CES 2017 is finally here. The TrustedReviews team is on the ground in Las Vegas soaking up the annual tech bonanza, and we’ve already got a pretty good idea of what to expect this week as the event gets underway in earnest – including plenty of breaking news from day one!
CES 2017 NEWS: ALL THE LATEST HIGHLIGHTS
The CES 2017 news came thick and fast on day one, with 4K HDR TVs stealing the show early on.
Sony has announced its first ‘proper’ OLED TV, the AE1 (A1 in the UK). Quite apart from being an OLED TV, which is awesome, it has a unique way of producing sound. Instead of speakers or soundbar, which is the common way many slim TVs give you sound, the AE1 literally vibrates the TV panel to produce sound. In other words, the sound comes straight from the screen. Mind blown.
In its press conference, Intel revealed it would be launching its brand-new Cannon Lake processors at the end of this year. Cannon Lake is the followup to Kaby Lake, which officially fully launched earlier this week.
As expected, Samsung launched its new class of ‘QLED’ TVs. There’s three new high-end sets in all: the flat Samsung Q9F, curved Q8C, and the Q7, which is available in both flat and curved models.
The QLED range replaces Samsung’s SUHD TVs as the firm’s flagship line, with the new models set to be available in four sizes: 55-inches, 65-inches, 75-inches and 88-inches.
Pricing and a release date have yet to be confirmed, but we understand the new QLED sets are likely to start shipping to select regions in March 2017.
Samsung also announced an updated 4K Blu-ray player that lets you stream movies to your mobile device, along with a new wireless speaker – the H7 – that upscales all your tunes.
There’s a curved Quantum Dot monitor too, which looks gorgeous and it’s called the CH711. Hopefully we’ll get a closer look at it later in the week.
On the home appliances front, Samsung has introduced the Flex Wash and Flex Dry – a washing machine and a tumble dryer with two drums each. The top drum is smaller and is designed for smaller, quick loads. The idea is to give you more flexibility when it comes to laundry. Samsung updated its Family Hub fridge too, with specific family profiles and even more music streaming options.
Finally, Samsung showed off a duo of Chromebooks designed with Android apps in mind and a bad-ass gaming laptop with a dedicated ‘Supercharge’ button. We’re not sure if the Notebook Odyssey will come to the UK, but it’s cool nevertheless.
Rival South Korean firm LG also had plenty to show off, including the new LG InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, which has Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant built in. That means you can play music, make purchases, and edit your shopping list just by speaking to your fridge. Creepy? Yes. Do we want one? Absolutely.
There’s also a new 77-inch LG Signature TV that LG describes as the “lightest, thinnest, and most beautiful TV on the planet” as well as a new range of Super UHD TVs too. The company also announced a “picture-in-wall” TV called the LG Signature OLED TV W, which is incredibly thin at just 2.57mm – with a screen size of 65-inches. And LG confirmed that there’s a new version of LG’s custom TV software on the way: LG webOS 3.5.
Not to be outdone, Panasonic unveiled its second 4K HDR OLED TV, the EZ1000 (pictured above) – though it’ll apparently be known as the EX1002 in the UK.
Panasonic says the new set can achieve up to 800 nits of brightness and, as well as supporting the HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR standards, features an Absolute Black Filter and new chip, the Studio Colour HCX2.
The 65-inch version is set to hit Europe in June 2017, and Panasonic added a trio of new 4K Blu-ray players for good measure.
Later on Wednesday, Asus unveiled two brand-new smartphones, the ZenFone 3 Zoom and ZenFone AR. The former comes equipped with iPhone 7 Plus-style dual cameras with “optical zoom” while the second comes equipped with Google Tango Augmented reality technology.
Asus also unveiled the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, a larger version of its ZenBook 3.Elsewhere, an important new smartphone broke cover in the form of the Honor 6X from Huawei sub-brand Honor. The mid-ranger, which is set to retail for £225/$250, features an average (but competent enough) overall spec sheet, with one major exception – the dual-camera configuration found on the back. At present, this is a feature that’s still normally only found on high-end devices like the iPhone 7 Plus, so we’re intrigued to put the 6X through its paces in full.
In other mobile-related news, Qualcomm unveiled its newest high-end chipset, the Snapdragon 835, and a pair of VR shades featuring the new processor – scroll down to our “Qualcomm at CES 2017” section to learn more.
Another blockbuster day one announcement came from Intel, who announced final details and specifications of its new Kaby Lake architecture. While a few laptops featuring Kaby Lake snuck out towards the end of 2016, this is the first time we’ve heard anything official about its desktop capabilities and seen the new processor line-up in full.
So how does it size up? We’ve already gone hands-on with the most powerful Kaby Lake desktop chipset around – just hit the link below to learn more.
Excitingly, Nvidia has announced the launch of the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti graphics chip for laptops, with more than 30 laptops launching with the chip in the first three months of this year. The big news here is this is a card that can run many games at 1080p and 60fps, but these laptops should be more affordable than your typical good gaming laptop. Scroll down to our “Laptops at CES 2017” section for a deeper dive.
We also now know that BlackBerry and new partner-in-grime, TCL, have unveiled a prototype of a keyboard toting phone. The former smartphone giant and its Chinese sugar daddy didn’t give much away, but we should hear more later in the year. Aside from the keyboard, we know it’ll be running Android 7.0 and have a fingerprint sensor embedded inside the spacebar.
Blackberry aside, TCL had some other big announcements at CES. The TV brand launched the X2 and X3 series, both of which feature 4K resolution, Dolby Vision HDR and Quantum Dot tech. There’s some clever audio stuff going on too, like being able to use the television as a Bluetooth speaker and routing the audio back to your phone for private listening. The X2 is the flat version and will come in 55 and 65-inch version, while the X3 is curved. Both will boast Android TV too, but don’t hold your breath about them coming to the UK.
But wait, there’s more. Back to the TV news and we now think that Nvidia may launch not one but TWO new Shield TV models, as well as a redesigned controller for the Android-powered device.
The unconfirmed tip-off comes via Android Police and features some crystal clear images, though it’s still fairly thin on specifics. All that’s apparently been revealed is that the 2nd-gen Shield TV will be offered it two difference sizes, and that the controller will carry a couple of revisions.
Previous speculation pointed to the GTX 1080 manufacturer rebooting its first Shield TV set top box – which launched back in 2015 – with support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and MIMO antennas to further increase wireless speeds.
The new controller will also apparently rely on Bluetooth Low Energy for connectivity, rather than Wi-Fi, is being mooted as well, so watch this space as Nvidia looks set for a blockbuster CES.
You’ll also want to keep a close eye on HTC at CES this year, as unconfirmed reports out of Taipei are pointing to the company launching the ‘HTC Vive 2’, which will be a refreshed, wireless version of the already excellent HTC Vive headset – not to mention a likely show-stealer.
For sheer audacity, you’ve got to admire Kingston, who admist the slew of snazzy new TVs, high-spec laptops, and shiny smartphones, announced a USB stick at CES. Except, it’s not just any ol’ USB stick – it’s a monster 2TB USB flash drive that’s now the world’s biggest.
That’s a whole lot of 4K video.
Lastly, by way of a wild card, Nokia subsidiary Withings has launched “the world’s first smart hairbrush,” which features a built-in mic, accelerometer and gyroscope that combine to analyse your brushing patterns and provide you with insights into managing frizziness, dryness, split ends, breakage, and more.
Because 2017. Why the hell not?
TVS AT CES 2017
With Panasonic and Samsung having played their cards at CES 2017 thanks to the Samsung Q9F QLED TV and Panasonic EZ1002 OLED TV, we’re now waiting to see what the other big players have to offer on the TV front.
LG has debuted its latest 4K HDR TVs at the show in the form of the SJ9500, SJ8500 and SJ8000. The trio will feature a new colour-boosting tech LG is dubbing Nano Cell.
Based on quantum dot technology, the South Korean firm claims Nano Cell will negate colour difference at angles of up to 60 degrees thanks to its uniformly sized LCD particles.
We’re looking forward to going eyes on with the new LG sets, which support all three existing HDR standards – HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma.
In addition to these new sets, LG has unveiled its new OLED TVs for 2017, which feature built-in Dolby Atmos support. That has us damn excited. We’ll be getting a hands-on of the new TVs soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Sony, meanwhile, is also expected to make a splash and announce its first large scaled OLED TVs based on panels produced by LG.
It’s not just the high-end of the TV market on show at CES, either – budget brands are getting some love, too. An announcement from Tong Fang Global, which owns three affordable 4K brands – Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element – revealed that the firm’s 2017 line-up will come with baked in support for Amazon Fire TV and its smart assistant, Alexa.
The new 4K sets could go on sale as soon as spring 2017, with 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, and 60-inch models set to be made available.
And finally, praise be to God, a new HDMI standard has been announced. The new HDMI 2.1 spec adds support for 8K and Dynamic HDR. Dynamic HDR will optimise colours in each scene, and even each individual frame. The HDMI Forum has also added Game Mode VRR support, which allows for variable refresh rates and reduces screen tearing and input lag when gaming.
LAPTOPS AT CES 2017
Dell jumped the gun this year and announced a major refresh of its XPS 13 laptop on the eve of CES. The new XPS 13 will be a 2-in-1 convertible designed to rival some of the devices in Lenovo’s Yoga range and features a touchscreen display – Full HD and QHD models will be offered – plus a foldable hinge that allows you to use it in a variety of positions.
It’ll come packing the latest Intel Kaby Lake architecture (Core i5 or Core i7) and offer two USB-C ports, with a provisional release date of January 5. We’ve already got our paws on this machine, so hit the link below for our first impressions.
Elsewhere, Lenovo did indeed unveil an all-new ThinkPad X1 Carbon as expected – and outed a handful of other upgraded ThinkPad X1 machines to boot. Exciting times if you’re a fan of slim, lightweight Windows laptops. Or want another intelligent home hub option, because Lenovo’s Alexa-packing Smart Assistant is just that.
Asus made a bit of a splash in the computing world, as well, revealing a monster new gaming rig, the GT51CH. It also unveiled the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, a larger ZenBook 3.
The Republic of Gamers branded tower packs a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700K CPU (Kaby Lake), which can run on “Ultra” graphics settings, meaning it’ll play nice with not one but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards – the company says its beastly new machine can handle 4K gameplay at up to 66fps.
Acer is getting in on the action, too, launching five laptops and a new a desktop at CES – including the absurd curved screen Predator 21X, which will set you back a cool £9,000.
This product was actually first announced at IFA 2016, but details were scant on the ground. We know now a whole lot more about its internals and finally have a price – albiet one that makes the eyes water. It’s expected to start shipping in Europe in October 2017.
For its part, HP quietly unveiled a slew of new products from iMac-rivalling AIOs to gaming monitors and ultra-secure business laptops.
Given the arrival of both Intel’s new Kaby Lake chips and Nvidia’s GTX 1050 GPUs, there’s likely to be a whole lot more laptops revealed as CES gets into full swing, so watch this space.
SAMSUNG AT CES 2017
Aside from its new Q9F QLED TV reveal, Samsung also used CES 2017 to unveil a bunch of new and updated products.
Samsung is also bringing its Family Hub connected fridge tech to its French door fridges. The upgraded Family Hub 2.0 software is now voice-enabled, so you can talk to your fridge, a little like the way you talk to the Amazon Echo voice assistant.
There’a a lovely new Quantum Dot curved monitor, the H7 wireless speaker and a new Blu-Ray player that can stream movies to your phone.
On the mobile front Samsung announced a duo of Chromebooks that will run Android apps and come with a stylus, quad-HD displays and a choice between ARM or Intel processors.
The Notebook Odyssey is the brand’s first gaming laptop that features a dedicated ‘supercharge’ button, i7 processor, an anti-glare display and a new Volcano keyboard.
SONY AT CES 2017
The big news from Sony at CES 2017 is expected to be the long-awaited announcement of OLED televisions.
To date, Sony has never released a large display OLED television. That’s because LG Display is the primary manufacturer of TV-scale OLED panels, and gives priority to its own TV production business. But several reports have emerged suggesting that Sony has struck a deal with LG that allows the Japanese firm to release its own range of OLED TVs.
For the unaware, OLED screens are a popular (but expensive) type of display that are regularly used on smartphones, tablets, monitors, and televisions. Unlike conventional LED-backlit LCD displays, the pixels in an OLED screen produce their own light, eliminating the need for a backlight. The first benefit of this is that battery life can be improved. But as individual pixels can be turned on or off, the second advantage is that you can display far truer blacks than would be possible with a backlit TV.
Of course, neither Sony nor LG has confirmed any such announcement, but we’ll know soon enough if the rumours are true – and you can find out in real-time by watching the company’s CES 2017 press conference online.
SONY CES 2017 PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE STREAM
Sony has scheduled its press conference for the evening of Wednesday, January 4, so you’ll need to stay up well past midnight to watch the event if you’re viewing from the UK or Europe. Here’s when the keynote starts:
17:00 PST, Wednesday
20:00 EST, Wednesday
01:00 GMT, Thursday
02:00 CET, Thursday
Sony will be streaming all the action live from Las Vegas on the company’s blog, or you can tune in via Sony’s Ustream page.
LG AT CES 2017
As expected, LG had plenty of news to share at its CES 2017 press conference, including details about new televisions and the smart home.
The first big announcement was the introduction of webOS 3.5, a new version of LG’s custom-built TV software, which includes “360 VR capabilities”, according to Dr Skott Ahn, President and CTO of LG Electronics.
LG also confirmed a new LG Signature TV that Ahn describes as the “lightest, thinnest, and most beautiful TV on the planet” – we’ll see if we can track down the new set on the show floor shortly.
There were also smart home announcements, including the LG Robot Vacuum that can recognise objects, and can even ask you to move aside if it realises it’s bumping into your leg rather than a sofa.
LG also announced the LG Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, which comes with a built-in touchscreen, a camera that lets you see the inside of your fridge while you’re out and about, and runs on LG’s own custom webOS software.
“The new LG Smart InstaView refrigerator for the US market features our…webOS operating system,” said David VanderWaal, VP of Marketing at LG. “Now consumers can stay connected in ways they never thought imaginable.”
“We’re making life in the kitchen that much more efficient and that much more enjoyable,” he added.
LG has teamed up with Amazon too, bringing Alexa to the Smart InstaView refrigerator. Speaking at the press conference, Mike George, VP of Echo, Alexa and Appstore at Amazon, said:
“You can do things in your kitchen like add things to your shopping list, check the weather, and lots of other stuff.”
“There’s a lot more to come between Amazon and LG,” George added.
As well as the new Nano Cell LCD 4K HDR TVs LG has said it’s going to be catwalking at CES, the South Korean firm has revealed details of its new LG G Pad 3 10.1 and confirmed no less than five new phones for January.
NVIDIA AT CES 2017
We’ve already noted that Nvidia is likely to offer a Shield TV refresh at CES, and that the firm’s GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti graphics cards will feature heavily at the show, but it doesn’t look the company will stop there.
The company teased its announcement line-up for CES 2017 a while ago, and there’s plenty more to get excited about.
It turns out that CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will be helming Nvidia’s first-ever keynote address at the CES technology tradeshow in Las Vegas this January. Nvidia has promised that he’ll be breaking news in “some of the areas” it’s focused on, including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, virtual reality, and gaming.
This announcement has launched speculation into what Nvidia might announce. Last year, Nvidia showed off DRIVE PX 2, the world’s first supercomputer for driverless cars. And the year before that, it ignited conspiracy theories by commissioning a crop circle in California – oh, and the launched the Tegra mobile processor too.
So what might Nvidia actually announce? It’s hard to say, but we could see anything from new processors to a brand new GeForce graphics card to improvements in deep learning AI technology to a new accelerator for self-driving cars. There’s even a chance we could see a new device to follow on from the Shield hand-held console.
Perhaps the most exciting possibility would be details on the new Volta GPU architecture, the sixth-generation technology that’s set to follow Pascal (launched 2016). After all, rival AMD plans to show off its new Zen ‘Summit Ridge’ CPUs at the show, and has been heavily teasing its next-gem Vega graphics cards.
NVIDIA CES 2017 PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE STREAM
Like Sony, Nvidia’s press conference is one of the latest taking place on Wednesday, January 4, which means Brits will have to stay up a little late to catch the action live. Here’s when the keynote begins:
- 18:00 PST, Wednesday
- 21:00 EST, Wednesday
- 02:00 GMT, Thursday
- 03:00 CET, Thursday
If you do fancy staying up into the early morning, you can watch Nvidia’s entire press conference via this live stream link.
QUALCOMM AT CES 2017
Qualcomm used its CES 2017 press conference to announce the very first device powered by its new Snapdragon 835 chip, which was revealed back in November.
In a surprise move, it turns out that the first Snapdragon 835 device isn’t a smartphone; in fact, it’s a pair of AR/VR smartglasses called the ODG R-8.
Related: Snapdragon 835: Everything you need to know
The ODG R-8 smartglasses have a 40-degree field of view and a 720p HD resolution, and supports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR SDK. Other details were thin on the ground, but we did catch a brief glimpse of the smart shades:
“The premium Snapdragon 835 processor was designed from the ground-up to support new and innovative products and experiences beyond mobile phones, and it’s great to see that the first announced Snapdragon 835 devices will be ODG’s smartglasses,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies.
“Thermal dissipation on a heavy compute but small device is very difficult so higher power efficiency is a must,” continued Talluri. “The Snapdragon 835 processor, with our unique SoC design expertise on a 10nm process node, enables ODG to meet their design goals and develop lighter, smaller and sleeker smartglasses that take advantage of the new processor’s superior performance and power efficiency.”
SMARTPHONES AT CES 2017
Phones aren’t normally big news at CES as most phones get announced at the upcoming Mobile World Congress shows in February/March. That said, we’ve already got wind of some smartphone news at CES 2017.
Xiaomi has confirmed that it will be attending CES 2017, but it hasn’t detailed exactly what we can expect. All we know is that an “all-new product” will be launched globally. And we’ve got this frustratingly vague statement to boot:
“At its CES debut, leading technology company XIaomi will be showcasing an exciting new product that illustrates how it is pushing the boundaries of innovation. XIaomi was founded based on the vision “innovation for everyone” – with the belief that high-quality products built with cutting-edge technology should be made widely accessible.”
It’s possible, of course, that this won’t be a phone at all.
The other big news right now points to Asus debuting a new ZenFone at CES, with early online gossip suggesting we’ll see a 5.5-inch Full HD device that packs a Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage, a hefty 4,850mAh battery, and a dual-camera – ZenFone 3 Zoom, anyone?
However, it now looks like the new ZenFone will in fact be the ZenFone AR, after Qualcomm accidentally let loose a blog post that revealed the device would be the second Google Project Tango handset to enter the wild.
Whatever the case, we’re definitely getting a new ZenFone in Vegas, with Asus releasing the following CES teaser video that namechecks both the ZenFone and the firm’s main ‘Zennovation’ event, which takes place as part of CES on January.
CARS AT CES 2017
At CES 2016, Faraday Future caused a stir with its reveal of a high-performance electric concept car.
The good news is that the company now appears to be readying a production car to show off at CES 2017, following on from the FFZERO1 concept.
A cryptic tweet from the company hinted that it would “unveil the future” at the Las Vegas tech trade show:
When Faraday Future showed off the FFZERO1 in 2016, the car was claimed to boast 1,000 horsepower, a 0-60mph of less than three seconds, and augmented reality capabilities. The firm said it would have a production vehicle ready in two years, and promises that it will be a “premium electric” car that “combines extreme technology, industry leading range, and holistic design”.
In other CES 2017 car news, luxury car manufacturer BMW has confirmed it’s going to tease a sneak peek of its new ‘floating’ HoloActive Touch virtual car interface.
WHAT ELSE IS COMING AT CES 2017?
TrustedReviews‘ Editor Evan Kypreos got a sneak peek at what’s coming up at CES 2017 after attending CES Unveiled in Paris. Here are some of the innovative products he saw there, which we’ll be scrambling to get our hands on this week.
Buddy: The Family Companion Robot: If Jonny 5 taught us anything, it’s that robots can have feelings but more importantly that they can be cute. None are cuter than Buddy and its kawaii features. It pootles around your home checking for intruders, and can manage your smart home products, remind you of important events, play music and even call the fire brigade if it senses a fire.
Jooki Bluetooth Speaker: Bluetooth speakers are ten-a-penny but Jooki is a little different. For a start it’s also a Wi-Fi enabled which means it can work like a Sonos or other streaming speaker. It’s also different because it’s aimed at children. It combines Amiibo-like toys with playlists so kids can decide what to listen to simply by placing the right toy on top of the splash-proof Jooki. You can even record your own voice reading out stories so your kid can listen to your voice when you’re travelling abroad.
CT Band: If you’re a bit of a watch fiend then the idea of dumping your favourite Rolex for a fitness band or Apple Watch Series 2 will freak you out. The CT Band attempts to give you the best of both worlds by providing fitness tracking capabilities and a small LED screen in the strap instead. Still in its prototype stage, the CT Band looks a little chunky, and I’m not convinced a screen that small is useful or needed, but getting fitness tracking capabilities using any watch face is a great idea.
Rool’in: This is one of the smartest ways I’ve seen a traditional push bike transformed into an electric bike. All you do is attach the wheel to your bike and the small communication to your pedal and off you go. The Rool’in is available to buy now in three sizes but one that can be charged by the sun as you pedal is also in the works.
WHAT IS CES 2017?
One of the biggest technology tradeshows in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES, for short), takes place in Las Vegas every January. The show sees big-name firms like Samsung, LG and Ford flock to the city to flaunt their latest wares, and CES 2017 will be no different.
Here’s how the organisers reckon it’ll make you feel: “The moment you find what you didn’t know you were looking for, when you feel like you might have found the next unicorn, when your eyes and your brain stare blankly at each other and the only thing your mouth can muster is ‘whoa’.”
WHEN IS CES 2017?
CES takes place every January. For 2017, it’s on January 5-8, though many of the bigger companies will show off their new goodies in the days leading up the show, typically at dedicated press conferences, which is why we’re already shaking off the jet lag over in Nevada.