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CES 2013: what’s up and what’s down

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas opens on Monday

  • The Guardian
  • Published: 13:27 January 7, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • A pair of Matrix Qube pocket speakers from Matrix Audio are on display at a press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pocket size speakers sell for USD 50 each and are currently available.

By Charles Arthur

 

Last year it was Steve Ballmer who gave the keynote, winding up nearly 20 years of keynotes by one of Microsoft’s top people with a speech in which he talked Windows, Windows, Windows. Now if you need any proof that the times are changing, the keynote this year will be by Paul Jacobs, on the subject, “Are you born mobile?”.

Who’s he? No less than the chairman and chief executive of Qualcomm, which makes essential chips used in millions of phones. Apparently his address will include “a big announcement, a famous band, a host of famous guests and an amazing amount of technology”.

Gizmodo tells it straight, with its report from the bunfight that is the CES Unveiled event (where stacks of companies pitch in a huge room in which five times as many journalists struggle round, trying not to clout each other with their bags, shoulder-mounted cameras and paraphernalia).

 

All the best stuff from a mildly horrible CES press event Gizmodo

For better or worse, CES Unveiled is a thing. We actually find it terribly convenientdozens of gadget-makers under one roof. And we found some cool stuff too. Huzzah! We braved the throngs and fried-food-vapors for you, my dears. Here’s the best stuff we saw:

An eyeball-controlled Windows 8 computer (hmm), a tiny activity tracker, a stylus that plays music and takes Bluetooth calls (“sorry, I’ve got a call coming in on my pen”), a tiny action webcam, a Google Glass competitor (looks dorky). The list goes on. A bit like CES really.

Now, Nvidia has something new for people to ooooh over:

Nvidia unveils Tegra 4, “world’s fastest mobile processor”

The Verge

The Tegra 4, like its predecessor, features a quad-core processor along with a fifth, low power, core to save battery life. Although it retains the 4-plus-1 setup of Tegra 3, Nvidia’s fourth-generation chip is built on an all-new architecture. The company’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says that Tegra 4 is the world’s fastest mobile processor, surpassing everything currently on the market. Nvidia hasn’t revealed the clock speed of the Tegra 4’s processor yet, but it does say that it has 72 GPU cores we imagine its referring to CUDA cores here. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s been rumoured that Tegra 4 is produced using a new 28 nanometre (nm) manufacturing process a step up from Tegra 3’s 40nm and should help improve power consumption despite Tegra 4’s improved power.

But the Verge points out there is no LTE chip onboard, so smartphones/tablets will need another chip for the phone modem something Qualcomm is expected to do later this year. Glum news meanwhile across the entirety of the showroom floor.

Electronics industry to grow a meagre 4% in 2013 Venturebeat

The worldwide electronics industry’s sales are expected to grow an anaemic 4% to $1.105 billion (Dh4.058 billion) in 2013, according to a forecast by the Consumer Electronics Industry and the market research firm GfK.

Even so, that’s better than the 1% drop in 2012, when the industry hit $1.058bn in sales, said Sean Koenig, director of industry analyst at the CEA, speaking at a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday. By comparison, the industry grew 11% in 2010 and shrank 9% in 2009.

We think actually they meant trillion rather than billion, but they’re still pretty slow growth numbers.

Android Authority suggests that the latest Samsung Galaxy S4 might be on show behind closed doors, but not to the press it will be for any carriers or other retail partners who get to see it. One point to ponder the number 4 is unlucky in Korean, so will this by the SGS 5? Or some other nomenclature?

Meanwhile, tablets are getting bigger...

Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon brings touchscreen gaming to a massive 27-inch surface (video hands-on).

Apparently Lenovo liked what it saw from Sony’s Tap 20, because here at CES the company is introducing its own “portable” desktop PC. The IdeaCentre Horizon is primarily a Windows 8-enabled all-in-one, Lenovo calls it a “table PC” with a 27-inch, 1080p 10-finger touchscreen, Intel’s Core i7 processors and discrete graphics. But it’s also portable, at least in theory, thanks to an internal battery that Lenovo says will power the gigantic device for two hours at a time. Two hours!

Wired meanwhile has a reminder of what we’re still waiting for...

Among them: MySpace TV (us neither), the Kodak PlayFull Dual (a point-and-shoot camcorder; don’t hold your breath), Asus’s 7-inch Android tablet (turned out to be the Google Nexus 7), and the Victorinox official Swiss Army Knife with a 1 terabyte SSD drive for $3,000.

Inside Intel’s TV service: no CES announcement, but plenty of juicy details.

I’ve been told by a knowledgeable source that this is inaccurate, and that there won’t be any announcement or other kind of public appearance in Vegas.

Still, Intel is definitely getting close to lifting the curtain on its plans for the living room. I’ve been talking to sources familiar with the project for a few months now, and done a fair share of digging online as well. Combined with a few previous leaks, a much clearer picture about what Intel is up to in the TV space is emerging: it’s a box, it’s a service, and it’s intriguing, to say the least.

This is being well leaked, but it’s still unclear what, if anything, Intel hopes to achieve here. Among the subheadings: “It wants to beat Apple TV without being Apple TV.” Not too big a challenge, surely.

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