CES 2014 news: daily updates on the highlights of CES 2014
Losing track of all the news from CES 2014? Our CES 2014 news round-up will be updated daily (sometimes hourly) with only the best bits so you can get your fix of all the news from CES 2014 with less hassle.
Last update 08/01 at 11:40 am… more to follow. Updates in reverse chronological order.
CES 2014 News: Day Two Highlights
After the hectic first day at CES 2014, day two is all about getting more time with new products. We’ll keep updating this page with the best bits as the show goes, but here are the CES 2014 highlights from day two so far.
Vizio to sell 50-inch 4K TV for just $1,000
In Brief Vizio, a US-based tech brand that specialises in ‘good tech for less’ is showing off a 4K TV it plans to sell for just $1,000 (~£610 before taxes), which is pretty astounding. Of course this isn’t the first we’ve heard of cheap 4K TVs, but typically they’re from China and are rubbish. We haven’t seen it yet, but early reports suggest it doesn’t look too bad.
Comment: Vizio’s 4K TV is the acid test for ‘affordable’ 4K TV
We’ve reviewed quite a few 4K TVs and splendid they have been, but even the cheapest ones couldn’t be called affordable. Vizio looks set to the change that and unlike the cheap 4K TVs we’ve seen so far, Vizio is a brand that can be trusted.
Sadly, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it in the UK as Vizio is US-only, but that’s not to say whomever is making the panel for Vizio won’t sell it to another brand. The kicker is that Vizio has ditched 3D to hit this price. On the one hand we doubt few people will cry over this as 3D hasn’t really captured imaginations in the way TV companies hope, but on the other 4K TVs have so far proved to make 3D far more enjoyable due to the extra detail produced.
It’s all a little academic right now as 4K content remains sparse despite Netflix’s streaming plans, which though laudable may sacrifice actual quality in favour of resolution. It’ll be interesting to see if Vizio’s move provokes a response from the big brands.
Full Story: Vizio launches 50-inch 4K TV for $999
Everything you need to know about the Steam Machines
In Brief Valve confirmed it has 13 Steam Machine partners all ready to release products this year once Steam OS is ready for primetime. The most interesting of these is the pictured Alienware Steam Machine, though sadly it’s also the least we know about. All we have is that photo: that’s it.
Still, we’ve collated all the specs and prices of the known Steam Machines in one place so you can judge them for yourself, just click the link below.
First Impressions: LG’s stunning curved OLED 4K TV
As ever with an OLED TV, though, it’s the LG 77EC9800’s picture quality that’s most got us dreaming of winning the lottery. Even though we’ve seen UHD OLED before, the sheer exhuberant power of OLED to impress is as potent as it ever was. Especially when witnessed on a 77-inch screen, where the large proportions are big enough to expose even more starkly OLED’s familiar picture strengths.
These kick off with a truly incredible black level response. Blacks just look black; there’s no hint of the grey wash seen to some extent on all other flat TVs. What’s more, this black level remains perfectly even and consistently black even if you have to watch from down the TV’s side, thanks to the way OLED’s self-emitting pixels avoid the limited viewing angle problems associated with LCD TVs. — John Archer
Read John’s full LG 77EC9800 hands-on
PlayStation Now goes live in the US
In Brief The PS4’s big cloud feature, game streaming via the Gaikai service, has now gone live in the US and is playable at CES 2014. We hope to bring you some first impressions of the service shortly, but the basic idea is it’ll let you stream loads of games (including old PlayStation titles) over your internet connection in a similar fashion to the now closed On Live gaming service. This could be the future of games consoles, so it’s a very interesting development.
Full Story: PlayStation Now is live, US-only for now
CES 2014 news: Day One Highlights
The first day of CES is always the busiest as every company has press conferences and press releases sent out at the same time. Here are some of the highlights so far.
John Archer on the curved Samsung U9000 4K/Ultra HD TV
The first thing that struck me as I studied the three screen sizes on show was the controversial curve of its design, and how the effectiveness of the curve increased as you stepped up the picture sizes. At 55 inches it seemed to add problems without giving much benefit, but at 65 inches and especially 78 inches the curve did actually make some images appear more immersive thanks to a greater sense of depth.
While Samsung is adamant that consumer research shows the public is ready to embrace the curve, it’s still the one aspect of the 65U9000 that remains the biggest unknown. Samsung will also be launching a series of new flat UHD TVs, so we guess we’ll be able to get a more accurate idea of the consumer’s thirst for curves once the sales figures are in next Christmas.
Read John’s full hands-on of the Samsung 65U9000 4K TV
Steam Contoller: It’s shaped like a console controller, but that’s where the similarities end
Whether you are a console or a PC gamer, the Steam Controller is going to feel very strange to use. The button overload clearly has its benefits for games where you rely on dipping into inventories, but for other games, it might feel like overkill.
This is still a work in progress but touchscreen aside, most things seem to be in place. It remains to be seen if Steam fans will really take to it and be willing to give up the keyboard and mouse for a controller that’s by no means perfect. — Michael Sawh
Read Michael’s full Steam Controller hands-on
UK’s Scan Computers confirms £699 Steam Machine
In Brief UK-based Scan Computers will sell a Steam Machine, called the Scan NC10, for £699 in the UK. It’s one of the 13 Steam Machine partners planning to release Steam Machines this year. The NC10 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics card.
Full Story: Scan NC10 Steam Machine to cost £699 in the UK
LG at CES 2014: webOS is the new face of LG Smart TVs
In Brief LG bought webOS from HP last year and it has put it use in sprucing up its smart TV offering. It does the same things most smart TVs do, but hopefully in a more intuitive way.
First Impressions: A good step forward for smart TVs
Part of the mission plan behind this new webOS TV interface is to break down the wall between ‘normal TV’ and smart TV, which remains a barrier for the less tech-savvy TV owner.
I’m not convinced the webOS interface will cause a smart TV revolution, but it seems a good step forward in the way smart TV operates. — Andrew Williams
Read Andrew’s full impressions in his LG webOS TV hands-on
Samsung at CES 2014: Samsung wows with curved 4K TV and ‘bendable’ TV
In Brief Among a huge number of interesting announcements, Samsung wowed the crowds with two examples of curved TVs. One is the Samsung U9000, a range of curved 4K TVs that are bound to break the bank.
The real party piece, however, was the Samsung Bendable TV which…and we can’t quite believe this… can switch between flat and curved at the press of a button. It’s not entirely obvious why it needs to do this but… it bends!
Samsung at CES 2014: Samsung’s Galaxy NotePRO is a 12-inch tablet for professionals
In brief Samsung supersizes the Galaxy Note 10.1 with a 12-inch screen and ditches TouchWiz UI in favour of new ‘Magazine UX’ interface akin to Windows 8.
First impressions: Magazine UX an interesting step up from TouchWiz
The new Magazine UX is the most welcome of changes, turning the point-and-shoot Android icon interface into a far more intuitive and immersive experience.
Build quality is still a concern but with a screen this sharp and a genuinely strong collection of business software features pre-installed, the NotePRO could well be a game changer yet. — Luke Johnson
Read Luke’s full Samsung Galaxy NotePRO first impressions
Asus at CES 2014: Launches first ‘four-in-one’ laptop-tablet hybrid
In Brief Asus’ key product launch this year is the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300, which it claims is the first four-in-one hybrid: that’s an Android tablet, Android laptop, Windows laptop and Windows tablet if you’re unsure. The key thing compared with the Book Trio Asus (another Windows/Android hybrid) launched last year is the TD300 is much cheaper, only $599 in the US.
Full story: Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 announced as ‘four in one’ tablet hybrid
Panasonic at CES 2014: New LED TVs will be ‘as good’ as plasma
In Brief Panasonic had lots to say at CES 2014, but the most interesting was its claim that its new LED TVs will be as good as its plasma TVs. This is obviously a big deal because it canned its critically acclaimed plasma TV production line recently.
It’s also announced a selection of new cameras, the most interesting of which is the Lumix TZ60, a compact with a 30x optical zoom with an electronic viewfinder.
Full story: Panasonic launches new range of 4K and 1080p TVs
Nvidia Tegra K1 mobile processor is “faster than PS3 and Xbox 360”
In Brief A new Tegra processor has been announced at CES for the last four years, but this is most the serious update yet if you believe Nvidia. Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, said “It’s almost inappropriate to call it Tegra 5. It’s simply not linear” and Founder and chief of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, reckons it can “take absolutely anything that runs on PC or high-end console and run it on Tegra.”
Read more at http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/nvidia-announces-tegra-k1-processor-offering-desktop-graphics-on-mobile#VVKGRUsBSZhZ56tx.99
Comment: The gap between desktop and mobile is narrower than ever
Nvidia’s Tegra ‘system on a chip’ has done very well for itself since launch, but the K1 is an important launch given the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor has stolen the performance lead on mobile. Nvidia made all the right noises about it being faster than Apple’s A7 and that there will be a 64-bit variant, but until rivals like Qualcomm show their hands it’s all just hot air right now.
What K1’s launch does show, however, is the narrowing gap between mobile and desktop processor performance. Tim Sweeney made the point that he didn’t expect mobile performance to reach this point for another 4-5 years, and I don’t think that’s just a neat soundbite. This fact, and the demo showing Unreal Engine 4 running on K1, shows mobile gaming has the power for serious gaming. It just needs the device to match the graphical ambitions. Shield was Nvidia’s attempt, but it’s in need of serious hardware partner. — Andy Vandervell
LG announces price for 105-inch curved OLED TV
In brief LG has announced two curved OLED TVs, a huge 105-inch and a not exactly small 77-inch one. They’ll cost $70,000 (£43,000) and $29,000 (£18,000). Yikes.
Full story: LG 105-inch curved TV price announced
Roku to launch own-brand TV with Roku software and interface
In Brief Roku, the company behind the the smart, Apple TV-like boxes that let you access Netflix and the like on non-Smart TVs (or just Smart TVs that are a bit rubbish) is launching its own TV.
Simplicity is name of the game here as Roku is touting the fact the remote will have just 20 buttons, which it reckons is half the number on an ‘average remote.
Full story: Roku to sell its own TVs
Android coming to cars thanks to Open Automotive Alliance
In Brief Google has formed an alliance to get car makers to integrate Android into their cars. Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia are the founding members, but Google is sure to want to entice more to join.
Comment: Cars are the latest battleground for Google, Apple and Microsoft
Technically Google doesn’t ‘attend’ CES, but the timing of this announcement makes it CES 2014 news all the same. With all the chatter about wearable tech and smart home technology, it’s easy to forget about automotive integration, but Google certainly hasn’t.
Car integration is just the latest frontier in the ongoing battle between these tech giants. Honda has already announced its plans to support iOS devices in its cars, while Microsoft has a long-standing (though not always immediately obvious) partnership with Ford.
Google can’t afford to be left out and its search prowess arguably gives it an edge in this market. It’s yet another reminder that increasingly the phone we choose to own will impact plenty of other choices as well, included the car you buy. — Andy Vandervell