We do see a few connected cameras every year at CES, but this year promises to be heavy on Wi-Fi-enabled imaging devices. Cameras are feeling the competitive heat from smartphones, and more and more of them this year will come equipped with phonelike uploading and sharing features so that they can compete more squarely with phones. Samsung has already announced a new DualView point-and-shoot camera with Wi-Fi connectivity, and several companies traditionally use CES to show off their new connected cameras.
Big optical zoom ranges in very small cameras are another big trend, as the pocket megazoom category has grown in popularity over the years. In the past year, we saw pocketable cameras with optical-zoom reaches of up to 20X--specs that required a camera about the size of a DSLR just a few years ago. What's more, cameras with zoom ranges of up to 12X have become more pocketable than ever; at less than an inch thick, they're smaller than some 3X-optical-zoom cameras from just a few years back.
For an in-depth discussion of what to expect in the cameras category at CES and beyond in 2012, see "Camera and Camera-Phone Trends to Expect in 2012" and "CMOS Is Winning the Camera Sensor Battle, and Here's Why" --Tim Moynihan
The biggest desktops news out of CES will be the long-awaited appearance of Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs. These processors will make thinner, faster all-in-one PCs possible, cutting down on power consumption while boosting performance--theoretically.
The traditional PC tower hasn't disappeared, but over the past year consumers have been steered toward all-encompassing all-in-one desktops, and that trend shows no sign of slackening at CES. [Read: "How Desktop PCs Got Their Groove Back."]
Expect the new all-in-ones to be thinner, faster, and equipped with larger screens. Their tower counterparts will continue to shrink, primarily targeting folks who need a media-center PC or want an inexpensive Web-surfing machine. Massive, performance-level desktop PCs will be out in force, too, but they will be aimed at exclusively at content producers who need lots of horsepower, and at gamers.
It's probably too soon for actual products to make the rounds, but I hope to see a few prototypes of impossibly slim all-in-ones and monstrous gaming rigs running Intel's latest and greatest processors. --Nate Ralph
For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2012.
Besides encountering all kinds of dual-band, 802.11n, and high-power routers for home use, we expect to see new, more-powerful hybrid routers that use your home's power line to extend your connection into rooms where other desktops or Internet-capable TVs might not otherwise enjoy wired Internet. The routers will also be able to use that connection to expand wireless Internet coverage to hard-to-reach rooms.
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