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What to expect at CES 2014: Wearables, tablets, 4K video

post #1 of 25
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For those in the tech industry, the new year's eve countdown does not really end with fireworks and frivolity -- its conclusion is marked instead by the opening bell of the Consumer Electronics Show, held each January in Las Vegas.

CES 2014


AppleInsider will be on site next week providing live, hands-on coverage of the announcements, but until then, these are some of the trends and new products we expect to see at CES 2014.

Smartwatches



  • Industry leader Pebble says they will unveil "something special" at CES, though the company is mum on exactly what it might be. The announcement will be live-streamed on Pebble's website on Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. eastern time.

  • French manufacturer Archos will show off a "selection of smart watches" that the company says will retail for less than $50 and sport a "pebble-like design." The devices will be designed to interface with a new Archos Connected Self iOS app that is said to be similar to competing offerings from companies like Fitbit and Withings.

  • Tech titan Sony is expected to debut its third-generation Android-compatible Sony SmartWatch during next week's festivities. The new device was spotted by Wireless Goodness in an FCC filing labeling the watch a "BT Wrist Notifier."

  • A new "WristRevolution" TechZone at CES will play host to a slew of upstart smartwatch makers from Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Established players TomTom and MetaWatch will also be on hand, and Qualcomm will use the WristRevolution zone to show off its new Toq device.


Tablets



  • South Korean giant Samsung is widely believed to have prepared a new, larger entry in its Galaxy Tab lineup. The tablet is thought to be called the Galaxy Note Pro and could sport a 12.9-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel display, 2.4GHz processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM, and a 9,500mAh battery, according to ZDNet Korea.

  • Smartwatches will not be Archos's only play at CES. The company will also unveil a 7-inch Android-powered "Smart Home Tablet" designed to act as a hub for a new range of "connected home" devices.

  • Taiwanese hardware maker Acer will launch updated versions of their Iconia B1 and Iconia A1 Android tablets next week. The new B1 will feature a slimmer profile and an updated body texture, while the A1 will add some aluminum to complement its 7.9-inch display.


4K



  • Streaming service Netflix will announce hardware partners for a new 4K streaming plan aimed at connected televisions, Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt told Stuff. Hunt indicated that "several of the major TV vendors" would be debuting Netflix-compatible 4K sets.

  • Seoul, South Korea-based LG announced plans to show new 55-, 65-, and 77-inch Ultra 4K curved televisions with OLED displays. The 77-inch model, which LG describes as "mammoth," has already received CES 2014's Best of Innovations prize.

  • Polaroid is bringing affordable 4K video to CES with a new 50-inch Ultra 4K television developed in conjunction with Empire Electronics. The company says the set will retail for an impressively low $999.99, one of the first sub-$1,000 4K televisions to hit the market.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

South Korean giant Samsung is widely believed to have prepared a new, larger entry in its Galaxy Tab lineup. The tablet is thought to be called the Galaxy Note Pro and could sport a 12.9-inch

Wow!
Quote:
Polaroid is bringing affordable 4K video to CES with a new 50-inch Ultra 4K television developed in conjunction with Empire Electronics. The company says the set will retail for an impressively low $999.99, one of the first sub-$1,000 4K televisions to hit the market.

Wow!

Well, one was unexpected.
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post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Wow!
Wow!

Well, one was unexpected.

Agreed - but are Polaroid TVs any good?

 

That's a general question to anyone who's dealt with them/looked at them when purchasing a set - I'm too lazy to do any research on my own!  

post #4 of 25
Let's see if the Samsung pro tablet hardware will be superior to the best tablet on the market for now, the Kindle Fire HDX.
post #5 of 25
Originally Posted by jpd514 View Post
Let's see if the Samsung pro tablet hardware will be superior to the best tablet on the market for now, the Kindle Fire HDX.

 

This is the worst trolling job I’ve ever seen.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Let's see if the Samsung pro tablet hardware will be superior to the best tablet on the market for now, the Kindle Fire HDX.

This is the worst trolling job I’ve ever seen.

I was expecting a double face palm picture! You know, when one doesn't quite cut it.
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post #7 of 25
I'd be happy if Apple quietly refreshed the Thunderbolt Display with USB3, a couple of TB2 ports, and a revised magsafe connector, along with a new iMac-svelte design. I could give a damn about 4K.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidbert View Post

I'd be happy if Apple quietly refreshed the Thunderbolt Display with USB3, a couple of TB2 ports, and a revised magsafe connector, along with a new iMac-svelte design. I could give a damn about 4K.

I would be happy with that, especially if they also offered a reverse magsafe, so all MacBooks could make use of the built in power supply.

When i get extra PSU's for benches and desks, i still get the older one and buy an adapter for each

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post
 

I would be happy with that, especially if they also offered a reverse magsafe, so all MacBooks could make use of the built in power supply.

When i get extra PSU's for benches and desks, i still get the older one and buy an adapter for each

 

I have a 2011 Thunderbolt Display -- which is laughably "the most current version" as per Amazon -- which was damaged in a lightning strike. It's very usable, and you only see the damage when it's warming up & on the login screen (it's weird; it looks like water damage on a piece of dark construction paper or cardboard). The event happened in late July; I got the go-ahead to replace but asked if I could wait it out a bit -- "new displays due any time now". I just got asked if I wanted to keep the P.O. open still. 

 

I can get a new Apple Thunderbolt Display, which has 2+ year old tech, for $999 ($799 refurb) or look elsewhere. I know it's the display I want but I have a hard time rationalizing paying a 2011 price for a 2011 display with 2010 tech in 2013 (now 2014). 

 

Apple should have at least updated the USB2 to USB3, and done a magsafe update (though their little adapter works fine with my new MBP retina). A switch to the thinner iMac style last year would have been welcome, even if it was the same old panel. 

 

It's the only display in the lineup. Inexcusable to let it languish. Then again, one need only look at the Mac mini. Or the Mac Pro. Etc. Apple's bread is buttered by iDevices; Macs are kind of a diversion now. A pet project. And it will only get worse, per se, when Apple fully enters the living room with the TV/Entertainment system. 

 

In the meantime, I need a new display. I'm even starting to consider Monoprice displays (which were recently highly reviewed by Macworld). This one, at under $700, is beckoning: http://goo.gl/Rppm2Z

post #10 of 25
There's a no-name line of impressively inexpensive 4K televisions on Amazon. But while the display panel is indeed 4K resolution, its HDMI 1.3 ports only supports 1080p, so it's internally uprezzing everything. I wonder if the Polaroid TVs will be doing the same.

Can the most expensive part of a 4K display be the internals to handle 4K signals, and not the LCD planel itself?
post #11 of 25
Like dominos the 4K prices will drop. Woot!
Great news. I will now wait to see what Sony offers.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
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Where's the new Apple TV?
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is the worst trolling job I’ve ever seen.

Hardware-wise he's arguably right.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
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Where's the new Apple TV?
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post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Hardware-wise he's arguably right.

I think you're only referring to one to two aspects of one HW component. The color gamut and the bonding to the glass, and it's inarguably better in that respect. But is it the best tablet on the market? I don't think it comes close, even if we don't consider the SW or ecosystem. It's also a clear and pathetic attempt trolling as TS says.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think you're only referring to one to two aspects of one HW component. The color gamut and the bonding to the glass, and it's inarguably better in that respect. But is it the best tablet on the market? I don't think it comes close, even if we don't consider the SW or ecosystem. It's also a clear and pathetic attempt trolling as TS says.

You left out both the processor and the speakers.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
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Where's the new Apple TV?
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

You left out the processor and the speakers.

The A7 is a worse than the Snapdragon 800?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 25
Pebble app store? I hope so.
post #17 of 25
4K is impressive--visually, but the content is incredibly sparse, as are the transports to get the signal there. I'd wait for HDMI 2.0. The current 1.4-spec can only transport 4K signals at 30Hz. Unless your UHDTV specifically takes DisplayPort 1.2, it's not going to support future 60Hz standards.

I'm also skeptical that Netflix streaming can deliver 4K reliably. Most bandwidth constrained streaming services will downgrade your resolution so it's a kind of cheat. I don't think Netflix's "SuperHD" picture matches Blu-Ray or even iTunes' 1080p for quality, and I've got 18-21Mbps down. Sometimes their SD content looks like a deteriorated VHS, or CD-ROM video circa 1993.

So, I'm excited for 4K, but it is still bleeding edge today, and anyone adopting it now will have only "so-called 4K" content (4K in name only), and obsolete equipment when the industry rallies around HDMI 2.0.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

4K is impressive--visually, but the content is incredibly sparse, as are the transports to get the signal there. I'd wait for HDMI 2.0. The current 1.4-spec can only transport 4K signals at 30Hz. Unless your UHDTV specifically takes DisplayPort 1.2, it's not going to support future 60Hz standards.

I'm also skeptical that Netflix streaming can deliver 4K reliably. Most bandwidth constrained streaming services will downgrade your resolution so it's a kind of cheat. I don't think Netflix's "SuperHD" picture matches Blu-Ray or even iTunes' 1080p for quality, and I've got 18-21Mbps down. Sometimes their SD content looks like a deteriorated VHS, or CD-ROM video circa 1993.

So, I'm excited for 4K, but it is still bleeding edge today, and anyone adopting it now will have only "so-called 4K" content (4K in name only), and obsolete equipment when the industry rallies around HDMI 2.0.

According to pieced-together press releases LG will be announcing a new line of 4K TV's next week featuring on-board HEVC decoder and HDMI 2.0
http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/lg-hevc-201401033549.htm
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post #19 of 25
Originally Posted by st88 View Post
Acer will be launching an iPad mini clone at CES.

 

Wonder how they think they’ll get away with it.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #20 of 25
Originally Posted by st88 View Post

Considering they can sell that for $149, I think the iPad Mini ($299) is due for a price drop.

 

I doubt it. Apple doesn’t do mid-revision drops. And it’s not like the Acer is a better product in ANY capacity. There’s no threat.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by st88 View Post

No idea.

Considering they can sell that for $149, I think the iPad Mini ($299) is due for a price drop.

Why would a low-rent competitor that is blatantly stealing Apple's IP force them to lower the price?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by st88 View Post

Nothing to do with the Acer's sales, I'm sure it will be pretty poor in that department.

The fact that Acer can produce that device with a more powerful (and likely more expensive)
 
Intel SoC
and sell it for 50% of the iPad Mini (while making a profit)
 just goes to show how much of a profit Apple is making on the iPad Mini.  


A consumer always wants the best price possible, and a profit margin greater than 50% is only going to benefit the company and maybe the investors. 

1) Who says they are making a profit?

2) Trying to determine profit based on another competitor's product is a fool's errand. A vendor can be poor at sourcing components, have an inefficient engineering team, not spend the proper time and money on safety standards, not spend money on adding something relatively costly you may not consider as a feature, have a poor shipping and distribution system, et al. … or be quite the opposite of that. We know from Apple that they designed the iPad mini, but it looks like Acer saved a lot of time in not designing it but copying the design. Did Acer use the same quality battery as Apple? Did Acer create an PSU that is as power efficient, safe, as well as being small? Did the chamfer their edges? If so, did they do it properly? Did Acer get a great deal on sourcing one or more components because they are otherwise useless to other vendors that would sell at a decent volume? Did Acer create this clone to get the free advertisement from tech blogs and people like you from the inevitable comparison to the company that has all the mindshare (even as CES 2014 is upon us and Apple still isn't attending)?

3) The only thing we know for sure form Apple is that economics of scale are a huge reason for their profitability. If Apple did all that work on the original iPad mini and only sold as many one could reasonably expect Acer to sell do you think Apple would be making any profit on the iPad mini? It's hard to know but we do know it wouldn't be nearly as much with only a small fraction of the unit sales.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #23 of 25
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post #24 of 25
Quote:

We've seen such claims before just to have the real world results be much lower. Perhaps on paper it is 3x the performance since the A7 has a maximum of 1.4GHz and the Tegra K1 can have various clock rates applied thus making it much faster, albeit with a much worse power efficiency than the A7. If Nvidia claimed something like "3x the performance at the same power efficiency as Apple's A7" then it would be a breakthrough that would get me to take notice.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #25 of 25
Agreed.

Just finished reading an slightly related story over at Ars that included comments on Nvidia's K1 processor:

"Nvidia's role is interesting, especially in light of the launch of the Tegra K1 on Sunday and its automotive potential. Nvidia's strength in SoCs has been its GPU, which has grown larger with each Tegra generation. The Tegra K1 is equipped with 192 Kepler-based GPU cores, paired with either a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 or dual-core Denver ARMv8 64-bit application processor. During the announcement, NVIDIA highlighted how such a powerful SoC could be used to render near-photorealistic dials for a dashboard, and how well suited those 192 CUDA cores would be for assisting the driver by monitoring the environment for hazards and providing alerts."
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