Everything you need to know about CES 2020 — the biggest tech show of the year

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, people attend CES International in Las Vegas. The Consumer Technology Association on Wednesday, May 8, reinstated an award to the makers of a robotic

  • The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is celebrating its 53rd year in 2020 — it started way back in June 1967. The show runs from January 7 to January 10, 2020.
  • CES sets the stage for all the technological innovations that will arrive in stores in 2020 and beyond.
  • In 2019, CES drew in more than 175,000 attendees and drove more than 226,000 pieces of media coverage in print, online, and broadcast outlets.
  • CES 2020 is expected to host major announcements from the world's highest-profile consumer technology companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and more.
  • We'll be at the show this year to check out all the best new products. Here's what we expect to see at CES 2020.

CES 2020 marks the 53rd annual run of the nation's biggest and most important consumer technology show. Having run every year in early January in Las Vegas, Nevada for years now, it kicks off the year's product cycle for consumer tech in countless categories, from TVs and headphones to laptops and even appliances.

This is the first time of the year that the media gets to preview nearly all of the gadgets and devices that will be released throughout the year. It's also a golden opportunity for technology makers to show off concepts for devices that won't hit shelves for another year or more — if at all.

Suffice it to say that CES is an incredibly exciting event for both technology media and fans of tech watching from afar via live streams and media coverage.

We'll be reporting live on the hot tech you can look forward to buying throughout 2020, so here's what to expect and your hottest questions answered.

What are the dates for CES 2020?

CES 2020 begins on Tuesday, January 7, and ends on Friday, January 10. However, you'll begin seeing media coverage of the major announcements as early as Sunday, January 5 — that's when the keynote addresses begin.

Is CES 2020 open to the public?

Unfortunately, CES is a trade-only event. This means it is not open to the public. Only folks that are 18-years-old or older, and affiliated with the consumer tech industry, are permitted to attend. Friends, family, and children under 18 connected or related to attendees are also permitted.

How much does it cost to get into CES 2020?

Luckily for us, the media are permitted into CES 2020 free of charge, as it has been for years. However, for anyone else in the industry, it's going to cost some cash, and there are three tiers of access: straight registration costs $300, the "Starter Conference Pass" calls for $900, and the "Deluxe Conference Pass" requires a whopping $1,700. Here's what each of those tiers include. If you become a member of the Consumer Technology Association, or CTA, you can save 25% on the two more expensive packages.

What does CES stand for?

Of course, CES is an acronym, which stands for the Consumer Electronics Show. The show is put on by the CTA, which was formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Association, or CEA, before a name change in 2015. The first-ever CES was held on June 24, 1967 in New York City over four days.

What can we expect to see at CES 2020?

At a top level, you can expect to witness unveiling for products in dozens of major categories. Generally, CES is known to be a hub for advances in television technology, mobile computing, automotive, audio technology, appliances big and small, smart home gadgets, drones, virtual reality devices, gaming technology, and more. Here's a breakdown of what we anticipate from the biggest brands expected to show off new gear at CES 2020:


Absolutely one of the biggest companies to descend upon CES every year, expect to see lots of hot new stuff from Samsung in almost every category. New TVs (hopefully in 8K), laptops (that are hopefully decent), smart appliances (that hopefully don't cost a fortune), and more will likely be on display at Samsung's massive booth.


Arguably the most popular computer company in the US short of Apple, Dell always brings the big guns to CES. The show often serves as a debut for the year's most powerful Dell laptops and desktops for both general use and PC gaming. We'd be surprised if we didn't see a new XPS 13 laptop in either its straight clamshell or 2-in-1 form. Likewise, it would be surprising for CES to go without debuting some new Alienware PC gaming hardware. Beyond that, here's to hoping Dell has some surprises up its sleeve.


The mega-popular fitness band startup that Google recently acquired likely had plans for CES well before the search giant picked it up, as it does every year. So, we're almost certainly going to see what might be Fitbit's last hurrah as an independent brand at CES 2020. What will it be? That's tougher to tell. It could be a new product in the Charge or Ionic series of watches — or it could be something entirely new.


The company behind Windows 10 and the Surface line of tablets and laptops generally doesn't make it rain on CES, so to speak. In years past, Microsoft has generally taken the opportunity to highlight its myriad partners' recently announced products. However, anything is possible, and this year it will be holding invitation-only meetings — how secretive.


The Chinese computer giant that built its empire largely off of the purchase of IBM's computing division years ago usually makes a big splash at CES every year. That likely won't change in 2020, with major updates anticipated to its Yoga line of flagship 2-in-1 laptops as well as its Legion gaming hardware lines. We also hope to learn more about Lenovo's foldable display tablet prototype first seen earlier in 2019, which is slated to release before the end of June 2020.


These days, when you think of LG, you think of two more things: appliances and TVs. We fully expect to see both on grand display during CES 2020, especially as Samsung isn't about to slow down in either category. It's entirely possible for LG to launch another 8K resolution TV at the show, and it will likely double down on smart appliances as it has for a while as well.


Here's another TV mega maker expected to bring the 8K heat to Las Vegas in a few short weeks, in addition to several other bits of high-end entertainment technology. Expect to see not only high-end TVs, but also premium headphones and perhaps even some gaming announcements, what with the PlayStation 5 being a known commodity at this point.


A sleeper hit of the TV scene for the past few years has been TCL, producing some of the best-value smart TVs to date. With Roku's operating system built into decent panels upwards of 4K resolutions, we wonder how TCL will contribute to the bubbling 8K craze in 2020. At the very least, expect it to have Roku involved.


The PC gaming hardware maker always brings something entirely new — that may never even be released — to CES, which is reliably exciting and interesting. However, Razer also brings newly announced products that we can actually buy within the same year, particularly gaming laptops. And, that's exactly what we hope to see from Razer at CES 2020.


At last year's CES, the retail behemoth that introduced us to Alexa doubled down on the expansion of its digital assistant, replete with an all-electric Audi car with Alexa built in. For 2020, we expect to see Amazon show off further developments in this space, but also expand on Alexa particularly when it comes to privacy and personalization. We also see Fire TV listed as an explicit exhibitor on the CES 2020 website, so stay tuned for updates there — 8K support, perhaps? Probably not just yet, but we'd sure like to see even deeper Alexa support there.


An Amazon-owned home security company, Ring has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and perhaps in infamy within the past few months due to not-so-glowing media coverage. Regardless, we expect the company to have some new surveillance gadgets to show off at CES 2020 for folks to better monitor their homes next year.


Surprisingly, the social media titan Facebook is planning to hold meetings off-site from the show floor at CES. It's unknown exactly what will be shown off during these meetings, and so it could be anything from new software to new hardware like its Portal smart display project or even new Oculus virtual reality gadgets. This will be one to watch.


And, speak of the devil: Google is expected to have a massive presence at CES 2020, as it has for several years now. The company generally uses this time as an opportunity to show off updates to its Google Assistant technology through its own hardware and device maker partners that support it. Expect to see more of this in perhaps an even more bombastic presentation than a literal miniature theme park that dominated CES 2019.

Automotive Brands

Over the past several years, CES has slowly evolved into the nation's second biggest auto show short of staples like the LA Auto Show and New York Auto Show. Of course, the focus has been on autonomous driving and renewable fuel technologies. Here are all the major automakers expected to unveil new products in autonomous and green driving:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Ford
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Toyota


It's difficult to pin down exactly what to expect from this company during CES. Once known for its TVs, in years past, the company has put out super-advanced electric toothbrushes, excellent digital cameras, and even sharp small kitchen appliances. So, what the company will have to show off in 2020 is anyone's guess. Here's to hoping for a state-of-the-art water flosser.


This is another company that, once known for making ace TVs, is a bit of a wild card at CES shows. You can bet on seeing some new HD or 4K projectors from the company as well as smart home and health technologies, like wearables and sensors. For us, we're mostly here for the projectors, especially as we slowly enter the era of 8K resolutions.


This is another of the companies that starts with an "S" that will partake in the TV wars once again this year, well known for providing the displays for many high-end gadgets but for also pushing TVs of its own. How will Sharp differentiate itself from the competition when 8K will be all the rage? We'll see in early January.


The company that has all but become the Kleenex of action camera providers will be touching down in Las Vegas again in 2020. GoPro has just launched its Max action cam, the biggest yet in its vast lineup, so expect a hefty focus on that newly-released device. However, we could also see teases for unreleased products, like the would-be GoPro Hero 9, but maybe don't hold your breath for that.


The company that used to make smartphones that few really care about anymore is coming back to CES, likely to show off something new in its successful Vive line of virtual reality headsets. The Vive VR headsets are well known as the leading in terms of visual fidelity and processing power, so here's to hoping we see the next level of standalone, PC-free VR technology from HTC in 2020.


Yes, the streaming service that Disney all but owns at this point will be making an appearance at the show as well. The company is holding meetings off-site from the show floor, likely to show off updates and advancements to its streaming technology that users will enjoy in 2020. With that fat Disney cash behind Hulu now, who knows what upgrades we might see.


One of the most popular music streaming services worldwide, Spotify has something to show off at CES 2020 through off-site meetings. What new audio content category or streaming feature will Spotify debut this time around? Who knows, but we'll definitely be here for it.


We anticipate 5G cellular connectivity to be a major talking point of CES 2020, and Sprint seemingly looks to contribute to that conversation this time around. The company is actively working on building out its 5G network across the nation, so hopefully, we'll hear more of what that's going to look like during the show.


The so-called "Un-Carrier" has a whole block of meeting rooms off-site at CES 2020, hopefully, to show off its version of 5G connectivity that's likely to be a major talking point of the show. One thing we know nearly for certain that won't come up is the merger-in-progress with Sprint.


Here's yet another carrier expected to make a splash at CES 2020, most likely on account of — you guessed it — 5G connectivity. Arguably the furthest along in this field, we're especially excited to see what Verizon brings to the table in terms of what 5G will do for phones and tablets running on its network.

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