CES 2020: What to expect from the Las Vegas trade show (Update)

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Update, January 3, 2020 (02:46AM ET): We’ve updated the original article with more details about CES 2020 announcements from LG, Samsung, Apple, and Sony. Read on to find out what top tech brands have planned for the world’s largest electronics trade show


Original article, December 13, 2019 (04:00PM ET): CES 2020 is just around the corner! As one of the largest technology trade shows in the world, CES is where many of the year’s hottest tech products are unveiled. Android Authority and its sister websites SoundGuys and Drone Rush attend every year, bringing you a first-hand look at the latest mobile technology, audio products, drones, and more.

The mobile technology aspect of CES has been dwindling year over year, and we expect there to be fewer smartphone-related announcements at CES 2020 than ever before. However, there are still a ton of mobile-adjacent product announcements to cover, including televisions, Chromebooks, laptops, headphones, smart speakers, VR headsets, wearables, and others.

CES 2020: Important info

  • When is CES 2020? CES 2020 takes place from Tuesday, January 7 through Friday, January 10, 2020. Like every year, companies attending the show will announce products in the days leading up to the trade show. Expect to hear about new product announcements starting in the early days of January 2020.
  • Where is CES 2020 held? Every year, CES is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, primarily at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Separate events, keynotes, and product unveilings happen at various locations around Las Vegas.
  • Is CES 2020 open to the public? CES is not open to the public and is restricted to members of the tech industry.

Over 4,500 technology companies showcase products and services at CES. Below, you’ll find a brief summary as to what we can expect from each of the major consumer tech companies at CES 2020.

Acer

Acer logo with Chrome logo

Acer usually brings new Chromebook hardware to CES. Last year at CES it launched the Acer Chromebook 315, the company’s first Chromebook based on an all-in-one APU processor manufactured by AMD. The company also announced a new Windows 10 laptop, the Acer Swift 7. This device features a 14-inch touchscreen display and very thin bezels, and an incredibly thin design.

Although the company just launched new Chromebooks and Windows laptops at IFA 2019, we should expect to see even more at CES 2020.

Apple

apple logo close iphone

For the first time in 28 years, Apple will participate in CES 2020. The company is not expected to announce any new hardware at the event. Instead, Apple Senior Director of Global Privacy, Jane Horvath will be part of a roundtable discussion on privacy. The session is called, “Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable: What Do Consumers Want?

Apple is also said to showcase HomeKit, a system to control smart devices, at CES. The company will likely promote third-party devices that work with Siri.

Apple also had a presence at CES 2019, albeit in the form of a gigantic billboard. Visible from the CES venue, the billboard advertised the iPhone’s focus on privacy. Also, it alluded to data protection controversies at Google, Facebook, and other companies.

Asus

Asus Chromebook Flip C434 right profile

Asus brings its A-game to CES, and this year should be no different. In 2019, Asus launched an education-focused Chromebook line (C204, C214, C403, and the CT100 tablet) as well as the popular Chromebook Flip C434. There were also plenty of new products added to Asus’ ROG gaming sub-brand lineup, including laptops, desktops, monitors, and computer peripherals.

At CES 2020, we’ll likely see new Chromebooks from the company, as well as plenty of new ROG products. Personally, I’m hoping for a follow-up to the C434 Chromebook.

Google

Google Assistant Connect vs Alexa

Google’s CES plans have traditionally fallen into two categories: hardware partnerships and software updates. The company leaves its first-party Pixel and Nest hardware announcements for separate events at different times of the year, so you shouldn’t expect to see any new hardware.

However, Google Assistant usually plays a key role in the company’s CES announcements, and that includes third-party hardware. Last year, many companies, including Sonos, announced Assistant integration into their smart speakers and connected home products. It’s possible we’ll see more companies announce smart speakers with Google Assistant baked in.

Expect to see many more features added to Google Assistant at CES 2020. Last year, Google announced Assistant integration in Google Maps, as well as the ability to check into your flight with the Assistant. The voice assistant also gained compatibility with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages, and more.

The company also announced Google Assistant Connect at CES 2019, which is meant to allow companies to connect to an Assistant-based smart speaker or smart display without the need to include their own speakers or microphones. It’s only a concept for now, but it impressed us enough to win one of our CES Top Picks Awards.

Don’t miss: Android Authority’s CES Top Picks 2019 Awards

Finally, JBL and Anker announced the JBL Link Drive and Anker Roav Bolt: small plug-in products that bring Assistant to your car via the cigarette lighter port.

HTC

HTC wants to get back into the mobile flagship arena, but don’t expect the return at CES 2020. The company has been focused on its most successful hardware product in years — the HTC Vive — at CES over the past few years.

At CES 2019, the company announced two new VR headsets: the HTC Vive Pro Eye and Vive Cosmos. The former is an upgraded version of its flagship Vive headset, while the latter is aimed at the entry level. It’s very possible we’ll see new HTC Vive hardware at CES 2020, considering its last big Vive product announcement was way back in February 2019.

We may also see an update to the HTC 5G Hub, which launched at MWC 2019.

Also read: HTC shouldn’t go all in on nostalgia and expect it to be a long-term solution

Huawei

Huawei P30 Pro logo (52 of 60)

Huawei has always been one of the most exciting companies to look for at CES, and that likely won’t change despite the company’s issues with the US government. Even so, Huawei appears to be in fine shape going into 2020 — it’s still selling tons of smartphones, it’s continuing to ready its Android alternative, and Huawei is even planning to launch the P40 globally next year (US availability TBD, of course).

Expect security and privacy to be the big themes of Huawei’s CES announcements, and maybe even some tongue-and-cheek digs at the US government.

At CES 2019, Huawei launched the MateBook 13, the company’s MacBook Air rival. It also launched the MediaPad M5 Lite, a competitor to Apple’s low-cost iPad.

It’s easy to assume we could see a follow-up to the MateBook 13 or MediaPad M5 Lite. Huawei normally shows off tablets and laptops at major trade shows, but usually stays away from smartphone launches.

Lenovo

Lenovo logo MWC

Lenovo has a big presence at CES every year. In 2019, the company announced RTX 20-powered laptops, a few new gaming PC monitors (including one with a big 43.4-inch screen), new Yoga PC products — including an all-in-one PC with a big 27-inch screen — and two Smart Tab Android tablets.

CES 2019 also saw the debut of the Lenovo Smart Clock, a first-of-its-kind bedside smart display powered by the Google Assistant. It would be nice if we saw a follow-up to the Smart Clock at CES 2020, though smart speaker products like these don’t often necessitate yearly refreshes.

In May 2019, Lenovo unveiled a concept of the very first foldable laptop, the Lenovo Thinkpad X1. It was later teased in mid-November at Tech World 2019, with word that the device is coming in 2020. Could CES 2020 see the launch of the foldable laptop? We don’t know, but we sure hope so.

LG

LG went TV-heavy at CES 2019, so it’s natural to expect even more television products from the company at CES 2020. Last year, the big reveal was the LG Signature OLED TV R — a TV with a rollable OLED display that hides in a soundbar when not in use. Seriously, it’s cool. Check out the video above to see it in action.

Elsewhere, LG announced a total of 11 OLED and LCD TV models, a new smart alerts system for home appliances, a smart beer maker (no, really), and three soundbars.

This year, LG will take the showfloor with its 2020 8K TV lineup. The company will showcase a total of eight TVs. The lineup includes premium 88-inch and 77-inch LG Signature OLED 8K TVs and six LG NanoCell TVs, with every model offering 8K Ultra HD resolution.

The latest TVs will support 8K content streaming at 60FPS and feature the new Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI Processor. LG says the new processor “is capable of recognizing faces and text on screen, fine-tuning and sharpening each to produce more natural skin tones, well-defined facial features and clearer, more readable characters.”

While the 8K TVs sound dreamy, there’s very little 8K content available out there. So we think it’ll be a while before 8K TVs gain mainstream popularity.

Between TVs and smart home products, we can expect LG to have another busy CES in 2020.

Nvidia

NVIDIA logo outside

Nvidia’s biggest announcement at CES 2019 was the new GeForce RTX 20 series graphics processor. Specifically, the RTX 2060 was shown off during Nvidia’s CES 2019 keynote.

We probably shouldn’t expect to see new Nvidia hardware at the show, since the company just announced the new Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro. Those two devices will no doubt make an appearance at CES, but we likely won’t see any new hardware announcements.

OnePlus

OnePlus 7T Pro color haze blue

Apart from interviews, OnePlus historically hasn’t had a presence at CES. That’ll change for CES 2020, when OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said on Twitter the company will “show you something special” in Las Vegas.

It’ll be a bit too soon for a OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8T announcement. However, there’s a possibility the company will announce the rumored OnePlus 8 Lite. Leaked earlier in December, the OnePlus 8 Lite is reportedly OnePlus’ first mid-range smartphone since the OnePlus X.

Razer

Razer logo at IFA Berlin 2018

Razer is another company that goes all-in at CES. Last year, Razer unveiled the Blade 15 Advanced (one of the first laptops with the Nvidia RTX 20 GPU), a new esports-ready Razer Raptor monitor, as well as a few prototypes of the Razer Blade 15 with a 240Hz refresh rate and a second Blade 15 variant with a 4K OLED touch display. You can read all about Razer’s CES 2019 announcements here.

At CES 2020, it’s possible we’ll see an update to the Razer Blade lineup, though at this point we’re not sure. Razer also unveils crazy concept devices at CES, like the phone-in-a-laptop Project Linda concept from 2018. Razer’s concept devices are usually surprises at the show, so we’ll need to wait until January to find out what Razer has in store for us.

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Fold hinge with logo

Samsung also stays away from mobile hardware announcements at CES (don’t expect to see the Samsung Galaxy S11 or Galaxy Fold 2), but there is one device that could get a mention. Samsung’s upcoming foldable clamshell phone — first teased at the Samsung Developer Conference — likely won’t get an announcement, but could get a mention or another tease. Rumors have been circulating recently regarding the phone’s apparently awesome camera setup, as well as the fact that it could be more affordable than the original Fold.

Still, this is some wild speculation on our part, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t make an appearance.

What we know for sure is that Samsung will unveil something called Neon at CES 2020. It’s a relatively new project from Samsung’s experimental technology group Star Labs. The company is teasing it as an “Artificial Human.”

Not much is being said about Neon as of now, but the industry speculates that it’s some sort of augmented reality system. It is expected to present computer-modeled versions of human beings.

We’ll also likely see new Samsung TVs at CES 2020. Last year, the company showed off its 75-inch modular MicroLED TV as well as a 98-inch QLED 8K TV. New smart fridges and robots also debuted at CES 2019, as well as the Notebook 9 Pen and a brand new Odyssey gaming laptop.

This year, Samsung has confirmed that it’ll present the new Family Hub refrigerator with new AI capabilities at CES.

Moreover, expect to see some cool projects from Samsung’s C-Lab incubator at CES 2020, including a new way to type on your phone.

Sony

Sony logo

Sony used to be one of the biggest companies to launch smartphones at CES, but those days appear to be over. There wasn’t even a mention of its flagship Xperia lineup at CES 2019. Do we want to see new Xperia products at CES 2020? Sure, but we’re not getting our hopes up.

We can expect to see new 8K and 4K TVs, as well as new audio products from Sony at the trade show. The company is holding a press conference on January 6 at 8PM ET. Sony says it will be “unveiling a unique vision of the future, bringing creativity and technology together like never before, to unleash new sensations and emotions.”

TCL, BlackBerry, and Alcatel

TCL is in a good place heading into CES 2020. The company just launched its very first TCL-branded smartphone, the TCL Plex, which we saw first-hand at IFA 2019. We’ll no doubt see the device again, and maybe even some more foldable phone concepts.

Last year, the company released its very first pair of headphones. Could we see more audio products from the company? We’ll have to wait and see.

What about TCL’s other brands? Alcatel debuted the budget-friendly 1X and 1C smartphones at CES 2019. The company has no shortage of affordable phones in its lineup, and it usually waits until major trade shows to launch more of them. We haven’t heard anything yet, but we could expect to see new Alcatel phones at CES next year.

BlackBerry was essentially absent from CES 2019. Here’s hoping we get something from the nostalgic brand at next year’s trade show.

Anything else?

That’s not all! We’re expecting to see many more brands at CES 2020, including major players in the mobile and tech spaces like Qualcomm, ZTE, Coolpad, Intel, HP, and more. We will be sure to update this article as we learn more about these companies.

The buzzwords of CES 2020

Each year, CES has major themes that seem to slip their way into every tech company’s announcements. 5G, XR, AI, and 8K were the major themes that dominated the show, and we shouldn’t expect much change this year.

  • 5G: 5G started rolling out in 2019, and it’ll be even more accessible in 2020. Expect this word to show up everywhere.
  • AI: Artificial intelligence has been a major theme at many of the major tech trade shows, and it’s not going away any time soon. As our devices get smarter, companies will continue to refer to innovations as “AI” (even though it’s not always the case).
  • Digital health: Technology is meant to improve our lives, and personal health is a big part of that.
  • Esports: The esports market is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the technology world, and it’s only getting bigger. Not many companies Android Authority regularly covers focuses on esports, but expect to see this theme everywhere at the trade show.
  • Sustainability: Tons of new tech products are announced at trade shows, and companies are constantly trying to improve energy efficiency and environmental impact.

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