After a fully digital CES 2021, the tech world had high hopes for this year’s show. With Vaccination cards In tow, dealers and journalists were ready to return to Las Vegas to try the next big thing in consumer electronics at CES 2022.

Unfortunately, Omicron had other plans. When the variant became known in late December, a number of companies and media outlets did scrapped plans for personal appearances (PCMag canceled a few months ago). The show actually went on, albeit with one close early, but it was a more subdued affair than the Consumer Technology Association had planned.

Thanks to the magic of live streaming and virtual press meetings, we were able to filter out some trends from the show. We may return to the maze of the Las Vegas Convention Center next year, but by then, this is what we’ve seen at CES 2022.

1. In 2022, Silicon Competition will go mobile

For the past five years or so, new computer processors have made their debut at CES every year, with Intel, AMD, and others claiming significant improvements over their previous generation chips. CES 2022 was no different, but the introduction of silicon is once again gaining importance in light of the global scarcity of chips and the new, intense competition in the industry.

AMD’s offering is that Ryzen 6000 “Rembrandt” series, which the company promises to offer faster performance and better energy efficiency than the Ryzen 5000 series, which they will replace in laptops starting next month. For its part, Intel claims essentially the same thing with its 12th generation “Alder Lake” laptop CPUs. Nvidia teased new GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti laptop GPUs, while AMD a. repressed new Radeon RX 6000S series. The new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is faster than the fastest desktop GPUs three years ago, claims Nvidia.

AMD CEO Lisa Su and the Ryzen 6000 series (Photo: AMD)

In the past, new chip offers played second fiddle to the headlines at CES, such as laptops with foldable or dual screens. But Rembrandt and Alder Lake are slightly larger offerings. For one, they represent the debut of entirely new technologies for both Intel (a new mix of performance and efficiency cores) and AMD (a new Zen 3+ architecture).

Perhaps more importantly, they have huge shoes to fill the world outside of Silicon Valley. Laptops and desktops are gaining traction in the new work-from-home era, and ARM-based processors like the Apple M1 chips are now serious challengers to a once sleepy silicon market that Intel had virtually sealed off. The result is a well-known trend that is gaining in importance again: Windows laptops that will hit the market in 2022 will be more powerful and more energy-efficient than their predecessors. Desktop CPU warfare will increase as the year progresses –AMD teased its “Zen 4” architecture for the second half of 2022, and Intel also used this year’s show to fill out its low-end desktop CPU offerings, which are also part of the 12th generation family. But mobile chips are the big battleground for the first half of the year.

2. Experimental laptop design was the focus

ZenBook 17 Fold

ZenBook 17 Fold (Photo: Asus)

More than two years after the first laptops and phones with foldable and dual screens hit the market, CES 2022 finally brought some new, fascinating concepts to a previously rather lethargic corner of the market. The most notable announcements at the show include the Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED and the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3.

the ZenBook 17 Fold is a riff on a foldable laptop-tablet hybrid in its purest form. It uses a unique hinge and folded display to collapse into an ultra-portable, easy-to-carry 12.5-inch device that is smaller than a sheet of A4 copy paper. When opened, it functions as a full-fledged 17-inch laptop, the screen of which is equipped with the inky black and brilliant colors that we expect from OLED technology.

In the meantime it is ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 could be the most practical dual-screen laptop yet. Lenovo touts it as the first in the industry 17 inch laptop with integrated 8-inch full-color secondary LCD display to the right of the keyboard. The main display on the notebook, which hit the market in May for $ 1,399 and up, has an amazingly wide 21:10 aspect ratio.

The main handicap that this and other devices like them share (including a nifty foldable screen concept that Samsung unveiled at the show) is software compatibility. Microsoft has largely abandoned his efforts to create a customized version of Windows for foldable and dual-screen laptops Windows 11 will reduce part of the gap. However, it is up to each manufacturer to develop well-designed software to make it work. If they can, 2022 could be the year foldable screens and dual-screen laptops are finally worth buying.

Asus ROG Z13 Flow

Asus ROG Z13 Flow

It is possible for more innovative but flexible designs, like the Asus ROG Z13 Flow, a lightweight game system that turns out to be Surface Pro-Style detachable, could be more practical as for the new 2022 design attempts.

3. Display Tech has taken a few twists and turns

Though not everyone Gaming monitor We saw new display tech inside at CES 2022 (several of our panel picks below were first seen on TV models from last year), the ones that were innovative got the category quite a buzz.

So far, OLED has been nothing more than a series of fits and starts in gaming monitors, but the new thing Ultrawide Alienware 34 QD OLED from Dell want to change that. The monitor uses Quantum Dot technology to address one of the most common shortcomings of OLED, the We’ve noticed using technology in gaming monitors so far: peak brightness. We had the chance to check out the monitor ourselves during a pre-meeting with Dell in New York and borrow the simplest pun I could find after three days of deranged CES coverage. the future is out bright.

Alienware 34 QD OLED

Alienware 34 QD-OLED (Photo: Molly Flores)

But if a 34-inch 21: 9 monitor sounds a little too inclusive to you, then maybe it is better to move things over to 42-inch, 48-inch, and 55-inch gaming monitor / TV hybrids to open. Both Gigabyte and Asus came to the table this year with “new” 4K / 120Hz OLED gaming monitors that could make most living room residents try twice. They were developed to meet a growing demand for displays that meet the maximum specifications of the video output of a current generation game console: 4K at 120 frames per second. These specs may sound familiar to those already in love The OLED televisions of the CX series from LG launched last year. Now, however, we have those panels in proper gaming monitors, complete with features like Asus’ anti-glare matte coating that should help multiplayer gamers see the difference between the shine of a spotlight and a bezel a bit better.

Samsung Odyssey Ark

Samsung Odyssey Ark

Finally there was a monitor that nobody saw coming, and only a select few were even allowed to watch in action – the Samsung Odyssey Ark. With a 55-inch 4K OLED panel with an amazingly impressive 1000R curvature, this gaming monitor is both thinner and lighter than any other 1000R display to date. We don’t have a lot of information yet, but we’ll keep an eye on everything Samsung’s display arm is working on as the news hits the cables.

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4. Virtual reality was hardly there

There was some big news about consumer VR at CES week, but it wasn’t really part of the show.

On Tuesday, Sony made the surprising announcement of PlayStation VR2, separate from its consumer electronics, which will be shown at CES. The long awaited VR headset for the PlayStation 5 looks like a giant leap in technology from the PlayStation VR headset, which launched in 2016 (and used motion controllers from 2010). 2,000 x 2,040 resolution per eye at 90/120 Hz, eye tracking technology previously only found in high-end corporate headsets, and long-awaited new motion controllers make PSVR2 one of the largest connected systems to date.

The PSVR2 wasn’t seen at CES, and that’s, oddly enough, the tone of VR on the show: not much new. HTC unveiled new accessories for its headsets and a 5G partnership with Lumen Technologies for the standalone Vive Focus 3 (another enterprise-level headset), but that’s about it. No news from Facebook / Meta, although the company is likely to announce something in the next few months. No news from Valve.

There was a lot of VR software floating around at CES, online collaboration and other interactions as part of the “Metaverse“But much of it either seems speculative or was simply re-contextualized before Facebook was renamed and started promoting the vague concept. PlayStation fans can look forward to the new VR technology, but there wasn’t much to see at CES.

5. Car manufacturers continue to rely on futuristic concepts

Cadillac's InnerSpace vision

InnerSpace (Photo: Cadillac)

In one normal year, the CES exhibition space would be full of flashy, experimental and expensive cars from BMW, GM and Mercedes. But squeezing yourself into the passenger seat of a car while strangers buzzing around you, taking photos and staring at futuristic interiors is less attractive in the age of Omicron. In fact, a resurgent COVID-19 caused leading automakers to cancel in-person appearances at CES 2022 and opt for live streaming press conferences.

Mercedes Vision EQXX

Vision EQXX (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

The focus of these virtual events was on pioneering concepts that transform the traditional limousine into science fiction pods controlled by autonomous software. In Cadillac’s InnerSpace vision, for example, passengers sit back, relax, and customize their journey using touch controls and voice commands. BMW came to the fair in a color changing car, and pushed in 31 inch television in the ceiling of a Series 7. And Mercedes-Benz showed its Vision EQXX Electric car, which she describes as the “blueprint for the future of automotive engineering”.

Also on the EV front, Sony announced the upcoming launch of a new company, Sony Mobility Inc., to explore the commercial launch of a Sony branded vehicle. And in things that could actually happen, General Motors led its Silverado EV pickup truckexpected to arrive at the end of 2023, subject to production-related delays.

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