Windows 8

CES 2012: Ultrabooks and quad-core mobile devices likely to take center stage

Bill Detwiler shares his thoughts on the hardware trends that you should be watching for at CES 2012.

In less than a week, thousands of reporters, vendors, and technology enthusiasts will descend on Las Vegas for CEA's International Consumer Electronics Show 2012.  As hardware manufactures show off their latest creations, a few trends always emerge. Last year, it was tablets. The year before, 3D TVs were all the rage. So what will be this year bring?

Television and computer display makers will be showing off new OLED TV and 4K displays, but these technologies are still a few years from being ready for mass consumption. Two technologies that will be will affect the tech markets in 2012, and be front and center at CES, are ultrabooks and quad-core mobile devices.

Ultrabooks

These thin, energy-efficient laptops are designed to be ultraportable and almost as powerful as full-size notebooks. Driven by Intel, they're basically the Windows version of Apple's MacBook Air. I expect PC makers to unveil several new ultrabooks at CES 2012 and release many of them this year. Prices are likely to start around $1,000 (US) but drop as more models enter the market.

Quad-core tablets and smartphones

The first quad-core Android tablet, Asus' Transformer Prime, hit the market in December. Tablet and smartphone manufactures are expected to unveil several quad-core devices at CES 2012, and like ultrabooks, many will hit the market in early 2012.

Windows 8 Tablet - Wildcard

Microsoft released the Windows 8 Developer Preview last year and is expected to release the full version in 2012. A big part of Windows 8 is the operating system's support for ARM mobile processors and the new touch-centric Metro UI. Microsoft is clearly looking to break Apple and Google's stranglehold on the tablet OS market. Rumors are swirling that Acer, Lenevo, HP and perhaps even Microsoft itself will unveil a WIndows 8 tablet at CES and release it late 2012. Having seen Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hype a Windows-powered HP tablet at CES in 2010, only to have HP kill it shortly thereafter, I won't believe the rumors until a device actually hits the market.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

8 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

If you do not make/export a copy of the registry with a brand new computer.Save it to a CD.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

I'm working live CD's hard and I'm convinced that live CD's are used a lot by programmers.I downloaded an older XP version of Ultimate Boot Disk.It worked in my Dell Precision 380 but it didn't work in my Vostro 3450.It blue screened in my Vostro!In my old Toshiba Satellite it freezes at the Win XP startup.

daliere
daliere

I dream of a lightweight tablet/phone with as much processing power as a desktop and that is able to use wirelessly a printer, separate physical keyboard, wireless mouse and access any electrical device in the home.

mark.e.wojtasiak
mark.e.wojtasiak

Mark from Seagate here... of course I am interested in all of the above - especially how faster storage like SSD and even Hybrid combined with faster mobile processing will drive innovation in ultrabooks, smartphones, tablets, etc, and what it means for the cloud. I think the cloud will be a bigger part of the conversation this year. I am looking forward to seeing how companies embrace the possibilities.

ccsilex
ccsilex

With the current mechanical hard drive crisis, I'm really hoping for SSD manufacturers to step up with larger drives and lower prices. We really need mobile software developers to step it up too. I can use my tablet for many things but I often find myself having to wake up my desktop to do certain things. We use Google apps primarily in my company, and I need more functionality on my Android tablet. there's many gmail tasks I still have to go to my desktop to do; same with office suite tasks. Many of my clients are still stuck with MS Outlook for it's Tasks feature - we need the same functionality on Andoid and iOS devices. I want to be able to convert as many clients as possible to smartphone and tablets in 2012, but currently it's just not 100% there yet. Also, we need more mobile device integration in general. Currently the functionality is there for the most part, but it's still a little cumbersome to use. I'm looking for more seamless mobile integration in 2012; and a large part of that falls on software developers. we need ssd technology and mobile devices to move out of the novelty stage and into the serious productivity arena.

driftair
driftair

Recently at BestBuy I saw a Toshiba - Port??g?? Ultrabook Laptop / Intel?? Core??? i3 Processor / 13.3" Display / 4GB Memory - Silver. It looked great and the light weight, solid-state design will be very nice for easily transporting it around. It was listed at around $800+ dollars. I hope good durability is built into these models because almost any failure means replacing the system, or at least the entire motherboard. I am looking forward to viewing competitive models as they come out.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

As TechRepublic's Jason Hiner and I roam the halls of CES 2012, we'll be looking for the latest tech that will affect IT professionals in the coming year. Ultrabooks, quad-core mobile devices, and Windows 8 will all be a trends to watch, but what are you most excited about? What interesting technologies have you heard about? Which vendor's booth would you want me or Jason to visit?

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