LAS VEGAS--The biggest surprise of CES 2012 is not what we've seen here at the show, but what we haven't. In a radical departure from previous years, several major laptop makers are missing in action, while others are showing off only a single major new product, if anything.
Instead of hosting its usual giant press conference and hotel suites full of products to demo, Dell instead introduced a single laptop, the XPS 13 ultrabook. If it was going to highlight just one laptop, Dell certainly picked the most relevant one, but last year's CES saw several systems across different categories.
Dell's sister brand, Alienware, had nothing new to show, despite scoring big at past CES events with systems such as the M11X.
HP likewise stuck to a single major new laptop, the Envy 14 Spectre. It's an innovative system with a cool design (and our Best of CES winner in the computers and hardware category), but HP's other new laptops, the revamped Envy 15 and Envy 17, and the Folio 13 ultrabook, had already been released last month.
Toshiba typically has new models spilling from its various Satellite, Qosmio, and Portege laptop lines. But at CES 2012, it only had a single product to show off, an unnamed 14-inch ultrabook prototype. … Read more