By PCMag Staff
The Consumer Electronics Show officially kicks off on Tuesday, but the PCMag team braved flight delays and cancellations to get to Las Vegas and bring you all the gadget news you need.
But what do our analysts expect to see on the show floor? We asked them to tell us what they think companies in their area of expertise will be bringing with them to Sin City. From tablets and cell phones to digital cameras and HDTVs, the Las Vegas Convention Center will be a geek’s paradise for the next few days. It can be a lot to take in, so here’s our rundown on what we expect from the show.
For more, be sure to follow along on our official PCMag CES page.
TABLETS: PCMag’s Sascha Segan predicts “Windows 8.1 tablets up the wazoo,” probably from the usual suspects: Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and probably Dell and HP. Also keep an eye out for some Samsung Galaxy tablets, and smaller Android tablet makers getting into the mix – from the kids-centric Fuhu to Polaroid and its Q line of tablets.
CELL PHONES: The biggest battle in the phone world at CES will be AT&T vs. the UnCarrier, according to Segan. Verizon and Sprint will have a somewhat lower profile, but they’ll be there. Expect Sprint to announce more phones and markets for its tri-band “Spark” LTE network, while Verizon focuses on its “Powerful Answers Awards.” Three of the biggest booths at CES, meanwhile, will be held by mobile chip titans: Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. But the big CES cell phone announcements won’t be from Samsung, LG, or Motorola; they’re waiting for MWC. Instead, keep an eye on smaller Chinese and Taiwanese phone vendors.
LAPTOPS: Expect more hybrid laptop/tablet designs, more portable all-in-one designs, and even a few devices that attempt to be all things for all people—tablet, laptop, and desktop. Meanwhile, full HD (1,920 by 1,080) is the new baseline, and you’ll be seeing larger storage capacity in even slimmer laptop designs. Also be on the lookout for Chrome OS devices at CES, as well as devices running off-brand operating systems, from SteamOS to other Linux derivatives.
DESKTOPS: We don’t think it’s going to be a flood, but there are bound to be a bunch of hybridized computers that bridge the gap between a large-screen tablet and a stay-in-place all-in-one desktop PC. The workstation desktop PC segment is another area that also can’t be ignored. But if a Mac Pro is too expensive, prices will continue to drop for desktops, since the public sees $200 – $300 tablets as an alternative to buying a full PC. Look for those $300 desktop PCs alongside $2,000 high-end PCs on the display stands at CES this year.
DIGITAL CAMERAS: There’s still room for most families to keep a real digital camera in the house, so expect to see some cameras at CES; but don’t expect the onslaught of compact models that have come in years past. And, expect to benefit from some more impressive features that are built upon ideas that were first successful in smartphones to appear in pure imaging devices. PCMag’s Jim Fisher expects to see connectivity all around, more niche and less low-end devices, and the emergence of 4K in the camera space.
HDTVs: The real 4K news, however, will be in the HDTV space. But while you might be able to reasonably get a 4K screen in 2014, don’t expect to watch much of anything in native 4K if you get it. For now, expect to see more HDTV manufacturers introduce smart TVs that integrate a program guide of some form into their interface, listing what’s on live TV alongside your Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube apps.
HEALTH AND FITNESS TECH: In 2013, dozens of activity trackers and hundreds of apps and websites promoting a better you took off, made money (to put it bluntly), and are now in a position to experiment with people’s comfort zones. PCMag’s Jill Duffy predicts a serious uptick in the kinds of measurements different devices collect, while Networks will play an even more important role in the fitness-technology revolution. Get ready for a new take on wearables – like “smart” bras, socks, and other clothing.