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January 8th, 2013

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is among the largest showcases of new technology every year, and this time around CES 2013 takes over Las Vegas from January 8 through 11. After Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gaCES 2013ve the company’s last-ever keynote at CES 2012, any number of industry pundits bemoaned the show’s supposed decline. So, is CES passé? A waste of time and money? A candidate for virtualization?

Still a “heady mix”

To judge from what we’re hearing, you’d have to answer a resounding “No!” to all of the above queries. CES 2013 promises a heady mix of keynote surprises, sneak peeks, and high-tech hullaballoo. Even more than usual, press leaks abound—all the better for us to bring you the latest, most useful information. Here’s some of what you can expect to see coming out of Las Vegas this week:Tablet TV

A “real” TV tablet: You can jump through a few hoops with our iPad rental and get TV shows, but RCA’s new DMT580D combines an Android tablet with an actual TV tuner for free over-the-air digital broadcasts.

A Google TV device or three: Manufacturers TCL, Asus, and Hisense are all expected to exhibit new Google TV “devices,” according to CES press statements. Google’s current partners Sony and Vizio will debut the recently upgraded TV service on “new devices,” as well. Interestingly, the term wasn’t defined so it could mean anything from set-top boxes to integrated screens.

Samsung rebranding move: It has the best-selling smart phone on Earth, but with its headline-grabbing legal woes Samsung is reportedly preparing a serious rebranding. Stephen Woo, president of Samsung’s device solutions division, will set the tone for the company’s new image in his January 9th keynote address. The company’s Full HD Super AMOLED display arrives at the show, perhaps mounted in the new, also-headline-grabbing Galaxy S4.

The birth of Ultra High-Definition TV: There will be plenty of these on display. To qualify as an Ultra High-Definition (UHD) screen, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA, parent of CES) requires a minimum resolution of 3840×2160, at least 8 million pixels, and a 16×9 or better aspect ratio.

The big Kahuna of CPUs: Intel is not the only chipmaker coming to CES 2013, but is expected to “show up big” and possibly announce a new mobile processor or two, as well as some for the iMac and Mac Pro lines. The rumors that Apple may not use Intel as its CPU provider resurfaced after Apple developed the A6X for the iPad 4—a CPU that is twice as fast as those in current iPads. We’ll keep you posted on this.

Nvidia debuting the Tegra 4: Nvidia’s Tegra 3 made its way into phones from HTC, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, and Microsoft’s new Surface PC/tablet, which may be a big hit for Microsoft and future king of tablet PC rentals. It is likely that the firm will debut the Tegra 4 at CES, with initial clock speeds up to 1.8GHz and a target of 2GHz by mid-year.

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