Everything we expect to see at the first digital-only CES

Hannah Davies

We’re now just days away from CES 2021 and the rumours are picking up speed. While the event is sure to be a little different this year (more on that below), we still expect to see a huge number of brands drop their latest and greatest tech this week. Trusted Reviews has created this guide to keep you in the know about everything happened at the first all-digital CES. Read on to discover all the latest from the annual trade show, including what we hope to see and when the big announcements will take place.

The most obvious change to CES this year is the move to a digital-only format. Rather than crowding into the Las Vegas Convention Center, this year all the major companies will make their announcements online to comply with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the change in setting last July when it first became clear that the event would likely be affected by the pandemic into the New Year.

Of course, the CTA weren’t the first group to take their launches online this year. Countless companies have taken to livestreams and Zoom calls to announce their latest and greatest products this year, so it would make sense for the hundreds of product announcements taking place at CES this month to follow similar guidance.

To its credit, the CTA is taking the move to an all-digital event in its stride.

“For CES, the pandemic gives us an opportunity to reimagine how we use our platform to bring our community together in a meaningful way, and enable our exhibitors to meet their customers and to reach new audiences”, said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a tweet back in July.

The CTA has even revealed that it hopes to combine the best of physical and the best of digital in 2022, making this January somewhat of a learning experience for the organisation.

So, what do we expect to see at CES 2021? Scroll down to discover all the latest news, leaks and rumours from the 2021 trade show, including when it’ll take place, which announcements we’re anticipating and where you can catch them from home.

CES 2021 date – when will the event take place?

CES 2021 will take place as a digital-only event from Monday January 11 to Thursday January 14 2021.

Read on to discover what we expect to see from each company, along with when you can catch their announcements.

AMD at CES 2021

AMD revealed three Big Navi desktop graphics cards in 2020, the Radeon RX 6800, the RX 6900 and the RX 6900 XT.

This year, we’re expecting AMD to give gaming laptops a performance boost by launching mobile versions. One of the perks of taking the new GPUs mobile is that it would bring 4K to AMD-powered gaming laptops, allowing AMD to better compete with Nvidia.

We think there’s a chance we’ll see Big Navi go mobile at CES 2021. Check out our guide on what we expect from AMD in 2021 for more rumoured releases.

AMD’s keynote will take place on January 12 between 4pm and 5pm.

Nvidia at CES 2021

Nvidia will take the stage at CES 2021 to host an event titled ‘GeForce RTX: Game on’.

One of the biggest announcements we expect to see from the company at CES this year is a mobile variant of the RTX 30-Series GPUs. This could include portable versions of the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 for laptops.

There’re also rumours of new hardware that incorporate the next-gen GPUs, so those in need of a new gaming laptop may want to tune into the announcement to see if this rings true.

You can find a more detailed overview of what we expect from Nvidia this week, as well as a breakdown of all the products announced after the event, in our full guide to Nvidia CES 2021.

‘GeForce RTX: Game on’ will take place on January 12 at 5pm. You can catch the livestream on Nvidia’s website.

Intel at CES 2021

2020 was a mixed bag for Intel. The year saw the launch of Tiger Lake mobile processors, as well as the announcement of a gradual departure from Apple’s Mac line. That said, there’s plenty to get excited about in 2021.

Rumours include the reveal of Intel’s Rocket Lake desktop processors. Rumour has it the company will announce the 11th gen x86 chips in Q1, making a CES launch very possible.

Another Intel update expected in early 2021 is the Tiger Lake H-Series. The chips are set to offer a performance boost for creative and gaming laptops, with the Razer Blade 15 and the Dell XPS 15 among those rumoured to carry the new chip.

You can find more on what we expect from Intel in 2021 in our guide.

Samsung at CES 2021

Just the other week, Samsung announced its first MicroLED TV marketed to consumers.

The 110-inch, near bezel-less display uses micrometre-sized LED lights to eliminate the need for a backlight or colour filters. Instead, the display is self-illuminating, producing light and colour from its own pixel structures that cover 100% of the DCI and Adobe RGB colour gamut, allowing the TV to deliver “lifelike colours and accurate brightness”.

However, there’s one major catch – the display is only available in Korea.

The good news is that the tech is slated to be coming to the rest of the world in early 2021, making CES the perfect time for Samsung to introduce the innovative new display to the US and European markets. Just don’t expect to be able to afford it right away Korean site Pulse has reported that the TV will cost a whopping 170 million won (that’s around £114,000…).

LG at CES 2021

LG has confirmed that it will showcase its Transparent OLED TVs at the all-digital event this month. The company has applied the new displays to a handful of everyday objects, including a sushi bar, a train window and even a smart bed, to give us a peak at the “upgraded lifestyle of the future”.

It isn’t just Samsung rumoured to be bringing MicroLED displays to consumers this CES. There’s talk LG could bring the MicroLED tech currently powering its business-marketed Magnit display to the public, though this has yet to be confirmed by LG itself.

The other big news surrounding LG at CES, is that the company could be planning on refreshing its naming conventions for 2021. While 2020 saw the launch of the CX (X standing for 10, in this case), rumours suggest we’ll see a transition back to numbers, with the LG C1 OLED, B1 OLED and W1 OLED for 2021.

Sony at CES 2021

CES 2021 will be one of the first major trade shows to follow November’s PS5 launch, meaning there’s a decent chance Sony will bolster the release with TVs that integrate better with the console.

This year, we’re looking forward to more TVs with variable refresh rates and 4K support at 120fps to pair with the next-gen PlayStation. Other possible announcements include further updates to Sony’s OLED and 8K lines.

Sony’s press conference with take place on January 11 at 10pm.

TCL at CES 2021

Last year, TCL took to the stage at CES to launch the latest generation of its Mini-LED TVs and we’re hoping to see more of them at CES 2021.

TCL’s Mini-LED TVs are designed to combine the brightness of LCD and the contrast of OLED at a low cost. Powered by the company’s Quantum Contrast technology, the displays harness the power of thousands of individual Mini-LEDs to provide “unrivalled contrast and brilliant clarity”.

We got to share our hands on experience with the 8-Series Mini-LED 8K TV last CES, and we can’t wait to possibly hear more about Mini-LED in 2021.

Panasonic at CES 2021

Panasonic surprised us all last year when it announced its first foray into the wireless earbuds market with the RZ-S300W and RZ-S500W earbuds.

The company also brought higher-than-average peak brightness to the table with the launch of its HZ2000 OLED TV. The 55-inch display impressed us last January, delivering high image quality, Dolby Atmos sound and Dolby Vision IQ.

This year we’re wondering whether we’ll see a 48-inch OLED from Panasonic or a TV with more gamer-driven features to tempt next-gen console owners.

Panasonic will take to the stage on January 8 at 10am.

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