LG’s CES 2019 press event has just finished, and the South Korean company has announced a lot of new products going on sale this year.
The company has been on a bit of a roll with its TVs in recent years. At CES 2019, LG is clearly trying to double-down on that success with the announcement of new, smarter TVs with improved AI, Amazon Alexa integration and a massive 88-inch 8K OLED model.
LG also announced new soundbars, speakers, laptops, a monitor and a projector. So, here’s the skinny on all its announcements, how much they’ll cost when they go on sale and whether you should care.
LG announced four new OLED TV ranges coming this year, the Z9, W9, E9 and C9 ranges, and two new flagship LCD ranges, the SM9X and SM8X ranges.
These new TVs, including the monster 88-inch 8K OLED Z9 model, receive LG’s new a9 Gen 2 processor. We don’t often hear about processors on TVs but LG promises that this new chip will offer “a higher level of AI picture and sound experience quality.”
The company also talked-up its new deep learning algorithms which will enhance “picture and sound by analyzing source content as well as optimized content by recognizing ambient conditions.” Basically the new tech will make content look better by adjusting to the type of content you’re watching and the conditions you’re watching it in.
This might sound like hot air, but it does make sense. Your TV will need to perform differently to deliver the best picture quality if you’re watching Blue Planet or Saving Private Ryan’s opening scene. Whether it works in practice, though, remains to be seen.
Another benefit of the new smarter chip is virtual surround sound. Thanks to a new algorithm and Dolby’s Atmos sound tech, LG’s 2019 TVs will be able to up-mix two-channel audio and create an effect similar to full surround sound.
The new TVs will also offer improved HDR capabilities, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration and OLED TVs will be capable of 120 frames per second, which will be great for action-packed films or gaming.
We’ve had no word on when these TVs will hit the shelves, but we’re certain the new TVs will be pricey. Expect the OLEDs to start at at least $1,500 and the 88-inch model to come in at well over $10,000.
LG also announced its new Signature OLED TV R. In case you're wondering, the “R” stands for rollable. That's right, it's a TV that literally rolls up into its base when not in use.
It also has a half-in-half-out mode, which will display useful information such as the time and weather, display photos from your phone, or let you listen to music. The Signature R's base has a soundbar built-in, so the music should sound pretty good, as well.
No word on price or availability but we'll bet our bottom dollar it's ludicrously expensive.
New LG Soundbars for 2019
So, now you’ve decided to splash out on a new LG TV, you might as well get a soundbar to go with it, right?
Today at CES, LG announced three new soundbars – the SL8, SL9 and SL10. All of these support Dolby Atmos and its rival DTS:X audio system. This means you’ll be able to get improved sound quality, and sound that appears to come from multiple directions and depths.
LG's SL9YG soundbar
Like the TVs, LG’s soundbars support Google Assistant, so you won’t have to lift a finger to turn up the volume, for example. The new soundbars shouldn’t take up loads of room, with slim, understated designs and they can be wall-mounted or placed on a TV stand.
Again, there’s no word on pricing yet but we’d expect them to start at at least $300.
New LG Speakers for 2019
LG’s also announced some new Xboom speakers at CES. The Xboom range is LG’s semi-portable speaker collection. They’re designed to be easy to move with convenient carry handles and the ability to be positioned horizontally or vertically, but they’re far from small and are reliant on mains power.
The Xboom range also differentiates itself by with an array of flashing LEDs which accompany your music. The two new speakers, called the OL 100 and CL 98, aren’t all show and no trousers, however. LG has worked with respected British audio company Meridian to improve vocal and high-end clarity as well as deliver more impressive low-end and bass.
As with everything else on this list, we’re still waiting for pricing and availability confirmation.
Everything Else LG Announced at CES
Beyond the impressive TVs, soundbars and speakers, the South Korean tech giant also announced a 4K laser projector. This second generation model, called HU85L, can be placed just two-inches away from a wall while still projecting a 4K image and, unsurprisingly, it comes with voice control and improved AI.
At LG's press conference, the biggest applause was saved for the company's new beer-making HomeBrew machine. That's right, a smart beer-making machine. You'll be able to pick five types of beer including: An IPA, American pale ale, stout, wheat beer and a pilsner. It works similarly to a coffee pod machine. Simply insert the cartridges and press go. However, you'll have to be prepared to wait a while, with a typical brewing time of two weeks.
A new lineup of UltraWide monitors also made its debut in Las Vegas, including a 49-inch curved model designed for improved productivity and immersive gaming. It’s supposed to be equivalent to two 27-inch Quad HD displays side by side, with a 5120×1440 resolution. However, the low pixels per inch count (just 108) might make two separate displays preferable.
New LG Gram laptops were announced, with a 17-inch model and a 14-inch 2-in-1. As ever with the LG Gram models, they’re incredibly thin and light, with the 17-inch model weighing 1.3 kilos and fitting into the profile of a typical 15.6-inch laptop. The 14-inch model, on the other hand, has a fully-rotating screen and weighs 1.1 kilos.
Sadly, we’ve still got no word on pricing or availability of these products.
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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.co with a range of experience in the world of tech publishing. Tom covers everything from cybersecurity, to social media, website builders, and point of sale software when he's not reviewing the latest phones.