CES 2021 Coverage: A Virtual Show Floor


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CES_4_Intel.jpgIntel
While I’m on the topic of processors, what did Intel announce this week? Intel seems to have fallen behind in the last few years. Yes, Intel CPUs are still excellent and as the competition from AMD has increased, especially over the last few years, the Intel prices have come down, making the competition more intense. But Intel has been kind of stuck with 14nm architecture while AMD has had architecture down to 7nm, thus reducing size, TDP, and temp, while increasing the number of threads, etc.

Intel did make some interesting announcements, however. The company announced that next-gen business processors are powered by the 11th-Gen platform with vPro. The new vPro systems provide the best productivity experience, up to 23% faster with Office 365 and up to 50% faster productivity with video conferencing, according to Intel executives. It also delivers 1.8x faster video editing.

Intel also demonstrated its Control Enforcement Technology, or CET, as a strength of its system that can help block a control flow attack, something that a competing notebook from rival AMD has been unable to do.

Intel showed off laptops from Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Intel highlighted the Dell Latitude 9420 as a result of its Dell partnership for Evo vPro. For the less powerful CPU market, Intel announced new Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors that are designed for the first time on 10nm nodes. They state that these processors deliver up to 35% faster performance than the previous generation, thus faster rendering and productivity for the education market. I believe that these CPUs will be headed to Windows laptops and lower end units such as Chromebooks and Linux laptops.

Recently, Intel introduced Intel® RealSense™ ID, an on-device solution that combines an active depth sensor with a specialized neural network designed to deliver secure, accurate and user-aware facial authentication. Intel RealSense ID works with smart locks, access control, point-of-sale, ATMs, kiosks and more. The device, which comes with a dedicated system-on-chip, can adapt to changing appearances over time, and it is built to withstand spoofing, with a one-in-1-million false acceptance rate.
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Intel is still the market share leader in CPUs and we all know that competition works well to enhance product development progress and control prices, so we can all hope that the competition between Intel and AMD—and with the expanded use of ARM processors by Apple—the competitive atmosphere of the last few years will increase.

CES_6_Intel-CEO.jpgThe perceived responsibility for the success or failure of any company falls on the person in charge, true or not. Earlier, Intel made what may be its biggest announcement of CES week. It was not a technical advance but a management one: Former executive Pat Gelsinger as the new CEO, effective Feb. 15.

As usual, at CES it is impossible to cover more than a fraction of the presentations, exhibits and announcements. Following are some of the more interesting ones, especially some where I was able to gain access and meet with the various company representatives.

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Razer
Razer, a leading supplier of computers, primarily high-end gaming computers and components, showed some great new offerings, some of them outside of the gaming corral. One such product is the “Project Hazel” face mask. This higher-tech mask meets surgical requirements, is N95 certified, and works like a powered ventilator, bringing in cool air and releasing hot air. It makes communications easier, has active ventilation, improves social interaction, has a built-in mic and is supposed to be very comfortable to wear. Besides its active ventilation, it also has auto sterilization, a UV sterilizer, and a separate case that can charge it wirelessly. It is not, however, on the market yet.

CES_8_Brooklyn_chair.jpgTheir other Razer project that got my attention was the Brooklyn, a very high-end gaming chair that feels like a cockpit, with high-density memory foam, a leather-stitched seat back, and a carbon fiber body. What really catches your attention is built into the back of the chair: a rollable, transparent, 60” OLED display that deploys with the touch of a button. This is one device that I would have loved to have been able to see and try in person.

InWin
InWin, the supplier of over-the-top, amazing computer cases and new CPU cooling systems, as well as power supplies, was showing rackmount data storage servers. It introduced the InWin SR PRO, the latest in the SR-series AIO (for non DIYers All-in-One) liquid CPU cooler lineup that offers new ARGB lighting and up to 7 ºC temperature reduction performance improvement compared to the previous generation. It is available in 240 mm (SR24 PRO) and 360 mm (SR36 PRO) options. The CPU cooling block features a new diamond-cut aluminum design, ensuring operational longevity along with a premium look and feel.

The SR PRO cooler continues InWin’s patented twin turbine design that leads the industry by simultaneously pushing and pulling the water through the copper cold-plate to significantly reduce the temperature and keep the CPU cool.

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Lenovo
One of my favorite laptop computer companies is Lenovo, and their ThinkPad series. I have always recommended the ThinkPad over the IdeaPad as the ThinkPad was originally designed and supplied by IBM. It seems to be true that there are absolutely no compromises regarding quality and reliability with this device. However, Lenovo will be using CES 2021 to showcase several new devices including the newly announced IdeaPad 5 Pro. This notebook sports a 16-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio for a wider amount of usable screen space, reduced blue light technology, up to 350 nits of brightness, and slim bezels for a 90% screen-to-body ratio. The laptop also features an all-metal body in “Cloud Grey” or “Storm Grey” color options. On performance, the IdeaPad 5 Pro will be powered by AMD Ryzen H-Series processors and will be available with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics and up to 32 GB of RAM—very impressive specs. Other key capabilities include an IR camera that enables Windows Hello facial authentication log-in and includes time-of-flight sensors to automatically pause a video when the user walks away. Meanwhile, per Lenovo, the IdeaPad 5 Pro will feature the new Alexa Show Mode capability, which adds voice control via the Amazon Alexa assistant and “turns your PC into an Echo Show-like display.”

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