5 key highlights from Panasonic and Technics at CES 2019

5 key highlights from Panasonic and Technics at CES 2019

The Panasonic/Technics CES press conference has finished and the dust is settling on a smattering of new products. The rumoured Technics turntable(s) have arrived, there was a hint of a new flagship OLED TV, plus new Blu-ray players and assorted other developments, including an electric Harley Davidson motorbike (yes, Panasonic is involved). Here's our quick-fire round-up of what to watch out for in 2019 from Panasonic and Technics.

An affordable new Technics SL-1200

The biggest news, and the most exciting from our point of view, is the return of the Technics SL-1200 turntable as a more affordable, DJ-aimed deck. Previously launched SL-1200 turntables since the brand relaunched have been high-end hi-fi offerings, but the new SL-1200 MK7 looks set to be relatively affordable, with DJs as well as vinyl lovers in mind. And it looks great.

MORE: Technics relaunches legendary DJ turntable with SL-1200 MK7

There's a hi-fi deck, too

And that wasn't all for Technics turntables, the SL-1500C deck is also new for 2019. The SL-1500 was originally an upgraded SL-1200, going back to the 1970s and 80s, and now Technics has revisited the model name and relaunched it with the SL-1500C. We expect this to be a slightly more expensive version of the new 1200, but without the DJ features and pitch control - so a purer hi-fi turntable. We look forward to hearing it.

MORE: Technics reveals SL-1500C turntable with built-in phono stage

There is a new flagship OLED 

There is a new flagship Panasonic 4K OLED TV, the GZ2000... and that's about all we know for now. Panasonic mentioned the new TV in its press conference but proffered little else by way of information. We look forward to finding out more over the next few days.

MORE: Panasonic unveils GZ2000 flagship OLED TV

No 8K TVs... and no other TVs?

8K TV is a clear theme at this year's CES, even if wide-scale adoption - and content - may seem a long way off. With LG, Samsung and most other TV players set to make plenty of 8K noise, it was notable by its absence during the Panasonic press conference. More to the point, there was no mention of any other TVs aside from the flagship OLED. That may change over the coming days or we might have to wait until Panasonic's annual convention next month for all the details. Whether there will be a large TV range, and any 8K sets, remains to be seen.

Electric bikes and everything else

The relative lack of products compared to years past - as is the case for most of the big AV brands, who no longer launch an avalanche of new products at once in January - was perhaps in part due to the fact Panasonic has so much else going on as a company. Electric batteries is just one of the many revenue streams - a big one - that makes Panasonic tick, and the CES press conference saw Panasonic reveal the first-ever electric Harley Davidson, as well as an electric road bike. It added some drama to the press event but also made clear that Panasonic, just like its multinational rivals, is much more than an AV company, and there's much more to CES than new consumer products.


CES 2019 news and highlights

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).