CES 2020 has descended on the streets (and Strip) of Las Vegas, and with it brings the latest in consumer electronics innovations for the year ahead. This year's showcase highlights a handful of what to expect from laptops and PCs over the coming months, pushing innovative new form factors, while streamlining bestselling devices into their thinnest silhouettes yet.
CES 2020 remains underway, but we've rounded up the best announcements so far.
CES 2020 Foldables: A new category emerges
Foldables are a hot topic in the world of mobile, with the first folding and dual-screen Windows PCs now emerging from leading brands. While the displays and supporting technologies remain in early stages, initial concepts are in circulation, while some already anticipate a retail debut.
Dell Concept Ori and Concept Duet
Dell unveiled a duo of experimental concepts at CES 2020, exploring foldable and dual display PC form factors. The Concept Duet leverages technology similar to Microsoft's upcoming Surface Neo, with two standalone 13.4-inch displays bound by a visible hinge. That provides a robust folding PC designed around multitasking, highlighting pen and touch experiences. Meanwhile, Concept Ori focuses on a single 13-inch foldable display, offering a more portable single-screen experience for lightweight productivity.
As a work-in-progress concept, Dell hasn't discussed the hardware powering its concept device. It's worth noting concepts often evolve before their market debut, although there's no doubt we'll see similar devices from Dell in the future.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
While Lenovo teased the technology behind the first Windows foldable in May, CES 2020 saw the formal ThinkPad X1 Fold unveiling. The flexible 13.3-inch OLED display allows the device to shift across various modes, whether a full-fledged tablet experience or folded into a laptop-style silhouette.
The device is also among early "always-connected PCs," working with Intel to pack unspecified Intel Core processors and Intel Hybrid Technology, ahead of a mid-2020 street date starting at $2,499. While the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold launched with Windows 10 Pro, the manufacturer also plans to explore Windows 10X, built from the ground up around adaptive foldable experiences.
CES 2020 Laptops: Slimming down, 5G, and more
The world's leading manufacturers debut their latest laptops at CES, with this year's trends pushing ultraportable designs, and ushering the early stages of always-connected 5G design. The show also continues an ongoing push toward laptop form factors tailored to creatives, gaming, and the workplace.
ASUS ZenBook Duo
Following the launch of the ZenBook Pro Duo in 2019, ASUS returns with a slimline sibling cutting two inches and two pounds. The ZenBook Duo, distinguished by its secondary display above the keyboard deck, retains the signatures of its predecessor, now at 12.6-inches and weighing just 3.3 lbs. That delivers a more portable everyday workstation, falling in line with other ultraportable laptops like the HP Spectre 13 and Dell XPS 13. However, reduction comes at a cost, dropping to an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card, while flanked by 10th Gen Intel processors and up to 16GB of RAM.
Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel
The ConceptD 7 Ezel delivers a transformative setup for creatives, centered on a hinged 15.6-inch 4K display, designed to flip, fold, and float. In addition to being able to flip into display and tablet mode like many Windows 10 convertible laptops, it can also pop up away from the keyboard into a float mode. This design provides flexibility and allows creators to adjust the height and angle of the screen they're working on.
It packs powerful internals, with the ConceptD 7 Ezel powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core H-series and NVIDIA GeForce RTX. The ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro elevates to an Intel Xeon and NVIDIA Quadro RTX, otherwise retaining the same design and features.
HP Elite Dragonfly 5G
The HP Elite Dragonfly receives a makeover for 2020, switching up the business convertible with revised internals, and added functionality. Among the highlights is the adoption of 5G for select models, improving on-the-go connectivity. There's also a built-in Tile tracker as the firm expands beyond keys and wallets, and an integrated privacy screen to keep prying eyes away from on-screen activity. The HP Elite Dragonfly is scheduled for a February 2020 release, while its 5G variant drops in the summer.
Lenovo Yoga 5G
Lenovo joins the race to 5G at CES 2020, debuting a 14-inch convertible laptop defined by its high-speed connectivity. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx and X55 5G modem pair to support both millimeter-wave full-band and sub-6GHz 5G networks. That also helps deliver up to 24 hours of battery life, given the proposed gains of Windows 10 ARM devices.
While it's an otherwise standard form factor, it could be one of the first 5G laptops on the market. The Yoga 5G is scheduled for spring 2020, with pricing yet to be confirmed.
Galaxy Book Flex α
Following its unveiling ahead of CES 2020, Samsung is showcasing its new Galaxy Book Flex α this week. Expanding the existing Galaxy Book lineup, the Galaxy Book Flex α offers a more budget-friendly alternative to the Galaxy Book Flex, on track for the first half of 2020. You'll get the choice of Intel's latest 10th Gen chips, the Core i5-10210U, and Core i7-10510U, paired with up to 12GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. That's packed with a 13.3-inch 1080p display, all starting at $830.
HP Spectre x360 15
The HP Spectre x360 15 brings power, long battery life, and modern connectivity with its 2020 revision. The latest of HP's flagship convertible received an unveiling at CES, alongside a reserved list of hardware specifications.
It packs a 15.6-inch 4K OLED display or 4K IPS display, housed in the gem-cut design of previous models, with reduced bezels for a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. We also know the 10th Gen Intel processors feature, with an NVIDIA MX chip for the U-series and NVIDIA GeForce graphics for the 45-watt CPU.
Lenovo Legion Y740S
CES 2020 hosted the reveal of the 15.6-inch Legion Y740S, Lenovo's thinnest and lightest gaming laptop to date. While available with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, it pairs with Lenovo's new eGPU, the Legion BoostStation, bringing desktop AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics to the system. The laptop supports Q-Control, which allows people to shift the gears of the laptop by pressing the FN+Q keys.
Slated for May 2020, entry-level configurations start at $1,100, climbing as high as 32GB DDR4 of RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD on the premium.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
ASUS entered CES 2020 with the compact ROG Zephyrus G14, powered by the AMD's brand new Ryzen 4000 series laptop APUs, at its heart an 8-core, 16-thread processor built on AMD's latest 7nm Zen 2 platform. That's accompanied by up to an NVIDIA RTX 2060, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD, assembling an impressive mobile powerhouse.
There's also a customizable LED dot-matrix display on the lid, because why not?
CES 2020 PC: More cores, easy streaming, and more
CES 2020 also highlights various announcements in the PC desktop space, primarily tailored to PC gaming. New PC monitors push your experiences toward overkill 360Hz refresh rates, while others set sights on the growing streaming market.
ASUS ROG Swift
ASUS wasn't content with leaving the refresh rate at 120, 144, or even 200Hz. This new panel from the company rocks a refresh rate of 360Hz. You read that right.
Teaming the ASUS Swift 360Hz with a capable GPU and gaming rig will allow you to synchronize up to 360 frames per second for better than butter-smooth gaming. It has a Full HD resolution (1080p), allowing you to focus more on the frame rate.
OGEAR announced four new UpStream products at CES 2020, allowing gamers to more easily make a move to streaming without parting with much cash. The $100 video capture adapter is a small dongle at an affordable price, capable of recording and streaming 1080p Full HD content using Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Interestingly, this adapter works with not only Windows PCs but also smartphones and Apple hardware too.
Samsung couldn't contain its excitement for new curved PC monitors and decided to announce new Odyssey monitors with gorgeous curves, expected to launch in Q2 2020.
Samsung claims the new G7 and G9 to be the world's first 1000R performance displays, so if you're looking for a curved panel, these new beauties should be on your shortlist for this year.
NVIDIA game driver
Right, we get that the NVIDIA (and AMD) GPU driver isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but the latest release announced during CES 2020 includes one highlight feature we're welcoming with open arms. A global frame rate limiter that will enforce a frame rate cap in all supported 3D apps like games, allowing you to set the desired cap only once for it to be reflected throughout your library.
AMD Threadripper 3990X
AMD announced a bunch of new stuff, including Ryzen 4000 series laptop processors and new RX 5600 GPU, but the real show stealer was the new Threadripper 3990X CPU. This beast has 64 cores (that's 128 threads) in a single package, allowing you to get much more done with a consumer-grade processor at a more affordable price. Madness.
Intel Tiger Lake CPUs
While Intel may not have a 64-bit processor to show off at CES 2020 to steal some of AMD's thunder, the company did announce a new line of Tiger Lake processors, doubling the graphics performance of previous gen processors.
These newer laptop CPUs will bring even more performance to thin and light laptops negating the need for dedicated graphics.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.