Feature - Top 5 Pre-CES Points of Excitement

01: Samsung Is All About LCD LED TVs This Year

Despite the fact that Plasma and OLED TV technologies are pretty awesome, the world’s biggest HDTV superpower (just one of the company’s many, many strongholds right now) Samsung has decided to completely ignore both formats with its CES 2014 presentation. This year it’s all about LCD LED TVs boys and girls, both Ultra HD 4K and more traditional 1080p variants.Last year’s event was almost wall to wall with 4K displays, and things look to be set for a repeat this year if Samsung’s keynote is anything to go by. The company is also making a real push with its curved TV range this year, which has led to some people asking what the point of them actually is – but we’re certainly coming round to their potential value in the modern living room.As great and all as it would be to rock an 80” behemoth in the middle of your living room wall, not everyone’s got the space for that, so, at least in theory, a sufficiently curved display means that you don’t have to abandon that TV corner setup you’ve got just yet. The UNHU9000 series of curved 4K sets is available from April this year and features a range of shiny trinkets to keep technophiles amused, while coming in 55”, 65” and 78” varieties – expect it to cost roughly the same as the annual debt of a small developing nation though.If you want curves but don’t fancy 4K yet, the UNH8000 series is a 1080p range available in the same sizes as the UNHU9000 range, and builds upon last year’s excellent iteration of the series.On top of those devices, the company also announced the UNHU8500 series, which includes 50”, 55”, 60”, 65” and 75” variants on the 4K screen, the 1080p UNH715 series, which comes in 46”, 55”, 60”, 65” and 75” and offers users the ability to watch TV alongside a second video source, such as YouTube, in swanky split-screen, the 1080p UNH6400 series in 48”, 50”, 55”, 60” and 65” and the 1080p UNH6350 which comes in 32”, 40”, 48”, 50”, 55”, 60”, 65” and 75” flavours. Each range will be available by the end of April, with some landing even sooner, in March.02: Can’t Decide Between a Windows or Android Tablet? Get Both!Both Windows 8 and Android tablets have their own distinct strengths, and Asus has got an incredibly clever new product up its sleeve to appease both sets of fans at once. The Transformer Book Duet is a hybrid device that offers users both Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in a single 13.3” device. As is typical for the Transformer range, it can be used as a laptop or standalone tablet, and features a very reasonable 1920 x 1080 resolution, Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive in the dock as well as a 128GB SSD in the tablet itself.It’s a bit thick compared to other tablets, but given the fact that it’s not REALLY aiming at the super ultra-portable market, but rather at offering versatility to users, it’s well within the acceptable limits size-wise. What’s really clever here, though, is the fact that you can switch between Windows and Android with the touch of a button, whether you’ve got the thing plugged into the dock or not. We do like options…03: Easy Tegra!Android gamers can start getting themselves excited about the future thanks to the new Nvidia Tegra K1 chip, the fifth generation of its mobile Tegra processor. It’s not been a secret that this new chip was being worked on, but from this early look it’s something of a powerhouse. It’ll allow the company to shoehorn desktop quality visuals into mobile devices in the future, and the demos on show were quite impressive for early looks. Yes, there were some frame rate issues, but it’s still early days and there’s a huge amount of potential here – definitely enough for mobile gamers to get themselves worked up about, particularly given the fact that Apple looked to have stolen the show with its new 64-bit chips last year.There’s been no word as to the kind of devices we can expect to see the 32- and 64-bit variants of the 192-core K1 included in in the future, but with past form to go by, it’s likely it’ll debut in tablets before being pushed into high-end smartphones soon afterwards.04: Watch It Razer!We all knew that there’d be a big push for wearable technology at this year’s CES, but Razer surprised us with the Nabu, a smartband with dual OLED screens for displaying an assortment of information based on your fitness regime, including things like steps taken, total distance travelled for any given amount of time, duration of workout, quality of sleep and even more. We’ve got to admit that we’re still not fully convinced that wearable tech is quite there yet, but this is definitely one of the more interesting products we’ve seen in the last twelve months. Whether or not there’ll be a major audience for it in the next year, though? Who knows…05: We’re Seeing the Future… TodayOr tomorrow, actually, but semantics aside, the newest iteration of the Oculus Rift is going to be making an appearance on the show floor this week and we’re incredibly psyched about it. We got our first look at the headset all the way back in September of 2011, and since then it’s been improving steadily on its way to consumer readiness. With a launch planned for 2014, it’s likely that this latest version will be the best yet, and we’re definitely going to be first in line when the show kicks off properly at 10am tomorrow morning at the Las Vegas Convention Center.In Short: We check out the 5 most exciting pre-CES announcements including Samsung's new TV range, wearable tech from Razer, and a new Oculus Rift build

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