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CES 2022 Recap: Micro LED TVs, an alien Wi-Fi router, and tons of laptops
A peak inside the world's largest technology trade show.
The Consumer Electronics Show is officially underway, with the show floor opening today and companies making announcements left and right. I had originally planned to attend the show in-person with my lovely mother, but just about every company I was set up to meet with or attend the press conference of pulled out of the show, instead switching to an all-digital format to deliver their information.
It’s all thanks to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 which is responsible for sending case numbers to new heights that we’ve never seen before. As a safety precaution, many larger companies like T-Mobile, Google, Amazon, Intel, and Mercedes decided not to attend CES 2022 in-person and exclusively show off their latest innovations through the show’s online portal.
While it’s a bummer the show’s Vegas presence shrunk so significantly, it moved forward regardless with many people still venturing out west to attend. After all, there are still over 2,000 exhibitors at the show this year.
So far, CES 2022 has felt more significant than it has in years past, with many announcements from all sorts of sectors of the tech industry like TVs, personal computing, smart home appliances, robotics, and more. I obviously can’t cover everything I wanna talk about through blog posts (without going completely brain dead), so over the next couple of days, I’ll be recapping some of the biggest and coolest announcements here on Wiretapped.
Samsung and LG have tons to talk about, while Hisense and TCL continue to flood the market
Samsung and LG always make a huge splash in the TV market at Ces, and this year was no different. Each company unveiled new lines of high-end televisions with many different sizes, form factors, and technologies. In particular, I was fascinated by Samsung’s new Micro LED televisions which have now reached 110 inches in size with bezel-less designs and improved speakers. These TVs will obviously cost a ton of money, but boy do they seem pretty to look at.
Meanwhile, LG has a new slate of televisions led by the flagship OLED Evo TVs in the G2 and C2 series. Both lines offer 4K resolutions, incredible color reproduction and accuracy, improved brightness, HDMI 2.1, and 120Hz gaming. The G2 series now goes up to 97 inches in size, while the C2 offers a much more manageable 42-inch form factor for those with limited space but want an OLED TV.
Sony also came through with a big TV announcement: the introduction of the first TV to use QD-OLED. It’s essentially a sexier version of the OLED panels we’ve all come to know and love, and Sony’s got it on both a 65-inch and 55-inch TV. I wrote up a piece yesterday detailing it.
Elsewhere, both Hisense and TCL introduced a slew of new TVs with improved picture quality, upgraded specs - the works, essentially. Joe Maring has great coverage of Hisense’s offerings on ScreenRant, and C. Scott Brown’s TCL article on Android Authority breaks down TCL’s new mini-LED and QLED offerings as well as some accompanying soundbars from the company.
Mercedes-Benz teases a solar-powered EV, while Sony introduces a new Mobility sector
Everyone loves a good car concept at CES 2022, and Mercedes-Benz didn’t disappoint. The company’s Vision EQXX research vehicle bundles solar panels for up to 620 miles of range on a full charge, which is ridiculous. James Pero over at Input has a neat preview of the vehicle.
Meanwhile, Sony has decided to get serious about EVs by introducing a new Sony Mobility sector of its business. The company unveiled a concept car to go along with it called the Vision-S 02, a new version of the Vision-S 01 from CES 2020. Steven Ewing at CNET has more.
Perhaps the most down-to-earth vehicle of the show so far is BMW’s 2023 iX M60 since it’ll actually launch. There seems to be a lot to like about it with more power under the hood, better range, and a classy interior. Motor Trend’s Justin Banner has all the details you could want (and more) on the SUV.
Something for every gamer
It’s no secret that I’m about the least-qualified technology journalist to be reporting on gaming hardware - the only video games I’m good at are Wii Sports Bowling and New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS. But CES 2022 introduced a ton of new gaming hardware that even peaked my novice interest.
I was especially intrigued by Asus’ new ROG Flow Z13, a device that can be described as a Surface Pro 8 or iPad Pro for gaming. It’s a 13.4-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard, up to a 12th-generation Intel Core i9, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics, and gobs of I/O. Asus says you can connect the device to an external GPU for even faster performance, and you can configure it with up to a 4K IPS touchscreen if you value quality. D. Hardawar at Engadget went hands-on with it.
Sony took the wraps off its new PlayStation VR 2 headset which comes with upgraded specs and a new Sense Controller. It’ll require a PS5 to work, obviously. Matthew Humphries at PCMag has all the details PlayStation fans crave.
There are also tons of gaming laptops that made their debut at CES from companies like Razer, Alienware, Lenovo, Gigabyte, Acer, and MSI. Cameron Faulkner at The Verge has a great roundup of most of the new laptops that use the latest hardware from Intel, Nvidia, and AMD.
So. Much. Chip. News.
Speaking of which, all three of those companies announced new chips, GPUs, and other silicon for new PCs and hardware to take advantage of. Intel always makes a big splash when they announce new processors thanks to the sheer amount of news it always has, and like clockwork, I look to the guys at XDA-Developers to break it down in a nerdy but concise way. The company’s 12th-generation processors seem very interesting, especially the new Core i9-12900HK which Intel says is substantially faster than Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in certain areas.
Nvidia’s announcements consisted of some new entries in the budget GPU category, as well as the flagship GPU market with its highest-end consumer graphics card to date. Ian Sherr at CNET covered all of the company’s announcements in one place.
Qualcomm also had an interesting day at CES with its announcement of a collaboration with Microsoft to develop new chips for AR glasses that will power the metaverse. The two companies will work in both consumer and enterprise markets and deliver unique hardware in both. Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has a breakdown of the announcement.
New clamshells, 2-in-1s, and more get a notable limelight at CES
While the Consumer Electronics Show is infamous for being the place where you see all the cool new TVs, it’s also served as a laptop showcase since January is a popular time for companies to debut their latest and greatest.
By far, the most interesting laptop I’ve seen is the Dell XPS 13 Plus. It looks nothing like what Dell has produced in the past, yet familiar at the same time. It’s a lot flatter and feels more boxy than past XPS laptops, and the invisible trackpad and capacitive Function keys add a certain futuristic aesthetic that’s hard to dismiss. I wrote up an article covering it.
I was also given all of Lenovo’s CES materials ahead of time and was impressed with the looks of the ThinkPad Z series. They’re a lot classier and more consumer-oriented in terms of their design, and I’m a huge fan.
HP also had a few announcements up its sleeve in the laptop department with the introduction of its new Elite Dragonfly G3 and Chromebook. Both laptops sport 3:2 displays, haptic trackpads, 12th-generation Intel processors, lightweight designs, and enhanced charging. The Elite Dragonfly Chromebook can even be used as a tablet thanks to its 360-degree hinge. Chris Martin at Tech Advisor has more.
Another notable mention: TCL made headlines with its very first attempt at a Windows 11-powered laptop. It’s a budget laptop at $349, and it doesn’t seem all that interesting spec-wise, but it’s nonetheless an important step for TCL to take if it wants to make it in the ever-so-crowded laptop market. Stephen Lambrechts at Tech Radar covered the device in more detail.
Samsung and Anker make headlines
For some reason, there seems to be some hype around a product that never gets a lot of attention: the projector. Both Samsung and Anker have new portable and pricey projectors, with both offering 1080p resolutions and support for up to 100-inch screens. CNET’s coverage of the devices from Sarah Lord and David Carnoy is worth checking out if you’ve been in the market for a projector and haven’t been able to find a good one you like.
Other cool stuff
TP-Link unveiled a prototype of a router that can automatically adjust its antennas to maximize its Wi-Fi signal, and there’s no denying that it looks like some sort of alien technology communicating with other planets. (Alice Newcome-Beill / The Verge)
Dell has a new 32-inch 4K monitor that focuses on making conference calls easier by integrating a 4K webcam, microphones, and 14W speakers. The monitor also supports USB-C so you can use a single cable to connect to your laptop and keep it charged. (Alex Hernandez / Techaeris)
I won’t lie, I got carried away with picking out cool stuff to feature in this newsletter. There’s just so much of it this year!
I’ll be back on Friday with another recap of other gadgets I’ve been fascinated by from CES 2022. Also, be sure to stay tuned because my annual CES Awards will be going live that same morning.