Snap judgement: CES 2017 highlights (Pt1)

  • The autonomous car isn’t far off: Faraday Future finally have a working car and the company demonstrated the FF91’s considerable autonomous talents. Specs are impressive with a sub-3 second 0-100 km/h and power output in excess of 780 kW, but what really sets it apart from the Tesla that it just scalped for title of fastest accelerating electric production car is the retractable lidar sensor. Lidar gives machines faster and more accurate depth perception as well as a practical view of the world around it. The system essentially shoots lasers and reads the return signal, all at the speed of light. Ford employs a very compact lidar unit on the roof of its Fusion autonomous cars it’s testing for the likes of Uber and broad adoption of this technology will underpin the second wave of self-driving car development.
  • TV has reached its final form: Forget curved, forget the resolution wars and forget common operating systems. LG doubled down on its OLED technology with the Signature W. The unit is a mere 2,5 mm thick and actually can’t be displayed on a stand. That’s not a big issue though because the wall mount option is magical. It sits flat on the wall with the edges held down by magnets. Updates to the wider range of UHD LED panels were also announced.Samsung, however, went for the organic jugular by adding a metal component to its famed Quatum Dot technology which is now called QLED. In typical LCD fashion there is much talk of increased brightness, deeper blacks and fuller colour range. We were suitably impressed with the colour and clarity of the SUHD unit from 2016 and have very high hopes for the new QLED. Also the minimalist-friendly one cable system and smart device recognition box has received a big upgrade. Hisense were last out of the gates with further improvements to the ULED display (now with quantum dot) and an interesting laser TV that uses short throw laser projection. Our biggest wish is that the company joins the modern remote brigade and removes the number keys.
  • Notebooks are exciting again: Dell may have paved the CES path with the early announcement of the XPS 13 2-in-1 – which neuters 2016’s best laptop by using Intels Core M processor and reducing the battery size – but Samsung pushed to highway speeds by entering the gaming market with the Notebook Odyssey. The pair of GTX1050-ready beasts can be specced with up to 32 GB of RAM on the 15,6-inch model and run on Intel’s Kaby Lake silicon.Acer and HP both brought gaming rigs to the show, but across the board advancements in Chromebooks will open up that market segment to a larger market with it’s ready-for-Android platform. PC manufacturers are capitalising on Apple’s Macbook Pro missteps in a big way and 2017 is poised to be the year of the laptop.
Date:5 January 2017 Author: Lindsey Schutters Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,