CES 2012

TVs, Ultrabooks and smartphones may have grabbed the headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, but there was a quieter wireless revolution also taking place that is set to provide important connectivity benefits for all our devices this year.

2012 could be the year of 5G – the 5th-generation of Wi-Fi - along with the maturity of a number of other wireless and wired technologies that will provide a major leap in speeds and easier ways to transfer video and other content from device to device. Read more

CES is over for another year and the awards have been handed out for best in show, with the CNET tech site choosing the HP Envy 14 Spectre in the PC category and Simple TV in “Home Theater”.

I liked both at close quarters when I was briefed on them, but also had some reservations. Read more

Surviving the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas requires comfortable shoes, plenty of liquids and some indispensable and inspirational gadgets to get you through the day – my Jawbone Up band tells me I walked more than 30 miles over 4 days.

Yomping through the show floors can be made bearable with a rechargeable rucksack, an all-over massage chair and the uplifting sight of an ultimate command and control centre that can make you emperor of all you survey. Read more

Smack in the middle of the ultrabook and tablet hoopla from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes a sobering report from the market researchers at IDC: PC shipments in the critical fourth quarter were down 0.2 per cent from a year before. Read more

Despite getting flack for a lack of major announcements from some of the biggest technology companies, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas just keeps rolling on.

As the show floors were officially opened on Tuesday, the Consumer Electronics Association announced a record number of exhibitors – more than 3,100, up from 2,865 last year – more than 20,000 new products being shown and in excess of 140,000 attendees. Read more

As widely expected, the wraps were taken off the Lumia 900 on Monday – a 4G handset for the AT&T network that is meant to lead a Nokia resurgence in the US.

But where were the other handsets and mobile operators? And where were the details of launch timing and price? Read more

While Cisco infamously abandoned in April its Flip unit, which popularised value-priced and easy-to-use camcorders for consumers, Sony has stuck it out with the Bloggie brand that tried to imitate the Flip’s success.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, two new models are being introduced, although the Bloggie 3D, which I liked when I reviewed it last year, is being phased out. Read more

The thumb-jockeys have had their moment: now is the time for the rest of us.

That is the message coming loud and clear from Las Vegas, where consumer electronics companies and technology suppliers have been lining up this week to show off ways of controlling devices using touch, gestures, voice-recognition, sensors, eye-tracking, new styluses – anything, in fact, as long as it doesn’t require exercising the thumbs (with or without the aid of the odd finger or two.) Read more

Samsung, the biggest exhibitor at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has unveiled new Smart TV technology and updates to its smartphones, tablets, laptops and cameras at its main press conference on Monday.

Making Smart TVs easier to use was a focus, with new voice and gesture recognition technology being announced. Our live blog from the event is after the jump: Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets to rival Apple’s MacBook Air and  iPad 2 respectively are expected to take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially opens on Tuesday. Read more

Dropcam has just unveiled a new version of its Wi-Fi security camera at CES in Las Vegas, offering a much improved design, more features and a cheaper price.

This is the first camera designed by Dropcam itself and it looked so much better than its predecessor when Greg Duffy, Dropcam co-founder and chief executive, came into our office and demonstrated it in November (the new camera is on the right in the photo). Read more

Toshiba showed off its new Excite X10 tablet at CES on Sunday evening, coupling it in demonstrations with its latest lineup of Smart TVs.

The Excite is a 10.1in tablet, which Toshiba claims is the world’s thinnest and lightest at that size – 0.3in thin to be specific and weighing 1.2lbs. Read more

It has no orders yet and no price, but One Laptop Per Child’s first tablet is ready to go and was being proudly displayed by Ed McNierney, OLPC chief technology officer, at the CES Unveiled event in Las Vegas on Sunday evening.

I talked to Ed about the possibilities for the 8in XO 3.0 tablet and got a glimpse of  the hand crank and solar panels that will be able to power it. Video is after the jump. Read more

Nokia Lumia 710

Microsoft is set to give a concerted push to its smartphone software this week as it kicks off its latest attempt to claw back lost ground from Apple and Google.

Despite rising anticipation on Wall Street, however, the software company is not ready to take the wraps off a new version of Windows, according to a person familiar with its plans. Windows 8, expected to be launched this year, is designed to work with touchscreen tablets as well as PCs.

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Amid the 55-inch, ultra-high definition TVs and the platoons of smart mobile devices with which the world’s consumer electronics makers hope to wow punters at their annual gadget-fest in Las Vegas this week, there is one thing they hope no one will ask: the price.

The tumbling prices of everything from flatscreen TVs to ereaders have become a bane for makers of digital hardware, even as they enjoy soaring interest in their widening range of mobile devices.

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Marvell and One Laptop Per Child will unveil their first tablet prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday evening.

The chipmaker and the non-profit trying to bring affordable computing to schoolchildren worldwide plan to show a fully functional version of the long-awaited X0 3.0, which they describe as “a low-cost, low-power, rugged tablet computer designed for classrooms around the globe”. Read more

Vizio, the TV maker that shook up the US market, is aiming to do the same to the PC industry with the unveiling of a line of notebooks and all-in-one PCs at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

The California company, which has been swapping the sales top-spot with Samsung in the US LCD TV market,  says the largest product launch in its history will challenge the “sleepy giants” of the PC world in the same way it took on Samsung, Sony and other TV players. Read more

Google has just premiered its TV announcements for next week’s Consumer Electronics Show, where the major television makers will be showing off the latest in “Smart” internet-connected sets.

The addition of LG TV models and replacements for Intel as the processor maker for Google TVs is the new news, although Google revealed its activation rates for its “TV meets the Web” service have doubled since Version 2.0 of Google TV was launched in October, suggesting a boost for sales of Sony devices. Read more

A year after they charged into the annual Consumer Electronics Show with more than 100 devices, tablet makers are returning to Las Vegas next week as a ragged and battle-scarred army that has failed to dent the success of Apple’s iPad.

Despite the deep war wounds – most notably HP’s abandonment of its TouchPad and Research in Motion’s $485m writedown as it was forced to discount deeply its PlayBook device – the iPad rivals are banking on a new Android operating system, the arrival of Windows 8 and improved content offerings to help them cut into Apple’s two-thirds share of the market.

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