CES 2022 is just around the corner and Las Vegas is about to get nerdy with the return of the in-person consumer tech spectacular!
Kicking off on Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Consumer Electronics Show gives us a preview into what kinds of gadgets you can look forward to getting this year — and a glimpse of the future.
Of course, this is still quite a stripped back version of the event in comparison to the pre-pandemic bash, which would see hundreds of thousands of attendees crammed into convention halls. In fact, you’ll see many companies either keeping their events virtual or just not showing up.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see some cool stuff, though. Here are our predictions.
Laptops at CES 2022
Laptops at CES 2022 are sort of predictable, but really exciting at the same time. Throughout the many teases and product announcements we expect to see during this time, there will be some key specs that will give us a glimpse at the next 12 months in the category.
- 12th Gen Intel processors: Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs have been stirring up a storm on the desktop front by taking the fight to AMD’s latest Ryzen chips and winning. We predict some mobile CPU announcements from Intel and some of the latest lineups from OEMs to feature them.
- Mini LED: You’ve seen this new display tech start to sneak into Windows laptop lines and make it big in the new M1 MacBook Pro. CES 2022 is primed to be the time we see Mini LED go big.
- DDR5 RAM: Multitasking is about to get a whole lot bigger, faster and power efficient. Compared to DDR4 RAM, you can drastically increase the clock speed without expending more energy. That should be more than enough to handle Google Chrome.
- The QHD gaming laptop trend continues: 12th Gen Intel and DDR5 RAM are going to work alongside dedicated RTX 30-series GPUs to create some real portable gaming beasts. But the more visibly noticeable difference is the continued move over to QHD displays. The maximum refresh rate we’ve seen so far in 1440p screens is 165Hz, but a jump to 300Hz would confirm its spot in Esports enthusiasts’ hearts.
Phones at CES 2022
With Mobile World Congress just around the corner from CES and many of the big OEMs holding their own, we rarely see any big phone news emerge from Vegas.
However, we’re in a slightly different position than usual. With Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 being announced, alongside Samsung, TCL and Sony being at the event, there may be some surprises lined up.
Although, applying common sense and looking at the history of phone events at CES, I’d reduce those expectations and look forward to some refreshes of mid-range phones such as the Samsung Galaxy A52
Audio at CES 2022
It should come as absolutely no surprise that there will be new headphones and true wireless earbuds at CES 2022. With LG, Samsung, Sony, Klipsch, JBL and more being at the show, alongside numerous more attending virtually, expect a host of manufacturers who are set to have a lot to say about audio.
I’m not going to say these are predictions — more of a personal wishlist. I hope we see improvements to battery life across true wireless earbuds (four hours is simply not enough), alongside more people moving to a dual-driver sound structure. The separation of having a Knowles balanced armature driver handling the highs makes a profound impact on the spaciousness of the sound production.
Plus, after seeing Apple drop Spatial Audio into its AirPods line-up and the likes of Sony 360 Reality Audio in past years, it would be fair to expect more companies making moves in this area.
TVs at CES 2022
The TV world has largely shown its hand for the future. As the march towards 8K resolution and a high refresh rate goes on, moves toward Mini LED technology are clearly going to be the talk of the show.
Sony, LG and Samsung will bring their big screen energy to the show with a usual slew of 100-inch monsters, but keep an eye out for these Mini LED panels too, as they will be the future of televisions. Not only that, but we may also see some Smart TV OS updates and some interesting conversations around the future of HDMI I/O.
As for when you should actually buy this tech, given the eye-watering prices of TVs announced at CES, I’d give it a year or two before investing.
So, there we are. CES 2022 is not back to full strength yet, but we’ve got plenty to look forward to.
From the usual minor tweaks and improvements to laptops, phones, headphones and TVs, to bigger ideas like space travel, 5G-driven automation, smart cities and the continual move into the world of NFTs and the blockchain.
It’s worth taking any big ideas with a pinch of salt, though, as they will take a while to become a reality (5G Smart Cities has been on every CES tech trends presentation since 2016).