-free 3D efforts have fallen short.
Dolby is also working on a 4,000-nits display that will offer colours clearer than previously seen on screen. We’re hoping this makes an appearance also.
Stream TV has also announced it will be showing off its latest Ultra-D glasses-free 3D TV that works for multiple viewing angles. Read more on Stream TV announcements further down this article.
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2
The wearable world is about to explode in 2014 and smartwatches will be lighting the fuse. The first-generation Galaxy Gear has proven surprisingly popular even though Samsung itself admitted this was just to test the waters.
The new Galaxy Gear 2 should feature its own built-in GPS - this would be brilliant coupled with that 4GB on-board memory. With the watch running apps and music you could leave your phone at home when out on a run.
Samsung has revealed the next generation of its Android camera in the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2, as well as the NX30 compact system camera, which will be shown for the first time at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Camera 2 will come with a faster 1.6GHz quad-core processor backed by an upgraded 2GB of RAM. Battery life should also be better thanks to the 2000mAh battery onboard. It'll still use the same 16.3-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor with 21x optical zoom, though you will get 50GB of free Dropbox storage to compliment the upgraded internal 8GB and microSD up to 64GB storage.
As for the NX30 compact system camera, it will sport a 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 3-inch Super AMOLED swivel and touch display, tiltable EVF with eye contact sensor, swathe of Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options, DRIMeIV image processor, ISO ranges from 100 to 25,600, Raw support at 20-megapixels (5472 x 3648), full HD video recording, and more.
LG 4K monitors
In a first for LG it will be showing off Real 4K monitors. That’s a display with a 31-inch IPS screen and a 4096 x 2160 resolution. There should also be UltraWide monitors and ColourPrime screens for True Colour Pro clarity.
Asus smartphone and Chromebook launch
We already know Asus plans to launch a phone at CES 2014 as well as its first Chromebooks. But specifics are still at the rumour stage. A leaked roadmap of the Asus plan for 2014 points towards a 5-inch MeMOPhone handset.
An Asus executive told investors an 11.6-inch Chromebook model for $199 and 13.3-inch model for $249 will be made available in early 2014. We also expect to see some form of wearable kit from Asus as it has confirmed it will be showing off the gadgets at Computex before which we’re hoping to get an early preview.
Sony Xperia Z1 Mini, new flagship handsets and SmartWatch 3
Last year Sony unveiled the Xperia Z1 at CES. This year should be the turn of its smaller Z1 Mini sibling. Expected to be called the Sony Xperia Z1S, it will be much like the Z1F that’s already out in Asia. Unlike other mini smartphones it won’t take a cut in specs but will deliver everything its larger sibling does but with a smaller form factor. That means a Snapdragon quad-core processor, 20-megapixel camera, and waterproof body.
Of course Sony may decide to save this for MWC, but we can hope.
Hope of another revelation from Sony comes in the form of an FCC appearance of what could be the Sony SmartWatch 3. The big draw of the SmartWatch is its ability to work with any Android handset, and its wide variety of apps. While the Galaxy Gear might offer a camera and speaker-mic combo it will work only with select Samsung handsets and the apps are sorely lacking.
Leaks from China suggest two new flagship handsets could also be revealed: Sirius and Canopus. While specs were unclear we could see a larger 5.2-inch screen over the Xperia Z1 and also the upgraded Snapdragon 805 processor. It's also being punted about that they may come with 2K or 4K screens.
Of course all these Sony announcements have a mobile angle to them. While the Xperia Z1 was revealed at CES last year, this little bundle - or at least some it - might not see the light of day until MWC in February.
This one is a bit of a mystery. We've received an invitation from Garmin to see its first step into lifestyle gadgets. But it says nothing more. We considered its fitness kit to be lifestyle related but if that's not the case, and considering wearable popularity, this is likely going to be some sort of smart bracelet - a bit like the fitness trackers we've seen from Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone.
LG Lifeband Touch
Unlike the LG Smart Activity Tracker, seen at CES last year, this wrist adornment appears to have a flush screen with probably touch controls. But whether this is a competitor for the Nike+ FuelBand SE remains to be seen. This could be an extension of your LG G2 handset that works only with the smartphone, rather than a standalone health tracker.
Curved 21:9 OLED TVs at 105-inches
WebOS for LG TVs
LG sounds systems
LG has already announced some new audio items it will be adding to its line-up and putting on display at CES. We'll see a Wireless Audio System, a slim Sound Plate and a sleek Sound Bar.
The LG Wireless Audio System, or NP8740 if you want the catchy name, will allow you to stream music around your home. Using wireless speakers and dual band Wi-Fi you can throw music to wherever you are, including using several speakers in one room for surround. You can have the same song all over the house with Party Mode or different songs on different speakers using Personal Mode.
The LG Sound Bar looks gorgeous polished in a dark silver finish. It should sound great too with 320 watts of power and 4.1 channel sound. The NB5540, as it's called, also uses Hi-Fi DAC and an AnalogClass D amp for HD quality sound.
The LG SoundPlate, LAB540W, is 39.5mm slim to sit under 32 to 55-inch TV bases. Despite the minimal size it will deliver 4.1 channel sound with 320 watts of power and is assisted by an external subwoofer.
4K PS4 and Xbox One gaming
According to a press release from Stream TV, the glasses free 3D developers of Ultra-D, we could soon be upscaling gaming and set top viewing through its seeCube-4K.
The seeCube-4K will use a 2.3GHz quad Qualcomm 8074 processor with new Adreno 330 GPU to upscale content from 1080p at 2 million pixels up to 4K at 8 million pixels.
Since 4K content is still in shortage, even with Netflix promising 4K streaming in 2014, this box is a great idea. It’ll mean your 4K TV can play everything from your Xbox, PlayStation, Blu-ray, Sky, Virgin or Freeview box, and online content from YouTube, Hulu and even Netflix - right now.
LG Ultra PC and Tab-Book 2
The LG Ultra PC and Tab-Book 2 are the Haswell Intel powered, thinner devices from LG that will be unveiled at CES. LG should also be showing off its 27-inch all-in-one desktop PC at CES.
The LG Ultra PC weighs 990g and comes with a Haswell Intel Core i5 processor and an SSD with either 128GB or 256GB. There is also a Full HD 13.3-inch IPS display with Super Narrow Bezel at 4.4mm.
The LG Tab-Book 2 hybrid tablet laptop follows on from last year's model. But it's lighter at 1.05KG and includes an 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display churning out 400 nits of brightness. This will come with Haswell innards also. And there should be a thinner, lighter version available also.
The LG AIO PC is a 27-inch Full HD IPS machine running Windows 8.1 that can switch easily from computer to TV mode using the included remote control. It's powered by an Intel Core CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT 740M graphics. It also allows for picture-in-picture so you can watch TV while using your PC. It comes with HDMI so you can output to your Blu-ray sound system easily.
Archos smartwatches, weather station activity tracker and more
Archos has announced a selection of gadgetry that will be on display at CES this year.
The most interesting reveal from Archos concerned a "selection of smartwatches". They will cost less than £50, feature a "pebble-like design", and work with Android and iOS devices, according to Archos.
Expect to hear more information about these mysterious wearables next week, when the company plans to show them off alongside a home tablet, scale, weather system, activity monitor, blood pressure monitor and more.
And there's more...
That's your lot for now. We'll also be updating this feature as and when more gossip of new technologies emerges.