CES 2016, Day 1: Lenovo, ASUS, Faraday, and Acer galore

CES 2016 is here! Well, almost. It's a quick start to the year's biggest consumer technology show, with a slew of announcements from the likes of Acer and Lenovo and Asus, plus our first look at electric car manufacturer start-up Faraday Future. 04 January

Acer's new Windows 10 phone is flagship material

Continuum for you

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL set the stage as the first Continuum-capable Windows 10 Mobile devices, but they've now got company in the form of the Acer Liquid Jade Primo. Packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage under a 5.5-inch 1080p display, the Liquid Jade Primo doesn't come cheap, hitting €569, but you get what you pay for and this is the first non-Microsoft/Nokia flagship Windows Mobile offering we've seen in a good long while.

ThinkPad 13 Chromebook

Lenovo announces new ThinkPad 13 Chromebook with familiar design, high spec options

Rounding out the Chromebook ranks with a solid mid-ranger

Lenovo has previously targeted the education market and super low-end of the consumer market with its Chromebooks, but is now getting in on the mid-range segment with the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook. Challenging the likes of Dell and Toshiba, the new ThinkPad 13 starts at a similar $399 price point with many of the same draws. You have solid build quality, an improved trackpad, 1080p display, available Intel Core processors and up to 8GB of RAM.

It isn't going to challenge the Chromebook Pixel, but the new ThinkPad 13 Chromebook is going to be a good choice for those who want to spend a little more than the current bargain-priced models.

Lenovo's Windows 10 Palooza

There's a reason that Lenovo has claimed the crown of being the top Windows PC manufacturer on the planet, and it's in no small part because they offer something for everybody. The new Yoga 900S is a super-thin convertible ultrabook at just 12.5mm while still offering reasonable specs. And then there's the Ideacentre Y900, which is entirely unreasonable with its 17.3-inch display, desktop-class graphics, and 10-pound weight. And because they could, the Ideacentre 610S is designed for your living room and includes a detachable projector.

Farady Future FFZERO1

Faraday Future's FFZERO1 electric concept car is simply insane... and still somewhat a mystery

We know more, and still almost next to nothing.

The first post-Tesla electric car manufacturer is here, and while we've learned more about what Faraday Future has in mind, there's still a lot that's up in the air. But we can at least say this: the FFZERO1 electric concept car they revealed at CES is something entirely bonkers. It's almost certainly never going to see a production release, but it previews the technology, concepts, and designs that Faraday is working on for their future electric cars, which they expect to start producing in just a few years' time. We'll see.

LG announces new budget-minded K10 and K7 phones

LG keeps building its low-end offerings under the halo of the G series

There seems to be an endless stream of LG phones hitting every imaginable price point in each market, and the latest in the lower-end are the K10 and K7. They take LG's recent software design cues and pair them up with two contrasting external designs — but in either case you get the now-standard LG rear buttons.

Lower-end specs aren't surprising here, but you do get at least a 5-inch screen on both as well as high-megapixel cameras and Snapdragon processors. It'll do for a cheap phone you can snag off-contract, and LG's going to keep getting in done in that range.

Windows 10 for everyone everywhere all the time

Two. Hundred. Million. Installs.

It's not been long since Windows 10 was released into the world and the OS has already landed on more than 200 million devices. Not only is that the fastest roll-out for any Windows release, it actually is outpacing the growth of Windows 8 "by nearly 400%". That figure does include the roll-out of the Windows 10-based New Xbox One Experience, but it's still impressive nonetheless.

ASUS ZenFone Zoom

ASUS ZenFone Zoom to finally launch in February 2016, priced $399


A year after the optically-zooming smartphone was first announced at CES 2015, ASUS has announced the ZenFone Zoom's price and release date. The handset takes after ASUS' ZenFone 2 line of products, packing a 13-megapixel sensor behind a 10-element Hoya lens. That means you'll be able to shoot with up to 3X optical zoom, while avoiding the bulk associated with previous optically-zooming smartphone cameras. It's been a long time coming, but for fans following the cutting edge of smartphone photography, the ZenFone 2 could be worth the wait.

Going hands-on with the Lenovo Vibe S1 Lite

A $200 phone that doesn't just not suck

Following a year of really great affordable phones, Lenovo kicked off 2016 with the Vibe S1 Lite, metal-bodied smartphone that'll sell for just $199. As well as looking and feeling more premium than its price tag would suggest, the Vibe S1 packs an impressive 1080p IPS display, a decent rear camera and a front-facing selfie flash. There are no plans for a U.S. launch, but the Vibe S1 Lite shows what's possible at the $200 price point in 2016.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.