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CES Is On: Hope the Hype Hits!

Now that the holidays are behind us, and the New Year is unrolling before is, it’s time for that annual technology extravaganza known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), still one of the biggest and most wide-ranging of all the big technology conferences that take over Las Vegas from time to time. While the official show dates run from January 6 -9 (Tuesday through Friday), the announcements and press releases started flowing yesterday and are already kicking up into high gear.

As usual, the hype gets hoppin’ even before CES gets officially underway.

So far, only a smattering of announcements of interest to Windows professionals have appeared, but some of them are pretty interesting indeed:

1. On Sunday, Nvidia announced its latest system-on-a-chip (SOC) offering, the Tegra X1, which CEO Jen-Hsun Huang presented as a “mobile superchip.” It incorporates an 8-core CPU along with a 256-core GPU, and delivers a combined 1 Teraflop of computing power to small, hand-held devices. At a minimum, this could mean highly fluid and realistic animation, video, and gaming on next-gen tablets and smartphones.

2. Lenovo announced a reworked ThinkPad series, with a new ultraslim X1 Carbon model, plus X250, T450, and T550 models, all aimed at business and enterprise users. These will make use of 5th-gen Intel processors from the higher-powered U (ultra-low voltage) series (PDF document), which deliver significantly more power (and heat) that the so-called Core M processors in the same family. They’re also offering a set of nesting, electrically interconnected mobile extenders for notebooks and laptops called the ThinkPad Stack that includes a power module, Bluetooth speaker set-up, a 1 GB external USB 3 drive, and a WAP to share a 4G phone connection via Wi-Fi.

3. Cloud extensions into/out of all kinds of devices are showing up at CES, including a firmware update to give the Netgear R7000 router the ability to provide remote access to network users when outside the broadcast range of the device, including file and photo sharing and backup. Likewise, Seagate is showing off network storage devices that support remote backup over the Internet (which the company calls “Personal Cloud”).

4. The Internet of Things is going to gain a lot of occupants with all kinds of attached devices on their way, from thermostats to home and office controls, smart appliances in many shapes and sizes, and all manner of health, fitness, and exercise applications as well.

And this is just the beginning of what promises to be an onslaught of interesting concepts and tantalizing technologies. While not all of them will eventually emerge as successful commercial products, it’s always fascinating to see what the industry can dream up and try to sell. As more such things pop up, I’ll add to this posting, instead of posting multiple times about the same show. That leaves room for more real Windows Enterprise posts on this week’s blog roster. Cheers!

[Added 1/6/15 2:30 PM
Check out the TechRadar CES 2015 pages for the best ongoing coverage of the show I’ve seen so far. The IoT trend continues unabated, and there’s been a plethora of extremely thin-and-light Windows tablets and ultrabooks from the likes of Asus (whose Transformer series will soon sport i5 and i7 5th generation processors of the ultralow voltage variety, whose model numbers start with “U”; current models are the lowest voltage “M” models whose designators start with “Y”), Toshiba (which has some very interesting items on offer), and even Dell, which hit the stage with a remodeled XPS 13 that looks pretty sweet.]