All the Biggest News and Highlights from CES 2018
By WIRED | January 10, 2018
The world's biggest consumer tech event is back. Here's everything you need to know about the latest TV and gadget news from Las Vegas
CES, the world's biggest technology show, is taking place in Las Vegas this week. The trade show is a yearly preview of the gadgets and landfill hitting shelves over the next 12 months; it's also a chance for companies to demonstrate some of their wackier concepts, which may never come to fruition. Here's a roundup of all the news and highlights from the big event so far.
TVs at CES 2018
At CES, the TV reigns supreme. So far, 2018 is proving to be no exception to this unwritten rule. Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic have lugged their premium screens to Vegas and OLED is the flavour of the show – as well as overwhelmingly large screens.
So far, LG has led the way with its prototype of a 65-inch rollable OLED screen. It has also announced its future TVs will incorporate voice assistants and captured early headlines by announcing an 8K TV.
Samsung has debuted what it is calling a modular TV. Called 'The Wall' the 146-inch display is made up of micro LEDs and the firm claims "consumers can customise their television sizes and shapes to suit their needs". Samsung also says in the second half of 2018 it will be releasing an 8K QLED TV that uses artificial intelligence to adjust the screen resolution based on what is being shown.
Elsewhere Sony has launched the Bravia A8F. The TV has a virtually bezel-less screen and comes in 55 and 65-inch versions. When put on sale later this year it will support 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision. Panasonic added two 4K OLEDs, the FZ800 and FZ950, to its lineup.
Laptops and tablets at CES 2018
Despite their dominance, CES isn't just about TVs. Ahead of the show, Dell announced its new XPS 13 laptop, which comes with three USB ports, one of Intel's latest generation process and the possibility of a 4K screen. Not to be outdone, LG also pre-announced its new line of LG Gram laptops in three different screen sizes.
Meanwhile, Samsung has revamped its Notebook 9 and Notebook 7 Spin. And Acer has also refreshed its Swift 7 laptop, which it claims to be the thinnest in the world, at 8.98mm.
Asus is updating a couple of its laptops, including the ZenBook 13, which is claimed will have a 15-hour battery life. Also being announced is the ASUS X507, a portable gaming laptop with an Intel Core i7 CPU. Outside of the laptop world, Asus also announced the Chromebox 3, a tiny desktop PC that runs Chrome OS.
Dell's latest laptop, the XPS 2-in-1, now comes in a 15-inch size and has a keyboard that utilises magnets. Using the resistance of the magnets, the firm says it can control the feel of typing. It has also announced a new app that allows notifications from iOS and Android phones to be shown on its laptops.
Samsung at CES 2018
With Apple hiding itself away in Cupertino, CES is Samsung's big opportunity to steal the smartphone limelight for a change. The South Korean brand might take the opportunity to unveil the Galaxy X, its oft-rumored but never before seen foldable phone. You can be certain that Samsung will show off its Galaxy A8 – a cheaper version of its flagship line – and might even sneak along a Galaxy S9 ahead of its launch later this year. But don't hold your breath for this.
So far Samsung has revealed a 146-inch modular TV, called 'The Wall' and a digital whiteboard, called Flip. The board is designed to be a paper flip chart that doesn't need any paper and can easily email you notes.
There's not much point buying a state-of-the-art TV without a soundbar to match. The company will unveil the NW700 Sound+ soundbar, a 53.5 mm deep strip designed to sit directly below a wall-mounted TV. Despite its thin profile, the NW700 packs in a subwoofer to pump out a well-balanced and punchy sound.
If TVs and soundbars don't float your boat, how about a smart fridge? The Family Hub fridge incorporates Samsung's smart assistant Bixby to help manage your food and, perhaps a little more ambitiously, 'strengthen family connections.'
Sony at CES 2018
Sony tends to use CES to showcase its TVs and audio equipment rather than phones, but this year it started its announcements by focussing on handheld devices. It announced two new smartphones: the Xperia XA2 and the Xperia XA2 Ultra. The phones feature a 23MP rear camera, with the XA2 Ultra being dubbed a 'selfie phone' and having a 16MP image stabilisation and 8MP wide-angle camera on the front.
Without a doubt, the coolest thing shown at CES by Sony was its latest Aibo robot dog. The company has already announced the pups will only be released in Japan but this is the first time it has publicly demonstrated the cute chunks of metal. It has OLED eyes, can respond to commands and is able to walk around a room.
Elsewhere, the firm didn't announce much else. There was a $30,000 4K projector, which has a Glass Sound Speaker built in, and it also launched the Bravia A8F TV. The OLED television has a 4K resolution, supports HDR content and Dolby's Vision format. When it's released later this year it will come in 55 and 65-inch sizes.
LG at CES 2018
LG has already captured early headlines by announcing its plans to bring a stonking 88-inch 8K OLED TV to the show. When it comes to TVs that you might actually put on your wall one day, LG has announced that it'll be building Google Assistant into its new sets, which will include a range of OLED and FHD screens. It has also revealed a prototype 65-inch OLED TV which has a screen that can be rolled up.
The company kicked off its CES presentation by bigging up ThinQ – LG's way of popping AI into all of its devices. The idea is that, whether you're using a smart air conditioner or a fancy fridge, ThinQ will learn your habits and help your product better match your needs. The platform is open, so other brands can incorporate ThinQ into if they want to. Google and Amazon have already hopped on board with the system.
Panasonic at CES 2018
Panasonic has launched two more OLED TVs – the FZ950 and FZ800. Both are enhanced for greater colour depth and more detailed shadows.
The firm also announced there would be two new Technics turntables. The spectacular looking SP-10R, which was first revealed in 2017, will be released this year and the SL-1000R. The latter is less high-end than the SP-10R but handily its base is integrated with the turntable.
Google at CES 2018
For the first time, Google has a public presence at CES. It usually sends along an army of staff to explore what's being shown and conduct business meetings behind the scenes but this year it's stepped out of the shadows. In part this is because of its hardware push – launching the Google Home, Pixel 2 and Pixelbook in recent months – but mostly because of its Google Assistant being integrated into other products.
Google continues its push into VR. Partnering with Lenovo and Yi, the companies announced standalone VR headsets. These don't require a mobile phone to run, include head movement tracking and work on Google's Daydream VR platform.
Elsewhere, Android Pay and Google Wallet have been merged into one system, Google Pay, and it has also introduced its Assistant to Android Auto.
The web giant also announced that Google Assistant will work on home assistant devices with screens. This allows a Google-powered Echo Show to be created. But Google hasn't made one of these devices itself (yet). Lenovo has launched one.
HTC at CES 2018
HTC has revealed a new VR headset at this year's CES. The Vive Pro is fitted with two OLED screens and has a 2880×1600 resolution. This amounts to a 78 per cent increase over the current model's resolution and its built-in headphones come with an amplifier. It's the company's attempt to create a premium VR experience but is hasn't revealed how much this will cost yet.
Also at the tech show, HTC announced a Vive Adapter that allows users to connect to a PC without a cord. If it works as intended it will give the headset wearer a greater freedom to move.
Nokia at CES 2018
After buying health brand Withings for £131 million in April 2016, Nokia's health division has taken all of the startup's products and slapped its own logo on them. At CES this year, Nokia revamped an old Withings product that's intended to help you sleep better. Nokia Sleep is a sensor-laden pad that goes under your mattress and tracks your sleep.
It's claimed that if you setup the device with automation systems, such as IFTTT, it's possible to create triggers that change your environment. The theory is that as you fall asleep the temperature and lights can be automatically changed. Nokia also announced Alexa compatibility is being added to its products so you can ask the Amazon assistant to provide you with updates on your health.
Razer at CES
Gaming hardware company Razer released a phone at the end of last year. At CES, it unveiled a concept laptop dubbed Project Linda. Where the device's trackpad should be, there's space for the Razer phone. Why?
Well, the handheld device can be inserted as a second screen and a way to control different functions.
It has also introduced a new wireless charging mousepad (the Razer Mamba HyperFlux mouse and the Razer Firefly HyperFlux mouse pad), meaning you'll never need to rely on rechargeable batteries again.
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