CES 2015 may not have any huge wow moments — at least so far — but it's proving to be a good place to see the world's biggest tech brands giving their product ranges a solid refresh and reboot. Along with new Alienware gaming machines and Dell will have the world's thinnest tablet on sale in Australia by the end of the month, with a beautiful screen to boot.
The star of Dell's stand at CES actually isn't a brand new announcement. It's the Venue 8 7000 Series, and it's an 8.4-inch OLED-screened Android tablet that's a mere 6 millimetres thick. With an edge-to-edge display, and a single speaker bar running along the lower portrait-orientation bezel, it's a striking-looking slate.
An Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core SoC runs the show, and other specs are broadly similar to competitors; 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage are par for the tablet course. That OLED screen has a surprisingly high resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, too, so you'll be flattering the Android games and 1080p movies you load onto the Venue 8, as well as Google's own Material Design apps — although just about the only downside is that it's running Android 4.4 rather than 5.0 Lollipop. The Venue 8 7000 will be out in Oz on January 27, with prices starting from $499.
Dell's Alienware 15 and 17 gaming laptops have also been treated to a do-over; both the 15 and 17 get new Intel quad-core i7s and Nvidia GTX 980M graphics, optional 4K panels and are about a fifth shorter than their predecessors. Both also support the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, so you can hook up your laptop to a powered desktop box housing a more powerful GPU for proper gaming — if you so desire, that is.
Both the 15 and 17 will be available to order — that is, you'll be able to buy them, without any wait — from Dell's site come next Monday, January 12. The Alienware 15 starts at $1999 and the 17 starts at $2499, although speccing up those high-res screens, more RAM, faster storage or a more powerful internal GPU will drive the price up by a little bit. Also, no-one except me cares about this, but it's good to see Alienware opting for Killer network hardware rather than Intel's standard Wi-Fi and Ethernet chipsets.
Dell's regular ol' XPS laptops get a bit of love, too, at CES 2015. Take a look at the new XPS 13, above — that is one sexy mainstream consumer laptop, with a 13-inch screen in a chassis that would usually only fit an 11. Dell promises a full 15 hours of battery life, too. It's the same approach that the LG UltraPC takes — skinny, big screen, everyday Ultrabook specs — and that's a machine that I'd love to see on my work desk every day.
There's a 4K-screen-toting XPS 15, as well as updated Inspiron 15 7000 and 13 7000 2-in-1s on the way too, most of them by the end of this month. [Dell]