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CES 2019: The Thoughts and Opinions of Your Favorite Creators

Featuring appearances by Juan Carlos Bagnell, Jon Rettinger, Myriam Joire, and more.

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Over the past year or so, I’ve begun getting acquainted with some particular personalities and creators in the tech space that you may have heard of. Considering I would be in their presence at CES, I reached out to a bunch of them to see if they wanted to participate in a project I was doing. Most of them said yes. This is that project.

I nicknamed this article “The CES 2019 Reaction Mega Collaboration” while I was editing it considering that’s basically the best way I can sum it up. Essentially, I’ve compiled the answers your favorite technology personalities and creators gave me to these two questions: what did you think of CES 2019 and what was your favorite part of the show? I haven’t edited their responses in any way and left them just as they appeared in my inbox.

I won’t bore you with more introduction. These are the thoughts and opinions of your favorite tech personalities and creators on CES 2019.


Juan Carlos Bagnell

Newegg Now

First up, Juan Carlos Bagnell (a.k.a. @SomeGadgetGuy) of Newegg Now. He and I have actually become good friends through Twitter. We did plan on meeting up, but like any good CES experience, our schedules didn’t cooperate. Luckily, he was totally down to have his input featured in this gigantic piece.

Admittedly, Juan was a tad underwhelmed with CES 2019 as a whole, but he does admit some emerging technologies from years ago are finally starting to see the light of day.

I think a lot of people would agree, this CES was a difficult show to sum up. There wasn’t one “hot” tech sector taking over the show, but that resulted in a more trafficked floor. Companies that might have gotten buried in previous years, found a little more sunlight this go around. As a very general trend, this was a great CES for realizing technologies that had been hyped up in years past. Sure, there were tons of buzz-wordy “5Gees” and “IOTees” and “Eight Kays”, but that general idea of tying gadgets and services together was very well explored.

It might have felt underwhelming trying to cover tech and produce videos. The main danger of the hype cycle, we talk this gear to death before we get to see a polished version of it. When something good finally arrives, it already feels stale.

For lifestyle tech, LG’s booth showed off smart connections. Phones and laptops in the center, with appliances and AV equipment circling the walls. Amazon had a forceful show for Alexa, detailing home, work, auto, robots, and heads up displays. Connections were a big deal.

Even gaming companies shifted strategy. Computex is the bigger show for high-end hardware, but many companies at CES showed a wider portfolio of products. Corsair partnering with ElGato to offer up better lighting for streamers, Aorus highlighting a monitor with built-in hardware for noise canceling game chat and frame skipping aim assist. Asus trying to redefine a portable gaming experience with the Mothership.

This year’s show was very broad, but there were some good ideas on display, and it seems like some of the promises of years past are finally coming to the mainstream.


Jules Wang

Pocketnow

Next, Jules Wang from Pocketnow (@PointJules). He’s always been one of my favorite personalities at Pocketnow, and what with Juan joining in on the fun, I had to see if Jules would be down as well. Luckily, he was. And while he’s more focused on smartphones and mobile gadgets, he did get somewhat of a fix at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

So, for me, I’m still new to this trade show business. This is my second CES and while it’s a show that spans from B2B suppliers to robots to cars to baby toys to tools that are designed to boggle your mind so that you don’t have to do it on occasion…. I’m about the phones.

There were few phones at the show. Honor showed off the View 20. Hisense has a weird View 20 knock-off. Nubia had a couple of neat tricks. Only one is coming to the United States. Bummer. And I know that it’s not my show to complain about the lack of anything meaningful in mobile – MWC should solve my woes – but meh.

The one big surprise I got this show? Re-realizing that Jabra’s North American headquarters are located near where I live. Oh, the joys of conversation at Showstoppers! That’s pretty much it.

And just for the record: Jules, I’d be thrilled to join you on the Pocketnow Weekly. Stay tuned, folks!


David Imel

Android Authority

I met David Imel of Android Authority (@DurvidImel) through Twitter where I congratulated him on becoming a CES Trailblazer. See, we exchanged glances in Times Square during the OnePlus 6T launch event, but I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand. Regardless, we’re well acquainted with each other now, having had numerous back-and-forth conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and (of all places) Google Allo.

I asked David about his thoughts on CES and he sent over this. In a nutshell, he wasn’t impressed… at all.

CES felt really strange for me this year. The theme of CES 2018 was literally “WOAH”, but that feeling only struck me once or twice during the show this year, and only to a minor extent.

Am I jaded, or is the show becoming less appealing? To me CES 2019 presented less technology that felt like it could fundamentally change how the world works. While we had the same mix of rollable OLED’s and ping-pong playing robots as we’ve had in previous years, I don’t think I saw a single product that made me truly excited about the future. Nothing felt quite new and innovative – they mostly presented updates to “industry warping” technologies we’ve been force-fed for the last five years.

Flexible screens are cool and all, but man. I just want my mind to be blown again.


Rich Woods

Neowin

Next up, we have Rich Woods of Neowin (@TheRichWoods). Me and Rich go way back. He’s one of the very few people who has been friends with me since the beginning of Matridox when it used to be called MBEDDED. He let me know he’d be at CES, but we never got a chance to catch up. Nevertheless, I did ask him if he wanted to take part in this collab and he sent over his thoughts. My takeaway: he’s big on the PC stuff that was announced.

There wasn’t anything that crazy or groundbreaking at CES this year, although that’s been the case for several years now. I think the most important part of it was Nvidia’s and AMD’s announcements, as those are setting the tone for the year ahead. Nvidia’s new mobile GeForce RTX GPUs unlock a new level of performance for gaming laptops, and that’s huge. We saw new PCs with the GPUs at CES as well, putting this powerful hardware in slimmer form factors, such as Acer’s Predator Triton 900, which is actually a gaming convertible with a 45W Intel CPU and a GeForce RTX 2080. It’s pretty cool stuff. Now, on to MWC for the Snapdragon products.


Myriam Joire

While I was at the OnePlus 6T launch event in New York, Rich was kind of enough to introduce me to Myriam Joire (@tnkgrl). Myriam is one of the most popular tech personalities on the web today, and I’m thrilled and honored to feature her thoughts on CES in this article.

CES felt a bit sleepy this year, with more iteration than innovation than years past. As a whole it was pretty “meh”, but still worth it to see the trends and see where the industry is going.

The LG Signature R roll-up OLED TV is incredible, and will be commonplace in most living rooms within 5 years. ASUS ROG’s Mothership is a very interesting Surface-like gaming “laptop” design. Honor’s View 20 shows what most mid to high-end phones will look like in 2019. Google Assistant Connect is going to make huge impact and help Google lead the assistant pack in 2019.


Alex Hernandez

Techaeris

Next, Alex Hernandez of Techaeris (@daAlexHernandez). He was actually also one of my fellow CES Trailblazers, and I had to ask him for his input on what he thought of the show.

CES is one of the absolute best events for any technology nerd and a must attend if you can manage it. CES 2019 was filled with so much stuff it was impossible to see it all. From my perspective, I was most interested in home entertainment technology.

The LG TV R9 rollable TV is a marvel of engineering, and the Samsung 98” 8K QLED TV is stunning. Samsung has really done a ton of work to catch up to LG’s OLED technology, and it shows. From their 8K AI upscaling to increasing the contrast and clarity in their QLED panels, Samsung TVs are among the best of the best.

Other key standouts from CES 2019 include the Panasonic Lumix S1 full frame mirrorless camera, the Dell Latitude 7400, the Alienware M15 gaming laptop, and the Lenovo Smart Clock.

You can check out my full Best of CES 2019 here.

See you next year at CES 2020!


Jon Rettinger

Finally, we have an absolute fan-favorite joining us for this gigantic CES collaboration article. And if you know how to read headers, you know I was able to get Jon Rettinger (@Jon4Lakers). Yes, the Jon Rettinger. The same Jon Rettinger who founded TechnoBuffalo.

I met Jon at the Samsung keynote during Media Day at CES 2019 where I congratulated him on his website’s acquisition. After I got home, I reached out to him to see if he’d be willing to take part in this collaboration. And somehow, some way, he had time in his busy schedule to give us a snippet of his thoughts on the show. He’s interested in the more human-connection side of CES, but one thing’s for certain: he saw plenty of screens.

The face of CES is changing, and has been since Microsoft left the keynote.  The show is not dominated by a combination of automotive TV’s and IOT with a dash of mobile thrown in.  What’s interesting this year, is there seems to be an emphasis on the human side of tech….how actual people will interact with the various connecting things.  TV technology is evolving so rapidly, it’s now going rollable, thanks to a new consumer ready product from LG.  The general rule for CES in 2019 seems to be if any product can have a screen, put a screen on it!


In each of these responses, I noticed a general theme: not many people were impressed. Rich liked all the PC stuff (the nerd he is) and the LG rollable TV was a favorite among some entries including Myriam, Jon, and Alex. But when you read David’s thoughts, Juan’s thoughts, Jule’s thoughts, and even Myriam’s thoughts, you start to realize that CES 2019 wasn’t a flash-bang experience like years past. Sure, cool things emerged we hadn’t seen before, but certainly nothing life-changing.

Hopefully, though, this will give you a good idea of what it was like to visit CES this year. I’d like to thank each and every participant in this article for your contribution. Clearly, without it, this article couldn’t have happened. I’m thrilled to be among such great people in my line of work and I look forward to meeting up with all of you in the near future!

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