Every year CES – the Consumer Electronics Show – seems to get bigger. It's the tech industry's annual showcase of the best new gear and innovations for the year ahead, and it essentially takes over Las Vegas in Nevada for a few days every time January arrives.
This year will be no different, with CES happening between Tuesday 8 January and Saturday 12 January. Here we're going to explain everything you can expect to see, from all the biggest names in the business – and we'll recap some of the 2018 highlights too.
- The best tech gadgets we saw at Mobile World Congress 2018
- Are you ready for 5G in 2019? These phones definitely will be
What and when is CES 2019?
CES is just about the biggest tech show of the year – bigger than IFA in Berlin, and bigger than MWC in Barcelona. It draws just about all the major players from the industry, although Apple is usually noticeable by its absence.
Next year the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 gets underway on Tuesday 8 January and runs round to Saturday 12 January. It's not open to the public though: you need to work in the industry or be an accredited journalist to get to tour round.
And it's a tour that can take a long time – seemingly endless rows of booths and showcases, as companies put down a marker for what they'll be doing during the rest of the year. It's a great way to get a heads-up on the tech coming in 2019.
What will we see at CES 2019?
It's still early days in terms of rumours and speculation for CES 2019, and companies like to keep everything as secret as possible in the run-up to the show (sometimes that extends through the show as well, with some products only demoed to a select few).
Samsung usually has a strong presence at the Consumer Electronics Show. This year we think it might be showing off a large, transparent TV, if a recent patent filing is any indication, and that certainly fits with the CES tradition of featuring plenty of TV tech.
No doubt the likes of LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, TCL and others will be showing off some sets of their own, and we might even see a few 8K sets dotted around – even if the tech isn't ready for homes yet, CES is exactly the sort of event where tech firms like to give a heads up as to what's coming in the future.
Samsung has its fingers in more than one pie, of course, and we wouldn't be surprised if the foldable Galaxy X makes its debut at CES 2019. It certainly fits the CES template of cutting-edge tech, and it might tempt Huawei to unveil its own foldable phone too.
If we are going to see new phones at CES 2019, then Sony is likely to be involved. There has been talk that its flagship Xperia phone for next year is going to make its debut in Las Vegas in January, so keep your ears to the ground. It may well feature 5G as well.
Cars tend to feature more prominently with every passing year – as connected car tech becomes more important – and with companies like Ford, Nissan and Hyundai on the invite list for CES 2019, there's likely to be plenty to interest automobile enthusiasts too.
We know that Intel and AMD are going to be at CES too: AMD has already confirmed it's going to be unveiling 3rd-gen Ryzen processors and new graphics products, while Intel is said to be readying a discrete graphics card to show off in Las Vegas.
You can expect just about every other aspect of tech to be covered as well, from robotics to wearables. As we hear more about what's likely to be coming in January, we'll update this article with the latest rumours and leaks.
Who will be at CES 2019?
Plenty of big name tech firms are going to be showing up at CES 2019, and the list of attendees is one way of working out which new products are likely to be shown off. With HTC on the bill, for example, we might see more HTC Vive gear.
On the guest list are representatives from the world of smart home devices (Amazon, Philips, Netgear, Netatmo), wearables (Garmin, Fitbit), drones (DJI) and more, besides the tech firms we mentioned in the previous section. Software titans such as Adobe and Symantec are also showing up, and Google will be there too (though it's unlikely to have anything new to demo in Las Vegas).
You can expect a host of new laptops and desktops to be unveiled – Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, Razer and more all have booths – and we're looking forward to seeing some fun new toys new (Sphero is in attendance, among others). If you want to look for your favourite tech company, check out the official list of exhibitors on the CES website.
The best of CES 2018
While we wait for the breaking news and product announcements for CES 2019, here are five of the best gadgets we saw at CES 2018 last January.
Oh look, it's the first standalone Daydream VR headset, the Lenovo Mirage Solo. With top-notch specs and on-board motion tracking, this made its debut at CES 2018 before going on sale later in the year.
The AirSelfie 2 drone is one of many cool gadgets we saw at CES 2018, with better battery life, an upgraded camera, and more on-board storage that its predecessor, which was originally funded on Kickstarter.
Wrap your eyes (and ears) around this short-throw 4K projector from Sony: built into a cabinet you can place just inches from the wall, it can cast a 120-inch image on the wall, with top-notch audio too. All yours for a mere $30,000 (about £22,175).
Jabra Elite Active 65t offers 5 hours battery life per charge, IP56 sweat, water and dust resistance guaranteed for 2 years, a secure fit so they stay in during your workouts, and an accelerometer for counting reps via the Jabra app. It'll be available in sporty Copper Blue and Copper Red tones, from early April, priced £170.
Jabra already makes the best true wireless earbuds for runners, the Elite Sport. These are more affordable and hopefully more comfortable, although they do lose the highly impressive cardio tracking of those true wireless buds.
Also incoming: Elite 65t, which is the same but more for day-to-day wear, lacking the motion sensors and enhanced fit of the Active version. It will be available in Titanium Black, Copper Black and the excellent-sounding 'Gold Beige’ for £150, from later this month.
The Asus ZenFone Max Plus is here and it comes packing a massive 4,130mAh battery. That means, according to Asus, users can browse the web for 21 hours straight, or enjoy 13 hours of non-stop video playback between charges.
Asus has revealed a new version of its ZenBook 13 Windows 10 laptop. Revealed during CES 2018, the system is notable due to its super light weight of just 985 grams, as well as its lengthy 15-hour batter life.
Garmin's Forerunner 645 Music combines advanced running and fitness tracking, an integrated music player, Garmin Pay contactless payments (although that's not really rolled out in the UK yet) and a soupçon of techy style. At £399.99, it's like the Fitbit Ionic for hardcore runners.
JBL announced the addition of Google Assistant to its ever-popular-according-to-JBL Everest over-ear and in-ear cans. Despite being able to get voice control and all the information IN THE WORLD beamed to your ears, battery life is still a creditable 24 hours (over-ears) and 8 hours (in-ears).
Look no further than the HP Spectre 15 x360 from CES 2018 if you're after a powerhouse of a convertible laptop: the upgraded device boasts the latest Intel chips, improved graphics, and an integrated fingerprint reader.
LG showed off a new range of smart, connected kitchen appliances at CES 2018, including a state-of-the-art Alexa-enabled fridge equipped with a massive 29-inch LCD touch screen.
Samsung unveiled a monster 146-inch TV called The Wall at CES 2018, claiming that it is the future of TV. The set uses a new type of panel technology called microLED that is supposedly superior to OLED.