Every year, CES gives us a chance to check out all of the coolest new tech and services from companies around the world. The show is huge and it's impossible to keep up with everything, even when you're on the ground in Las Vegas. And with CES 2021 going all-virtual, that task got even tougher this year. We've kept a close watch and selected all of our favorite announcements from the show and awarded them for their innovation.
Here are all the winners of our Best of CES 2021 awards!
Best of CES 2021
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga 5G breaks the mold, delivering a PC that shakes up what it means to be a premium ThinkPad. And that name isn't just marketing speak: Lenovo combined titanium, magnesium, and carbon to create a laptop that's incredibly thin and light. Dolby Atmos, Intel Evo certification, and a 3:2 display all make this one of the biggest standouts from CES 2021.
Laptops nowadays are anything but boring, and nothing proves that more than ASUS' ZenBook Duo and Pro Duo. Originally launched in 2019, the Duo sets itself apart by offering up a huge second display, just above the keyboard, where you can place apps and other glanceable information. It opens up tons interesting new possibilities, and it's great to see ASUS continuing to refine both Duos two years later.
Cloud gaming royalty.
OtterBox is best known for its super-tough phone cases, but the company teamed up with Xbox to launch the new Mobile Gaming Clip at CES 2021. And this may just be the best phone clip we've seen so far for Xbox controllers. It easily clips to any Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, or Xbox Elite Controller, and the ease with which it can be adjusted is a night-and-day difference compared to the fiddly thumb screws on other clips. If you use Xbox Cloud Gaming, this will be a must-have accessory.
There's nothing like the ThinkBook Plus G2 i. Lenovo first introduced the idea of adding an extra e-ink display on the back of a laptop at last year's CES, and this year it's improved the experience in every way. Not only is the e-ink display now faster with a bumped up refresh rate, but it's also much bigger with a resolution bump to match the main display. The interface on the exterior display has been improved, making it easier to work with glanceable information like calendar appointments and notes. Plus, it has its own wireless charging mat. How cool is that?
AMD has had quite the comeback story in recent years on desktop PCs, and it expanded its efforts to vastly improved laptop chips last year. This year, AMD stepped things up even more, unveiling its new Ryzen 5000 H- and U-series mobile processors. Laptops with these new chips are expected to launch in February, and you can expect even more power with a focus on long battery life. Competition is certainly heating up in the laptop space.
HP's Elite Folio is a unique, portable powerhouse. It offers take on a convertible form factor that's a little different than what you'll see elsewhere, opting for a design that tilts the display forward. That opens it up to lie flat to work like a tablet, or simply slot in just above the trackpad for inking and media consumption. With a Snapdragon 8cx chip, it's also a great option to take on the road with LTE and 5G support.
Wide and fast.
Ultrawide monitors aren't for everyone, but there's no denying their growing popularity. The new LG UltraWide 40WP95C is probably one of the most premium ultrawides to date, offering a 40-inch curved display with a crazy-high 5120 x 2160 resolution. Add to that a 98 percent DCI-P3 color gamut, 72Hz refresh rate, and Thunderbolt 4, and you've got a great display that can pull double duty for work and creative tasks.
While MSI is best known for its gaming laptops, the company has put a lot of effort into creating excellent Ultrabooks for those who want a more mature looking PC in recent years. Enter the MSI Summit E13 Flip, which takes MSI's experience with assembling powerful hardware and marries it to a body that looks straight-up classy. Little niceties like a privacy kill switch for the webcam, up to 18 hours of estimated battery life, and an included pen for inking, make this a standout laptop.
Razer is known for bringing ultra-cool concepts to CES, and the company certainly didn't disappoint this year. Razer's Project Brooklyn is, essentially, the ultimate game station, combining the comfort of a gaming chair with a downright futuristic-looking rollable, curved display that unravels in front of your eyes when it's time to game. Of course, there's Chroma RGB here, too. While there's no guarantee this will ever become a shipping product, it's an awesome example of what's possible.
Razer didn't just stick to its gaming pedigree with concepts this year. Project Hazel is an incredibly innovative "smart mask" that not only aims to protect you while out and about with a filtration system, but also adds smart features like a voice projection and a window to make your mouth visible to others. That's great not only for communicating the subtleties of facial expressions that would be missed under other masks, but also for those who might rely on lip reading. Plus, it just looks damn cool with just a dash of Chroma RGB.
Smaller gaming keyboards have been quite the trend lately, and HyperX jumped on board at CES 2021 this year. The Alloy Origins 60 is a compact version of the standard Alloy Origins, but it removes the number pad and reduces the space between keys. The result is an excellent looking mechanical keyboard that you'll barely notice taking up space on your desk. That's great for freeing up desk space, but it's also a big deal for giving your mouse more room to maneuver for games that require it.
Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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