What’s coming up at CES 2008?

The Consumer Electronics Show is now just a few days away, and PC Pro is gearing up for its live coverage direct from Las Vegas.

It’s the most important event of the year for hardware manufacturers, who tend to save the major product announcements for the show; previous releases at CES have included landmark products such as DVD, HDTV, and the Xbox.

Although most of these announcements are shrouded in secrecy until the event itself, details and rumours are beginning to emerge.

Intel will have a typically large presence at this year’s show, with its new 45nm processors serving as the main attraction. Various manufacturers will be invited on to the stand to demonstrate technology that makes use of the new chips, including Commodore Gaming, who will be releasing a new range of gaming PCs. A selection of new mobile devices based on Intel technology is also expected, the company told PC Pro.

Phillips has told us to expect a handful of new monitors in the new year, although the company remains tight-lipped on exact model details. Logitech says it will have a range of new products pitched at the living room, while Pioneer says it will have both business and home products on display.

We know that Yoggie, the company behind the USB security suite, will be unveiling a new device. The current range includes features such as a firewall, antivirus, antispyware and protection from spam, all in a single flash drive. The new product will strip all this away to focus on one function – which will only be revealed at CES.

Delphi will be introducing new car-based electronics at the show, which allow USB devices and memory cards to be connected to car entertainment systems. Although still some way from manufacture, you can expect features such as music streamed to speakers from USB storage devices and pictures displayed on in-car TFT screens from memory cards. They should go down well with the traffic cops.

Pre-show rumours

There is, as usual, a wealth of rumours circulating online about potential CES releases. Toshiba is expected to announce a new range of Gigashot HD camcorders, for example, which will boost storage and image quality.

Reports claim that Dell is to re-enter the handheld market, bringing out a new Windows Mobile smartphone at this year’s show. The device will apparently focus on music and video playback, but will also provide “real web browsing”. On Windows Mobile? Don’t hold your breath.

Sticking with mobile devices, Samsung has stated that it will be unveiling the world’s first 1.3in hard disk, although a product release date is still far from certain, as is expected capacity.

It’s also rumoured to be planning an announcement on a new localised dimming technique for LED backlighting that will bring far higher levels of contrast to HDTVs, as well as new touchscreen LCDs.

it_photo_12883One rumour that could have dire consequences for the HD DVD standard, if true, is that Warner Brothers is thought to be defecting to Blu-ray. Currently the studio supports both formats, but an exclusive switch to Blu-ray would leave HD DVD as dominant as the Liberal Democrats.

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