We've landed in Vegas, just in time to enjoy the proverbial calm before the storm that will be the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show
. Motorized carts zoom around the parking lot as the Las Vegas Convention Center begins to take shape -- as always, getting the million-dollar-booths fully dressed before the curtain comes up next week seems an impossible task, but the crews will come through, making the finished product a far-cry from what we see today. And as exciting as it can be to roam the halls of the LVCC and surrounding venues during the show, the pageantry of CES is really about the products, including many of which we haven't heard so much as a peep about in the weeks leading up to the show. But as the booths inside will remain veiled until company heads have a chance to brief attendees, a few hints have begun popping up outside the convention center, as workers hang sponsored banners above and along the massive entranceways. Some of these product hints serve to confirm previous rumors, so join us past the break for an early look at what's to come.
CES 2012 preview in photos
Samsung may have shipped more than one million Galaxy Notes
so far, but you wouldn't know it walking down any
street in the United States. Sure, it works just fine stateside (quite well, in fact, on AT&T's HSPA+ network
), but Korea's
massive 5.3-inch smartphone has of-yet eluded the U.S. market, with early adopters forced to procure the handset from overseas vendors, instead. We absolutely love this surprising gem of a pocketable Android slab as is, but AT&T LTE and a carrier subsidy could definitely sweeten the deal. And if the banner hanging above the Central Hall is any indication, that may come -- perhaps even as soon as next week.
Year after year, HDTV
continues to take the spotlight at CES
, with Samsung often leading the pack with sleek sets and flashy booths. 2012 is likely to be no different, and it appears that OLED models will definitely be making an appearance on the LVCC floor. Pricing has been one of the technology's primary barriers to entry thus far, but if Samsung has found a way to produce OLED panels without reaching too deep into consumers' pockets, it may just have a chance at taking large displays mainstream -- perhaps even to a living room near you.
When it comes to televisions, bigger is definitely better -- assuming you have the space to accommodate a large gap between seat and screen
. Sharp has already boosted its HDTV range to 80 inches at the high-end, launching the LC-80LE632U
last September. But is 80 inches big enough? It may be a stretch to assume that Sharp will be revealing an even larger panel at this year's CES, but even with the 80-incher remaining at the top of its game, we'll probably see an updated model or two debut at the company's presser next week.
With 3D panels
drawing premium pricing and pesky glasses collecting dust even after TV owners decide to take the plunge, many would argue that there's nothing smart
about buying a 3D TV. But LG
would beg to differ, proclaiming that its 3D solution is, in fact, Smart. We'll have to wait to see if that translates to brilliant glasses-free sets with a bevy of slick, on-demand content and lower pricing. What we're almost certainly going to see, however, are slimmer housings and even sleeker designs -- perhaps not smart enough to force you to make the jump, but slim is definitely in.
All signs point to Fujifilm throwing an X-series curveball our way during the company's press conference next week, after the rumored rangefinder-like model
was mysteriously excluded from this week's camera announcements
. The camera will reportedly include
an interchangeable lens mount and will either replace the high-end X-series model or join the family instead. Sadly, it's not pictured on the banner above, with an X100
on the left and the X10 we saw at IFA
on the right.
Nokia announced its commitment to Windows Phone during the company's Nokia World expo
in London late last year, but it's quite likely that we'll see the Lumia family grow at Monday's CES press event
. Of course, we could hear about more U.S. partners
for the Lumia 800
as well, with additional devices also making an appearance at the show. More information will no doubt be forthcoming at the company's press conference, if not before. As always, we'll be there to bring it to you live, so check back at 3PM (EST) on Monday to get your Nokia fix.
And where do we pump out most of that quality CES content? Well from our double-wide trailer, of course, branded with the Engadget logo and parked just outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. We'll be bringing you updates every few minutes during the show, along with a handful of liveblogs and reports from the floor, so bookmark this page
and check back several times every hour, all day and night, to get the full scoop on the show. We'll also be doing live podcasts directly from the floor every night next week, so dig out those headphones and stay tuned for more info.