CES 2012 Wrap-Up: Which Technologies Stole the Spotlight
CES 2012 turned out to be a smorgasbord of technology, bucking expected trends while simultaneously exceeding expectations of others. But instead of digging through tech specs and product highlights, The VAR Guy has the straight dope. Here’s the CES 2012 wrap-up for the week …
The VAR Guy made an initial prediction on what CES 2012 would feature, with ultrabooks, tablets, ultra-phones, high-speed networking and storage being the dominant technologies. Turns out, our resident blogger was only half right. (Yes, it happens.) So here’s what The VAR Guy saw:
- Tablets: If you can put Android on it, someone did it already. The VAR Guy is waiting for his Android powered toaster. Almost every major vendor, from Asus to Samsung, unveiled some improved — if not outright new — tablet, featuring dual and quad-core CPUs, massive amounts of RAM and plenty of pixels on the screen. Notable mentions are Lenovo’s new IdeaPads, the K2 and the S2, successors to its previous tablets, and many manufacturers were touting the sophistication of Android 4.0. Are any of them good? Sadly, full reviews will have to wait until most of these items are on shelves.
- Ultrabooks: The ultrabook scene featured more of the same, with LG, HP and Samsung all launching ultrabooks with a distinctly similar MacBook Air-style. Aluminum frame and body, glass/glossy screen. But HP’s Envy Specter 14 is quite an impressive sight. HP has crammed a 14-inch (diagonal) screen into a 13.3-inch body, with a gorgeous 1600×900 resolution screen. That beats out the MacBook Air 13-inch, which only has a 1400×900 resolution. The price tag is comparable at $1,399.
- All-In-One Computers: HP and Lenovo were two major frontrunners with all-in-one (AIO) computers, both of which look like they’ve taken cues from Apple patents. The HP Omni 27 is a 27-inch AIO solution, available now and designed to be a formidable powerhouse for consumers. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s IdeaCenter B540 and 340 have arrived with capacitive-glass touchscreens and are excepted to be on desks by June. Even Vizio has been rumored to be getting into the AIO desktop scene. Like Apple with the iMac before them, vendors are putting their faith in AIOs, believing this is the style that will replace the gray box under desks in homes everywhere.
- Smart TVs: Google TV was back with a vengeance, with LG, Sony, Samsung and Vizio all unveiling or promising Google TV-enabled units in the future. GoogleTV sputtered out back in 2011 (see: Logitec Revue), but this year, with massive updates and actual TV integration, GoogleTV should be a much more sexy and sophisticated product, including Netflix, OnLive video game support and more. Digital signage VARs or resellers outfitting board rooms may want to suggest a smart TV, considering all the multimedia and resource-sharing it’s capable of.
The VAR Guy did not notice a surge in networking equipment or storage. But these technologies aren’t exactly flashy, nor do they dominate the consumer space these days. Worth noting, however, is Swiss Army Knife maker Victorinox, which unveiled a 1TB flash drive. It’ll cost you $3,000 but it’s nice to know so much storage can be put on such tiny devices. Netgear also caught our resident blogger’s eye with dual-band 5GHz wireless N products, and most other networking equipment vendors offered up similar high-range, high-speed functionality without doing anything too groundbreaking.
The VAR Guy noticed a decreased buzz around phones, as they likely were overshadowed by their tablet brethren. But our resident blogger also believes most manufacturers are holding on to the good stuff for the annual Mobile World Congress happening in February.
Stay tuned. Mobile World Congress 2012 kicks off in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 27, and you can be sure The VAR Guy will have a few words about that.