CES 2019: smart doorbells, 8K TVs, noise-cancelling cans and 5G chips with everything, courtesy of Qualcomm

The best gadgets, news, pics and videos from the world's biggest tech show

CES 2019

CES 2019 – the Consumer Electronics Show – is now well underway in Las Vegas. The press events kicked off on Sunday 6 January and the show floor opened on Tuesday 8 January. The event, which is only open to people who work in the industry and accredited journalists (such as ourselves), runs until Saturday 12 January.

CES is the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, and a mammoth showcase of many of the best new tech innovations that we can expect to see released over the next 12 months: there's everything from the latest wearables to the newest must-have tech for the smart home here spread out over a series of vash exhibition halls.

The big trends at this year’s show are 5G phones, 8K TVs and AI getting more intelligent (some might say less annoying) and appearing in more devices. The undoubted stars of the show were LG and Samsung, but Sony also had some great stuff. TV and audio products – especially vinyl-related ones – have had a vintage year, Fitness tech and wearables, not so much.

Read on for the CES 2019 lowdown... We'll be updating regularly so keep coming back for more. 

5G was everywhere, but nowhere

5G is the talk of Vegas… but there's few actual devices

Thankfully, silicone-meister Qualcomm has a large array of 'almost-ready' devices and 'this is what it will be like' 5G demos on its sprawling stand, lending a more physical side to the excitement around 5G.

Yes, the introduction to 3G and 4G didn't so much change the world as make YouTube run a little faster on phones, but 5G should be where wireless becomes the norm in homes and offices as well as on the streets, and technologies from smart home to AR/VR (or the joint term 'XR', as it's being called here) and AI come into sharp focus.

And speaking of which…

Samsung talked up 5G and AI

It seems Samsung was sneakily showing off the Galaxy X behind closed doors, to a select crowd, but the Korean giant had even loftier goals in mind at CES 2019.

At its press conference on 7 January Samsung proudly stated that it is "the first company to receive FCC approval on our commercial 5G equipment" and went on to promise that 2019 would herald the "first 5G smartphone to be released", sparking hope that the much-wanted 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 will soon be with us.

While Samsung's President and CEO HS Kim talked up 5G big time, there was no official confirmation of a 5G Samsung Galaxy smartphone and nor did we get a fresh look at the Samsung Galaxy X folding phone. No doubt those handsets will officially break cover at MWC in Barcelona, which takes place from Monday 25 February to Thursday 28 February.

"Our vision for Samsung Electronics is focused on making the screen the centre of the AI era," said Samsung's JH Han

(Image credit: Samsung)

Bixby – Samsung's answer to Alexa – is also making the jump from Galaxy smartphones to other Samsung devices. Samsung announced that the Bixby AI platform will be built into its 2019 QLED and premium TVs, and smart appliances like refrigerators, washers, as well as air conditioners, mobile devices, AI speakers and more. It seems that AI is going to be as much as a thing in 2019 as it was in 2018.

Read more about the Samsung CES 2019 press conference

LG also talked up AI, introduced the world’s first rollable OLED TV, and 'rolled out' its first 8K TVs

Want more proof that AI is going to be a talking point for 2019? LG’s CES keynote had AI in its title! Speaking in ‘AI for an Even Better Life’, LG president and CTO Dr. IP Park said: “Over the past 100 years, household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and vacuum cleaners have reduced time spent on housework by around 75 percent, but the amount of cognitive labor involved has significantly increased. The answer lies in AI – but only if we can achieve true intelligence. Our ambition is to go way beyond LG’s current role as a leading manufacturer of consumer electronics and to become a lifestyle innovator that serves a truly intelligent way of living.” 

What does this mean? AI devices need to go beyond simple voice recognition and automated task execution, apparently, and be able to understand the purpose and intention behind each command. In other words, they need to actually be intelligent.

So LG will be beefing up its AI offering in products which include cars, its fridges and TVs (LG will include Amazon Alexa in its 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI).

TVs! Let’s talk more about TVs! LG took to CES to show off the world’s first rollable OLED TV, the LG Signature OLED TV R. This follows the introduction of last year’s LG Signature OLED TV W, dubbed the wallpaper TV. LG’s latest effort is a TV which “seems to magically appear and disappear, a revolutionary innovation that seems to defy logic”, as LG puts it. The R in the new LG Signature OLED TV R refers to “a revolution in home entertainment and redefining space through its ability to rise and roll-up at the touch of a button,” apparently, although whether the R actually stands for revolution, redefining, rise or roll-up – or all four things – wasn't made clear.

LG's rollable OLED TV in its trio of states

(Image credit: LG)

The TV screen can be operated in three modes. In Full View mode, you get the large-screen viewing experience while Line View mode allows the TV to be partially unrolled, allowing for management of specific tasks that do not require the full TV screen. For example, in Line View you can choose from features such as a Clock, Frame, Mood, Music and Home Dashboard. In Zero View, all 65 inches of the TV is hidden from view, tucked away in the base, while you can still use the 4.2-channel, 100W front-firing Dolby Atmos audio system.

“A rollable OLED TV is a true game-changer, liberating users from the limitations of the wall and freeing them to curate their own personal space which no longer needs to be reserved full time for TV viewing,” says LG. “Free the walls!” says T3.

Don't you hate it when your non-rollable TV blocks out your sea view?

(Image credit: LG)

That wasn’t the only TV on show from LG. The company also brought its new 8K 88-inch Z9 OLED TV, promising "higher processing capabilities for delivering the most realistic 8K picture quality that looks sharp, vivid and detailed thanks to 8K upscaling and improved noise reduction."

LG also updated its 4K OLED lines, with the B9, C9, E9 and W9 ('Wallpaper') 2019 TVs. All of these 8K and 4K TVs are powered by the new α9 Gen 2 picture processor (also found in LG's LCD TVs, including the 75-inch 8K flagship, SM99. 

As well as mind-blowing visual clarity, the α9 Gen 2 promises to analyse and 'upscale' stereo soundtracks, producing a convincing rendition of 5.1 surround sound.

Future gazers, sports fans, gamers and lovers of initials will welcome the addition of high frame rate (HFR), variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM) on all 2019 OLED TVs and selected LCD ones. 

HFR promises smoother and clearer motion at 120 frames per second, while VRR and ALLM help "deliver a clean image, without stutter or tearing", keeping even the quickest gaming trigger fingers happy.

LG's 2019 TVs use AI to optimise the picture and sound

(Image credit: LG)

Samsung showed off its biggest 8K TV ever… and buddied up with Apple

At CES 2019 Samsung unveiled its 98-inch QLED 8K – its most humungous yet – adding to its 2019 line-up that features 65-, 75-, 82-, and 85-inch models. Embedded with the Quantum Processor 8K chip, Samsung promises that the 2019 8K line delivers the best in QLED picture quality whether a viewer is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or mobile screen mirroring, 

Samsung’s proprietary AI-based technology can recognise and upscale any content, regardless of the native resolution, to “near pristine 8K quality”, so they say.

Just look at it: 98 inches of pure QLED

We won’t be churlish and suggest that sounds like hogwash if we’re talking SD, but Samsung’s existing 8K TVs already make a very good fist of upgrading HD and, of course, 4K.

Samsung also announced it will offer iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support on 2019 Samsung Smart TV models beginning this spring. Support on 2018 Samsung Smart TVs will be made available via a firmware update. In an industry first, a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will debut only on Samsung Smart TVs in more than 100 countries. AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung Smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide. 

Yes, Sony also had an 8K TV

Like Samsung's, Sony's ZG9 8K TV also comes in sizes up to 98 inches across

Sony’s ‘Master Series’ may sound slightly suspect but it’s actually a range of premium swank-o-vision TVs. At CES, it unveiled a ‘super-large sized’ 8K model, with full array LED backlighting, HDR and all that good stuff. 

The Master Series ZG9 8K HDR Full Array LED TV serves up ‘the pinnacle of picture quality available to home viewers, capable of displaying images that faithfully convey the creators’ intent.’ With ‘premium picture quality, colour, contrast, and clarity approaching that of a professional-grade monitor.’ A special Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced further ensure that everything looks just so.

The AG9 is a relatively tiddly 55- to 75-inches across and only has a 4K resolution. But it is OLED…

Interestingly, Sony also announced the new AG9 OLED HDR Master Series TV, but that only has a 4K resolution and much smaller screen sizes. That’s not due to any inherent limitations of OLED technologically (LG Display has been showing off a strutting floozy of an 8K OLED in Vegas), but means that more than 7 people in the entire world will be able to afford to buy it.

Another very interesting feature, potentially, is Sound-from-Picture Reality, which 'faithfully reproduces the position of the sound on the screen'. In other words, actors' dialogue comes directly from their mouths rather than from a speaker.

And what about those screen sizes, we hear you gasp? Get this: the ZG9 8K comes in 98- and 85-inch models. The new AG9 4K OLED comes in relatively piffling 77-, 65- and 55-inch variants. No word on pricing as such but when we asked a Sony rep they turned pale and pulled at their collar nervously. So don’t expect cheapness. 

Alexa and Google are in seemingly everything

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Delta Touch2O
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Instant Pot
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Dux and Stellé smart bed
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Numi 2.0

LG and Samsung may be pushing their own ThinQ and Bixby AIs but it's Google Assistant and, above all, Alexa that continue to make the running when it comes to adding 'intelligence' to everything under the sun. Although admittedly, most of these probably won't make it to the UK any time soon.

CES this year sees the addition of Alexa control to Delta's existing Touch2O range of digital taps, so you can now run a bath or fill the sink with your voice. Touch2O taps also let you monitor your water usage.

Instant Pot added Google Assistant to its incredibly popular smart pressure cooker thing, so you can activate favourite recipes with a word, or have your casserole tell you the weather and local traffic conditions. Amazon already has an Alexa-powered microwave so talkative cooking appliances are officially now a trend.

Luxury bedmaker Dux has teamed up with smart speaker brand Stellé to create a bed in which you can sleep with Alexa. Stellé's speaker is "discreetly mounted to the underside of the bed", which comes in queen, king and 'California king' sizes, with pricing from $4,000. 

"Design should create an emotional connection with the product and the brand," said Wayne Ludlum, president and co-founder, stellé.  "And we're thrilled to collaborate with DUX to bring voice and technology into the bedroom."

Obvious uses include dimming the lights and setting the temperature, and Dux also suggests using Alexa to call up your baby monitor feed on an Amazon Fire TV-enabled screen.

Last, but by no means least, there's the Lumi 2.0 smart toilet. Seriously who calls a toilet 'number 2'?

As well as all the usual Alexa skills – playing music as you, er, relax, ordering, uh, pizza and so forth – this voice-activated khazi can also be flushed via voice commands.

In addition there's all the usual stuff we've come to expect from a next-gen thunder box: heated seat, built-in cleaning spray and dryer, hands-free, motion-activated lid, foot warmer (!) and Hue-style LED lighting that can "change colour dynamically for a more immersive experience." Uh-huh.

Available from late 2019; the Numi 2.0 will cost from $7,000.

My gosh there are a lot of smart doorbells

Netatmo's Smart Video Doorbell wins the prize for 'least imaginative product name 2019'

Only 3 years ago T3 gave small startup Ring an Editor's Choice award for its first 'smart' doorbell – a doorbell with a camera in it, linked to a smartphone app, so you can see who's a ringin' at your door. We didn't necessarily think it would ever be more than a small niche product, but in 2019 Ring is now owned by Amazon, and the smart chime business is booming. And chiming.

CES has new models from Ring itself, Maximus and First Alert, but our favourite may be Netatmo's self-explanatorily named Smart Video Doorbell. Netatmo is one of our favourite smart home brands because it works really hard to future-proof its devices then keeps them on sale and properly supported and upgraded for years after launch.

Its Smart Video Doorbell offers free storage of the video shot from it, whereas many rivals charge a monthly subscription. It's also the first such device to support Apple HomeKit. The camera in the bell is a 1080p HDR number with a 160-degree wide angle lens. HDR means the camera is better able to adjust to sudden changes in light so 'visitors’ faces will be clear even against the sunlight.'

It's out in the latter half of 2019, with pricing TBC. 

The feature packed Thinkware Q800 Pro Dashcam arrived to record your rear ends

A dash cam is a wise accessory for everyday driving, for obvious reasons, making it one of the fast growing segments of technology. At CES 2019 Nextbase released a new flagship model, equipped with Sony Exmor R Starvis sensors for both front and rear cameras and using an Ambarella A12 processor, the Thinkware Q800 PRO's front camera captures in QHD (that's 2560x1440 pixels, or 3.6 megapixels), a significant improvement on the full HD (one megapixel) most dash cams capture. 

It's also got a polarising filter to reduce dashboard reflections, Super Night Vision 2.0 for clearer night time footage, and built-in GPS for embedding speed, time and location data into recorded videos. It's even got a time-lapse mode that captures two frames per second for up to 72 hours.

Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones are BIG

ATH-ANC900BT: black plastic, blue steel

Since the success of Bose's QC35, noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones have become the most successful part of the whole headphone business. That's in terms of revenue, rather than units sold and little wonder – they all cost £250-£320, which is the very definition of 'affordable premium'.

Audio-Technica is not bucking the trend with its new ATH-ANC900BT, which costs £269. These cans tick all the premium wireless headphone boxes with Bluetooth 5.0, support for aptX and AAC – the higher resolution audio delivery systems for Android and iOS respectively – and 'multiple' microphones to analyse the sounds around you and then crush them beneath an iron heel.

Audio-Technica's previous attempts at noise-cancelling have tended to result in good-sounding headphones with just a little bit of noise cancelling on top. From what we've heard of these ones – and the CES floor is not an ideal testing lab – the ATH-ANC900BT is going more fully for the Bose QC35/Sony WH-1000X/ Bowers & Wilkins PX/Beats Studio 3 thing of really aggressively targeting plane, traffic and people sounds, with different modes for each.

The other headline feature here is battery life of 35 hours, which compares favourably with all the big-name rivals mentioned above. They also look suitably smart, if a little anonymous.

Jabra is at it as well

Jabra Elite 85h: noise cancelling and 'no-button' access to Alexa

With a slightly bolder look and more upfront sound than Audio-Technica's version, Jabra's Elite 85h is also slightly pricier at £279. Although it must be said that Jabra products are often found at prices somewhat lower than their initial RRP, so shop around.

SmartSound noise-cancelling uses 6 microphones and is 'based on audEERING’s soundscape technology'. With Jabra, as ever, emphasising voice call quality as well as music you'll probably find these are less suitable for acoustic and classical music but great with rock, pop and electronic sounds. That's certainly usually the case with their headphones.

Jabra Elite 85h comes in these fetching colour schemes

Another potentially very handy feature is hands-free Voice Assistant Control. This means that, unlike on the Sony WH1000XM3 or Bose's QC35 II, you don't need to press a button to activate the voice assistant. It's also system agnostic, so you can wake Alexa, Google or Siri with just your voice. That is neat. 

Meanwhile, Sony made the world’s best noise-cancelling headphones even better

"Alexa, when will it stop raining?"

Did we mention already that Alexa is now in everything? Here's another example. 

The WH-1000XM3 already sits proudly atop our guide to the world’s best noise-cancelling headphones and now they’re getting even better, as Sony adds, yes, Alexa to the mix. 

As with Google Assistant on Bose’s QC35 II, Amazon’s sassy personal assistant and DJ is brought to life with a tap of a button (or, more accurately, of the headphones’ touch-sensitive casing) in order to play tunes, tell you the weather or make you laugh uproariously with her ‘jokes’.

Existing and new pairs of Sony’s flagship cans will get the Alexa addition by the end of the month, as will the older WH-1000XM2 over-ears and the necklace-style WI-1000X. Admittedly, this is not as fly as Jabra (above), who are now letting you control all 3 of the main AI assistants without even needing to press a button, but it is a nifty addition.

Withings made the world's first hybrid smartwatch with an ECG

Fitness wearables were conspicuous by their absence at CES 2019. Apart from this Withings device, about the most exciting 'new' product in the category was Garmin's Vivofit 3 Music, which already existed, but now comes in a version with a SIM card, for fully phone-free running fun.

But what of the Withings Move ECG? It's the world's first analogue watch with the ability to record an electrocardiogram, like the Apple Watch 4. It'll monitor your cardiovascular health and detect heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation.

How exactly does it work? The Move ECG includes three electrodes, two inside the main body of the watch, and the third electrode in the stainless steel bezel of the watch. If you experience symptoms such as palpitation, simply touch both sides of the bezel to start recording.

After around 30 seconds the Move ECG vibrates to notify you that the reading is complete. It then syncs automatically with the Health Mate app, which displays whether the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of AFib.

Taking ECG readings is more of a 'wellness' feature than a fitness one, and the the Move is not one for hardcore gym addicts or road runners. However, it will measure your steps, activity, and sleep, to give more of an overview of your wellness lifestyle, or whatever you want to call it. The watch is also water resistant up to 50 meters and features a battery life of 'up to 12 months', although repeatedly taking ECG readings will presumably diminish this a tad.

It's compatible with both Android phones, and iPhones, and will be available in Q2 2019 for just £129.95, significantly cheaper than Apple Watch 4.

HTC added eye-tracking and a whole new headset to its VR arsenal

A headset and controllers… and that's all you need

HTC's Vive Cosmos will probably launch to customers this year – developer kits are going out soon – and sits somewhere between portable rival Oculus Go and a full-on Vive/Rift-style VR package. As such, it needs an external processor – a PC or, in future, smartphone or other device as yet unknown –  but there are no sensors, cameras or base stations to set up.

The keywords here: absolute comfort, and ease of set-up and use'. “We found that over 85% of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM, Americas, HTC Vive. “We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts.”

Cosmos will be the first Vive headset to feature the Vive Reality System, dubbed 'an entirely new design experience for VR' – whatever that may mean. There's no word on price yet.

In other Vive news, Vive Pro Eye adds integrated eye tracking to the Vive Pro, allowing 'gaze-oriented menu navigation and removing the need for controllers'. So that's nice.

Someone made a treadmill you can power your house from

SportsArt Verde: part treadmill, part power station

At last! When you’re working out every day and people say, “Why don’t you just go running in the park, get some fresh air? Treadmills are so boring.” you can turn around and say, “But I’m powering my whole house with it!”

That’s thanks to the Verde treadmill from SportsArt. It’s been around since last year but we’d never heard of it before yesterday – that’s the magic of CES. 

SportsArt claims it could generate ‘up to 200 Watt hours’ of what it calls ‘utility-grade electricity’. That means you could power devices or charge batteries with it, or even sell it back to the national grid.

Forget boring old calories and distances and start counting Watts of pure power

You would have to run bloody hard to generate 200 Watts of power in one hour, and that would only be enough to run one LED bulb for about 13 hours or thereabouts. So just maybe this is not a complete game changer. Interesting idea, though, and it is also a great-looking, high-spec treadmill, of course. 

There’s no pricing info for the Verde, but it’ll be on par with a high-end gym machine, ie: in the thousands. SportsArt also does elliptical and cycle machines along similar lines.

And someone else made a suitcase that will follow you around the airport – hands free!

Here is a travel gadget we are fully onboard with – an autonomous suitcase which follows you around the airport. Developed by ForwardX Robotics and called the Ovis, this innovative technology is all about making your journey easier.

The Ovis can travel at speeds of up to 6mph, and can handle multiple surfaces. It follows a tracker (worn on your wrist) and uses computer vision to automatically avoid obstacles.

Not only does it follow beside you hands-free, it also includes a TSA Approved removable battery for charging up your phone, as well as an anti-lost alarm and location tracker.

Want to quickly switch back to manual mode? Simply grab the handle and take control.

The Ovis will be priced at $799 (around £630) and will be "widely available in Q2 2019".

The North-Face launched a 'Gore-Tex killer'

Gore-Tex is the go-to waterproof, breathable fabric for outdoor clothing, and now The North Face has come up with a rival which it is calling Futurelight. The fabric is constructed using a clever method, which results in a material that The North face says is "the world’s most advanced breathable-waterproof outerwear technology". Bold claims, but believable given The North Face's pedigree in active wear.

Futurelight claims to offer "unprecedented air permeability" in its waterproof fabric

(Image credit: The North Face)

Futurelight fabric will first become available in The North Face’s Fall 2019 product line and will be featured across the brand’s pinnacle performance collections. 

And vinylly (finally): the vinyl revival just keeps on reviving…

1. Cambridge Audio just made records 'hi-res'! And wireless!

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It is a thing of battleship-like beauty, and here are lots of pictures of it…
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There's an awful lot of vinyl-related news at CES this year, considering it's meant to be all about cutting-edge tech. This is arguably the most future-looking example, though… 

That's because, while Cambridge Audio Alva TT isn't the world’s first Bluetooth turntable by any means but it is the first, so they assure me, with wireless aptX HD audio.

AptX HD is, as the name suggests, a hi-definition version of the aptX audio codec allowing streaming up to 24-bit/48kHz, which is an important consideration for middle aged men with beards.

When most people think of Bluetooth, they picture compact speakers but there are practically no speakers along those lines that currently support aptX HD. However there are more high-end receivers, including a couple made by… Cambridge Audio –the Edge A and Edge NQ. There are also a small number of compatible headphones, for more intimate home listening.

Cambridge says that the aptX HD connection is 'indistinguishable from wired high resolution audio', which I imagine will have veteran audiophiles spluttering into their real ale. But then, technically speaking, vinyl doesn’t actually usually output ‘hi-res’ audio of any number of bits or kilohertz. It’s a fascinating dichotomy, but perhaps we should move on now.

The great advantage of this – perhaps the only advantage as well, to be fair – is that you can now place the turntable anywhere in the room you like; it doesn't need to be near and attached to your amp/speakers. 

If you prefer to use it wired a built-in phono stage removes the need for any extra boxes. Other key features: a direct drive motor, high-density platter, single-piece tone-arm and pre-installed cartridge. Basically the key phrase here is 'easy to setup (by record player standards)’.

It's unlikely you'll find a more high-end Bluetooth turntable than the Alva TT. Cambridge Audio's equipment is always on point, and it costs £1,500. Although when you consider that the Alva MC cartridge that it comes with would cost you £450 if bought on its own, that doesn't feel so steep. In shops in April.

2. The legendary Technics SL-1210 DJ turntable is back! Again! And crazily overpriced!

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The SL-1210Mk7 from every angle
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As you can see, it looks very much like the original SL-1210
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From above, showing the pitch slider, light and strobe
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And here it is from above, but with the lights off
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A combo button press will now make it run backwards

The new Technics DJ deck will cost £899. 

Amusingly, we wrote this yesterday: 'Technics has used the SL-1200 name for several very expensive record players that had some things in common with the original, genuinely classic SL-1200 and SL-1210 DJ turntables. This, however, is the real deal: the Technics SL-1210Mk7 is a proper, working DJ's deck. There's no price info but it likely to be a lot more affordable than the other 1200 series 'reboots' of recent vintage.'

Well that shows what we know, because it'll be out in April and cost £899, according to our good chums at What Hi-Fi. That's an insane price to play for a DJ deck you intend to actually DJ with, but don't worry, we have a solution below.

The new turntable looks and probably feels very similar to the original but Technics has taken the opportunity to add some new tech to the 2010, in the 2010s. 

There's a reverse play function, accessed by pressing the speed selector and start/stop buttons simultaneously. This allows DJs to get creative, hear the Satanic messages in Black Sabbath records, and generally irritate the crowd, who want to hear things played in the normal direction.

Also new: the starting torque and brake speed can be adjusted to suit the user’s preference. Amusingly, all these functions were included in rival decks from the likes of Vestax in the 2000s, as they tried (and failed) to break Technics' stranglehold on the DJ market.

The stylus illuminator is now a bright LED rather than the slightly feeble little bulb that used to be there, while the new, coreless direct drive motor is said to improve stability and sound quality, not that. previous models were exactly unstable or cacophonic.

The first wave of SL-1210 decks were so specifically marketed, and so reliable and long-lived, they eventually stopped being a viable product. At just shy of 900 quid, this one is clearly aimed at ageing, wealthy ravers rather than nightclub DJs – who largely use laptops these days, anyway. Interesting side note: it's the first new Technics DJ deck for 'approximately 9 years'. 

3. Okay, here's a DJ deck you might actually use!

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB: a DJ turntable for the many, not the few

If you're not a cool dad pretending to be a scratch mixer, there's good news: you don't need to shell out 900 quid to live your Ibiza/Cream/Ministry of Sound dreams. Audio-Technica's AT-LP120XUSB is the latest incarnation of the Japanese headphone/turntable maestro's DJ deck, and it's only £245 and it comes in both silver and black finishes just like, ahem, the original Technics SL-1200/1210 did. Ah, nostalgia.

The Audio-Technica deck has the usual array of pitch-shifting, high-torque motor and great-sound that any DJ deck requires, as well as phono and new-fangled USB outputs. Admittedly you can't run it backwards (well, you could do so manually if you like), and you can't adjust brake or stop speeds without whipping a screwdriver out,  but it does have a new-fangled USB output for digitising your record collection or recording your epic, 12-hour DJ sets.

Hilariously, A-T even states that the turntable, 'plays all types of records, including 78 shellac singles (via an optional compatible cartridge)'. Great news for the DJs on Radio 2, then.

4. Oh, and Sony also made vinyl wireless

Sony's latest turntable serves up the warm, analogue magic of vinyl via cutting edge, wireless means

Sony is one of several brands unveiling a Bluetooth turntable at CES (see Cambridge Audio, above). The Sony PS-LX310BT has your standard analogue wired (with a line level option) and USB ports but also Bluetooth, adding modern convenience to the ‘classic sound of vinyl’. 

The churlish might say that turning the ‘warm rich sound’ of records into a load of zeros and ones, and beaming it through the air to a Bluetooth speaker is probably not something purists would approve of, but you’ve gotta love the convenience.

Cleverly, you can tweak the level of volume output wirelessly by this attractive turntable, so records cut at varying volumes should all sound as good as your Bluetooth speaker allows.

The PS-LX310BT also ‘boasts an aluminium die cast platter for superb sound balance and a newly-designed tone arm for sound stability. Paired with a thick and sturdy dust cover to resist resonance.’ 

The PS-LX310BT will be out in April for a not-unreasonable £200.

Sony's Glass Sound Speaker, as used by Florence Nightingale

Oh, and finally finally, if you’ve ever hankered for a portable speaker that looks like a Victorian oil lamp, Sony has one of those too: the LSPX-S2 Glass Sound Speaker.