Samsung doesn’t bring any of its occasionally-combustible smartphones to CES, but the company is big enough that there’s still a whole bunch of new tech to gawk over. Samsung just took us through a whirlwind tour of some of its best new products, including a tiny cable, a big TV, and Chromebooks that you might actually want to buy.
Also, a Samsung exec was worryingly enthusiastic about laundry for a solid 10 minutes on stage. But you probably don’t want to watch that.
For years, OLED has been the biggest name in expensive TVs. But Samsung’s decided that it’s better than OLED. All hail QLED, the newer and apparently much better replacement for OLED. QLED TVs theoretically use quantum dot technology to increase brightness, colors and viewing angles. In practice, we’re going to have to wait and see how much of a difference it makes, but Samsung is pushing the improved picture quality hard.
I have to say, it is refreshing to have TV quality improvements that aren’t just all about MORE PIXELS.
Cables are actually interesting
Cables, much like small children, are far better when they’re out of sight. To this end, Samsung introduced an accessory that could be game-changing for home TV installs. It’s a super-thin cable that links your wall-mounted TV to a separate hub.
The idea is you plug in all your devices like cables boxes and amplifiers into the separate box out of sight, and then run the one super-thin cable to your wall-mounted TV. Again, details are few and far between — and lots is going to depend on the standards supported and potential problems like lag — but this looks like a much better alternative to fishing a fistful of cables through drywall.
Say Chromebook, and your mind probably flips straight to images of 11-year-old children using garishly colored $200 laptops. But with Chrome OS getting the ability to run Android apps, things are about to get a lot more interesting. Asus has already released a “premium” $500 Chromebook, and Samsung isn’t going to let that go away.
There’s two new models, the Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro. The former uses an ARM processor, and the latter an Intel Core m3. The design looks distinctly MacBook-esque, but it adds a stylus, convertible hinge and touchscreen. 4GB of RAM is a letdown, but the 12.5-inch QHD display kinda makes up for it.
Pricing is similar to the Asus, so expect sales of the Retina MacBook to look a lot worse all of a sudden.
Wi-Fi in all of the things
I tried to keep track of the number of times a Samsung exec said “IoT,” but ran out of fingers pretty quickly. Suffice to say that Samsung is putting Wi-Fi into fridges, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, and basically anything in your kitchen that isn’t nailed down. I hope you like using apps to control things, because accord to Samsung, it’s the future.