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Samsung at CES 2018: Everything the tech giant announced

Samsung did things a little differently this year. Instead of focusing on product after product, it detailed its vision for what it calls the "intelligence of things."

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Tim Baxter, CEO of Samsung's North America operations, talks up the company's vision for how its devices become smarter. 

James Martin/CNET

Samsung's 2018 CES press conference looked different from years past. 

For one, instead of touting the bells and whistles of new TVs, refrigerators and other electronics, it focused more on how Samsung's devices fit into what it calls the "intelligence of things" -- everything with smarts.

CES is critical for Samsung this year as the Korean company tries to show it's more than just a phone and TV maker. Samsung has tried to make its products interact with each other in the past, but has largely failed to create an ecosystem on the scale of Apple (iOSMacApple TVApple Watch) or even Amazon (with the increasingly ubiquitous Alexa digital assistant). This year marks a new push by the company to streamline its software and services, making it easier for people to use their devices and make them want to stick with Samsung products.

One way it does that will be through Bixby, its voice assistant that first showed up in last year's Galaxy S8 and will pop up in televisions and some home appliances this year. Samsung also talked about other services and offerings beyond its normal unveilings of new gadgets, like the SmartThings Cloud it announced at its developer conference in October.

Here's everything Samsung announced at CES:

TVs, displays

  • Samsung's modular TV, called "The Wall," lets you configure your television to whatever size you want. It showed off a 146-inch version at CES. 
  • Bixby support in Samsung's 2018 TVs will let you search for TV shows and movies, ask for a weather report, turn on the lights, play a song from Spotify, show photos from the cloud and even play trivia. 
  • Samsung's Samsung's best TV uses QLED, local dimming to challenge OLED, not yet named, features QLED technology to compete with OLED (Samsung uses OLED in its mobile devices but not its TVs). 
  • The Q9S TV, which Samsung calls the first 85-inch 8K TV with artificial intelligence, promises to make 4K content look better on the screen. 
  • The Samsung Flip digital chart chart (which basically looks like a digital whiteboard) can be positioned vertically or horizontally.
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Software and services

  • Samsung's SmartThings cloud will work for all Samsung devices, as well as smart products that already work with SmartThing. It also integrates with Harman's Ignite cloud that's used in connected cars. The goal is to make it easier for your devices to work together. It arrives this spring
  • Samsung's SmartThings app lets the television serve as the hub to control SmartThings smart home devices, from lights to thermostats to security cameras. (SmartThings is owned by Samsung.)
  • The SmartThings app is coming to the Gear S3 this year to let you control your lights and other smart devices from your wrist. 
  • 90 percent of Samsung's devices are already Internet connected. By 2020, all will be. And that year, all will also have intelligence from Bixby. 

Computers

  • New laptops, including the Notebook 7 Spin, a 360-degree clamshell-to-tablet convertible laptop.
  • The Notebook 9 Spin combines Samsung's 15-inch Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pro laptops into a pen-enabled 13.3-inch convertible.

Home appliances

Audio

  • The NW700, a slimline 3.1-channel sound bar. 
  • The VL5 wireless speaker that will allow users to alter the volume via a magnetic puck.

Other

  • The Exynos 9810 processor that likely will debut in the Galaxy S9.
  • Various new devices from Samsung's C-Lab, which gives employees several months to experiment and create new products of their own.

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