Following on from a purely virtual event last year, CES 2022 is a mix of virtual and actual reality this year. With Covid-19 continuing to miss the message that it's not welcome, it scuppers things for most attendees for another year. This does mean that there are plenty of virtual keynotes to check out if you've got nothing better to do in January, as well as plenty of releases from major tech companies to get everyone excited about all the latest gadgets and hardware.
There are rumours of a Ryzen 6000 refresh at this years CES, although the actual form that it will take is anyone's guess. Will it be the 3D V-cache touting remake of the Ryzen 9 5900X designed to take on Intel Alder Lake? Or will it be something entirely different?
What we do know is that AMD's Dr Lisa Su will be hosting a virtual press conference that will “highlight upcoming computing and graphics solutions from AMD and outline the company’s vision for driving best-in-class high-performance computing experiences for gaming, entertainment, and the way we live and work now.”
That's quite the scope, but does look like it'll potentially include CPU and GPU hardware. The press conference kicks off at 7am PT (3pm GMT).
Nvidia has announced that it will broadcast its CES Keynote on Jan 4 at 8am PT (that's 4pm GMT). Before you rush off to set your alarm to catch Nvidia Senior Vice President of the GeForce brand, Jeff Fisher, hopefully revealing a new swathe of graphics cards, it's probably worth pointing out that Nvidia is talking in broad terms here.
The terse press release for the event states, “The company will address the latest breakthroughs in accelerated computing—from design and simulation to gaming and autonomous machines.”
Gaming does get a mention there, and cards like the 3090 Ti/Super have been rumoured for months now, but it'll be part of a much bigger message that will undoubtedly include mentions of the Omniverse, cloud gaming, cars, and AI. Gaming is still important for Nvidia, but it has its fingers in lots of other pies these days and CES keynotes rarely go into details. Still, there may be a gaming reel to get excited about.
Intel Media Days
Intel isn't down to make a keynote this year, although according to the CES schedule, it will be at the Mandalay Bay holding a Media Days press conference at 10am PT. So that's your morning of January 4 all sorted then.
It's generally expected that Intel will release more of its Alder Lake lineup, both on the desktop (where we currently only have the unlocked K-series chips) as well as on laptops. We'd expect some info about its discreet graphics card, Arc Alchemist, too, although the fact that this isn't a keynote could indicate it isn't going to be launched at the event itself. We'll have to wait and see on this one.
Full desktop gaming PCs may be in attendance at CES, although it's their mobile siblings that tend to capture the spotlight, and this year will probably be no different. We'd expect the usual suspects of Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, Lenovo, HP, MSI, etc. to show off laptops packing the latest and greatest tech from Intel, Nvidia, and AMD.
In previous years we've seen trends emerge around form factors, screens, materials, as well as for general capabilities, so it'll be interesting to see what comes out. The silicon shortage could have an impact on creativity this year, or it could go the other way and produce some fresh takes on computing. We'll have to wait and see on this one.
TVs and displays
CES has always had a thing for TVs and big-screen displays, and this year will probably be no different. Samsung, LG, Sony et al. will undoubtedly roll out an unfathomably large screen that somehow is even better than everything that has come before it and we'll all get upgrade envy.
We'd expect 8K screens to put in a strong showing again, although it'll be another year of wishing there was 8K content before that resolution has a chance of hitting the mainstream.
While the benefit of these huge screens isn't always obvious, the underlying tech generally filters down to us mere mortals, and we can expect previous highlights of this arena to make a showing this year. Maybe. Some subtly tweaked version of OLED will probably be in attendance, and there's a good chance we'll get OLED displays for our monitors and our laptops.
You can expect different takes on aspect ratios and resolutions too if a recent press release from LG is anything to go by. The LG DualUp Monitor, that's the 28MQ780, has a 16:18 aspect ratio with a native resolution of 2,560 x 2,880—think of it as a pair of 1440p screens on top of each other, but without the bezels, and you'll be pretty much there.
CES is nothing if not an event of its time, so you can bet good money that the metaverse will get a nod or two and that hawkers will be trying to slap NFTs on anything and everything that stands a chance of making a quick buck—whether that makes any sense or not.
Razer has used CES in the past to announce some pretty wacky kit, so hopefully, it'll be out to entertain again. There's also the potential for some interesting things on the peripheral front, with new keyboards, mice, and headsets expected from some of the major players.
CES 2022 officially runs from January 5 through to January 8, although the pre-show hype starts on January 4. We'll obviously be updating you on all the most interesting hardware as the show unfolds.