The 2016 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will be remembered for many things, but big product announcements is not one of them. A traditional strength of the show is TVs and the big three (LG, Samsung and Sony) were out in force, but LG’s Signature G6 4K OLED panel with its front-firing sound bar and svelte proportions was by far the star of the show. Of course it features high dynamic range for retina burning brightness and increased contrast – HDR was also the buzzword at the show this year, but you should keep an ear out for Samsung’s WDR later in the year.
In a year’s time we’ll look back fondly and maybe laugh at the fact that CES 2016 saw the vinyl revival hit the mainstream. Sony and Panasonic both sought out to appease the clamouring hipster masses and music afficianados by showing off high end turntables. While the high resolution audio-focused Sony PS-HX500 turntable is all about the analogue to digital conversion, Panasonic is reaching into the past and reviving the Technics SL-1200 in grand fashion. The aluminium-cased SL-1200 G and the limited-to-1 200 units magnesium-cased SL-1200 GAE will bring direct drive to a new generation who don’t want to buy secondhand on Gumtree.
In the absence of big smartphone announcements, laptops had a chance to shine and the Windows machines really came out in force. Razer was the first out of the gate with the Blade Stealth ultrabook which features adaptable Chroma lighting with individual LEDs for each key. The Stealth is a decent gaming laptop on its own, but has a party trick called the Razer Core which gives it dedicated graphics card super powers when plugged in, and then transforms into a full-sized desktop when you add a display, keyboard and mouse. The HP EliteBook Folio was easily the pick of the Macbook fighters with its premium build which features a diamond-cut CNC aluminium and two USB Type-C ports.
There were rideables, massive tablets with keyboard cases and various concepts, but outside of car tech and Intel’s Realsense imaging applications, CES 2016 wasn’t great for the average consumer-level geek.