Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off next week in Vegas, and most of the big tech players will be there laying out their plans for 2012.While we don’t know everything that companies are planning to announce, a lot has leaked out already.
Like last year, smartphones and tablets will likely be the focal point of the show, so we put together everything we know about so far.
Since Apple won’t be at CES, most of these devices are powered by its rivals. Now that Google’s excellent Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS has debuted, we already know about several powerful new devices coming next week.
It’s also going to be a big showing for Microsoft with a few new Windows Phones from Nokia and some tablets running the latest preview version of Windows 8.
Nokia has a huge event planned for CES where we're expecting the company to finally unveil its plans for a Windows Phone lineup in the U.S. Topping that list will be the Lumia 800, which has been available overseas for a few months now. There are also rumours that it could launch on AT&T as an LTE phone. The Lumia 800 will be Microsoft's new flagship phone for the U.S., so expect a huge marketing push when it finally launches.
Following the Lumia 800, there's the Nokia Ace. A lot specs about the Ace have leaked out ahead of CES, so here's what we know so far: It'll be larger than the Lumia 800 with a 4.3-inch screen and front-facing camera. It's also said to launch on AT&T as an LTE device.
A few weeks ago we heard about Intel's new 'Medfield' chip, which is designed to power smartphones and tablets running Android. Early tests of devices running the chips show that it's capable of playing back Blu-Ray quality video and shoot photos at a rate of 15 shots per second.
However, it's worth noting that Intel showed off a smartphone at CES last year and ended up scrapping plans to make it.
We don't know much about the HTC Radiant Windows Phone other than it's launching within the first half of the year will be able to run on LTE networks. News of the Radiant leaked out along with the Nokia Ace, so it's likely we'll see it at CES too.
Samsung showed off its bendable screen concept at last year's CES, but we've heard rumours that the company may start selling phones and tablets with them this year. If so, CES would be the place to show off the new displays.
Asus already has a winner with its 10-inch EeePad Transformer Prime tablet. Now it looks like the company has a 7-inch version in the works for a debut at CES called the Eee Memo Pad. The Italian blog Notebook Italia was the first to find specs on the device. It'll have a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1,280 X 800 resolution display, and the option for up to 64 GB of storage.
After failing to impress with its Thrive last year, it looks like Toshiba is taking another stab with a new tablet powered by NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor, according to a leaked benchmark testing.
Since Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is giving the opening keynote at CES, you can bet we'll get another look at tablets running Windows 8. So far manufacturers such as Acer, Lenovo, Samsung, and others are expected to make Windows 8 tablets in 2012.
Acer is working on its own quad-core tablet running Android Ice Cream Sandwich that should be powerful enough to go head to head with the Asus EeePad Transformer Prime. So far, the leaked specs and images show the new Acer Iconia Tab with the same Tegra 3 processor as the Transformer Prime. It'll also have ports for Micro USB and Micro HDMI out.
Lenovo also has plans to launch a new quad-core tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich at CES. The new tablet will likely sport a variation of the 'LePad' name, and include a whopping 2 GB of RAM, according to Engadget. It'll also have a fingerprint scanner as an extra security feature to unlock the device. (You can see it on the back in the photo here.)
Samsung's Galaxy note, the 5-inch smartphone with stylus, is already pretty popular overseas. So far, Samsung has shipped more than 1 million Galaxy Note units. The Note is expected to launch in the U.S. very soon on AT&T, Sprint, or both, so we're pretty sure it'll make an appearance at CES too.
In addition to all those great Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets, we're expecting the big smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG to show off their plans for Google's next big operating system. We're also expecting news on when current devices from those companies will get updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and what those updates will look like.