CES 2014: Our top 10 moments
16th Jan 2014 | 21:52
Smart wearables, Oculus Rift, Project Christine and oh so much more
CES 2014: our top 10 moments
Whew! Had a chance to breathe this week? We sure haven't.
The book is closed on CES 2014, the wildest, awe-inspiring-est tech show of the year. We saw just what the brightest minds in the biz can cook up. From the latest in wearables, a bakers dozen of Steam Machines, quite possibly the future of automobiles and everything in between - we even had a few hours to throw a massive party.
To find out the best of the best from the show, check out TechRadar's Best of CES 2014 award winners, and read on for the top 10 moments from the Vegas bonanza.
Got a favorite CES 2014 moment? You know we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.
If you're still hankering for more from the show, we've added a post-CES section at the end of the page where you can find the last bits of news and hands ons all in one handy place.
1. Michael Bay upstages Samsung's new Galaxy tablets
Michael Bay didn't need giant robots to hold the CES audience's attention. After he lost the timing on a teleprompter and fumbled his bit about Samsung's 105-inch curved 4K TV at the company's January 6 press conference, it was all anyone could talk about.
The names aren't terribly illuminating; in fact the range is getting pretty confused. Just know that these jumbo tablets use all that screen space to run several apps in multiple windows, aided by performance from 3GB of memory. And it's the Note that comes with the S-Pen, and even has a compatible mouse, sold separately.
Honestly, we do feel bad for Bay, who walked off stage with his head hung like Charlie Brown to sad piano music. Obviously improvisation isn't his strong suit. Samsung, maybe Judd Apatow would be a better choice for CES 2015?
2. Valve says 'full Steam ahead' … sort of
With Valve's 13 hardware partners for its Steam Machines initiative unveiled, we saw a number of interesting designs and configurations. However, we're still no closer to an idea of how PC gaming's move into the console space will pan out.
We're just as excited about the potential (or novelty) of Steam Machines as we came into CES, but now comes the time to prove the concept. How will the rest of gamers feel, and how will the hardware vendors – not to mention the game developers – make Valve's SteamOS an attractive alternative?
The future is potentially very bright for the new hardware - just ask Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan - but 2014 is going to be a colossal year for Steam Machines and for Valve. CES was only the beginning, and these new gaming entrants have a fascinating road ahead of them. We can't wait to go along for the ride.
3. PlayStation Now, details later
Sony purchased Gaikai well before the PlayStation 4 was unveiled to the public, and kept mum as to its plans for the video game streaming service for an impressive amount of time.
It waited until this year's CES to push PlayStation Now into the limelight. The service, which looks to be a hybrid of GameTap and HBO GO, will let gamers stream a selection of PlayStation 3 titles to their PS4, PS3 and even Sony Bravia TVs, no console needed.
It may be called Now, but release date, pricing, actual library and when the PS Vita will get some love are coming later. Sony wouldn't even confirm the availability of The Last of Us, Puppeteer, Beyond: Two Souls and God of War: Ascension, the games we played on the show floor.
4. Razer's Project Christine thinks big
Maybe too big. Razer's concept for a 100% modular gaming PC isn't even a complete idea, and already it managed to steal a bit of buzz from Valve's legion of Steam Machines.
We clamor for a future of literally plug-and-play PC gaming, but Project Christine raises a lot of questions. Is Razer the company to finally make it happen? Do we even want it to be Razer? And are the component vendors even interested in such a thing? We hope to get those answers in 2014.
5. Oculus Rift keeps getting better and better
Though the VR goggles aren't even released to the public yet, the Oculus Rift is managing to improve by leaps every time we test a new version. The latest prototype – the Oculus Rift Crystal Cove (named for a state park in Southern California), totally blew us away during our third hands on session with the headset.
The addition of positional head-tracking creates a more immersive experience because full movements of the wearer's upper body can now be detected. The complaints of motion sickness led the team to implement low persistence, which reduces the blur-induced nausea.
This version of the Oculus has us pining for the consumer version even more strongly - if that's possible - but sadly there's still no official release date or pricing.
6. One bad*** CEO
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere was up to it once again, making major waves outside the show floor.
Legere found himself, ahem, escorted from prime punching bag AT&T's private party early in the week. He attended because he wanted to hear Macklemore (or so he said), but we're sure the outspoken, pink T-shirt-wearing exec had other motives in mind.
That really set the mood for what else T-Mobile had in store at CES. During the conference, Legere announced that T-Mobile will start paying the early termination fees of anyone switching to T-Mobile from Verizon, Sprint or AT&T. It will fork over up to $350 (about £212, AU$389) to cover the ETF, plus an extra $300 (about £182, AU$333) device credit.
This wraps up the carrier's Uncarrier initiative nicely. No there are no contracts, no gouging on international usage and an easy system for switching to new phones every year, plus the ETF credits.
Legere really cemented himself as a no-BS, no-holds-barred CEO at CES, and we are pretty impressed by it.
7. Nvidia knocks out 192 CUDA core Tegra K1
In an industry where everyone is trying to outdo one another with bigger numbers, Nvidia shot to the top of the ranks with its new Tegra K1 processor.
This isn't Tegra 5 folks - this K-named chip occupies a whole new class. Stacked with 192 CUDA cores, desktop-class Kepler architecture, DirectX 11 and Unreal Engine 4 support, the Tegra K1 is ready to harken a new era of tablet gaming that delivers photo-realistic graphics.
The 192 cores alone are a giant step above the Tegra 4's 72, signaling that Nvidia is positioning the K1 as the next-next-gen of graphics processing silicon. We'll have two versions - a 32-bit quad-core 2.3GHz and "Denver" dual-core 64-bit 2.5GHz variant - at launch later this year, and with claims the new Tegra is more graphically powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3, we think the chip is poised to take mobile gaming to a brand new stratopshere.
8. Steam Controller put into overdrive
We finally (finally!) got the chance to go hands on with Valve's Steam Controller at CES. Take that, 300 beta testers.
We found it insanely light, impressively precise and uniquely creative, but the question remains; can it ever stack up to a mouse and keyboard?
Two Valvers told us that for hardcore, competitive gamers, controller precision will probably never match a mouse and keyboard. But for the rest of us? The gamepad may be just fine.
9. Smartbands, smartwatches break out
Though tech you wear on your wrist has been on the scene for a while now, the sector truly took CES 2014 by storm.
From the Razer Nabu to LG Lifeband Touch to the Sony Core, the options are rising for users to essentially pick whatever fitness tracker fits their needs. The same goes for smartwatches. With the newest iteration of Pebble in the form of Steel, it seems this time piece gang is finally figuring out that in addition to functionality, aesthetics are important for consumers.
There were plenty more wrist wearables on display than we've listed above but the message at CES was clear. Companies big and small are diving into the tech, consumers are no longer limited to a select few, and this sector is poised to get even bigger in the coming years. Five CESes from now, will we look at 2014 as a turning point for smartbands and smartwatches? There's a very good chance the answer will be "yes."
10. Sony says: We're still in talks to create a Windows Phone
What does this mean, Sony and Windows Phone fans? That the former isn't interested in being stuck on a single OS, that's what.
The talks are still tentative, but the word from Pierre Perron shows Sony is at least considering a Windows Phone comeback, and that's quite a coup for Microsoft's system. It's been growing, and adding another manufacturing partner (sorry, Nokia) could mean much for it moving forward.
Post-CES news to check out:
We didn't want you to miss out on everything else we've uncovered from Vegas, so click on to learn more about the weird and wonderful tech to keep you satiated until CES 2015.
- We went hands on with the gigantic Neptune Pine Smartwatch
- Virtual reality will never be the same with the Virtuix Omni
- Read on for more on Nvidia's G-Sync system
- Yup, glasses-free 3D TVs are still a thing and Sharp's 85-incher is proof it may just work
- Tizen OS will not see US shores anytime soon
- Our hands on time with an Alienware Steam Machine
- Can't get Google Glass yet - but you can get Vuzix M100 smartglasses
- SteelSeries has a new tiny iOS controller
- Is home automation taking over our lives?
- What exactly is going on with Tobii and SteelSeries?
- MSI joins the super thin gaming laptop fray with its own prototype
- So what the heck is a Withings Aura anyway?
- One of the first 4K gaming laptops comes from Lenovo
- Acer outs another Aspire laptop
- We talk with AMD about Kaveri, Steam Machines and more
- A laptop concept from Toshiba
- Delpi wants to put sensors in cars to help you drive
- TCL has a Roku TV that's not too shabby
CES 2014: Day three
We're down to the last day of CES 2014 coverage!
But that doesn't mean there will be a short supply of news and hands ons. Keep checking back today for the last stretch of the most insane tech show of the year.
Sony's got big TVs too
Sony has an 85-inch LED Ultra HDTV, or if you want to be specific, the XBR-85X950B.
Sure, this might be the biggest and baddest in Sony's XBR range, but it's the unique features that make Sony seem closer to achieving 4K as a mainstream reality.
It's a niche product for sure, but it was still a sight to behold.
- Read our full hands on with the Sony 85-inch Ultra HD 4K TV.
Forget curved screens, Sony's straying from the mainstream and going wedge-shaped.
The tapered design of the company's 2014 Bravia X9 4K line serves a distinct purpose, and not one that has to do with visuals.
Rather Sony has given the extra wedge shape over to a set of built in speakers, that are much sleeker in person. It's by no means obstructive - these are flat 4K screens and the viewing angle is the same as it would be on any such screen.
The X9 has impressed us so much, we gave it TechRadar's Best TV of CES 2014.
- Read the full Sony wedge-shaped Bravia X9 4K TV hands on.
Acer - more than tablets
Acer showcased a bunch of new Android tablet devices earlier this week but also footnoted its announcements with a curiously familiar laptop called the Acer C720P-2600.
Those who missed out Acer's first budget and touchscreen Chromebook, the C720P, should expect practically the same 1,366x768 touchscreen equipped laptop except in a new coat of white. Meaning it's not a huge step up, but since the C720P's predecessor is a fine machine, this one seems to be as well.
- Check out our full hands on with the Acer C720P-2600.
LG gets fit
LG making a play for the fitness tracker space is nothing new - it did just the same thing last year.
But this time around, things have got smarter and more oddly designed, with the new Lifeband Touch offering functionality beyond just wandering around and seeing a number raise up.
If monitoring your heart rate is a must have for you, LG has added in another cool accessory: the cleverly-named Heart Rate Headphones, which is a pair of buds that can biometrically sense your heart rate when plugged into your ears.
- Read the full hands on with the LG LifeBand and Heart Rate Headphones.
CES 2014: Day two
We made it through day one of CES, and even though we're all barely standing, the TechRadar team is off to cover all the latest tech at this year's biggest consumer technology show.
Here's a look at all of the news and hands ons from day two of CES 2014.
TechRadar's Best of CES 2014 Award winners
This year's show has had everything from cameras to cars, Bravias to Bayhem - so it's been no small feat to whittle the huge array of products launched down into a greatest hits collection. But we managed to find the products that stand above the rest.
- Check out the list winners of TechRadar's Best of CES 2014 Awards.
Take a look at the new and improved Oculus Rift
The team at Oculus Rift unveiled the newest version of the virtual reality headset at CES - something a few of us here at TechRadar have been waiting for.
The new prototype is going by the name of "Crystal Cove" and adds positional tracking, improved latency and lower persistence with a new 1080p OLED display.
- Take a look at some of the other new improvements for the Oculus Rift.
PlayStation Now, now please?
Sony has introduced a way to play its last-gen games, and you don't even need a PlayStation 3 or 4.
PlayStation Now could be the Netflix of video games. Through a subscription or a la carte rental payments players can stream PS3 games in 720p, no console required.
- Read the full PlayStation Now hands on.
Garmin get into wearables with the Vivofit
Although Garmin has had a few fitness watches out, this is its first fitness band, but it still houses a curved, always-on display that shows daily goals, steps, goal countdown, calories, distance and, of course, the time.
- Read more about Garmin's new Vivofit.
Hands on with the Samsung
Samsung has been quite busy during this CES. For instance, they had a massive press conference to unveil the latest in home theater entertainment with a quick appearance and even quicker exit from Hollywood director, Michael Bay. And they've been rolling out new laptops and tablets as well.
In fact, we took a look at their new and improved Samsung Ativ Book 9 on our second day of CES. Samsung bumped things up and knocked specs down in its effort to hit the ultimate sweet spot in a new form factor. But we're not going to go on and on about here ...
- Take a look at our hands on with the latest Samung Ativ Book 9.
We also checked out the Samsung ATIV Book One 7 and boy, is it a slick machine so far.
In fact, we liked it so much we gave it TechRadar's Best All-in-one Computer.
Running Windows 8.1, the ATIV One 7 looks like something out of a sci-fi flick, with its all-white glossy shell with chrome edges and few hard edges. It's simply a stunner.
- Read the full hands on of the Samsung ATIV Book One 7.
But that's not all with 'ol Sammie. The company also produced a fine looking tablet - the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, or more specifically the gigantic Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2.
It may sound like a lot of superfluous space, but it proved to be quite nice when we took a gander during our hands on. The specs are also looking pretty good so head on over to the full hands on, and check back later for the full on review.
- Read the entire hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro.
Lenovo has big plans this summer
And just has the holidays come to a close, Lenovo already has its eye on this summer. The ThinkPad and IdeaPad maker revealed at CES that it has "multiple" models running the Chrome OS in the pipeline, all coming this summer.
Those laptops, President of Lenovo North American Jay Parker said, will come in a variety of configurations and price points.
- Read on to see what else Lenovo has up its sleeve.
John Legere loves Macklemore
In fact, Legere was kicked out of an AT&T party for trying to see the band. However, it just added fuel to the T-Mobile fire.
T-Mobile will start covering customers' early termination fees (ETFs) when they switch from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, plus give them an additional credit when they make the move. In all, T-Mobile could end up forking up $650 per line.
What's more, T-Mo made the claim it owns the fastest 4G LTE network in the US, treading very heavily on territory usually occupied by its competitors. The company also revealed preliminary fourth quarter 2013 results, revealing that it saw biggest customer growth in years.
CES 2014: Day one
It already feels like we've been at CES 2014 for a whole week, but it's only day one of the actual show.
But it's good news for you because it means more prospective meltdowns, gadgets and goodies from the show floor.
Keep checking back for day two and three to keep your tech hunger satiated.
DTS has some big plans
It's also announcing a number of ODM partners that will start taking advantages of the company's Play-Fi technology.
For more on DTS, check out our interview with CEO Jon Kirchner below.
Yahoo's News Digest App
Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer took to the stage during a press conference at CES 2014 to announce a slew of new properties for the tech company.
However, before the announcement Yahoo had Katie Couric - former Today Show Host and CBS Evening News anchor - on stage to discuss her yet-to-be-defined roll at Yahoo. "It's really a blank slate," Couric said at the show.
Then after Couric was shuffled off stage, it was on to the new developments. One of the new properties discussed was the Yahoo News Digest App. With News Digest, users get a splashy picture followed by summaries of stories culled from around the web. Click on a story and users see a brief summary, followed by a unique set of "atoms" pertinent to the piece.
Sony cloud service and more wearables
The keynote with Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai happened this morning and there were several interesting Sony tidbits announced.
The company is taking advantage of its cloud capabilities by launching a "cloud-based" TV service in the US at some point in 2014.
Sony President Andrew House says the IPTV service will run on all manner of devices and will offer on-demand television and live TV.
It's a Netflix rival of sorts that will personalize itself when it understands viewing habits.
Sony also announced a new Playstation Now game-streaming service that gives you access to Playstation games from non-Playstation devices.
Comprising of games made for all generations of Playstation from the original Playstation up to the Playstation 3, Playstation Now will let you play the games on the new Playstation 4, as well as on smart TVs, smartphones and tablets.
TechRadar also went hands on with a few Sony products here at CES. One of more notable devices, was the Sony Smartband.
Even though it's just one more wearable in an already cluttered market, the Smartband is essentially an activity tracker that also lets users control media, calls and message alerts on their Android tablet or smartphone.
Razer introduces us to Project Christine
Razer showed off its latest concept, Project Christine - a "revolutionary new concept design," for gaming PCs according to the gaming hardware company.
Project Christine allows you purchase upgrades to RAM, graphics, input/output and even power supply and storage, and slot them in, using the PCI-Express backbone; and offers up liquid cooling, noise cancellation and a little readout to tell you what's going on with your computer
- Read more about Project Christine.
Audi introduces a tablet. Yes, a tablet.
Just when you thought the tablet market couldn't get any more congested, Audi decided to introduce a 10.2 inch device.
The Android-powered device is designed to interface directly and seamlessly with Audi vehicles made possible through the company's partnership with Google and the Open Automotive Alliance announced at CES.
OnStar and Chevy meet 4G LTE
OnStar and Chevrolet announced the imminent arrival of 4G LTE service from AT&T during CES 2014.
The drool worthy 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Impala, Malibu and Volt are among the first GM cars to have the option of OnStar 4G LTE, with availability starting this summer. The 2015 Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV, as well as the Chevrolet Trax subcompact CUV in Canada, plus more models will be announced later in the year.
CES 2014: Pre-show
CES 2014 is underway in Las Vegas!
Check out the pre-show madness below and keep an eye out for more news and hands ons.
What a CES for Valve. Though it only held a small press event Monday night, it managed to out 13 Steam Machine partners. Ranging in price and specs, the various manufacturing partners showed off their wares.
- We also went hands on with the Steam Controller, and you can read our review right here.
CES is all about wearable tech for Intel. The company's pre-show keynote was full of talk about future concepts put-ons like fitness tracking earbuds and a wireless charging bowl. Yeah, we don't know what that means either, but it's something Intel has apparently spend plenty of time thinking about.
The company did announce Edison, Intel's equivalent of the Raspberry Pi.
Sony too got in the wearable craze here at CES, introducing what it said may be the tiniest thing it's ever created.
Called Core, it's a small chip that can be worn in a variety of ways and is small enough to slip into a Smartband also announced by Sony.
That line includes the newly announced Sharp Aquos Quattron (or Q series) Plus, "the highest resolution [full] HD television available," Sharp Marketing President John Herrington said on stage.
In addition to the Quattron Plus series that plays 4K content at "half the price," Sharp unveiled two new actual 4K Ultra HD Aquos sets, at 60 and 70 inches. Sharps' 4K TVs will launch this summer, with more sizes coming later in the year.
Razer isn't just about gaming and computers anymore.
The Razer Nabu has arrived to challenge Samsung and Sony's smartwatches and the fitness bands to boot, with the gaming firm's smartband offering dual notification OLED screens.
Offering both an easily visible notifications screen and a more private message screen, the Nabu tracks a wealth of personal data including steps walked, distance travelled and sleep quality as well as location information.
The Korean company announced in December that a gigantic 105-inch LED TV will be on show for the convention, and then added that five new OLED units will also be showcased, including the curved 77-incher we saw at IFA 2013.
But LG is bringing more than just TVs to Las Vegas. The company jumped the gun on its Monday keynote and let loose on the Lifeband Touch, a fitness wristband that will offer exercise goals, calorie output, take incoming calls and play music. It is compatible with Android and iOS, and we expect to go hands ... er ... wrist on with it at the show.
Samsung hasn't officially made any CES 2014 announcements during the show yet, but all signs are pointing to the company revealing two larger-and-in-charge tablets here in LV.
In fact, on January 6 Samsung pulled the sheet off one of it's more impressive, albeit impractical, TVs - the 105-inch curved Ultra HD 4K TV.
According to our hands on review of the device: the screen is so lovely it's almost heartbreaking, and its unusual properties give it the exotic air that only truly new technology can have. What's more, the possible viewing angles are phenomenal.
It seems Samsung is going with a curved theme this CES - it also unveiled a bendable TV. Yes, bendable.
A bendable or curved TV screen may be a bit disconcerting to the everyday consumer but according to our hands on "the bendy TV screen itself is just gorgeous. And there's no discernible dip in quality as it changes shape. It's very seamless."
It definitely won't be all tablets for Sammy though; we're sure to hear plenty about its UHD TV plans as well.
The the 5.5-inch Vibe Z, Lenovo's flagship handset, is also the first LTE-capable smartphone from Lenovo. The Vibe Z along with three other Android handsets will splash onto the scene in Vegas.
Equipped with Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU clocked at 22.GHz, the Vibe Z is capable of upload speeds up to 50Mbps and up to 150Mbps downloads, Lenovo promises.
Lenovo's S Series of phones, the S930 and S650 (both running Android 4.2), are aimed at media junkies on a budget, and the ultra-affordable, so-so-specced A859.
- Check out our hands on review of the Lenovo Vibe Z!
"Shock and awe" may have been Nvidia's M.O. during its January 5 press conference. The company dropped a bomb in the form of the Tegra K1, a 192-core mobile processor. Not only does it boast a ridiculous amount of cores, it comes in two versions - a 32-bit ARM A15 flavor and a 64-bit Dual Denver dish.
The company also touched on its auto obsession and initiatives in the car-tech spaces as well as revealing several manufacturers are prepping 27-inch monitors equipped with its display-enhancing G-Sync display enhancing modules.
It's official: The new, won't-make-you-want-to-hurl Oculus Rift is making it's way to Las Vegas.
"We're showing the latest Rift kit at CES," tweeted Oculus team member Tom Forsyth. "Should be pretty interesting. I'm looking forward to the feedback."
We can't wait to put the new lenses on.
Sure, it's not the biggest name in the business, but Alcatel isn't sitting silently as its competitors bask in Vegas' sun rays.
The company has announced the One Touch Idol X+, a phone with 8-cores and 5-inch full HD display, and a phablet with a mouthful of a name.
The One Touch Pop C9 houses a 5.5-inch, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8MP rear camera, , Android 4.2 and 4GB of RAM. It's not the sexiest machine on the strip, but it sure is colorful.
What's this? A 13.3-inch Chromebook from Toshiba! Long heard of, never seen, we finally have Tosh's entry in the Chrome OS notebook space with a laptop that touts a screen larger than most.
Though the machine lacks touch, the company is looking to steal a little display wow factor with its newest 4K UHD TVs. Not only that, but the Japanese firm has also announced a new 4K Blu-ray player and soundbar, covering just about every media need in a nice neat package.
Acer has revealed its 2014 line up of tablets that will be on the CES show floor - refreshes of the Iconia A1 and B1 series.
The Iconia A1-830, a 7.9-inch slate in a new silver, aluminum back cover sports a 1024 x 768 IPS touchscreen. Inside the A1 is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Despite that being a Clover Trail+ chip rather than the shiny new Bay Trail, Acer still promises 7.5 hours of battery life. The asking price: $149 (about £90.78, AU$165.91) when it lands this quarter.
The Iconia B1-720, a 7-inch tablet in a new, slimmer profile that's aimed at entry-level tablet users or children with its $129 (about £78.59, AU$143.64) price tag.
Netflix goes 4K
How does it plan to do this exactly? By teaming up with TV makers, of course. Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said December 18 that the company has partnered with "major TV vendors" that will announce their 4K-Netflix-capable wares at CES.
This is 4K Netflix built into smart TVs, folks, and it's all coming in January.
YouTube also in the 4K ring
The company's UltraHD videos will be on display on televisions at the Sony, LG and Panasonic booths using the VP9 codec Google has developed in-house.
Archos has announced that it will be making a splurge of "connected home" devices at CES 2014, and it'll be throwing its own range of smartwatches and tablets into the mix too.
Also in the mix is an Archos fitness band - named the "Archos Activity Monitor" - that'll record your daily steps, calories burned, and will display the time in the style of the Fitbit Force.
Archos will also show off another first with its entry into the 4G smartphone market with the Archos 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G.
The other handsets also making an appearance are the Nubia 5S, Nubia 5S mini and the Sonata 4G.
ZTE is also set to debut its very first Iconic Phablet, a 5.7-inch device listed to come equipped with a dual-core processor, Dolby Digital Sound and a wireless charging feature.
But that's not all! The company has a seriously full roster and plans on displaying "ZTE BlueWatch" the Chinese phone maker's inaugural smartwatch and a hybrid Wi-Fi hotspot. Lastly, ZTE said it is working in tandem with AT&T to develop the US carrier's Wireless Home Base - a device that allows users to connect their home telephone to AT&T's wireless network instead of a telephone jack.
Animation giant Dreamworks has announced that it is teaming up with Fuhu to make a 'DreamTab' tablet built especially for its core young audience.
CES 2014: Show floor speculation
Below you'll find the latest inklings of what we expect from the quickly approaching show. We'll regularly refresh this page, so check back during the coming days for all the latest about the most high-profile tech show of the year.
T-Mobile unveiling phase 4
T-Mo is hyping up upcoming Uncarrier plans with the final stage four event scheduled for a CES spectacle - because you know it will be if John Legere shows up (which he most likely will).
What can we expect from the last phase since the magenta carrier has already eliminated two-year agreements and international roaming charges while enabling customers to upgrade their handsets twice a year - not to mention 200MB of free tablet data?
It's possible that early termination fees will disappear meaning customers who switch to T-Mobile might get a $350 credit (about £214, AU$392).
Samsung to show new Galaxy phones?
Samsung hardly misses the chance to shine a spotlight on itself, and its presence at CES 2013 was no different. We saw Youm, its flexible display tech prototype, more TVs than need be listed here and former President Bill Clinton. So yes, Samsung left an impression.
Reports suggest that with slowing sales of the Galaxy S4, Samsung has decided to push the Galaxy S5's release date up to a possible launch during CES 2014. With a potential 64-bit chip, new 16MP camera and all-metal body, consumers may forgive the oddly timed announcement and clamor for the new Android machine anyway.
If it does debut at CES, the Galaxy S5 may not take the stage alone: Reports from December suggest Samsung is readying four or five new phones for 2014, and we would hardly be shocked to see more than one in Vegas.
As for the Galaxy Round, even though it's reportedly a prototype at this point, Samsung should have plenty to say on its ability to create bendy devices. We may hear about a full Round roll out, and possibly more on Samsung's foldable phone-to-tablet and fold-in-two handset.
With LG nipping at its heals with the G Flex, Samsung's turn at CES should show us more on the flexible display front.
And tablets and curved 4K TVs, too
There's a good chance we're in for some Samsung tablet tech, as reports indicate the company is prepping a Galaxy Note 12.2 slate that's already cleared the FCC.
Additionally, a December 18 report from Korean media suggested Samsung has a 10.5-inch AMOLED tablet stowed in its CES carry-on.
Word from SamMobile seems to suggest that the Korean company will release the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite before March next year - though we may see a preview of the line up in Vegas.
As for the rest of the tech, Sammy will likely unveil its latest and greatest television sets (Vegas turns into TV town during every CES), cameras, home appliances and laptops.
In fact, the company announced on December 18 that it plans to unveil a whopping 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV come January. That means a rounded screen packed with 11 million pixel (5120 x 2160) resolution is about to make it into Samsung's wheelhouse.
The company is calling the 105 incher the "world's most curved" TV, and whether that actually means anything to viewers (good or bad) is something we'll see in Vegas.
Does ZTE have Grand Vegas ambitions?
The Grand S II will come with an even larger 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 screen. Despite the small bump in screen size, it will remain relatively thin at 154 x 77 x 7.9mm and pack Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 chipset with 2GB of RAM.
If we don't get a peek at the S II during CES 2014, it may show up at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona instead - or heck, it may get party-happy and pop up at both events.
Holler at AMD's Kaveri APU, desktops and more
AMD revealed during its November APU13 Developer Summit that it has big plans in store for CES, specifically around its next-gen Kaveri APU.
The chipmaker said the HSA-featuring A-Series APU will have its "big coming out party" at the Vegas shindig, and we suspect AMD is planning plenty for its pre-show tech day.
Kaveri promises more compute power, namely by shifting more workload to the GPU. Running up to four Steamroller x86 CPU cores and up to eight Graphics Core Next GPU cores, Kaveri is AMD's biggest push yet into the heterogeneous system architecture space.
With the first Kaveri desktops launching January 14, we expect AMD and its OEMs to out a number of devices at the Vegas show, too.
What's more, the company has also unveiled the Beema and Mullins APUs. Designed for fanless tablets, 2-in-1 and notebooks, the APUs promise double the performance per watt than their predecessors. AMD said both chips will be on hand at CES 2014, so look for more on their performance (and how they stack up to competitors like Intel's Bay Trail), then.
64-bit chip madness
AMD's biggest chip making competitors will also be on site to make sure Kaveri doesn't hog all the love.
According to IBT, Nvidia and Broadcom will reportedly reveal brand new 64-bit processors. Analysts note that the three companies are set on releasing the new chips early in 2014 so a CES unveiling seems to make sense.
Qualcomm already announced its 64-bit processor, the Snapdragon 410, on December 9, so chances are high we will see the new dragon in action at CES. Look out for phones, if only reference designs, running the 64-bitter come January.
As for what else the silicon slingers may show, we expect to hear more on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 Ultra HD, 4K-supporting mobile chip, and it may even go so far as to out Snapdragon 900 (or whatever its next-gen processor will be called).
We wouldn't put it past Nvidia to lay on some Shield news, so keep an eye out for gaming gumbo to be cooked up in Las Vegas.
Microsoft's bigger presence, but not triumphant return
"Microsoft is back at CES!" or so was the flavor of many headlines in early October. Turns out the company isn't making the spectacular CES splash it was made out to be, as it quickly downplayed its plans for the 2014 show to The Verge.
That's not to say Microsoft won't be out in force in LV, as the company confirmed it will have "a substantial set of rooms for meetings with our partners." It's in these rooms we expect OEMs and press alike to learn more about the adoption of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, sales of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, what's the score with Nokia, how the Xbox One release is playing out and much more.
During CES 2013, Microsoft showed off a pre-production Surface Pro, and we'd be hard pressed to think it won't have a new tablet, smartphone and/or phablet to generate some pre-release buzz.
Let's not rule out Microsoft hosting a press event or two, even though it's staying off the main keynote circuit.
Sony speaks to next-gen gadgets
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai is slated to deliver a keynote address as part of the Tech Titans keynote series, "where CEOs from the most powerful companies in technology present their vision for revolutions in products, services and networks."
Sony will be coming off a holiday season high where it saw the release of the PS4, and with a few high-powered phones rumored for release before long, look for Hirai to drop sales figures and talk about Sony's role in pushing hardware innovation forward.
A keynote where he's supposed to talk about his "vision for revolutions in products, services and networks?" Sounds like CES 2014 is a plausible place for next-gen PS4 accessory to rear its head.
Asus prepping to pull double duty?
It's tenuous, but a teaser video released December 23 strongly suggests Asus is planning a new tablet that will pull double duty. More specifically, it seems the company is plotting a slate that can dual-boot Android and Windows.
The device in a questionable Statue of Liberty-led video may also be a tablet/laptop hybrid, or some other creation Asus' mad scientists have cooked up in the lab.
Yahoo's rock star heading to Vegas
Marissa Mayer is another notable name, and so far the only woman, who will be joining Sony's Hirai and Intel's Brian Krzanich for a Tech Titan keynote.
It's likely she'll expand on her previous talks about Yahoo's mobile user growth, and imminent changes to Yahoo in general.
Time for LG to flex, go pixel-crazy
We don't expect LG to deviate too far from this script, but there's one smartphone topic to keep an eye out for.
As we mentioned before, the company has announced its G Flex phone, a handset that actually bends when pressure is applied (and doesn't break - that's key). Look for a some chest-thumping on that front, especially as it didn't make much of it last year while Samsung wowed us with Youm. This time, the opportunity shouldn't be missed.
LG is slowly releasing the phone outside of South Korea, with pre-orders going live in Singapore and Hong Kong in December. Will CES hold broader release details for the G Flex? Say, for the UK, US and Australia?
It's probably still early for the LG G Flex 2, which will reportedly bend 90 degrees, but things do tend to get twisted in Las Vegas.
Interestingly, LG revealed some of what it has in store for CES in mid-December, focusing primarily on the PC front. The company will showcase a number of desktop monitors, including ones with 2K and 4K resolutions.
Also on December 17, LG announced the Chrombase, its Chrome OS all-in-one that will definitely be on the CES docket. The 21.5-inch comp is primarily business focused, and more details are due in January.
As much as we like the thought of sentient dishwashers, we'll be paying attention to what LG has to say on its CES bread-and-butter - TVs.
Speaking of ...
LG takes aim at TV dominance
Beating Samsung to the punch by mere hours, LG also announced December 18 that it's taking a 105-inch curved 4K Ultra HD TV to CES. The aspect ratio is marked at 21:9 - what LG calls "CinemaScope," but we'll see how it stacks up to Sammy's at the show.
The company also said December 19 that it plans to show its first smart TV featuring HP's cast-off webOS at CES 2014.
We wouldn't be surprised if LG shows some sort of 8K TV prototype as well (Sharp did such a thing last year). It'd be nice if we saw a price drop on the 4K TV front, but we won't hold our breath that LG or any other manufacturer is ready to do that just yet.
LG and Samsung to unveil flexible TVs?
Both LG and Samsung have been pegged to show off flexible OLED TV prototypes at CES, with one LG executive telling the Korea Times that the company's head of TV "will meet with clients and reporters ... and will promote something new" plus "unveil a remote bendable OLED TV that hasn't been seen before."
It doesn't get much clearer than that.
Samsung's flexible TV is said to have a "huge" display, and it too will have a remote that controls its bends.
Steam Machines to become more than vapor
After much teasing throughout the years, Valve finally unveiled its concept for the game console, called Steam Machines. After giving us previews of the Steam controller and SteamOS, Valve showed the first Steam Machine prototype on November 4.
Valve is sending the machine (with varying specs) out to 300 lucky beta testers this year, and word is CES 2014 will be the console's (make that consoles) biggest coming out party yet. The Seattle Times has word that various Steam Machines will be on display at the tech show, meaning we're in for not just one but several hands ons with these PC gaming wunderkinds.
Valve itself has said information on the commercial Steam Machines is due at CES, meaning we'll have plenty of data to crunch and hands on reviews to write in early January.
In addition to Valve's own creation, Steam Machine partners are coming out of the woodwork with word they plan to show their Linux-based consoles in Las Vegas as well.
iBuyPower has already shown off its own versions of the boxes, which we're betting will make an appearance on the Vegas show floor.
Oppo may launch the first 2K smartphone
It's not the most well-known phone maker, but Oppo may just drop a next-gen bomb on the LVCC with the introduction of the world's first 2K smartphone.
The company teased on Twitter December 17 that its Find 7 will feature a 2K display. Oppo was first out the gate with 1080p tech, and now it looks like it has another title in its sights. Nothing is confirmed as far as a launch goes, but look for the Find 7 to grace us with its high-pixel count next month.
Wearables and fitness tech ahoy
If the thought of computers and exercise seems like an oxymoron, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, fitness tech will see a much bigger presence during CES, with the Digital Fitness Area being expanded by 30% to include more space for new tech.
Speaking of wearable tech, the Pebble made a splash at CES 2013 where its release was finally announced - cut to fall 2013 and a wave of others like the Sony SmartWatch 2, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Qualcomm Toq have joined the fancy watch scene. With rumors of the Google watch and Apple's iWatch hot on their heels, we definitely expect to see more smartwatches pop up during the show.
Seems like CES 2014 read our minds: There will definitely be an explosion of smartwatches on the Vegas showfloor in the form of a "WristRevolution" where everything from app-based programs to music players, health monitors and more will be shown off.
A few confirmed watch exhibitors will be Burg Limited, COOKOO, Dennco Brands, Kronoz LLC, MetaWatch, Neptune and Qualcomm Toq.
Beyond the wrist, high fashion - or just fashion in the form wearable tech - will also make waves. Karen Chupka, senior vice president of CES, said to look out for "... jackets that adjust based on outside temperatures to solar-charging handbags and more, innovations in wearable technology are shaping the [tech] industry" at the 2014 show.
Perhaps we'll see and try out functional and fashionable tech that we won't be too embarrassed to wear (looking at you, Google Glass).
Epson, best known for its printers, has revealed that it will be announcing "several new innovations in the wearable tech space," with a press conference planned for January 6 at 4 p.m. PST. The company already has some eyewear offerings, so we're intrigued what these new innovations could be.
Speaking of Google...
It looks like we'll be seeing new tech from the search engine giant at CES.
The cameras record full HD video and then stream it live in real time to the Google Helpouts server over Wi-Fi or via mobile hotspots.
Intel on tablets, Haswell and Windows 8.1
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is on tap to deliver an opening keynote at 6:30 p.m. PST on January 6. With LG at 8 a.m. and Audi's Rupert Stadler at 8:30 p.m., it's going to be a long day.
But! Back to Intel and not thoughts on all the coffee we'll be drinking. We expect Krzanich and the Intel floor team to focus heavily on Haswell, Ultrabooks housing the battery-saving, power-boosting processor, and Windows 8.1 tablets bandying Bay Trail.
In short, Intel should have quite a few new tablets as well as Ultrabooks, all centered around its own innards and Microsoft's latest OS.
Intel is also looking to shake up the wearable space with a bit of its own wearable tech. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich didn't tip his hand as to what we should expect from Intel's wearable technology, but he did hint at the processor behind it.
The company is preparing a new family of Quark chips. The low-powered System-on-a-Chip is expanding from household items to all sorts of Internet of Things devices, including wearables.
"Our view is that Quark can make almost everything smart," said Krzanich.
"We'll show you some things that you would never have thought could become smart and communicate."
The 3D printing explosion
It's not a tech expo without a 3D printing demo going on somewhere (see: IDF 2013), but CES 2014 is taking it to a whole new level with a larger-than-ever area dedicated to the machines that let you print your own bowls and vases.
According to CNET, Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronic Association, said on October 1 that the 3D printing tech zone is sold out for exhibitors. The area is meant to complement others dedicated to motion tech, robotics and more.
Bre Pettis, CEO and co-founder of MakerBot, will deliver a keynote address during the Leaders in Technology Dinner. Shapiro says we can expect, "... his [Pettis'] vision for how 3D printing will transform entrepreneurship, business and consumer opportunities in the year ahead."
Will we see the tech expand beyond printing do-dads, guns and heart valves? We hope to find out in Vegas.
Did we mention there will be TVs?
If there's one thing you can always count on seeing at CES, it's the beastly TVs that get bigger - and better - every year.
Ultra HD 4K TVs will be back on hand to look at (or look up at) during the 2014 edition. A quick refresher: Ultra HD aims to deliver four times the resolution of today's full high-definition TVs, with more than eight million pixels of resolution. And because one-upmanish is always to be expected, 8K resolutions are sure to give the lights on the Strip a run for their money.
We expect the bigwigs - Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Sharp - plus smaller guys like Hisense to return in full form to show off bigger, better and brighter Ultra HD TVs.
We're prepped for just about every TV presser, though pay close attention to Hisense as it will likely also discuss its foray into new devices, namely tablets.
We'll be seeing some new TV imaging tech from Dolby in Vegas as well.
At a recent event TechRadar attended, Dolby reps informed us that five of the latest OEM glasses-free 3D screens will be on the floor, and a new super intense television display - one with "better pixels," wider dynamic range and contrast sensitivity to allow for more realistic colors.
For the audiophiles
Headphones are getting better every year, including fancy celebrity endorsed ones that will set you back quite a bit.
But we're sure there are bound to be cheaper headphones - and quite a lot of them - in Vegas.
In fact, we already know Soul by Ludacris will be on hand to demo athletic headphones "fit for professional athletes and active lifestyles," and might show up with a star or two.
Monster will also show off its headphones along with speaker docks and mobile accessories.