Computers at CES 2014: Chromebooks and hybrids, plus the birth of Steambox


The laptop and laptops of today are ways removed from the models spotlighted at CES even several years in the past. Brand new laptops are slimmer, lighter, and run longer, while nearly all new Windows PCs, together with all-in-one desktops, have touch monitors — a practical requirement for the windows 8 running gadget.

Beyond that, we are living in a world of hybrids on convertibles now, where techniques test with new types and functions, moving between pc and pill. Some are more successful than others, and even after more than a yr of touch screen hybrids, we’re sorting out what kinds of convertible our bodies shoppers in truth like using.

Computers at CES 2014: Chromebooks and hybrids, plus the birth of Steambox 1

While the earlier few CES displays have covered groundbreaking trends equivalent to ultrabooks, contact monitors and home windows 8, hybrids, and tablets, this year appears to find it irresistible may be devoid of a single new thought theme. As a substitute, we will see refinements of those contemporary traits, expectantly leading to better, less-pricey expertise for everybody.

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In fact, needless to say, saying a raft of merchandise in January no longer matches up with most computer makers’ annual calendars that are largely tuned to the back-to-school and holiday seasons. So it is sensible that companies corresponding to HP, Dell, and others would announce new merchandise on their own timetables later within the yr.


look for new entries on this still-untested house. Early laptops operating Google’s kinda-sorta OS have offered neatly. However, that is because of meager costs and a significant marketing push from the Google mother ship.

Having tried to use a Chromebook as a first-rate computer per week, it’s going to take some serious shifts in how people use their laptops to make Chrome OS greater than something for a secondary backup laptop. The actual query turns into, is the Chromebook just netbook 2.0?

Hybrids and convertibles

Ever because of fall 2012 unencumber of Microsoft’s home windows 8, hybrids were a tremendous part of every wave of new laptop releases. This burst of unexpected creativity came because windows 8 used to be so contact-friendly and because laptop makers wished to capitalize on pills’ success, such as the iPad, without leaving traditional pc users in the back.

In 2013, starting with CES, we are going to see a shakeout of the different physical forms these hybrids have taken. Some are laptops with removable screens; others slide, fold, and bend into tablet shapes. Up to now, it is a topic of throwing everything on the wall and notice what sticks. An educated wager says that probably the most successful hybrids are the ones (including Lenovo’s Yoga line) that allow for transformation, but without compromising the standard pc form.

A steam box and the lounge pc

laptop PCs have generally morphed right into an industry about the all-in-one unit — a desktop and display fused. The only other giant desktop information of the past year has been Apple’s very excessive-finish Mac pro computer, a product that proceeded CES with the aid of a few weeks and is more thrilling than any computer we are going to see there.

That stated, there is one new house computers can move into and generate some authentic boom. Living room leisure has been largely ceded to the new Xbox One and playstation four-game consoles, but there is room for a new breed of computer to fill various wants.

The first demo kits of Valve’s Steam box have already been sent to beta testers. This console-sized hardware connects to a television, uses a novel controller designed to bridge the hole between pc and console gaming, and plays a wide variety of video games by way of Valve’s own Steam OS, together with a bit sleight of hand nearly every Steam game you’d be capable of play for your giant, cumbersome gaming laptop.

At CES, we will see the primary wave of precise Steam box hardware from computer makers, and it may be the beginning of the laptop business clawing just a little of the lounge back from the game consoles.