The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has kicked off the year with a barrage of new gadget launches in the Las Vegas desert.
From 8K TVs with barely any bezel to an Alexa-powered mirror, here are some of the best things the Trusted Reviews team has seen so far. Each of the following receives an official Trusted Reviews ‘Best in Show’ Award which we’re handing out to the recipients at the show.
1. Dell Duet and Ori – foldable laptops
If this CES has told us one thing it’s that foldables are not going away anytime soon. However, surprisingly, it wasn’t a new bendy blower that grabbed our attention at CES 2020. Instead Dell stole the foldable show with its new Duet and Ori concept laptops. Being proof of concept devices, neither have any firm price, specs or release date, but the designs alone were enough to pique our interest.
At first glance the two concepts have similar designs to Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Neo devices, which were unveiled late last year. But if you look a little closer they appear to have a more elegant hinge design with a single, rather than dual, screen. In theory this should let you set them into three separate forms: tablet, traditional laptop and a “multi-tasking book”. Though it’s just a concept, the reference designs ooze potential and earned the Duet and Ori a place in this year’s best in show list.
2. Alienware Concept UFO – a Switch style handheld for PC gamers
The Nintendo Switch is cool, but the price and limited number of games on it isn’t. Which is why we fell in love with the Alienware Concept UFO the moment we saw it this CES. The UFO’s a concept gaming PC with a Switch form factor. Specifically it’s a gaming PC with attachable Joy-Con like controllers that attach to the main tablet section.
Though the design isn’t terribly original, it’s still one of the coolest things we’ve seen in a long time. This is because by using customised Windows software it can play pretty much any PC game. This means you’ll have access to a much bigger library of games than the Switch. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, the hardware on show was also significantly more powerful than that of the Switch, meaning you’d be able to play them at higher resolutions to boot.
3. Samsung Q950TS – mind blowing 8K TV
The Q950TS leaked just before its grand unveiling, the latest high-end 8K QLED from Samsung is an absolute stunner. With a screen that covers 99% of the front, this is a striking TV that almost looks like it’s floating.
Of course, it’s feature-packed too. There’s a massive focus on sound quality with ‘Object Tracking Sound Plus’ for recognising moving objects and Q-Symphony for getting the best possible sound out of the TV and soundbar by combining them together. 8K is supported and the AI upscaling tech uses machine learning to improve the quality of any source. Make no mistake, this is the finest looking 8K telly we’ve seen in quite some time.
4. Lovot Robot – electronic love for lonely show attendees
Trade shows are always lonely places, which is why many of the team fell head over heels in love with the Lovot Robot. The friend seeking droid is built by Japanese robotics company Groove X and aims to provide lonely people company. It uses a variety of sensors to tell people apart and comes with cute little arms that let it give hugs to the particularly despondent. It’s motorised wheels also let it follow its friends around and go on solo adventures when it feels like meeting new people – which is how Trusted Reviews’ intrepid reporter Hannah Davis made its acquaintance this CES.
5. Venus Smart Make-up Mirror – Alexa invades grooming
In today’s world most tech comes with multiple user cases and functions. Over the last 12 months this has been showcased by the growing sea of folding-come-tabets. But this CES Venus has taken the trend to the next level, launching a new Alexa-supported smart display that can double as a speaker, mood lamp and standard makeup mirror.
The device may sound a little weird, but after having a quick go with the Venus Smart Makeup Mirror at CES 2020 you can colour us impressed. As well as offering basic beauty and smart speaker functionality, the mirror also has a few atypical tricks up its sleeve. The coolest is a nifty Skin Diagnostic feature that intelligently offers ways to improve your skin’s health.
6. Intel Tiger Lake – integrated graphics for gamers
The name may sound like the brainchild of Charlie Sheen, but Intel’s latest CPU line is actually pretty impressive, on paper. Details about the chip are a little thin on the ground, but what little we know paints a pretty picture. The new architecture promises to feature new AI capabilities Intel claims will offer performance gains “across the board”. But more interestingly, it’ll also feature integrate Intel Xe graphics.
This may sound small but it could be a huge deal for content creators and gamers. Intel’s been slowly working to make integrated graphics a valid option for gamers and video editors and Xe is a key step in this endeavour. If even a smidgen of the performance claims ring true, this could make Tiger Lake a breakthrough product that’ll let companies make even thinner and lighter edit/gaming stations when it comes out.
7. LG 48-inch OLED TV – smaller OLED TVs for the rest of us
CES has been chocker block full of great top end 8K tellies from the likes of Samsung and Sony, but one of the most enticing came from LG, in the shape of its smallest ever OLED, the OLED48CX.
The TV may not have the next generation 8K resolution, or microLED tech seen on the more flashy sets to grace CES 2020, but it’s the most interesting for one key reason: it fills a gaping gap in the current market.
OLED isn’t anything new, but TVs using tech have traditionally been outright gigantic – to the point they won’t comfortably fit in most normal sized flats. By scaling the tech down to 48-inches LG’s fixed this problem and made OLED a valid option for people with regular sized flats and houses. Which is why the OLED48CX earns a place in our 2020 best in show list.
8. Intel NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon – a DIY gaming PC in a small shell
Intel revealed the eyecatching NUC 9 Extreme “Ghost Canyon” during a Performance Showcase at this year’s CES 2020.
The Ghost Canyon immediately drew attention for its appearance – looking like a shrunken version of gaming PC. It is fitting that the Ghost Canyon has the look of a small gaming PC because that’s exactly what it is – and that’s largely what makes it so impressive.
Despite its size, the Ghost Canyon is capable of containing an Intel Core i9 processor as well as up to a full-size Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. Not only are the specs impressive but the system is fully upgradeable too – from the GPU and RAM to the CPU and the Intel Compute Element itself.
While the Ghost Canyon may be a niche product in terms of the number of consumers that will actually by it, the system truly shows the potential of PC gaming in small form-factors and we’ve already seen Razer taking the Intel framework and running with it.
9. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite – bringing the S Pen to the mid-range
CES this year hasn’t been awash with phones – most of these are saved for MWC next month – however, we were very impressed with the Lite edition of the Note 10. This is a cheaper version of Samsung’s high-end phablet, with some of the more luxurious features (Qi charging, IP rating) ditched in favour of a more wallet-friendly price.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite review – hands on
Bringing the S Pen to a wider audience seems like a smart move and the Note 10 Lite doesn’t skimp in specs. There’s a fast Exynos chipset inside, up to 8GB RAM and a large 4500mAh battery. You’ve also got a larger 6.7-inch OLED on the front with a small cutout for the 32MP selfie camera. It looks like the Note 10 Plus, even if it doesn’t feel quite as high-end.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold – foldables are for laptops too
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is a very interesting ‘laptop’ that shows foldable tech isn’t sticking just to phones. This device features a folding 13.3-inch OLED display, allowing you to open and shut it just like a book.
When unfolded, you can turn the ThinkPad X1 Fold into two separate displays, use it as one large display thanks to the rear kickstand and even add a keyboard onto the bottom portion of the panel to get some physical keys.
You’ll also get the option of 5G connectivity for giving you access to the next-gen mobile network. This is a nice touch and adds to the futuristic nature of this foldable.
11. Sony 48-inch A9 4K OLED – the year of the smaller OLED
Smaller OLEDs have been a theme of CES 2020 and the Sony A9 48-inch should be an ideal companion to the upcoming PS5 for those you don’t fancy filling their lounge with a display that measures upwards of 55-inches.
It’s a great looking TV with an aluminium stand and the specs inside mirror that of the larger models in this family. That means there’s the Picture Processor X1 Ultimate inside, support for the Pixel Clarity Booster and X Motion Clarity for making images brighter and clearer.
As you’d expect from a high-end OLED there’s HDR support with Dolby Vision and compatibility with smart speakers too.
While the price hasn’t been confirmed, the smaller size means this will be one of the most affordable Sony OLEDs around and we can’t wait.
12. Wacom One
Roaming the halls of CES, it’s easy to feel as though you’re surrounded by tech you can’t afford and never will. Wacom is perhaps the most famous name in the graphics tablet market and its prices reflect that – especially when it comes to the company’s displays.
That’s why it was a welcome surprise this week when Wacom announced the Wacom One display tablet.
The tablet is 13-inches wide, features a 1920 x 1080 full HD display and costs less than $400, making it perfect for hobbyists and beginners alike who might be more hesitant splashing out on the pricier Cintiq line.
The cheaper tablet is also compatible with a host of third party pens and can now be hooked up to your Android phone on top of the usual Mac and PC.