This year’s edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) doesn’t officially start until Jan. 5, but tech companies spent yesterday showing off their latest products to the press.
Among the stars of CES 2017 so far are laptops featuring Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) new Kaby Lake processors, smart home devices and the appearance of an actual functioning Faraday Future electric car.
Today, we look at the most exciting headlines from Big Tech’s meetings with the press.
CES 2017: New CPUs Advance Mobile and PC Capabilities
For a while there, computing ambition was being held back by the wait for new processors. Intel’s new “Kaby Lake” CPUs were unveiled at CES 2017, and that’s good news for the PC industry. These seventh-generation chips are expected to power everything from the long-awaited new iMac from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to a new crop of VR-capable PCs and ultra-portable laptops.
New computers were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show that take advantage of the new Kaby Lake silicon, including a new convertible 2-in-1 version of Dell’s popular XPS 13 laptop. And in typical CES fashion, there was an over the top moment when Acer Inc (OTCMKTS:ASIYF) took the wraps off the Predator 21-X: a $9,000-plus gaming “laptop” with a 21-inch curved display, Kaby Lake CPU, mechanical keyboard, dual graphics cards from Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and eye-tracking cameras.
Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) also showed off its new Snapdragon 835 processor. You can expect to see the new flagship Snapdragon chip powering 2017’s must-have Android smartphones.
The Smart Home
Much of CES 2017 has been focused on the smart home. That includes a flood of new mesh routers that aim to simplify home Wi-Fi and provide the wireless coverage need for smart homes to function effectively. They’ll be taking on the like of Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently announced Google WiFi system.
Also featuring prominently were smart speakers. Google Home is gaining the ability to remote start supported cars from Hyundai Motor Co (OTCMKTS:HYMLF). Lenovo Group Limited (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) showed off a new smart speaker that incorporates Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa smart assistant — an Amazon Echo alternative that looks better and costs less than the Amazon Echo. There’s also a premium audio version that will go for $179.
Alphabet Soup! QLED 4K HDR TVs
TVs always make the spotlight at the Consumer Electronics Show, and Day One of CES 2017 did not disappoint. The big trend is in big-screen, QLED 4K HDR TVs.
What exactly do all those acronyms mean?
QLED combines two of TV’s bleeding edge display technologies: quantum dots and OLED. Together, you get a picture that’s brighter, with the deep blacks and flexible panels of OLED, but at a much more affordable cost. 4K is the the same Ultra HD resolution that has become an expected feature of TVs. HDR is the high-dynamic-range picture that makes viewing pop. Throw those letters all together, and you get a new class of QLED 4K HDR TVs that offer the best showcase technology of the past few years in a single and relatively affordable package.
Leading that charge to convince you to finally buy a new TV were the usual suspects, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTCMKTS:SSNLF). Although this year, Samsung avoided controversy by refusing to give out prices for its new flagship QLED TVs.
CES 2017: Faraday Future
The Consumer Electronics Show has increasingly been focused on cars. Automobiles are rapidly getting more advanced — electric power, autonomous capabilities and integration with smart tech like Apple Car Play or Amazon Alexa — so that makes sense.
The big story on the auto front from CES 2017 was the Faraday Future FF 91, a high-performance electric car that hopes to take on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Although Faraday promised a Tesla-killer at last year’s show, it only managed a non-functioning prototype.
This year, the company kicked off CES 2017 with live demonstrations of its Faraday Future FF 91, showing its self-driving capabilities while bragging about new high-density battery packs and world-record speeds.
All of this is just skimming the surface of what was announced on day one. Stay tuned for a wrap of CES 2017, where we’ll spike out the big technology trends and top stories that develop over the course of the show.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.