CES 2018: dates, news and big reveals at the Las Vegas tech show
It’s here: CES 2018 has begun! There’s been a flurry of announcements and new products revealed already, and it’s not even the official start of the show. This gadget-filled week is only getting started, folks.
The official CES 2018 dates are January 9 though January 12. But CES actually begins with two Media Days, the second of which is going down right now. LG, Samsung, Sony and more will reveal all the must-see tech of CES 2018 today, and already we’ve seen a brand-new electric car concept, dazzling 4K and 8K TVs, a rollable OLED screen and ultra-thin laptops. Plus, nearly every company is focusing on AI and voice assistants, namely Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Our editors have traveled from across the country and across the pond to attend CES, and we really got to the show by any means possible. Two of our editors embarked on a staggering 2,5000-mile road trip that started in New York City and ended in Las Vegas, testing all the latest tech along the way. You can relive the epic journey on our The Road to the Show 2018 liveblog.
Read on for the latest news and product reveals from CES 2018, as well as rumors still circulating and our predictions for the week.
Want a quick rundown of what to expect at CES 2018? Watch our pre-show Live Q&A video below!
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The biggest consumer technology show on Earth
- When is it? Jan 9 – Jan 12, with press-only events happening Jan 7 and Jan 8
- What’s on show? Everything from 8K televisions and connected fridges to laptops and self-driving cars
Samsung at CES 2018
The Wall by Samsung
If the name The Wall intimidates you, well, it should. Samsung unveiled a massive 146-inch TV early on during CES. It’s a modular TV, which means it can connect to other units to make an even bigger display. It’s also a MicroLED screen, made of pixels that, like OLED, produce their own light. That means individual pixels can be turned on and off, which in turn creates better contrast and ultimately better dynamic range.
Samsung has actually talked up this tech before, but then it only lived in the prototype realm. Now, it’s a reality, and nearly ready for commercial sale. Let’s face it, though; its price will be a high wall to climb. Check out our first look to see the screen for yourself.
Q9S QLED TV
The new 85-inch Q9S QLED TV will be Samsung’s first commercial 8K television. That is, its first ‘upscaled’ 8K TV. The TV will use a proprietary algorithm to take traditional 4K and even HD content and upscale it to an unbelievable 7680 x 4320 resolution.
This is a smart TV in every sense of the word, as it will learn from itself to better understand how to improve upon the 8K content it’s showing. Is the world ready for all of this? We’ll find out when the Q9S launches later this year.
Curved QLED monitor with Thunderbolt 3
Samsung unveiled a 34-inch monitor ahead of CES. *Yawn*, you may think, but know that the CJ791 ultra-wide QLED monitor is the first curved panel to boast Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. So there.
Notebook 7 Spin
Keeping with the computing theme, we’ve also been treated to the new Samsung Notebook 7 Spin, which features Windows Hello secure login for extra security and support for the Active Pen stylus. This is in addition to the earlier announced Notebook 9 Pen and updates to the existing Notebook 9 laptops. We should hear even more details on these machines during CES.
NW7000 Sound+ soundbar
On the home entertainment front, Samsung has already shown off the NW7000 Sound+ soundbar, a 53.5mm-deep speaker that comes close to matching the thinness of modern televisions.
Galaxy X time?
Is this the year we see Samsung’s fabled foldable phone in the flesh? Let’s just say, there’s a chance the Galaxy X will make its debut sometime this week. We’re not putting all of our chips on it, but it’s a safer bet than seeing the Samsung Galaxy S9 at CES, that’s for sure.
Google at CES 2018
- Google Assistant to be a major focus
Google will have quite the presence at CES 2018 as it has a large booth and eight hospitality suites reserved for the show.
A few days before CES, the tech giant provided further insight into just what it’ll have cooking at its centrally located booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Its plans can be summed up in two words: Google Assistant.
The digital helper is now available on more than 400 million devices, Google wrote in a blog post on January 5. It’s becoming more useful in addition to becoming more ubiquitous, and Google seems keen to show off Assistant at a so-called Google Assistant Playground at its show-floor booth.
Here, attendees are encouraged “to check out some of our new integrations, devices, and newest ways you can use your Assistant.”
This bodes well for new Google Assistant-backed devices to be unveiled during CES, though it’s doubtful these will be manufactured by Google proper. Rather, look for partners like GE and others to show off wares that feature Google Assistant in ways that could rival Amazon’s Alexa.
One announcement we know is happening already is the introduction of a few wireless Android Auto units, courtesy of JVC Kenwood. This makes Google’s in-car operating system wire-free for the first time, allowing you to keep your phone unplugged while still enjoying the benefits of connectivity.
Sony at CES 2018
Xperia XA2, A2 Ultra and L2
The rumors came true: Sony announced three new phones at CES 2018: the Sony Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2. Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is the most high-end device with a 6-inch 1080p edge-to-edge screen, an aluminum frame and a 23MP f/2.0 rear camera with support for 4K video recording and 120fps slow motion recording.
The specs go down further down the line, but all three phones have a fingerprint scanner in the US, despite most previous Sony handsets lacking one. If you fancy the Sony Xperia L2 you should be able to grab it from late January, while the Sony Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra will be shipping from February.
In recent years Sony has used CES to focus on its audio and office lines, unveiling devices like new headphones and cheaper 4K projectors along with its latest Bravia TVs.
The Bravia range always dazzles, as do Sony’s other top-notch goods. So far, there’s nothing to indicate Sony will deviate from this script very much. We expect the next line of Bravias to feature OLED screens, which the Japanese firm only last year started producing again.
LG at CES 2018
LG’s 2018 TVs
LG is pushing the boundaries of TV tech once again with its 2018 lineup, and we’ve outlined all of LG’s newest screens in one handy guide. From OLED to FHD, we break down the TVs you can expect to see on sale this year and exactly what all those flashy specs mean for regular users. A noteworthy addition to LG’s TV lineup is Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, bringing voice control smarts to your living room viewing experience.
Not on the list but already turning heads is the company’s plan to bring an 88-inch 8K OLED TV to the show, which is not only a record breaker due to its sheer size, but a screen with an eye-watering resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels.
65-inch OLED TV that rolls up
This deserves its own mention. LG plans to preview a rollable OLED TV that measures 65 inches from corner to corner. It’s also a 4K screen, so when it’s not rolled up, you can enjoy premium resolution. We likely won’t see this screen on the market any time soon, but rest assured we’ll do our best to get our eyes on it this week.
LG V30 in a new color
ThinQ smart speaker
LG has a new smart speaker called the ThinQ, which is basically a Google Home manufactured by LG. One feature that could trump Google’s offering, however, is sound, though we’ll be the judge once we get a listen. Look for pricing and availability details for the Google Assistant-supporting speaker to be revealed during LG’s press conference on Monday.
HU80KA 4K projector
While other 4K projectors are short and squat, the HU80KA is a much taller tower that appears to be designed to sit directly on the floor rather than on a table or stand. It can also project an image on a screen up to 150 inches, which is none too shabby.
2018 gram laptops
Finally, LG has unveiled its latest gram laptop update in the form of three new laptops in 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch sizes. They have impressively thin and light chassis, but also last longer and have improved performance. Oh, and they mercifully move the webcam from below the screen. Pricing and release details should be revealed on Monday.
Dell at CES 2018
Dell gave TechRadar an early preview of its next XPS 13 laptop ahead of CES 2018, showing off the 13-inch Ultrabook’s incredibly thin design and pleasing aesthetics.
The laptop now features three USB-C ports, a Micro SD card slot, an Infinity Edge display and a new color. As we discuss in our hands on Dell XPS 13 review, Dell has directly addressed the concerns of users and refined the laptop to possibly its finest point yet.
While we have to wait until our full review to pass final judgement on the new Dell XPS 13, our early looks indicate that the other laptops at CES 2018 may already have some catching up to do.
Intel at CES 2018
New Core processors with AMD graphics
The latest collection of 8th-generation Core processors has been revealed, and they feature discrete graphics from AMD. Yes, you read that right.
The collaboration between the long-time rivals looks like it will bear tantalizing fruit as these are Intel’s first CPU with discrete graphics included in a single package, allowing for incredibly thin and light laptops and PCs that are able to provide impressive gaming performance and 4K media streaming. We’ve got an in-depth rundown of the new chips, which you shouldn’t miss.
NUC 8 Enthusiast mini PC
To show off its new chips, Intel also announced the Intel NUC 8 Enthusiast. The Next Unit of Computing runs on an Intel Core i7-8809G, which comes with an AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics card. Because of this, it’s able to handle most modern games, as well as support 4K resolutions. Look for two versions – the overclockable NUC8i7HVK and the slightly less and not overclockable NUC8i7HNK.
Nvidia at CES 2018
Big Format Gaming Displays
Nvidia has launched a new initiative to build the best PC gaming screens. It’s called Big Format Gaming Displays (or BFGD for short). In collaboration with Acer, Asus and HP, the GPU maker will produce 65-inch, 4K 120Hz HDR displays with integrated Nvidia G-Sync technology and Nvidia Shield functionality. This effectively would make BFGDs the one of the biggest displays you can hook your PC gaming rig to when these launch later this year.
GeForce Now beta launches
Want to play demanding games on your underpowered laptop or desktop PC? Then you might be interested to learn that Nvidia’s game streaming solution, GeForce Now, that allows you to do just this has opened its doors as a free beta. The service basically gives your less-than-speedy machine access to powerful GeForce GTX graphics cards via the cloud, allowing it to stream intensive games at 1080p resolution, achieving up to a highly fluid 120 fps (frames per second). And you can crank up the graphics detail settings to high, as well.
Uber self-driving team up
In a bit of non-product news, Nvidia announced it’s been selected by Uber to drive the AI computing smarts of the ride-sharing company’s self-driving cars and trucks. When we see these cars on the road is another thing, but Nvidia is clearly continuing its leadership in the self-driving car space.
DRIVE Xavier SoC
Because more powerful is usually always better, Nvidia announced the DRIVE Xavier, an autonomous machine system-on-a-chip (SoC), is coming to customers this quarter. Xavier boasts more than 9 billion transistors and is the most complex SoC ever made, Nvidia claims. This could be the SoC that fuels our supercomputer future.
HP at CES 2018
HP Spectre x360 15 (2018)
A 2-in-1 laptop that balances modernity and legacy, the latest HP Spectre x360 15 straddles the line between modernity and legacy, not to mention power and panache. While not a major revolution of the firm’s 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop, this new machine is a major refinement. It’s due out in March in the US.
HP’s Z 3D Camera
HP Z 3D Camera is designed to make scanning objects in three dimensions a snap for creative pros like computer graphics artists or game developers. It attaches to the top of your monitor, with a companion scan mat being placed underneath the downward-facing camera. You can then scan any real-world object placed on the mat – or rotated around in your hands underneath the camera – to create a lifelike 3D digital image on your computer. Look for it on sale in March.
Lenovo at CES 2018
- Lenovo looks to focus on VR, new ThinkPads
“Reality has never been so exhilarating.”
That’s the tag line for Lenovo’s CES 2018 event, taking place on Tuesday, January 9 at 11am PT. The company is assembling media for the gathering, which it’s billing as a launch event. Interestingly, Lenovo says it plans to “announce our latest innovations with Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft.”
Our best guess is that Lenovo plans to launch its Google Daydream headset here. Now that HTC has dropped out of making one, Lenovo is the only partner Google has lined up to release a standalone VR headset that runs the Daydream platform. It could steal the show with a successful CES launch.
Lenovo’s invite says we’ll “see and experience the world in new ways,” which also jibes with the launch of a VR headset that lets you move around unrestricted and doesn’t require a smartphone to run.
But to give CES goers an early taste of its other offerings for the show, Lenovo has also already unveiled new ThinkPad laptops, updated ThinkVision monitors and a fresh batch of Yoga devices.
Acer at CES 2018
Refreshed Nitro 5
Acer has unleashed a refresh of its affordable gaming laptop by giving the machine one of AMD’s new Ryzen mobile CPUs. In addition to upgrading to a Ryzen mobile processor, Acer has upgraded the GPU to a Radeon RX 560X (from an RX 550). This should all mean a significant performance boost, which you can enjoy when the machine comes to market in May.
Predator Orion 9000 gets a release date
First announced last August, we now know the Predator Orion 9000 will go on sale in February. It comes with an 18-core Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition processor and can be equipped with a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Tigraphics cards in SLI configuration. It also has a rather neat all-in-one liquid cooling solution. You’ll pay a substantial $1,999 (around £1,470, AU$2,550) starting price.
An even thinner Swift 7
Acer has revealed an even thinner Swift 7 Ultrabook, plus announced the availability of a new spin on the Switch 7. The Swift 7 is now an ultra-slim 8.98mm while also upping its screen size to 14 inches. There’s also built-in 4G LTE connectivity to ensure an even better signal for your mobile broadband. It was also announced that the Swift 7 Black Edition is now on sale in the US, starting at $1,699 (around £1,250 / AU$2,160).
Amazon Alexa support is coming
Hear that? Acer has announced that Alexa support will be coming to a select number of its laptops. These are the Aspire 5, Aspire 7, Spin 3, Spin 5, Switch 7 Black Edition, Swift 3, Swift 5, Swift 7, Aspire Z24, Aspire U27 and Aspire S24. Some Acer Aspire all-in-one PCs will also get Alexa support.
Initially available in the US, Alexa support will be available in the first quarter of 2018 via an update through the Acer Care Center software, with other locations getting Alexa support mid-2018.
Asus at CES 2018
Zenfone Max Plus
Asus has unveiled the Zenfone Max Plus, a phone with a 4,130mAh battery. That’s apparently big enough for it to last through 21 hours of web browsing or 13 hours of video playback, and it can even be used as a power bank to charge other devices. It also has Face Unlock feature, letting you unlock the phone just by looking at it. Where have we heard that before…
Amazon Alexa support for 2018 laptops
Select 2018 models of the Asus ZenBook and VivoBook laptops will support Amazon Alexa, allowing users to use their voices to control the devices. We don’t have any details on these products yet as they’ll be announced later in the first half of 2018, but at least a few of these machines will get Amazon’s voice-controller helper. Stay tuned.
AMD at CES 2018
AMD has a few announcements for CES 2018, including new Ryzen chips designed for affordable laptops and Chromebooks. There are also new Ryzen chips for desktop, which will take the place of the Athlon line.
Finally, AMD shed a few more details on the Ryzen 2 line. Releasing in April, Ryzen 2 processors are built upon a new 12nm Zen+ architecture – out-smalling the 14nm transistors of Intel Coffee Lake. AMD promises Ryzen 2 will bring higher clock speeds and Precision Boost 2 technology for greater performance and efficiency. What’s more, AMD, offered a glimpse at its CPU and GPU roadmap going into 2020.
Car tech at CES 2018
You may already be keenly aware that CES has transformed more or less into a car show in recent years, and this year’s edition only continues the trend.
Byton started CES 2018 off with a bang by unveiling its concept car, an electric SUV. It’s an ultra-intuitive connected machine, complete with Alexa support and a touchscreen in the steering well. It’s also launching in late 2019 at a starting price of $45,000. Should Tesla be worried?
Fisker also plans to reveal its newest electric car at this year’s show. Called EMotion, the car will cost $129,000 (about £98,000 / AU$165,000) and ship in 2019. Despite its high price, it’s expected to put Tesla on notice, especially since the EMotion has a reported range of over 400 miles.
It’s not just luxury cars we’ll see at CES, of course. Ride-sharing service Lyft will wheel attendees around in a self-driving car during the show, demonstrating the future of autonomous transportation to all those brave enough to go for a ride.
Nissan has already let its CES news out of the bag by revealing its ‘brain-to-vehicle’ technology. The company hopes to help prevent auto accidents by reading drivers’ brain waves to anticipate safety maneuvers. It’s a fascinating idea, though one we may not see in commercial vehicles for quite some time.
Hyundai, meanwhile, is holding a press conference, but the company has already announced it’s teaming up with startup Aurora to put Level 4 self-driving cars on the market by 2021. Hyundai will show off more autonomous features in a new fuel cell car – to be named during the show – at CES.
Volkswagen also happens to be partnering with Aurora on self-driving cars with the aim of putting them on the road in 2021. If you’re curious why Aurora is getting all the attention, it was founded by engineers that formerly worked at Google, Tesla and Uber.
Toyota, too, has it’s own self-driving car advancements to talk about. It even made a video, and we expect to learn more during its January 8 press conference.
More can’t-miss tech at CES 2018
The big news of CES 2018 is already taking shape, though this is just the tip of the iceberg. Get ready for even more news from the likes of Asus, Dolby, HP, Hisense, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Nikon, Nvidia, Panasonic, Razer and many more in the days to come.
Who knows? We could see the next generation of HTC Vive, a gorgeous snapper from Nikon and new phones from Huawei, all at CES 2018.
Speaking of HTC, it looks like that prediction could come true. The company has a press event scheduled for January 8, and a weekend tweet indicates we’re in for an HTC Vive headset with an upgraded resolution. Could it be time for a 4K HTC Vive? We’ll be at the event to find out first-hand.
CES is never without a comeback story, and this year it appears Mad Catz is poised to carry that torch. The gaming peripheral company filed for bankruptcy in 2017, but is now ready to show off a wireless version of its iconic RAT Air mouse this week. We’ll get a closer look at Mad Catz’s offerings soon and find out of it’s truly turned a page.
As for upstarts, keep an eye on MyKronoz. The company is unveiling a new pair of smartwatches at CES 2018 called the ZeTime and ZeTime Petite. What’s unique about these timepieces if that they have a touchscreen and moving watch hands. We can’t wait to see this for ourselves in person and let you know how it works.
The new DJI Osmo Mobile 2, announced at CES, is designed to turn any mobile phone smart steady cams. The three-axis gimbal helps cancel out any hand shake or wobble. At the same time DJI’s built-in SmoothTrack technology detects and compensates for your intended camera movements so you get a cinematic shot every time. DJI also made a single-handed stabilizer designed for DSLRs and mirrorless camera systems called the Ronin-S.
On the smart home front, it’s not just smart speakers like the LG ThinQ making their presence known, but lights and wall switches, too. GE has already announced a new set of C by GE products that work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s HomeKit (with Siri), meaning the products aren’t tied to one ecosystem.
And US consumers can look for a new face to make an introduction at CES. Homey, a smart home powerhouse in Europe, is planning a big reveal to make its presence known stateside. Homey’s tech helps unify disparate smart home devices, which could prove quite useful for those who feel overwhelmed by all their smart home goods.
Believe it or not, the iPhone X will have a presence at CES … by way of an accessory maker. Belkin announced its latest line of wireless chargers, with ample emphasis on supporting the new iPhone in addition to flagship Android devices.
Alexa is continuing its spread by coming to Hisense TVs as well. The global TV maker announced that some of its new and existing screens will get support for Amazon’s digital assistant. Not only can you conduct actions like change the channel, but The Verge also reports Alexa will have the ability to actually control Hisense hardware.
But it doesn’t stop there for Alexa. Right before the show, Amazon announced a new developer kit that will make it easier to bring the digital assistant to mobile devices like wearables and headphones. Oh, and smart glasses. You see (hehe), Vuzix is reportedly planning to demo AR glasses that have Alexa onboard at the show. The specs will reportedly be out in the middle of 2018 at a cost of $1,000 (about £735).
To get you ready for the keynotes, Huawei’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, January 9 at 2pm PT. Huawei is a company on the rise, and Yu will discuss Huawei’s strategies around connectivity, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and smart devices. Chances are, we’re in for a product reveal or two.
Prior to this, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will deliver the show’s opening keynote address on Monday, January 8 at 6:30pm PT. Krzanich’s keynote will focus on next-gen tech, including AI, 5G connectivity, self-driving cars and VR. Artificial intelligence promises to be a big theme of the show.
Nvidia hosted its annual press conference Sunday night, kicking off CES with a keynote that dove into AI, self-driving cars and high-powered GPUs.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless and it’s next to impossible to predict everything we’ll see, but we’ll keep this page updated as more news and rumors about CES 2018 roll in.
- Follow along as our intrepid editors Matt Swider and Nick Pino road trip across the US to CES 2018, brought to you by ZTE. They’re testing out the latest tech along the way, and you can keep track of their journey on The Road to the Show 2018 liveblog. Plus, we’ve got even more great tips on how to plan your next adventure.
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