We take a look at the most promising and exciting new products and concepts shown off at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
While big-name companies like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are increasingly choosing to stage their own customised launch events in order to announce and reveal new flagship products, the 45-year-old Consumer Electronic Show, held annually in Las Vegas, is still the single biggest trade show on the tech calendar. And this year, like every other, it's played host to a virtually unending cavalcade of glistening new tech toys on display from industry veterans (such as Motorola, who have exhibited since the inaugural 1967 event) and feisty startups alike. Here we take a quick overview of what we feel have been some of the most exciting and promising technology unveilings, announcements and developments at CES 2012.
Huawei Ascend P1 S
Samsung's Galaxy SII may have turned its share of heads in 2011, but 2012's "world's slimmest smartphone" mantle has been passed to the Huawei Ascend P1 S, which packs a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 4.3-inch 960 x 540 touchscreen, 8MP rear-facing camera and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" into a svelte 6.68mm-thin casing.
Elsewhere at CES, LG and VMware announced they were working on bringing virtualised dual-booting to LG smartphones (to separate work and personal 'partitions', for example), Fujitsu showed off a quad-core Tegra 3-based Android smartphone prototype, and Intel launched its official foray into the mobile sector, announcing Atom-powered collaborations with Motorola and Lenovo.
Acer Aspire S5
Considerably fatter than the Huawei Ascend P1 S (but hey... it's a computer), the Acer Aspire S5 claims the title of the "world's thinnest Ultrabook", measuring 15mm at its thickest point.
The 13.3-inch model weighs 1.35kg and should be available sometime in Q2. CES has been predictably swarming with Ultrabooks on show from numerous vendors, with notable model announcements coming also from HP and Samsung (among others), plus some funky next-gen Ultrabook concept designs
showed off by Intel.
Razer "Project Fiona"
Q. When is a tablet not a tablet? A. When it's a dual-controller-wielding Windows 8-based full gaming PC. At least that's the idea behind Razer's "Project Fiona" concept design, running on an Intel Core i7 CPU and "designed to play the most popular PC games of today with an intuitive control setup for a phenomenal on-the-go gaming experience."
We're not actually too sure how popular the extended handles might be for play "on-the-go", but for home use at least, Wii like the idea...
Kinect for Windows
As we covered yesterday, Microsoft's most significant announcement at CES (in the absence of any new hard facts on the official release of Windows 8 or the more-smoke-than-fire Xbox 720) was that the PC version
of its Kinect Xbox gaming accessory is set for local (and semi-international) release next month.
If the Windows Kinect can replicate the success of its console counterpart, we could be in for a gesture-based revolution for PC control.
You might have read or heard about the original OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) netbook-style PC initiative, which has received broad media attention in recent years. Well the OLPC XO-3, which has been in development since 2009, is an updated, tablet execution of the same concept.
Thought to be going into production this year, the OLPC XO-3 will be sold in bulk to governments for an expected US$100 per unit (approximately). In the consumer tablet space, CES played host to new quad-core Full HD models on show from Acer and ASUS, while Lenovo revealed its IdeaPad Yoga (an Ultrabook which can fold into a tablet-esque orientation).