CES 2019: here's what you can expect from the annual tech-stravaganza

 techradar.com  1/11/2019 2:59:51 PM  12  Jamie Carter, Henry St Leger

CES 2019 begins in just a few days – and it's already shaping up to be quite the show. While some of the world's top electronics companies have promised to save the best surprises for the show, we've already seen some bombshell announcements from LG, Samsung and others about what they're planning or not planning to showcase at their respective keynotes that take place on Monday, January 7. 

What we're expecting that day is an absolute deluge of news, followed by a non-stop scavenger hunt trying to find the best products of the show. It's exhausting work, but there's no place like Vegas during CES.

What we're on the look out for this year are more AI-equipped devices that will make our lives easier and simplify daily tasks. We're on the hunt for the next big wave of voice assistant devices as well as the tidal wave of 8K- and 5G-compatible TVs, hotspots, smartphones and tablets.

Last January we saw innovation in droves at CES 2018, from Samsung's 146-inch modular MicroLED TV, The Wall, and the incredible HTC Vive Pro to LG's rollable 65-inch OLED TV and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It's the world's biggest tech show, and it's poised to become even bigger in 2019.

Can't wait until opening day on January 8? Read on! We've got all the details, predictions and postulations for what you can expect to see at CES 2019.

What and when is CES 2019?  

The 2019 International CES will begin on Tuesday, 8 January and end on Friday, 11 January. It's been taking place since 1967 and is staged by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a trade organization that represents over 2,000 consumer tech companies in the U.S. 

Though it gets a lot of attention from the world’s media, this is not an event where the public can go see the latest tech. Unlike the IFA exhibition in Berlin each August, the CES is open only to the electronics trade, as well as journalists, bloggers and plenty of blaggers. (You know who you are...) 

How big exactly is CES? It's huge. If you're going for the first time, go on a few five-mile walks in the preceding weeks. Seriously, it's hiking boots-big. There are 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space. Eleven venues. 24 product categories. Some company's booths are vast and complex, while other, smaller firms grab a table in one of the 25 marketplaces. 

In terms of footfall, the CES attracts about 180,000 people from 155 countries, as well as 6,500 media, who visit 4,500 exhibiting companies. All the biggest tech companies in the world gather ... well, except for Apple.  

Where will CES 2019 take place?

Since 1978 the CES has been staged in Las Vegas. Why? Hotel rooms, all 150,000 of them, and counting. The main venue is the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center (LVCC), which is a short (and very busy) monorail ride from The Strip, where most of the hotels are. 

Along with the nearby Westgate Las Vegas and Renaissance Las Vegas, this is referred to as Tech East. This is where most of the major booths are. Tech West (comprising the Sands Expo, The Venetian, The Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas, and Encore) is where you'll find hi-fi and audio. 

At Tech South (ARIA, Park MGM/Park Theater and Vdara) you'll see VR, AR, and gaming. There are shuttle buses between the venues, but it's best to stay put for the day at one of the three areas to avoid the traffic. 

When do all the announcements happen?

Although the weeks before the CES are packed with rumors and reports of what may or may not be launched or announced at the CES, it's not until Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7 – the two days before the show opens – that there will be any concrete news. These are the two media days, and they're when the all-important press conferences are held, and consequently when a lot of the headlines are written. 

Sunday is typically light on news, and in 2019 it's Monday that will see the big companies' press conferences at the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the south end of The Strip. In 2019, confirmed press conferences include Hisense, Hyundai, Intel, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, TCL, and Toyota. 

As for whom is actually giving these nail-biting presentations, the first will come from LG on Monday, 7 January; its President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. I.P. Park will discuss AI and 'self-evolving' products … and a foldable phone? 

January 8 will see keynotes from IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty (trust, AI and quantum) and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (5G), while January 9 has AMD's president and CEO Dr. Lisa Su discuss next-gen computing.  

CES 2019 predictions: what's going to be announced

Just give the attendance list a cursory glance and you'll see that a lot of bases are covered at CES - you'll find AR and VR, voice control, connected cars, robotics, smart home, smart cities, health, wellness, sleep, sports, accessories companies, and everything in between. 

However, in 2019 there are some trends that are likely to dominate. 

The most obvious will be voice control. "Well definitely see more smart speakers with screens," says Jack Wetherill, Principal Consultant: Home Electronics at Futuresource, who also thinks CES will see voice creep into more and more product categories, such as soundbars possibly from Samsung, Sony and LG. The TV remote control could finally begin its death throes. 

"There has already been one TV with far-field microphones in the set itself," says Wetherill, referring to Toshiba's upcoming OLED, 4K HDR, and Full HD smart ranges with Alexa built in. CES could also see the spread of Netflix Calibrated Mode beyond some Sony TVs. 

Headphones will also get chatty. "A new Alexa development kit from Qualcomm means we'll see more integration of voice into headphones," says Wetherill. "We're waiting for headphones that respond to a wake-word, and while that probably won't emerge at CES 2019, we will see true wireless earphones with longer battery life – it would be logical if Sony brought more ‘true wireless’ products at CES." 

Another trend will be foldable displays, with the Samsung Galaxy X likely to feature alongside LG’s foldable. 

However, foldables could go much deeper than mere phones. "Where we’re expecting real change is laptops and tablets," says Tom Morrod, Senior Research Director, IHS Markit. "We are expecting to see foldable laptops with OLED screens that extend across the entire keyboard area – this means you could open them up to monitor size, or to book format, or use them as a normal laptop format with the keyboard as half of the touch panel." But how, exactly, Android and Windows adapt their OS for foldable devices will be interesting. Last but not least, connected cars at CES 2019 could also see integrated OLEDs to replace wing mirrors.

Want specific predictions for each company? We've got those, too!

Aircharge at CES 2019

Wireless charging is on the up, and the CES will definitely see three new products from Aircharge: a Fast Wireless Charger 10W, Fast Dual Charger 10W, and a PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Adapter. Both chargers will deliver 10W fast wireless charging, including both Apple and Samsung fast wireless charging. 

AMD at CES 2019

Semiconductor company AMD has already said that it intends to show-off its 3rd-gen Ryzen processors and new graphics products at CES 2019. 

According to a recent leak, that will include three new entry-level Ryzen 3 processors (3300, 3300X, 3300G),  three mid-range Ryzen 5 processors (3600, 3600X, 3600G) and two Ryzen 7 processors (3700, 3700X). On top of the mainline processors, AMD might also surprise us with a few new mobile processors in the form of the 2.6GHz AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 3 3300U CPU and 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3500U.

Beyond processors, CES 2019 might be the place that we see the company's next AMD Navi GPUs – though, that seems a little less likely than the 3rd-gen processors. 

There's also talk of a new Radeon graphics card, with 7nm Vega II GPUs possibly making an appearance. 

All the latest AMD CES 2019 news:

Asus at CES 2019

How about a high-end 10-inch Chrome OS tablet? That's what AndroidHeadlines.com reports that ASUS will be using CES 2019 to announce.

With last year's revamped Zenbook models and Alexa-enabled mesh router, the Asus Lyra Voice, we're excited to see what else Asus could show off this time around.

Canon at CES 2019

CanonRumors.co reports that CES 2019 could see the unveiling of a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III – complete with a new image sensor and a longer zoom range – and possibly a G9 X Mark III. That rumor seems to be even more likely than ever now that Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III product images surfaced online

All the latest Canon CES 2019 news: 

(Image: © Intel)

Intel at CES 2019

Is Nvidia about to get a serious challenge in the high-end graphics card market? If reports from Anthony Garreffa at TweakTown are anything to go by, a discrete graphics card could be coming from Intel.  

In the world of processors, rumor has it that Intel is developing a new 10-core, 20-thread CPU codenamed Comet Lake that will be based on yet another iteration of Intel’s 14nm process. If the rumors are true, this will be the first time Intel has outpaced AMD in the CPU core war in a very long time. 

All the latest Intel CES 2019 news:  

(Image: © Marc Chacksfield)

LG at CES 2019

It's confirmed, LG will definitely have TVs at CES 2019. We can safely say that because the Korean-based electronics manufacturer already announced the Alpha 9 (Gen. 2) TV processor that will power its 2019 OLED TVs. Details were sparse on how it would significantly improve this year's Alpha 9, but it could be saving that for CES.

We've also heard a lot of buzz about LG's rollable OLED that was available to see behind closed doors at last year's CES. It's not confirmed yet, but there's a good chance it will be available to see on the show floor in 2019. (Actually, that's almost a given considering that it could be on sale in 2019.)

We also know LG will be showcasing two new 'ultra' monitors for the worker bees and committed gamers out there: one being a super-sized 49-inch UltraWide monitor, the other a new 144 Hz UltraGear gaming monitor. LG will also be showing off a new range of high-end Dolby Atmos soundbars, all three of which are launching with Google Assistant built in - all well as their expanded range of XBOOM speakers for portable and mini-component speakers.

Will LG bring more 'ThinQ' branded smart home products? Probably. However, there are also rumors that LG's CES 2019 keynote will see the unveiling of a foldable phone – though, it might not be available to check out at the show. We may instead have to wait until MWC 2019 to hear about that, though in the meantime we're likely to hear more on the LG G8 flagship phone before it releases in March, with a built-in 3D camera and rumored 'Sound on Display' technology, which would produce audio through vibrations in the display panel rather than a separate speaker.

Either way, look out for pre-Christmas, pre-CES announcements of B-lister products – it's an annual tradition from LG's predictable Comms team.  

All the latest LG CES 2019 news:  

Nvidia at CES 2019

According to a fresh rumor, Nvidia will reveal its GeForce RTX Mobility graphics cards at CES 2019, supposedly on January 6, which would be in the pre-show run-up to the official start of the event (on January 8). 

If the rumor from Wccftech turns out to be true, we'll see the RTX 2070 and the 2070 Max-Q parts along with the 2060, 2050 Ti and 2050 in Vegas early next month. 

Moreover, Nvidia may be preparing more than just RTX graphics for laptops at CES 2019, with a reference to MX250 graphics just appearing in an HP laptop listing. 

The supposed HP Zahn 66 Pro 14 G2 Notebook PC was reportedly listed somewhere by HP with an Nvidia GeForce MX250 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, first shared by Twitter user Momomo

 All the latest Nvidia CES 2019 news:  

Royole at CES 2019

The world's first foldable phone? That could well come at CES from Royole, which recently teased the FlexPai, the 7.8-inch AMOLED screen that folds in half. 

Samsung at CES 2019

A CES launch for the previously announced Samsung Galaxy Home smart speaker – compete with Bixby – seems a shoo-in, but will Samsung launch its Galaxy X foldable phone? "While the full Samsung launch might be at Mobile World Congress we could instead see the Samsung Galaxy S10 launched at CES, which won’t be foldable but will have 5G and triple camera, plus a new notch design on the front panel," says Tom Morrod, Senior Research Director, IHS Markit. 

Looking to get ahead of the deluge of news, Samsung has announced two new versions of its Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 2-in-1 laptop. Scheduled for a vague ‘2019’ release and with no pricing to speak of, the laptops are both a rehash (13.3-inch) and an expansion (15-inch) of the late 2017 debut model. 

We will also almost certainly see Samsung refresh its TV line-up, which will mean more advanced QLED TVs (though probably not a new version of the recent 85-inch Q900R 8K QLED TV). However, if a recent patent filing is anything to go by, we could see a transparent TV. Since Samsung is often launching design-led screens, that wouldn't be a surprise – though if you're after some more practical features, the newly announced Remote Access should be able to source files, programs and cloud services from connected devices and computers direct to your TV.

What we do know for sure at this point is that Samsung will enhance its Serif TV and The Frame designer screens with QLED tech. The new screens will make their debut at the show and, according to Samsung, will reside in the large lifestyle TV exhibition zone of Samsung’s booth. 

The last rumor we've heard concerning Samsung 2019 TVs is that they might include both Bixby and Google Assistant – giving users the choice over which assistant they'd like to use.

All the latest Samsung CES 2019 news:  

Sony at CES 2019

There's likely to be an almighty rush to launch the first 5G-ready phones in 2019, and Sony’s desire to be first-to-market could mean that the CES 2019 sees the appearance of a 5G Xperia phone

It's also possible that Sony will use CES 2019 to launch its 5.9-inch XA3 and 5.7-inch Xperia L3 budget phones, according to KnowYourMobile.com. Sony may also launch a smart speaker-with-a-screen, following in LG's footsteps.  

Spotify at CES 2019

The streaming service doesn't normally deal in hardware, but could Spotify use CES 2019 to launch its own voice search interface to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home? Spotify has suites reserved at the Wynn Encore …   

One thing’s for sure, after CES 2019 the world of tech won’t ever be the same.  

  • New year, new tech – check out all our coverage of CES straight from Las Vegas, the greatest gadget show on Earth 
« Go back