This Is It, We’re Going In…CES 2012 Preview Wrapup [CES 2012]



The behemoth Consumer Electronics Show is upon us. By tomorrow, press-only showcases will already begin revealing this coming year’s tech magic (the show floor opens for everyone else on Tuesday).

We’ve been drawing aside the curtain as much as we were able in the form of previews throughout this past week. For those who missed them — and for the rest who want a quick recap as we plunge into the show — here’re the big highlights going in.

Fitness Appcessories – iOS-connected fitness gadgets have been building steam steadily the last year or so, but things really look like they’re about to take off this year. One of the main reasons is the new Bluetooth v4.0 technology equipped in the latest wave of smartphones (like the 4S). This low-energy version of BT is miserly enough to suddenly make connecting gadgets like heart-rate sensors via Bluetooth an appealing idea.

SSDs – the MacBook Air gave a large audience a taste for how mind-blowingly effective these robust, ultra-speedy flash-based drives are, and now they’re about to breach the big-time. Surprise: Audio company Monster is bringing out their own line; and more traditional SSD companies like One Other World Computing releasing extremely low-cost (comparatively) models.

Ultrabooks – and while we’re on the subject of the MacBook Air: jealous much, Windows world? We think so; because it seems like every laptop manufacturer and its mother is suddenly spitting up an Ultrabook — essentially a computer that tries its darndest to be as slim, light, and fast (mainly through the use of SSDs and fast-ish processors) as the MBA. We’ll pay close attention to these guys, because what we see will probably prophesy the direction laptops are heading, including the next MacBook Pros and Airs.

Cameras – on Friday, Nikon finally announced the D4, the next generation of its pro DSLR body, and we expect the $6000 camera to be out with Nikon at CES. Will Canon also show off its already-announced next-gen pro body, the EOS-1D X? We hope so. We’re also expecting to encounter a large contingent of Micro Four Thirds models, including Nikon’s new Nikon One.

Odds and Ends – among some of the other goodies we’ll be tracking down are: Android phones and tablets running their new OS, Ice Cream Sandwich (is it a match for iOS 5?); bezel-less TVs with Siri-like voice-control; the new Ivy Bridge chips from Intel; OLED TVs from Samsung and LG; and in-car control systems from Mercedes Benz, Cadillac and Ford that tightly integrate the iPhone.