If lines alone are any metric, Samsung’s CES 2013 press conference was the biggest draw of the day so far. Attendees lined up like Pac Man dots around the hall of Mandalay Bay to catch a sneak peek at the company’s new TVs, home-theater accessories, laptops, smartphones, and more. And Samsung didn’t disappoint. Here’s a look at what the 800-pound gorilla of CES has planned for 2013.
After LG led the day off with plans for both OLED and 4K televisions, it should come as little surprise that Samsung matched its South Korean competitor blow for blow. On the OLED front, the company showed off the 55-inch F9500. Besides sporting a vibrant, ultra-thin OLED panel, it’s the first TV in Samsung’s arsenal to offer Multi-View, which allows two people to watch different shows on the same TV, similar to Sony’s PlayStation 3D display. For those looking to go big, the 85-inch S9 will offer Ultra HD (4K) resolution. Pricing and availability haven’t yet been disclosed on either unit, but if LG’s competing units are any indicator, expect five digits.
The company also announced the usual swath of LED and plasma displays at more reasonable sizes – and prices. The flagship models now pack quad-core processors for scaling and Samsung’s new voice interaction feature, which basically acts like Siri for your TV.
On the home audio front, Samsung unveiled a slew of unusual products, ranging from a sound bar that uses vacuum tubes for amplification and gyros to determine ideal placement, to a 7.1-channel home theater system that somehow leverages gallium nitride for amplification. Exotic stuff.
Samsung already tipped its cards on cameras by revealing a new Compact System Camera last week, but it backed it up on Monday with a number of brand new models as well. Long zooms and Wi-Fi cams were the orders of the day, including the WB2100, which zooms to 35x for a reasonable $329. The WB800F tops the list of new smart cams with a 3-inch display, Hybrid Touch interface, 21x zoom, and 16-megapixel CMOS sensor.
After just refreshing its laptop for the launch of Windows 8 back in October, Samsung kept its PC updates brief for CES. The Series 9 laptop now offers a full HD 1080p display, and the Series 7 comes in two flavors: Chronos and Ultra. The thicker Chronos offers battery life up to 11 hours, the Ultra slims down to just 17mm while cutting battery life to 8 hours. An enormous Series 7 Touch multitouch monitor also accommodates Windows 8 desktop users who want touch, but don’t want to buy an all-in-one to get it.
Smartphones and tablets
On the mobile front, things remained quiet from Samsung at CES – likely in anticipation of Mobile World Congres 2013 in February. That said, Samsung did appease Galaxy fans with a 4G LTE version of its Galaxy Note 10.1, likely to arrive later this month on Verizon. A version of the same tablet has been available in Korea since last year.