What to expect from CES 2012

Ultrabooks, smart TVs and of course tablets and smartphones all ready to roll
Darren Allan

January 9, 2012

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show begins tomorrow and runs through until Friday.

Given that, we thought we’d take a sneak peek at what upcoming technology you can expect to see revealed at the show.

Broadly speaking that encompasses new televisions – particularly of the smart variety – computers including the new super-slim Ultrabooks, tablets and of course smartphones.

Television sets will be a big piece of the CES puzzle this year, with LG already having created much buzz around its 55 inch OLED set.

At just 4mm thick, this new TV promises four colour pixel technology for an added level of vibrancy, and it’s allegedly a thousand times more responsive than LCD or LED when it comes to fast motion scenes.

That’s some big talking, and LG is also claiming it will keep the price level down. Although down is a relative term for OLED, this TV won’t be a budget affair, obviously. Whether CES will see a price reveal is uncertain.

Other TVs to look out for include the new Google TV powered set from LG. Lenovo is also poised to unveil a set running not GTV but the OS Ice Cream Sandwich; the K91 will also include a webcam and SD card compatibility, although is only to be launched in China for the time being.

When it comes to computers, the big push will be Intel’s new Ultrabooks, the notebook answer to the tablet as the devices are designed to be ultra-portable.

Around 50 plus Ultrabooks are expected to be shown off, much as a mass of Android tablets were shown off last year.

The tablets are still coming, naturally, and Lenovo itself has a new slate, the IdeaPad S2, a hybrid device like the Asus Transformer with its keyboard dock. Acer also has a new quad-core slate to measure up against the Transformer Prime.

Then there’s the XO3 tablet from OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), an idea which was first brought to light in December 2009. It’s an 8 inch slate priced at £70 and designed for the developing world, and it can be loaded with Android or a version of Linux.

Could we even witness the announcement of the recently rumoured Google tablet – perhaps produced by Samsung (who make the Nexus smartphone) or Motorola (the company Google is poised to acquire, pending approval)?

One thing is for sure, we’ll see Windows 8’s touchscreen powers being demonstrated on slates.

And equally, we won’t see anything of Apple. The company doesn’t attend CES or other big trade shows, setting itself apart and making announcement off its own back.

One such big announcement is allegedly coming this month, and theoretically could come this week in an effort to steal press attention from CES.

However, it’s allegedly going to be a software or content announcement rather than a hardware one, so it’s doubtful how much impact that would have on the show (as opposed to the iPad 3 unveiling).

Finally, when it comes to smartphones, expect new Android devices running the fresh Ice Cream Sandwich OS – though Samsung’s big gun, the Galaxy S III, is likely to be saved for an announcement next month at Mobile World Congress.

Nokia is going to be unveiling new handset(s) for Windows Phone 7, as will Sony (now free of Ericsson) for Android and LG. Panasonic is also making a return to the mobile sphere, and we’ll likely hear about that.

Prepare yourself for the avalanche of announcements to begin.


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