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Flexibility the key to new trends in TVs, tablets

Technology junkies got a look at the future at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and they saw one that emphasized flexibility – in the case of some TVs, literal flexing of the screen.

TVs have been getting bigger – the 110-inch Samsung S9 is setting the trend – as manufacturers have found more and more ways to cram in more pixels. The Ultra-HD standard that’s becoming the norm comes with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.

That’s led to some opting for curved displays, which allow more people to view a screen without distorting the image. A 77-inch model from LG even allows users to control the degree of the curve by remote.

Most of the new TVs have also opted for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are supposed to make images more appealing and devices more energy efficient. But, of course, the technology comes with a high price tag, especially with models measuring 77 inches and larger.

Streaming entertainment is also proving key to TV makers. Haier’s M7000 series uses the Android 4.2 operating system, the same kind used in many smartphones and tablets, which should make streaming from the internet easier.

Roku, a company best known for making set-top boxes to enable streaming, is even expected to get into TV manufacturing in the near future, in cooperation with TCL and Hisense.

Reviewers are also still reeling from the array of tablet computers they saw at the CES. Here again, flexibility, of a different kind, was the trend.

Companies are opting for a variety of devices with different operating systems, to give their customers more choice.

Taking this to the extreme, the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 is a mix of notebook and tablet, with a removable keyboard and choice between the Android and Windows operating systems.

For those who don’t want to switch back and forth, the company also has its Iconia A1-830 (Android) and the Iconia W4 (Windows). But the watchword seems to be making sure customers have choice.

Meanwhile, notebooks are getting lighter. The ThinkPad X1 carbon, presented at the show, has a 14-inch touchscreen display, but isn’t even 2 centimetres thick and weighs less than 1.5 kilograms.

Toshiba’s Kira weighs about the same, but with only a 13.3-inch display. (dpa)

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