back to article CES la vie: Shrunken Ultrabooks, muted mobiles and Segway's adult prams at world's biggest consumer tech show

The 2020 edition of CES has wrapped up. Friday was the last day of the trade show, which attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the globe to the Marlboro-scented glamour of Las Vegas. At the weekend, vendors began dismantling their booths, ready to head home. Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of news. Here’s …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The user signals Ballie and it rolls towards him

    Ballie signals Bot Air to sanitize the area.

    Bot Air dematerialises stinky fleshy meatsack...

    1. Calum Morrison

      Re: The user signals Ballie and it rolls towards him

      Maybe I've read too much Viz, but I'm not convinced Bot Air translates as well as Samsung would like it to. Perhaps a bit of a French Toyota MR2 moment?

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: The user signals Ballie and it rolls towards him

      A much cheaper way to get a feeling for at least one aspect of the Ballie experience is to leave kids' rollerskates lying around the house.

      1. Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Re: The user signals Ballie and it rolls towards him

        OK, so the Ballie is a ball-shaped robot with a camera at floor level, looking up. Now, imagine the view it will get if it encounters, say, a Scotsman wearing a kilt in traditional fashion?

        No, that isn't an image I'd want broadcasting to the world either.

        Basically this thing is a sexual harassment offense waiting to happen. What on earth were Samsung thinking of?

  2. Mage Silver badge


    Only makes sense if:

    1) It has a tablet mode / touch screen. Maybe by dual boot of Andriod (or iOS) and Linux/Win10 (or Mac OS). Yes I know Chrome OS exists.

    2) The Keyboard can fold under it. See 1.

    3) Lots of battery life, like 10 hours of normal use.

    Maybe it's not sensible with an x86-64 unless you really like W10. Maybe Apple will switch to ARM (they've used 68K, Power PC, x86-32/64 and x86-64 only so far) for Mac OS / laptops.

    Even regular laptops are getting too skinny and battery life is underwhelming.

    I've only ever (in over 20 years) used a laptop on a table or desk. I replaced a garbage W10 Atom based tablet/laptop with a 10" ARM tablet and proprietary wireless keypad. The BT keyboards are all rubbish and the USB based keyboard dock for the W10 was rubbish because of the steel plates needed inside to stop it toppling over. Fold out legs on tablet or arms on keyboard make more sense. Also what do you do with large keyboard dock in tablet mode? The €12 wireless keyboard fits in my pocket.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Ultrabook?

      My 5 years old Yoga does thatt. Not quite on the battery life maybe, but I don't go far from plugs.

    2. 404

      Re: Ultrabook?

      Other than the keyboard, describes my 2013 Panasonic CF53 mk2... gets almost 12 hours on battery too on an Intel Core i5 vPro, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB Samsung Pro SSD.

      Boots Windows 10 Pro in about 8 seconds, Linux in 6 ;)

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    Give me a chunkier laptop

    Like many people I use a laptop as a desktop replacement, a lot of work with it at the desk, computing on the move a small part of its usage (I wager quite similar for many though obviously plenty of road warriors e.g. travelling sales / support people who want a lighter machine).by adding

    When your laptop used mainly in one place (I'm occasionally on the road) then a bit of extra girth (allowing better performance as some of the ultra slim components a bit weedy and more "ports" ) is good.

    Road warriors & desktop replacement users have very different needs - one size does not fit all.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Give me a chunkier laptop

      So maybe your problem here is you really need a desktop, with a light laptop for those occasions when you need to travel.

      Personally I've never owned a laptop because desktops are faster, cheaper, upgradeable and fixable. I have had laptops for work but they spent most of their time on a desk plugged into mains power even when I used to do over 20k miles a year in the company car.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Give me a chunkier laptop

        Oh good, two machines to customize instead of one. Laptop essentially unusable unless I sync it with the desktop before leaving. No thanks.

        And since I have two offices, ~1300 miles apart, I'd either have to keep moving that desktop system or have three work machines.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: Give me a chunkier laptop

      In fairness, most laptop manufacturers make a range of laptops catering to a spectrum of users. I think the ultra-slim laptops are promoted more frequently because it's an easy feature to point to, whereas demonstrating the workhorse capabilities of workstation-grade laptop requires someone to actually sit down with device and put it through its paces.

      I'm with you, though: I traded my gutless XPS laptop for a Latitude, which is thicker but offers higher performance and is only slightly heaver. It also doesn't heat up to the point that I can fry eggs on it.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Give me a chunkier laptop

        There are lots of laptop users, and for each, a different kind of laptop is useful. I carry mine around quite frequently, so being somewhat light is important, but I don't need it to be unusually thin. Neither do I need one with a desktop's worth of processing inside it; sixteen gigabytes is enough memory for everything I need it to do, and if I need more, I have no problem offloading the task to a server. Those characteristics don't apply to everybody. Similarly, I would be interested in a revival of the netbook, specifically in the sense of a device with a very small screen, keyboard, and asking price. While there are others who might want that as well, the concept doesn't seem particularly popular with the general public. Some people want a laptop with the power of a workstation and others want it to be as thick as a sheet of cardboard. Fortunately, there is something around for both of those people, just not the same thing.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Give me a chunkier laptop

          I also value lightness, but I disvalue thinness because when you're using your laptop without any available surface upon which to place it, what you actually need is a decent way to grip it with one hand while typing with the other.

          My old Dell was great, because it had the extended battery that stuck out of the back, forming a lovely "handle". I could balance it on one arm while holding this handle and work on it while standing in a plant room that has no safe flat surfaces.

          My current one is so small and thin that it's impossible to use on the move. I have to find somewhere to put it down.

          Thinner alone is less portable.

  4. mevets

    siri supports 21 languages?

    I don't think being able to playback a recording of "I don't understand" in 21 languages qualifies as support....

    I think Bixby's real failing is a shortage of misogynist stereotypes, with amazon, google and apple having taken shop-a-holic, gossip and air-head (ir)respectively.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: siri supports 21 languages?

      Bixby's primary failing is the Bixby-button.

      A hard key that I cannot reassign to do a function of use to me, that pops up an annoying reminder that it's only usable for Bixby every time I press it by mistake? Especially when (at launch) it couldn't even do English.

      I now despise Bixby and will never even consider using it, no matter how good it's claimed to be, because that button has made it an annoying electronic idiot who keeps butting in.

      If that button had been originally shipped as configurable - or even possible to fully disable - then I'd have simply forgotten about Bixby until Bixby becomes usable in my lingo.

      And then I might have tried it. But no, it had to be repeatedly forced upon me when still utterly useless. So now I will not, cannot and will never use it.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Bot Air!!??

    I have known Bot air to clear a room but sanitising it?

    That's pushing things a bit too far.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bot Air!!??

      If it ensures nothing can live there?

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    I really liked the "Reverse Microwave", capable of cooling custard at a rapid rate, also the 3 section fold out phone supplementary screen, which seems immune to Google but was featured momentarily on BBC Click.

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