THIS YEAR'S CES was not as exciting as some of the previous shows, owing to a lack of announcements of what you might call truly innovative technology.
Nevertheless, CES 2015 did give us a glimpse at the new laptops coming this year, thanks to the announcement of Intel's next-generation Core chip which will power most of them.
Proving that laptops aren't dead just yet, the likes of Dell, Lenovo and HP showed off some new clamshells.
They weren't too different to what we've seen before, but they did showcase some welcome improvements, such as lighter and slimmer form factors with better performance and longer battery life, qualities that we all want from a laptop these days.
For example, Dell took the wraps off a new XPS laptop line-up, unveiling the Dell XPS 13, which crams a 13.3in screen into an 11in-sized chassis.
Lenovo, meanwhile, unveiled several thinner notebook devices, also powered by Intel's latest Core chip, for the business and consumer markets.
These new form factors were down to Intel's 5th-generation Core processors based on the 14nm Broadwell architecture.
The update packs in 35 percent more transistors than in Intel's previous 4th-generation Haswell CPU, while shrinking die size by 37 percent. This means that the chip maker has enabled thinner, smaller devices, including 2-in-1s, laptops and desktop all-in-ones.
Intel has said that, while this release is not a major 'tock' architecture change, it is a 'tick' and means modest gains in productivity.
Its biggest draw is the boost for gamers, promising 22 percent better graphics processing owing to two thirds of the die area being dedicated to graphics.
It also offers 50 percent faster video conversion, four percent better productivity, and a 1.5-hour improvement in battery life.
There's more good news for gamers, as the 5th-gen Core processor family will offer 10 new 15W processors with Intel HD Graphics, and four new 28W products with Intel Iris Graphics.
For instance, the Iris HD 6100 is said to offer better graphics than seen on the Haswell range, the HD 5500.
The new Core family is generally aimed at larger, higher spec laptops and desktops for those demanding more power, so we can expect to see many more system refreshes from OEMs this year as laptop brands are updated with the chip.
Lenovo's business-focused ThinkPad line-up, including a third-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, is a good example.
The laptop features an even thinner and lighter chassis than its predecessor, measuring 17.7mm thick and weighing just under 1.3kg.
Lenovo said that it didn't go for an Intel Core M design with the upgrade and instead opted for the new Core processor to deliver the best possible performance for the form factor.
The laptop will be available with FHD or WQHD screen options and will boast over 10 hours of battery life, PCIe SSD options and some refinements to the keyboard. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1,249 and will be available in the US from January.
For the consumer market, Lenovo revealed the Yoga 3, a 360-degree hinge laptop in a thinner and lighter chassis compared with previous versions.
The Lenovo Yoga 3 features a similar chassis size as seen on previous 13in Yoga devices but with a 14in display. Weighing 1.6kg, the 14in model will also be powered by Intel's 5th-generation Core processor.
HP also gave us something to get excited about, showing off some new ultrabook workstations for the power hungry business user.
HP's additions to its workstation portfolio include the updated HP ZBook 14 and ZBook 15u Workstation Ultrabooks which the firm said are the thinnest and lightest of their type.
The 15.6in ZBook 15u comes with Intel's 5th-gen Core in i5 and i7 processor variants, combined with AMD's FirePro graphics accelerator hardware.
Both models can be configured with up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, and storage options including up to a 1TB Sata hard drive or 180GB solid state drive, which can be complemented with a 256GB HP Z Turbo Drive that attaches directly to the PCI Express bus for higher performance.
Lenovo and HP certainly showed off some promising Intel 5th-gen Core-powered machines at CES this year, but we thought that Dell really stole the laptop crown this time round.
Dell claimed that the XPS 13 update is the "smallest 13in notebook in the world", fitting a 13.3in screen into the size of a typical 11in notebook.
Running Windows 8.1, the Dell XPS 13 is claimed to feature a huge 15 hours battery life on a single charge and features an UltraSharp Quad HD+ infinity display with 5.7 million pixels in a 5.2mm bezel.
Weighing just 1.18kg, the XPS 13 will be available from 20 January starting at £1,099 in the UK, and its smaller, lighter but more powerful attributes will lead the way in the year ahead.
Dell held the new machine up against a 13in Macbook Air during a press conference to show how much smaller the XPS 13's chassis is in comparison, despite having the same size screen.
It was at this point that we realised it was the start of a Windows PC revolution thanks to Intel's new chip.
Windows OEMs are about to get aggressive in 2015 and really fight their corner when it comes to the Apple Macbook taking their market share. µ
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