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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 8, 2014 at 7:59 PM

CES 2014: New PCs galore, with and without Windows

LAS VEGAS — If the PC business is dwindling, someone forgot to tell the exhibitors at the Consumer Electronics Show. They’re showing dozens of new models that will be released throughout 2014, including 4K laptops, new convertibles and giant all-in-one desktops.

“Growth is flat but it’s still a solid business,” said Mike Hockey, a public-relations manager at Hewlett-Packard.

The big PC makers are hedging their bets, though, and showing new models built on Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems as well as Microsoft’s Windows. Some run both.

That’s in addition to the Steam Machine entertainment PCs, which were announced Monday night alongside the conference, in a bar at the Palms Casino Resort.

Here’s a look at some of the PCs that caught my eye on the show floor, starting with Toshiba’s concept design for a “shape shifting” PC. Lots of PCs now are “2 in 1” devices that work as a tablet or a laptop; this is billed as a “5 in 1.” Three of the modes are shown here:




Traditionalists may be more interested in Toshiba’s 4K “portable workstation” laptop, which can simultaneously display 4K content on its 15.6-inch display and a large, external monitor. It will cost about $4,000 when it goes on sale later this year. Toshiba also is preparing lower-end 4K laptops:


The most remarkable of the Steam Machines may be this Gigabyte model with an Intel i7 processor and a 1 terabyte drive in a tiny box that fits in one hand:


Here’s the new Lenovo Miix 2 2-in-1 that converts from a laptop to a tablet with a docking station. The beveled edges and metallic finish looks like Microsoft’s Surface. It starts at about $449 for a 10-inch model and $699 for one with an 11-inch display.IMG_5216


This LG all-in-one can display live TV on part of the screen while you’re working in another. It’s coming to market later this year at a price that hasn’t been disclosed yet:


While I was ogling this one — a 21.5-inch “Chromebase” all-in-one shown by LG — former Windows President Steven Sinofsky walked up for a closer look. LG calls it the first all-in-one Chrome PC:


Hewlett-Packard brought a variety of new Windows PCs, including a new Wii-sized enterprise desktop, but the most surprising model was this monitor, which operates as an Android all-in-one, touchscreen PC. Or you can push a button to instantly toggle it into a Windows PC display. In Android mode, it can be configured in a locked-down state as a kiosk or used as a lightweight workstation. The 21.5-inch display uses a Tegra 4 processor, has 16 gigabytes of RAM and goes on sale in March for $399:


Among all the tablet PCs running Windows at the show, a standout is a new version of Panasonic’s 4K Toughpad, the “performance” model with a 20-inch display, Windows 8.1, Intel i7 processor and braided metal trim:



Comments | Topics: Android, CES 2014, chrome


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