Last week was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and all kinds of tech companies were out in full force, showing off the best of their new products that we can expect to see in the upcoming year. Some really cool products, like the Makerbot Replicator and the Samsung Smart Window, probably won't find their way into most homes anytime soon, but give us something to look forward to in the next few years. Other devices being released in the upcoming months, like new smartphones, tablets, and TVs, hand have some people already planning their goodbye speeches to their current devices. Here I will highlight just five of the products from CES 2012 that people are most excited about.
1) Nokia Lumia 900: This Windows Phone from Nokia could be the example to which all other Windows Phones aspire to be. The hardware contains a fairly fast 1.4 GHz processor, a bright, crisp, 4.3-inch AMOLED display, a 1 megapixel front camera for video calls, and an 8MP rear camera for great photos. The Lumia 900 will be exclusive to AT&T on its new 4G LTE network, which is said to be quite fast. Pricing and a release date are unknown but people are speculating that it will come out in March, probably around the $200 price range.
2) Asus Memo 370T: The Asus Memo 370T made quite a splash this year as the affordable tablet, similar to the Kindle Fire last year. Just because this device is great for folks on a budget doesn't mean that it isn't powerful, though. The memo sports Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor (translation: it's fast), runs on Ice Cream Sandwich (not the dessert, but the latest and greatest version of Android), and has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. This won't be the most powerful tablet on the market, but for an affordable 7 inch tablet you aren't making much of a sacrifice for its low price.
3) Samsung Galaxy Note: Is it a phone or is it a tablet? Samsung says it's a mix of the two, with the features of a phone but a 5.3 inch screen encroaching on tablet territory. A version of this phone has been out for a few months in Europe and Asia, but it has yet to be released in America. It will come with a fast 1.5GHz processor, a beautiful HD Super AMOLED screen, and will operate on AT&T's 4G LTE network, but the most interesting part of this phone/tablet is its use of a stylus. The stylus, while initially intended to be used in note-taking (hence the name) and annotations, could be used by more apps in the future. It'll be interesting to see if the stylus will catch on (again) or if the Note's in-between size will make it too awkward for most consumers.
4) LG's 55-inch OLED TV: While OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology has been used in phones and tablets in the past, we still haven't seen an OLED TV in the US yet. LG's OLED TV is brighter and more energy efficient than other TVs, is super-thin, and will come with a bunch of added features, like streaming media, social media, a Magic Motion remote (think Wii remote), and passive 3D capabilities. The price has not been announced yet, but it's expected to be pretty high. The important thing is, though, that this is becoming a viable technology that will start to make its way into the living room in the next few years.
5) HP Envy 14 Spectre: With all of the talk about smartphones and tablets it's important to remember that "regular" computers aren't dead. HP's latest offering into the ultrabook market is a great reminder. The Spectre is not the thinnest ultrabook on the market and it's not quite as powerful as many higher-end laptops, but it still supports an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. Its aesthetics are one of its big selling points, as its lid and palm rests are all covered with Gorilla Glass, the scratch resistant surface found on many touchscreen devices. With a $1,400 price tag, we'll have to wait and see if the style is worth the extra cost.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for what we will see this year in the tech world. Leave us a comment if there was anything from CES 2012 that you're really excited about this year!