Computers and hardware at CES 2014: Hybrids, Chromebooks, and 4K screens
With few exceptions, PC makers are focused on revamping current products rather than launching new ideas.
LAS VEGAS -- If you came to CES 2014 looking for a major collection of bold new laptops and desktops, you came to the wrong show. Instead, this early January event focused more on taking existing PC products lines and streamlining them, adding new features, new technologies, and new screen sizes.
The new stuff
Of course, a few exceptions popped up. Razer's modular Project Christine concept was impressively different, as was Toshiba's . But for the most part, we're seeing some of our favorite 2013 laptops and hybrids get worthwhile version 2.0 (or 3.0) updates.
New versions of old favorites
Lenovo brought the biggest PC lineup to CES, with a new, thinner version of the 27-inch Horizon tabletop PC, an premium ultrabook with an inventive row of changeable function key touch buttons, and a that can upgrade to a full 4K touch screen display.
Chromebooks are a hot topic, but only a handful of new models showed up on the show floor. Among them, a new $279 Toshiba Chromebook, most notable for being the first to have a standard 13.3-inch display., now in white, with a touch screen for $299; and a
Perhaps because the January date no longer matches up with the product cycles of major PC makers, some familiar faces were missing in action or close to it. Dell was represented only by a single-- although that was definitely one of the more interesting systems at the show -- while HP brought only a , leaving consumers out in the cold.
Samsung and Sony, however, each brought something new: a slim, very premium-lookingfrom Samsung, and a smaller 11.6-inch version of the hybrid from Sony.
Double your fun, double your OS
The CES topic we're going to keep the closest eye on this year is the idea of a dual-boot PC. It's not exactly new, but the options are more varied than ever, with the switching between Windows and Android on the fly, in under six seconds. Many of the systems announced here also dual-boot, but in those cases, it's between Windows and Steam OS.
Will we see many more of these systems? Intel says probably not anytime soon, but it's an interesting extension of last year's hot PC topic -- hybrids. Instead in this case, it's not a PC that can switch between two body types, but one that can switch between two personalities.