CES 2021 is here, and the world’s largest annual technology show has never looked so different. But while this year’s event releases the packed Las Vegas ballrooms in favor of an all-online experience, there are as many cool gadgets and exciting innovations to get excited about as ever.
From eye-catching 8K TVs to laptops and desktops that make work from home more seamless than ever, we̵
With that in mind, here are our picks for the best gadgets from CES 2021 that you will actually buy this year.
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is our current recommendation for the best 2-in-1 Chromebook you can buy, but it’s selling for a steep $ 999. The new Galaxy Chromebook 2 retains the best features of its predecessor (including a vibrant screen and a stunning Fiesta Red) design) while starting at a much more affordable $ 549 with more modest specs. Don’t call this a downgrade, though – the Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the first Chromebook to have a QLED display, which offers much more vibrant colors and finer details than you would find on a regular LCD laptop screen. Chromebook 2’s beautiful screen and snappy keyboard worked well in our early practical testing, and the eye-catching design makes the other CES Chromebooks look dull.
If you’re looking for a gaming monitor to use with your PS5 or Xbox Series X, the new Acer Nitro XV282 KV should be on your radar. This 28-inch screen has the latest HDMI 2.1 standard, which you need to take full advantage of the smooth 120 frames per second playback that the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are capable of. It’s also a great option for PC gamers, with AMD FreeSync Premium technology to eliminate screen tearing and 1 ms response time for minimal input delay. Nitro XV 282K KV secured our best of CES choices because the HDMI 2.1 support makes it one of the first monitors to make next-generation console gaming as smooth as possible – and could usher in a new wave of game monitors optimized for PS5 and Xbox Series X. Watch out for it in May with a starting price of $ 899.
Like most other smart vacuum cleaners, Samsung’s latest does not have the catchy name. But after a demo and a personal orientation (performed safely), the JetBot 90 AI + proved to bring a lot to the table. It bypasses other smart vacuum cleaners that only have LiDAR sensors by throwing in cameras and recognizing objects. In this way, it can actually identify what is in the way and change direction. Obstacle is to avoid * the chef’s kiss * on JetBot 90 for this very reason – it can work around a cable, a pair of sneakers or the dreaded doggy do-do. It will even send an alert via the connected app to tell you what it ran into. This is the first vacuum that has this real technology on the next level to avoid objects, so it does quite a lot of other smart vacs look pretty stupid looking. We do not have prices yet, but JetBot 90 AI + has a feature set that will leave other smart vacuum cleaners in the dirt.
Portable webcams are generally awful, which HP seems to solve with the new HP Elite Dragonfly Max. This powerful 2-in-1 notebook features a 5MP webcam, which, combined with your laptop’s advanced AI-powered audio technology, will make you see and sound as presented as possible during important Zoom meetings. Combine that with a 13.3-inch screen with features like HP Eye Ease and HP Sure View Reflect to protect your documents from snoopers while minimizing eye strain, and Dragonfly Max is about to become the ultimate home laptop. Although we did not test directly, the Dragonfly Max’s design, specifications and feature set seem to compete with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – our best choice for business laptops – making it the most impressive laptop we have ever seen come out of CES so far.
The UltraSharp 38 screen not only gives you an expansive screen, but it has the specifications that fit. This 37.5-inch curved WQHD + screen has a resolution of 3840 X 1600. Although this is not exactly 4K, we expect with the high resolution that it will be sharp and probably difficult to pick out individual pixels. The panel will allow it to produce a wide range of colors like previous UltraSharp monitors, one of our current top picks for best monitors. Those who work in creative apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator will be able to handle detail-oriented editing relatively easily. And in daily use, we expect it to provide plenty of space for email, spreadsheets and browsing. The real kicker is the built-in productivity hub – there are two HDMIs, a DisplayPort, two USB-Cs, an Ethernet connector and four USB-A ports, among others. It’s an all-in-one docking solution that we feel will truly be a plug-and-play experience. There’s nothing every screen out there can match. If you have curled up against an aging screen and struggled with all kinds of dongles, this feels like the complete package. We look forward to testing the UltraSharp 38 screen when it launches on January 28th.
Samsung’s Neo QLED aims to increase the brightness level, color level and deepen black levels compared to previous generations. It does not with completely new technology or even a dramatically new processor, but with miniLED. Samsung’s Quantum Mini LEDs are about 1/40. The size of a conventional LED backlight and removes much of the packaging. Shrinking the size allows more LEDs to be placed inside, and the TV can control the LED-by-LED lighting. This is closer to the creation of pixel-by-pixel image found on OLEDs. We got to see it in person, and the 8K Neo QLED caught our eye with its increased levels of vibration without causing bloom or leakage. Given Samsung’s expertise in producing images and upscaling, we have a feeling that this will excel beyond our current overall choice for best TV, the TCL 6 series. The specificity that Samsung can offer with miniLEDs should increase the level of clarity and deliver brightness to a new level. We do not know the price yet, but Samsung’s Neo QLEDs will be available later this spring.