The holidays have passed, 2011 is in the rear view, and 2012 is giving us a lot to look forward to. While you may be enjoying all the innovative technology that is offered by some of your holiday purchases, the future has much more in store. Luckily, you donít have to wait long to see whatís next, as the 2012 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off the new year in Las Vegas with a showcase of a ton of new products and technologies that will soon make their ways onto shelves. With an attendance of over 100,000, CES 2012 is a huge spectacle that covers a lot of ground during its schedule that spans multiple days. Here we will give you an overview of some of the things you can expect to see.
The innovation found in smartphones seems to be getting better at an astonishing rate. Whether its performance, functionality, or design, you can expect a lot more out of your mobile device than making simple phone calls. Speaking of performance, look for it to get a major boost with the introduction of some smartphones powered by quad-core processors. In terms of functionality, look for NFC to make a splash, as well as phones equipped with impressive cameras exceeding 12-megapixels. Smartphone designs will probably get even thinner and streamlined, and you can bet that many will sport HD displays that are easy on the eyes.
As for specific smartphones to keep an eye on, a couple of Sony Xperia phones look promising. The Xperia S has a large 4.3 inch display and a 12-megapixel camera. The Xperia Ion offers up a 12-megapixel camera as well, plus a dual-core processor. The S could offer an upgrade to Androidís Ice Cream Sandwich later in the year, which should attract some buyers.
Another smartphone featuring a 4.3-inch display is the Nokia Lumia 900 with its LTE capability. Want an even bigger display? Take a look at the LTE-enabled HTC Titan 2, who matches its name with a 4.7-inch display and a superb 16-megapixel camera. Will Microsoft try to make a bigger name for itself with some groundbreaking Windows Phone-based sets? Thatís another topic to keep in mind for CES 2012.
The tablet industry can thank Appleís iPad for putting the class of devices on the map. Tablets are beginning to be seen by many as a must-have product rather than just an extra gadget, and CES 2012 is the perfect arena to give a glimpse into iPad alternatives.
Newer tablets should come with improved processing power thanks to a few adoptions of quad-core processors, but you can also count on a shift towards tablets with smaller form factors. Most are probably not too keen on toting around devices near 10 inches in size, so the release of tablets sporting seven and eight-inch displays is likely. Googleís Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) should also be a big selling point for tablet manufacturers.
One example of a tablet containing the aforementioned features is the Acer Iconia Tab A700 with its quad-core processor and promise of all the goodies Ice Cream Sandwich will offer. Lenovo touts its IdeaPad S2 and K2 as solid contenders, thanks to quad-core processing plus the inclusion of Ice Cream Sandwich. If you are a bit of a Toshiba fan, thereís the large, Android-based Excite 10 that serves up dual-core processing and a large 10.1-inch design.
Laptops and Desktops
All the buzz of smartphones and tablets may have swayed some attention away from traditional desktops and laptops, but their importance as everyday computing machines has not been diminished. Netbooks made the news in the past for their portability, but their performance was severely lacking. Now manufacturers are looking at Ultrabooks as the answer for streamlined design and performance. Think of them as thin-and-light laptops for the new age that are priced under $1,000, have displays in the neighborhood of 13 inches, and offer satisfactory performance.
Appleís Macbook Air caught attention for its extremely thin form factor, and now other manufacturers are trying to do the same with Ultrabooks of their own. The Samsung Series 5, Lenovo IdeaPad U, Acer Aspire S5, and the HP Envy 14 Spectre are just some examples.
In terms of desktops, donít expect to be wowed. They arenít as trendy as laptops, but they should still receive some attention in the form of more powerful processing and graphics that will likely make hardcore gamers take notice.
How much better can your home entertainment center get? Manufacturers in attendance at CES 2012 will let you know. Large displays should be in, as should those that supply a thin design. LG and Samsung could introduce some impressive OLED displays for spectators to admire, and luxuries such as 3D, connected TVs, and more will probably be pushed.
Cameras could be seen as somewhat of a niche market, as the everyday consumer is probably satisfied with their current point-and-shoot, provided that itís still functioning. Those who take their photography seriously, however, look forward to all that CES brings. This year offers several compact cameras from companies such as Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. Outdoors lovers should love the Olympus TG-320 for its rugged design that can withstand the elements. Full 1080p video recording will be offered by many new shooters as well, including the Canon G1 X.
Best of the Rest
Besides the aforementioned categories, CES 2012 brings much more to the table. Peeks into new games and accessories should be interesting, and audiophiles will get looks at new and improved headphones, wireless audio devices, and more. Plenty of interesting gadgets that can help around the house will probably be revealed, and car lovers can keep their eyes on new technology from the auto industry as well.
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