Friday, January 11, 2013

Week in Tech: Gadgets, gadgets everywhere: TechRadar hits CES

Week in Tech: Gadgets, gadgets everywhere: TechRadar hits CES

This week, the great and good of the tech world headed for Vegas for the most important date of the year - our official US launch. What's that? Oh yes, there was the CES technology show too. CES is enormous, and so is our coverage: if it beeped or blinked at CES, we've got everything you need to know in our comprehensive CES round-up.

Fancy some highlights? We had chips - Samsung's octo-core Exynos 5, which you just know is going to be in the Samsung Galaxy S4, AMD's Temash and Kabini processo rs, new Qualcomm Snapdragons and Nvidia's new Tegra 4 - but CES was more about the devices than what's inside them. That's why Nvidia turned up with its Project Shield, a gaming system that looks awfully like somebody glued an Xbox controller to an Android tablet.

Project Shield wasn't the only gaming device we saw at CES. Remember Project Fiona, the long-awaited Windows 8 gaming tablet? It's got a new name - the Razer Edge - and it's very nearly A Thing rather than a promise: Razer says it'll hit the US in Q1 of this year. There will be two models at $ 999 (around £620) and $ 1,299 (£810) respectively.

Gadgets, gadgets everywhere: TechRadar hits CES

Did someone say tablets? Yes, Lenovo did - as did Microsoft and Panasonic, who also brought along an enormous 20-inch tablet with a 4K display - the worthy recipient of one of our Best of CES Awards.

4K mania

4K is the latest buzzword in display technology, although some firms prefer the term "Ultra HD": if you think 1080p HD is tasty, wait until your eyes get to look at a 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD TV. This year's CES was stuffed with 4K screens: we had the S9 UHD 4K TV from Samsung, 56-inch 4K TVs from Sony and Panasonic and a 4K multi-touch monitor from Sharp.

No t all of the TVs we saw will become real, however: the likelihood of Samsung actually making a 110-inch Ultra HD TV is as remote as the likelihood of anyone being able to afford to buy one.

As our very own Dan Grabham points out, 4K tech is still very much in its infancy: "While it's all very exciting, it's worth remembering that 4K isn't known outside of the consumer electronics buzz bubble," he says. "Mass adoption of 4K is still distant - primarily because UHD broadcasts are still a few years away." If you fancy taking the 4K plunge while 4K content is relatively rare, it'd be a good idea to choose a TV that can upsample HD to Ultra HD.

Then again, maybe you should hang on. As James Rivington says, "technology is a fickle business" - the last few CES shows have all been about 3D, "despite a comprehensive lack of interest from consumers", and now that lack of interest has spread to the manufacturers. "Stay tuned for CES 2014, then, where it'll all be about 3D again - glasses-free flavoured - and Ultra HD will be just another feature. The technology carousel keeps turning. Rest assured, TechRadar will be there!"

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//PART 2