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CES 2018: dates, news, rumors and predictions for tech’s biggest show

CES 2018 is almost here, with the first CES-affiliated events taking place shortly after January 1. That means you’ll want to ring in 2018 (Happy New Year, by the way!), then quickly turn your attention to host city Las Vegas and our coverage of the biggest tech show on Earth.

The official CES 2018 dates are January 9 though January 12, though, as was the case this year, these are preceded by two days of press-only events. January 7 and January 8 are jam-packed with press conferences and previews, meaning there will be a veritable ton of new-tech news washing over you well before the CES show floor even opens.

[Update: Smart speakers are already an early theme of CES 2018 as LG has announced the ThinQ Speaker ahead of the conference. It’s basically a Google Home made by LG, but it may be even better than Google’s own offering. With premium sound touted as a key feature, we’ll get a listen of the ThinQ in when we hit the CES 2018 show floor. Look for pricing and availability details to be revealed then as well.]

CES 2018 will see tech companies from around the world, large and small, flock to the cavernous halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as other locations around Sin City. On stages and in booths so bright they hurt your eyes, the likes of Google, Samsung, LG and Sony will show off their latest innovations and tease new tech to come. That’s not to mention the likes of Lenovo, Toyota and Dell, which also have plans for the show. 

CES, which stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, has lost a bit of its luster in recent years as manufacturers have opted to hold individual press events staggered throughout the year (à la Apple) as opposed to elbowing for exposure at an international trade show. 

But the hustle and bustle is all part of the excitement, and CES 2018 will surely feature must-see gadgets, futuristic self-driving cars and sneak peeks at innovations that could change the tech world as we know it. If you can dream it, chances are there is someone at CES 2018 who has turned it into a reality.

Unfortunately CES isn’t open to the public, but don’t worry. The TechRadar team will be on the ground in Las Vegas to bring you all the latest news and first-look hands on reviews, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out (we promise!)

Read on for the latest CES 2018 news and rumors, as well as our top predictions for what some of the biggest companies will bring to Las Vegas in the New Year.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The biggest consumer technology show on the planet
  • When is it? Jan 9 – Jan 12, with press-only events happening Jan 7 and Jan 8
  • What’s on show? Everything from 8K televisions and connected fridges to laptops and self-driving cars

Google at CES 2018

Will a new Google product join the family in Las Vegas?

Google is apparently planning quite the presence at CES 2018 with a large booth and eight hospitality suites to showcase … well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, Google Inc. will have a big, standalone booth prominently placed in the outdoor Central Plaza of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is in addition to the eight suites Google Hardware has reserved at the Aria hotel. 

While Google is typically present at CES tangentially via its third-party hardware partners, the company is stepping out from behind the curtain during next year’s show in a big way.

This could mean a couple of things. One, it seems highly likely that Google wants to give conference-goers an up-close look at its products, including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker and the new Daydream View VR headset. The whole Made by Google family is gearing up for a Vegas vacay, if you ask us.

But it’s also possible that Google will showoff something new considering it’s going all out for the show. As Chrome Unboxed speculates, we could be in for new Chromebooks to follow up the well-received Google PixelBook. We could even see Chromebooks that take on a whole new form factor, such as ones that transform into tablets with detachable screens. 

Whatever Google has planned, this is an exciting addition to the CES 2018 lineup. When the major players come to Las Vegas, there’s usually pay off in the form of exciting news.

Samsung at CES 2018

Samsung is always a big focus at CES, and for good reason. The tech giant typically unveils a number of devices (not counting its updated line of smart washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers), and sometimes shows off hardware that’s a little bit out there. 

Two years ago, it was a bendable TV. At CES 2018, it could be a bendable phone. 

Whispers are circulating that the Galaxy X, Samsung’s rumored foldable smartphone, could debut at CES 2018. 

As Forbes notes, the timing would be a bit odd since, unlike MWC in February, CES isn’t a major phone show. However, it would also be a prime opportunity to show off a completely new device to an international audience. Samsung did unveil the Galaxy A3 phone at CES 2017, so there’s some precedent. 

What’s more, Samsung originally debuted its bendable display tech at CES 2013, so it’d be fitting to unveil the culmination of five years’ development in a consumer-ready bendable phone at CES 2018. 

Samsung’s mobile boss has said the company is targeting a bendable phone launch in the New Year. Unveiling the Galaxy X in early January could be the first step towards a full-blown release later in 2018. 

The waters were muddied a bit when a leaked model number seemingly belonging to the Galaxy X turned out to be for a different phone. This could mean the Galaxy X won’t launch as soon as we’d hoped.

Something it will be showing off at CES though is its recently announced Samsung Galaxy A8, which appears to be a more affordable Galaxy S8.

Galaxy S9 at CES 2018 – will we see it or not?

Samsung’s potential CES mobile plans don’t end there. We could be in for an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 during the show – or not. Let us explain.

Notable leaker Evan Blass reported that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus could make a cameo at CES 2018. That would obviously be big news … even if the design of the new phones is iterative and not innovative.

However, on December 6, a report surfaced quoting a Samsung representative saying “it is unlikely” the company will bring the Galaxy S9 to CES. The wording is a bit vague, and perhaps intentionally so. This could mean we won’t see the Galaxy S9 until a potential launch in March, or perhaps Samsung will decide to bring the next-gen phone after all. Or bet? Samsung will hold off launching the Galaxy S9 until after CES 2018. 

Prepare for Samsung’s latest TV tech at CES 2018

In addition to the potential new Galaxy phone unveilings, Samsung could also show off a gigantic 150-inch TV. This would be no ordinary TV, as TweakTown reports, because it would feature MicroLED tech. 

This screen tech essentially has the LED elements engraved into the silicon substrate, according to the site. The substrate is so small that it acts as individual pixels. MicroLED is said to allow for greater pixel density, less power draw and the elimination of image burn-in. All good things for TV owners.

We also expect Samsung to announce new wearables, either on its own or in partnership with others, new Galaxy Tab tablets, new laptops, and, of course, new TVs. There’s a good chance Samsung will update its QLED TV tech to the next generation (and maybe go for a new name, like QLED+). 

As for other home entertainment tech, Samsung has already shown off one device in the form of the NW7000 Sound+ soundbar, a 53.5mm-deep speaker that comes close to matching the thinness of modern televisions. 

Sony at CES 2018

In recent years Sony has used CES to focus on its audio and office lines, unveiling devices like new headphones and cheaper 4K projectors along with its latest Bravia TVs. 

The Bravia range always dazzles to go along with Sony’s other top-notch goods. So far, there’s nothing to indicate Sony will deviate from this script very much. We expect the next line of Bravias to feature OLED screens, which the Japanese firm only this year started producing again. 

Plus, listen up, audiophiles: there’s a good chance we’ll see a new high-res turntable from Sony at CES 2018. Because Sony is all about turning old-school audio tech into something amazing. 

We’ll find out all during Sony’s CES press conference, which takes place at 5pm PT on Monday, January 8 at the Sony booth.

LG at CES 2018

LG unveiled what might possibly have been the thinnest OLED TV ever at CES 2017. If you don’t remember the OLED W7 Signature Series TV, take a minute to watch the video above.

At CES 2018, look for LG to go for broke once again with its TV tech, which we’ll almost certainly see unveiled during its January 8 press conference at 8am PT. Though these screens are flat out expensive, you can’t deny how visually stunning they are. To put some numbers on it, CES 2018 should play host to LG’s next-gen 8-series OLED screens (B8, C8, G8 and W8).

LG also came to CES 2017 with some low- to mid-range phones, including the LG K10 2017 and LG Stylus 3, so we could be in for a few LG mobile surprises.

What would be even more surprising (but even better for flagship phone fans), is if a recent rumor that the LG G7 could launch in January comes true. The most obvious place for this to take place is CES 2018, and it could set up an interesting dynamic in the (unlikely) event rival Samsung shows off the Galaxy S9 as well.

As is its wont, LG has already spilled some of its CES 2018 news early. It’s unveiled a new smart speaker called the ThinQ, which is basically a Google Home manufactured by LG. One feature that could trump Google’s offering, however, is sound, though we’ll be the judge once we get a listen. Look for pricing and availability details of the Google Assistant-supporting speaker to be revealed during the show proper. 

LG also announced additional audio products, including a new soundbar, Bluetooth speakers and “all-in-one party machines,” which sound perfect for Las Vegas.

Rounding out LG’s CES offerings are likely updates to its home appliances (no brainer), 4K Blu-ray player, gram laptops and even its smart helper robots. In fact, LG has already unveiled its latest gram laptop update in the form of three new laptops

Dell at CES 2018

Dell gave TechRadar an early preview of its next XPS 13 laptop ahead of CES 2018, showing off the 13-inch Ultrabook’s incredibly thin design and pleasing aesthetics.

The laptop now features three USB-C ports, a Micro SD card slot, an Infinity Edge display and two colors – Alpine White and Rose Gold. 

Since a new laptop is typically Dell’s big reveal at the the show, the news we should expect at CES 2018 involves the 2017 Dell XPS 13’s full spec sheet, release date and price.

Lenovo at CES 2018

“Reality has never been so exhilarating.”

That’s the tag line for Lenovo’s CES 2018 event, taking place on Tuesday, January 9 at 11am PT. The company has sent around save the date invites to the gathering, which it’s billing as a launch event. Interestingly, Lenovo says it plans to “announce our latest innovations with Google, Qualcomm and Microsoft.”

Our best guess is that Lenovo plans to launch its Google Daydream headset during CES 2018. Now that HTC has dropped out of making one, Lenovo is the only partner Google has lined up to release a standalone VR headset that runs the Daydream platform. 

Lenovo’s invite says we’ll “see and experience the world in new ways,” which also jibes with the launch of a VR headset that lets you move around unrestricted and doesn’t require a smartphone to run. 

All in all, we’re intrigued to see whatever Lenovo has planned, and we’ll be at the event live to bring you all the latest.

Cars at CES 2018

Observers are already keenly aware that CES has transformed more or less into a car show in recent years, and CES 2018 will only continue the trend. 

Fisker, for one, confirmed to The Street that it will reveal its newest electric car at next year’s show. Called EMotion, the car will cost $129,000 (about £98,000 / AU$165,000) and ships in 2019. Despite its high price, it’s expected to put Tesla on notice, especially since the EMotion has a reported range of over 400 miles.

Though its fortunes have turned for the worse, Faraday Future could look to recapture some of its early buzz with a big announcement at CES 2018. Toyota also impressed with its Concept-i self-driving car at the 2017 show, and the likes of Ford, Kia and Hyundai are sure to show up with news.

But it won’t necessarily be cars we see unveiled. Rather, deeper integration with smart speakers, like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, as well as the digital assistants in our mobile phones, could be what car makers have up their sleeves.

More can’t-miss tech at CES 2018

This is just a taste of the hundreds of companies that will travel from near and far to CES 2018. 

Other firms we expect to make a splash include Asus, Baidu, Dolby, HP, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Nikon, Nvidia, Panasonic, Razer, and many more. 

Who knows? We could see the next generation of HTC Vive, a gorgeous snapper from Nikon and new phones from Huawei all at CES 2018. 

Speaking of Huawei, the company’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, January 9 at 2pm PT. Huawei is a company on the rise, and Yu will discuss Huawei’s strategies around connectivity, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and smart devices. Chances are, we’re in for a product reveal or two.

Prior to this, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will deliver the opening keynote address on Monday, January 8 beginning at 6:30pm PT at Monte Carlo’s Park Theater. From the sounds of it, Krzanich’s keynote will focus on next-gen tech, including AI, 5G connectivity, self-driving cars and VR.

Nvidia has sent out invites for its CES 2018 press conference, scheduled for Sunday, January 7 from 8pm – 9:30pm PT at the MGM Grand. Nvidia always kicks off CES with an action-packed keynote, and we expect next year’s edition will be no exception as it dives into AI, self-driving cars and high-powered GPUs.

And a new addition to the upcoming show is the CES Sports Zone. Here, game-day tech will take center stage, from gadgets that boost athlete performance to the latest in fan-experience innovations, including AR and VR. If you’re into sports and tech, or just fitness in general, the Sports Zone will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.

The possibilities are endless, and we’ll keep this page updated as more news and rumors about CES 2018 roll in.