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CES 2019's big announcements are TVs and PCs

By Ivan Franco · 12 replies
Jan 8, 2019
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  1. Admittedly, most of the news on the TV and PC side is more evolutionary and not really breakthrough, but frankly, that’s the state of the consumer electronics industry overall these days. In addition, as with most categories, there was a great deal of discussion about the integration of AI into these “traditional” devices, demonstrating how the concept of artificial intelligence really is reaching across the entire tech industry.

    The news cycle for TVs kicked off on Sunday with the surprise announcement that Apple and Samsung were working together to integrate iTunes, HomeKit and AirPlay 2 (and likely its forthcoming video streaming service) directly into new Samsung TVs. It was followed the next day by somewhat similar announcements from LG, Vizio and Sony for their new TVs, with the exception of iTunes, which will remain a Samsung exclusive through this spring.

    Essentially, this development means that Apple is offering a software-based solution for providing access to their services and removes the need for consumers to buy an Apple TV box. (Interestingly, it also means Apple is building a Tizen—and likely soon an Android—version of iTunes.) In exchange, Apple gets access to a wide range of current smart TV customers for their video services. It’s a clear example of Apple’s evolution towards a services focus and, thankfully, highlights the company’s willingness to bring those services to devices other than those with an Apple logo.

    As expected, there were a lot of announcements surrounding 8K TVs, but, of course, little content to show for it. (Heck, it’s still hard to find much 4K content—but the new Apple integration with smart TVs will include support for 4K, so that should help.)

    A wide range of vendors offered an enormous range of sizes for 8K, all of which promised sophisticated upscaling to work with existing 4K content. Thankfully, rather than positioning 8K as a replacement for 4K, Sony only put out 8K TVs that are 85” and larger—bigger than most all of their 4K TVs. So, for them, it’s really just an extension to their screen sizes that also happens to be 8K ready. Unfortunately, most of the other TV vendors weren’t quite as clear on their positioning of 8K vs. 4K.

    Finally, though the company had already previewed it last year, LG announced that they would be shipping their roll-up OLED-based TV as a real product this year. No pricing was announced, but the 65” foldable 4K display-based device is expected to be available towards the middle or end of this year.

    Image credit: The Verge

    On the PC side, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung all unveiled their latest laptops and desktops, with a range of offerings that covers everything from low-end Chromebooks, through mainstream consumer and business-focused PCs, up through high-end gaming machines. In fact, there was a particularly strong focus on the gaming side at CES, with some impressive new offerings from several players.

    Dell took the opportunity to present their new Alienware Legend design (and latest CPU and GPU offerings) for their Alienware line of products. Long an iconic, though aspirational, gaming PC brand, the latest Alienware offerings include the new Area 51m, the first upgradeable notebook to use desktop CPUs (up to Intel i9) and GPUs (up to Nvidia RTX 2080). For more mainstream gamers, Dell also announced updates to their G line of notebooks (the G15 and G17), both of which offer 8th gen Intel CPUs and Nvidia discrete GPUs. On the premium consumer side, Dell finally (!) fixed the “nosecam” in their otherwise excellent XPS 13 by putting an extremely small new video camera above the screen, yet still kept the extremely small bezels.

    From HP, there were several new gaming-focused devices, including the first release of a Nvidia G-Sync format BFGD (Big Format Graphic Display), the 65”, 1440p, $4,995 OMEN X Emperium 65 first demoed last year, as well as updates to its Omen line of gaming notebooks (Omen 15) and desktops (Omen Obelisk).

    HP also showed one of the first AMD-powered Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook 14 (Acer announced one as well), as well as a more upscale convertible Chromebook dubbed the Chromebook x360 14 G1. For business users, HP showed a new take on an OLED screen-based notebook (the Spectre x360 15) that promises to offer better battery life than first-gen OLED notebooks.

    Lenovo showed several new additions to its Legend line of gaming-focused PCs, as well as a slew of gaming-focused accessories. On the traditional PC side, Lenovo touted some interesting AI features in its latest Yoga machines, such as the Yoga S940, including the ability to filter out ambient audio during online conference calls, and the ability to shift content to connected displays based on where you are looking, amongst others.

    In addition to PC updates, Lenovo continued to grow its offerings in the smart home market with the Lenovo Smart Clock, a $79 smart alarm clock with a display—somewhat similar to a mini version of their Smart Home display. Speaking of which, the company also debuted two tablet versions of their smart display, called Lenovo Smart Tabs, that let you carry the screen element around your house like a typical tablet, but then dock into a base station that offers integrated speakers and other features consistent with the standalone Smart Display. With models at $199 and $299, it’s a clever variation on the connected display category that could appeal to consumers looking for more multifunction devices.

    Samsung introduced its first ever gaming laptop, the Samsung Odyssey, a further reflection of the growing interest in PC gaming. In addition, they offered new designs for their convertible Notebook 9 Pro and Pen series, the latter of which leverages the same design (and even same color) as the pen from their Note 9 series smartphones. It’s the first time Samsung has shown this level of integration between their different product lines and, hopefully, is a portent of more to come.

    There was also big news that’s been announced (and some still to come) from big PC component players. AMD, in addition to securing a highly coveted CES keynote spot for CEO Lisa Su (fresh off a year where the company impressively achieved the status as the best performing stock on the S&P 500), unveiled their second-gen Ryzen mobile CPUs. Expected to be used in both ultrathin and gaming-focused devices (thanks to integrated Radeon GPU cores), the Ryzen mobile parts come in both 15W and 35W versions. AMD also debuted new 7th gen A Series CPUs, powering both the HP and Acer Chromebooks.

    Intel, for its part, provided more details on 10 nm CPUs that the company plans to ship in systems by the holidays of this year. Codenamed Ice Lake, the SoC (system on a chip) offers CPU architecture enhancements, significantly improved integrated Gen 11 graphics, as well as Thunderbolt 3, WiFi6, and DL Boost, for accelerating AI functions. One of the first systems to include it will be a future iteration of Dell’s XPS line.

    Intel also previewed the first real-world implementation of its Foveros 3D chip-stacking technology in a tiny motherboard platform codenamed Lakefield. Lakefield will incorporate the hybrid architecture Sunnycove CPU design (which features one Core CPU and four Atom CPU cores) the company first mentioned back in December at their analyst day, At their CES press conference, Intel showed more details about the SoC design, as well as a few examples of potential form factors leveraging the new platform.

    Nvidia’s big news for the PC market focusing on gaming, with the debut of the $349 RTX 2060, which brings their ray-tracing capable Turing architecture technology down to mainstream price points. The company also discussed more about their GSync efforts (such as with the aforementioned HP 65” gaming display).

    All told, it was an impressive display of admittedly incremental, yet still important advances in what continue to be the two largest categories in the consumer electronics world.

    Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter . This article was originally published on Tech.pinions.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
  2. 144hzGamer

    144hzGamer TS Addict Posts: 201   +113

    I'm not surprised at all. The best selling tech products right now are both TVs (consoles, movies) and laptops.

    You can see how LG is pushing new tech ready for next gen consoles with their announced 13ms input lag (tv companies would never mention input lag), HDMI 2.1 support, freesync 2 etc.

    And as for msi, asus, dell, lenovo, etc their main announcements were all laptops as the market is selling more laptops than anything. Even nvidia mentioned laptops on their conference. Here in my country several pc hardware stores closed (sadly) because pc desktop parts is not giving enough profit right now. People want consoles and laptops basically, as they are getting better and people dont want to either be limited to a desk/chair or to worry about specific pc parts etc.
    Reehahs, LogiGaming and Clamyboy74 like this.
  3. Clamyboy74

    Clamyboy74 TS Member Posts: 24   +16

    "Samsung introduced its first ever gaming laptop, the Samsung Odyssey"

    Samsung tried it last year (or 2 years?) and they flopped, really hard.
  4. LogiGaming

    LogiGaming TS Addict Posts: 126   +91

    Sony PS4 just beat the 91 million mark in 5 years. No console had such numbers after 5 years. At this point everyone is assure it will beat total PS2 sales (the previous most sucessful console of all time), with were 113 Million. There is a reason for that: great price, good enough hardware for today standards and... amzing games + PSN Sales.

    Meanwhile on PC we had problems with mining, we still paying more than MRSP for 3 year old GPUs, like 400€ for a GTX 1070, 500€ for a GTX1080, or 300€ for a GTX 1060 6gb. RAM prices are going down, but very slowly. Paying 150€ for 16gb is still silly.

    Meanwhile Laptops have been more and more powerful. Everyone needs a computer for daily workflow. University or professionals. Word processing, Excel, video editing or image editing. They are getting thiner and thiner, visually very attractive, plug and play, you buy the laptop, turn it ON and you are ready to go. Most people do not care about PC desktops nowadays, unless you are a pro gamer or streamer/content creator. And even then... that i7 8570h 6 cores / 12 threads CPU is a beast at productivity.

    Most played games on PC: Fortnite, Counter Strike, Dota 2, League of legends, Heartstone, civilization and overwatch, You can run all of them on a i7 8750h + gtx 1050ti laptop. PC is lacking big AAA exclusives.

    So I´m not surprised industry is leaning towards Consoles/TVs and Laptops. CES 2019 shown exactly that. PlayStation 5 will be a massive hit and a lot of PC desktop gamers will buy it for sure. Current laptops are a massive hit as they are so powerful and with good prices, while being light.

    There´s your explanation. And I agree with you of course. Is it bad, as we are PC desktop enthusiasts? Not really, is just evolution.

    I´m not that young, so I remember when we had to stick to our chair/desk just to chat online with people on mIRC or MSN. We had to stick to our chair just to browse the web and read the news. That was our only chance to do so. Now we use a device on our pocket to do so and with a lot more possibilities. Is called smartphone.

    Consoles can now do 1440p, they will do 4k for sure in the next months when PS5 releases; they have amazing games, so no need to be in the chair anymore aswell. Simple as that.

    Power users still need Desktops; enthusiasts like us will always do it, but that´s it.

    Need to edit a video for your youtube channel or are you into music production? Easy. An i7 8750h laptop CPU wich is superior to an i7 7700k or Ryzen 2600, is a beast at productivity. You can do it from your couch or bed if you want, on a 1,8kg machine with slim bezels. WHy? Because now you have 14nm CPUs that reach 3,9ghz speeds on 6 cores and still only use 45w of power. And 10nm/7nm are coming next to make it even better. In the past you couldn´t have such a strong mobile CPU.

    Like I said, is called evolution and is a good thing. CES always was the best representation of the way tech is going. Remember when Commodore Amiga 64 was shown at CES 1984 and it was a revolution :) If CES 2019 was all about TVs/consoles and laptops, that´s because we are going that way. Even Nvidia talked about laptops and RTX mobile chips while comparing them to PlayStation 4. I´m talking about NVIDIA!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
    Jules Mark and Reehahs like this.
  5. Colonel Blimp

    Colonel Blimp TS Enthusiast Posts: 47   +26

    Couple of things, if you're paying 300 Euros for a 1060 then you haven't done your research. Why would you pay that when the competition is cheaper and better? (RX580).

    Secondly, in what world is an i7 8750h better at productivity than a R2600? It's roughly equal to a 1600 I think.

    Other than that, you make some valid points.
    Charles Olson and Jules Mark like this.
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,365   +1,816

    PC has plenty of AAA exclusives, many more than what consoles have and the prices are normalised now (everything but the the RAM is cheap). You can build fairly good gaming PCs without any issues. It's still the go to system for gaming with a PS4/Switch being a good complementary system.

    After checking amazon and newegg I was able to make a quick 700$ build which has an R5 2600, GTX 1060/RX580, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, Samsung 500GB SDD, etc (all of this without looking for deals which can bring the total system cost down by 50 to 100$). And yes, I know that in Europe we have to add VAT :D

    PS: the RAM is not 160 euros even in Europe. where I live I can get Corsair or Ripjaw 3200MHz for about 140 euros (tax included).
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 522   +136

  8. 144hzGamer

    144hzGamer TS Addict Posts: 201   +113

    Feel free to tell me about an AAA pc exclusive in the last months. Also that pc doesnt cost the same herr in Europe, so pointless example.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,365   +1,816

    I'm sorry I didn't know we were only counting December. That's my mistake. I also didn't know that December was a good month for any system (maybe Switch with Smash Bros?) By this logic I shouldn't be playing Eve Online and CS:GO. Everybody knows that FPS games are better on consoles anyway.

    And I didn't know that consoles don't have "Europe prices", just PCs. That's my second big mistake. It makes my example look pointless.
  10. 144hzGamer

    144hzGamer TS Addict Posts: 201   +113

    Last monthS. Not december only. You prefered to dodge my question tho.
  11. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 404   +213

    1440p at 65"..... lol is this a complete joke?
  12. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,144   +836

    A 70" 4K Television costs less than $800 nowadays. That's mind blowing.
  13. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,144   +836

    No mention of the Alienware chair that I saw in Linus' laptop video.

    I can't understand how no one on Youtube mentioned it.

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