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CES 2021: All the big announcements from the first digital-only CES

CES has officially come to a close for 2021. With countless announcements having taken place over the last week, you’d be forgiven for missing a few. Luckily, we’ve compiled all the biggest news from some major exhibitors in this guide, as well as our picks for ‘Best in Show’ at CES 2021.

The most obvious change to CES this year was the move to a digital-only format. Rather than taking over the Las Vegas Strip, the trade show arranged for all major announcements to be made online this year to comply with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the change in setting last July when it first became clear that the pandemic wouldn’t be history by January.

Of course, the CTA wasn’t the first group to take its launches online this year, but it made sense for the hundreds of product announcements that took place at CES to follow that guidance given the scale of the event.

“For CES, the pandemic gives us an opportunity to reimagine how we use our platform to bring our community together in a meaningful way, and enable our exhibitors to meet their customers and to reach new audiences”, said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a tweet back in July.

The CTA even revealed that it hopes to combine the best of physical and the best of digital in 2022, making this January somewhat of a learning experience for the organisation.

Scroll down to discover all the news from the 2021 trade show, including which products were unveiled and our Best in Show winners for 2021.

CES 2021 took place as a digital-only event from Monday January 11 to Thursday January 14 2021.

CES 2021 is over and its time to reveal which products have been honoured with a Trusted Reviews ‘Best in Show’ award this year.

Despite not having a physical location to share and display their new tech in person, countless exhibitors showed up in full force this CES, livestreaming product announcements and hosting virtual demonstrations across the globe.

Here at Trusted Reviews, we’ve picked out 16 products that caught our attention this year. Read on to discover our winners for ‘Best in Show’ at CES 2021…

1. Razer Project Brooklyn

One of the most eye-catching reveals at CES 2021 was Razer’s futuristic Project Brooklyn.

The concept gaming chair blew us away with its crazy features, including a massive 60-inch OLED display. The curved display surrounds the head and can be folded back into the chair when not in use and there’s a fold-out table in the armrest for your keyboard and snacks.

The chair also features Razer’s HyperSense technology, allowing it to vibrate during in-game experiences the way a gaming controller might, as well as Chroma RGB on the seat and the stand allowing it to light up in response to events in the game.

2. Razer Project Hazel

Project Hazel was another out-of-the-box concept unveiled by Razer this year.

Razer’s take on a “smart” face mask (someone had to do it this year) features its Chroma RGB lighting with up to 16.8 million colours, making it one the most-attention grabbing face masks on the market.

The N95 medical-grade respirator uses active ventilators and Smart Pods to filter 95% of airborne particles, regulate airflow and limit heat build-up.

The mask has adjustable ear loops and comes with a fast charging box to recharge the mask and disinfect it with UV-light. It also features a transparent design to assist with lip reading and VoiceAmp Technology to amplify your speech when you wear the mask.

3. Lenovo Lavie Mini

Another exciting concept device unveiled this year was Lenovo’s Lavie Mini, which turns PC gaming into a Nintendo Switch-like experience.

The gaming PC offers powerful performance and many of the features found on Lenovo’s larger laptops in a compact, lightweight body.

The Lavie Mini’s light-up keyboard can fold away when using the touch screen display, but the most exciting feature is the optional accessories. These include a slide on controller with trigger buttons, analogue thumb sticks and vibrations that supports high quality PC games, and a dock to charge the device and play your games on a TV.

4. Asus ROG Flow X13

This year, Asus impressed us with its ROG Flow X13 gaming laptop.

What makes this device unique is its pocket-sized external GPU. While plug-in GPUs aren’t anything new for gaming laptops, Asus’ ROG Flow X13 delivers one of the smallest we’ve seen making it much more convenient for gaming on the go.

While Asus has yet to confirm which of Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs will power the ROG Flow 13, the company does claim the device will be capable of hitting performance levels typically found on high-end gaming laptops.

5. Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 at CES this year, making it the world’s first Chromebook to feature a QLED panel.

The display tech is usually seen on high-end Samsung TVs, meaning this budget Chromebook is building itself up to be one of the top Chromebook options for streaming TV and movies.

Alongside the 13.3-inch Full HD touch display, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 includes the Intel Celeron 5205U processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and Wi-Fi 6 support.

It also has a lightweight 2-in-1 design with stereo speakers, a 1MP webcam and stylus support.

6. Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card

This week, Nvidia officially confirmed the existence of its RTX 3060 graphics card.

The most affordable GPU in the Ampere 30-Series supports 60+fps, full HD gaming and supports popular features, including DLSS 2.0 and ray tracing for realistic lighting and shadow effects.

7. Nvidia 30-Series mobile GPUs

Nvidia also unveiled its 30-series mobile GPUs, bringing mobile versions of the RTX 3060, 3070 and 3080 to laptops from Asus, Alienware and Razer in the coming months.

Not only will the weakest of the three offer faster performance than any of Nvidia’s previous mobile GPUs, but it will also offer 30% faster performance than the PS5. On the higher end, the RTX 3080 mobile GPU supports 100+fps at 1440p and will power the “world’s fastest laptops”, according to Nvidia.

8. AMD Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs

AMD also had an exciting announcement for laptop gamers as the company launched its new Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs at CES this year.

AMD claims the processors will offer “tremendous performance” with the Ryzen 7 5800U being 18% more powerful than the Intel Core i7-1185G7, as well as industry leading battery efficiency for up to 17.5 hours of general use and up to 21 hours of movie playback.

The Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs will begin shipping out in laptops from February.

9. Intel 11th Gen H35 Series mobile CPUs

Intel also announced its latest range of mobile CPUs at CES 2021 – the Intel 11th Gen H35 Series

The new chips are designed specifically to support ultra-portable gaming, promising high performance without making your gaming laptop unnecessarily heavy or bulky.

According to Intel, the H35 Series offers the “fastest single-threaded performance of any laptop processor” and can hit up to 70+fps when paired with a discrete GPU. The first three chips in the range all feature four cores and eight threads, as well as support for Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6/6E.

10. Roborock S7

Moving onto homes, Roborock’s S7 robot vacuum impressed us this year with a major automated cleaning update.

The new VibraRise technology introduces an automatic mop life feature to the S7. This allows the robot to detect when it’s on a carpet and lift the mop and means you’ll no longer need to set no-mop zones manually in the map.

The vacuum cleaner also benefits from improved mopping, better suction and up to three hours cleaning in quiet mode.

11. Samsung Bespoke Refrigerator

Trusted Reviews home technology editor David Ludlow sat down with Samsung’s senior VP of design to learn all about Samsung’s Bespoke Refrigerator range at CES this year, as the company announced its plans to bring the line to the UK.

The Bespoke range includes freestanding appliances with customisable front panels and modular designs you can create to your liking and take with you when you move homes.

12. Samsung Bot Handy

Of course it wouldn’t be CES without robots and Samsung delivered this year with the Bot Handy.

Samsung’s robot uses AI to recognise items in your house and help out with daily chores, including setting the table, clearing dishes, packing away groceries and even grabbing you a beer.

The Bot Handy wasn’t the only robot Samsung brought to the show this year, but the idea of an assistant that can bring you a drink at the end of a long day was too good to go unmentioned.

13. LG G1 OLED evo TV

LG announced an array of OLED, QNED Mini LED and NanoCell TVs this year, but the LG G1 OLED evo was the one that caught our attention.

The G1’s OLED evo display offers a higher brightness and punchier HDR than LG’s C1. The G1 OLED evo also delivers more realistic and detailed images and comes with the option of a Gallery Stand instead of the Gallery Design mount.

 14. Sony BRAVIA CORE streaming service

Sony also launched its BRAVIA CORE streaming service this CES, with the aim of bringing a cinematic experience to the home.

The streaming service offers titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s library, as well as a large collection of IMAX Enhanced films. The service features near lossless 4K Blu-ray streaming at 80Mbps thanks to Pure Stream, and will come ready on all new BRAVIA XR models.

15. Sony SRS-RA5000 360 Reality Audio speaker

Sony also unveiled its SRS-RA5000 360 Reality Audio speaker this week. The speaker comes two years after Sony announced the 360 Reality Audio format at CES 2019.

The SRS-RA5000 and the SRS-RA3000 wireless speakers use Sony’s Immersive Audio Enhancement algorithm to create a room-filling, 360 sound experience. Both speakers are Wi-Fi-enabled and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support.

The SRS-RA5000 is kitted with seven woofers, three firing upwards, three sideways and one in the centre, and will go on sale this spring.

16. Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV

Another of our favourites from Samsung this year was the Neo QLED 4K TV.

Samsung’s 2021 QLED range comes with a new display and new branding, taking on the QLED Neo moniker for the new year.

Other big updates include a new lighting system for a brighter performance and Ultra Viewing Angle technology to maintain colours and contrast at wider angles. The TV line also benefits from anti-reflective displays to protect against glare, as well as an upgrade to OTS Pro for the flagship models.

That covers our Best of Show winners. Keep scrolling to find out about the other announcements that didn’t quite make the cut for Best in Show!

AMD teamed up with Acer to release a budget-friendly Chromebook this CES. The Chromebook Spin 514 which was unveiled on Thursday is the first Acer Chromebook to pack an AMD Ryzen mobile processor and AMD Radeon graphics.

Of course, the biggest announcements surround AMD’s processor and graphics card ranges. Unfortunately, there was no sign of any additional Big Navi graphics cards as rumoured, but there were still plenty of reveals to get excited about.

These include the Ryzen 5000 mobile processors, which promise to deliver tremendous performance and leading battery life to ultra-thin laptops, and RDNA 2 GPUs which will be arriving for gaming laptops in 2021.

Asus announced its latest range of ROG gaming laptops at CES this year.

Perhaps the biggest announcement of the night was the new 2-in-1 Asus ROG Flow X13, which offers a choice between a 120Hz FHD display and a 4K touch screen and is designed to support content creation as much as gaming.

The lightweight device also features a pocket-sized external GPU, offering a major graphics performance boost when plugged in on-the-go.

Other announcements included a performance and display upgrade for the flashy ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, new design and display updates to the ROG Strix Scar gaming laptop and the ZenBeam Latte L1 – a projector the size of a cup of coffee. 

Dell unveiled a number of monitors at CES 2021, including the UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD Monitor.

According to Dell, the device is the world’s first 40-inch ultrawide curved WUHD (5K2K) monitor, offering plenty of space and even more detail. The monitor boasts 98% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB colours, making it ideal for content creators, but the 60Hz refresh rate is quite low for PC gaming.

There’s also a picture-in-picture mode and ComfortView Plus support to reduce the amount of blue light produced by the display.

Other computing announcements from Dell this year included the Dell Video Conferencing Monitor and the Dell Latitude 9420 laptop.

The company also announced a range of new products for gamers, including updates to the Alienware m15 and m17 R4 laptops and the new Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10.

HP launched an array of new laptops and monitors at CES 2021, along with the company’s first pair of true wireless earbuds.

New laptops and 2-in-1s include the HP Envy 14, the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 and Elite Dragonfly Max, the HP Elite Folio, the HP EliteBook 840 G8 Aero, while the latest updates to the company’s monitor range include the HP M-Series FHD monitors and the HP E24 G4 and E27u G4 USB-C monitors.

The new devices are packed with new collaboration and productivity features designed to support users as they continue to work from home. These include portable designs, security features and cameras and mics that are optimised for conference calls.

HP also launched its first pair of true wireless earbuds, the Elite Wireless Earbuds, this week. The earbuds are designed to support professionals and feature noise cancellation, customisable sound presets and the ability to switch between devices seamlessly.

Intel’s CES press conference marked the launch of a series of new processors that ranged from mobile and desktop offerings to gaming and business options.

One surprise reveal was the 11th Gen Intel Core H35 series. Intel claims that the processors offer the fastest single threaded laptop performance available, despite being designed for ultra-portable gaming laptops.

Next up was the 11th Gen Intel Core vPro processors. These chips are actually designed for business laptops and feature Intel’s Hardware Shield built-in to guard your device from malware. Another security feature is the industry’s first silicon-enabled AI threat detection to prevent ransomware and crypto-mining attacks.

Intel also announced the new Rocket Lake desktop processors, and gave us a sneak peak at Alder Lake which is scheduled to launch later this year.

JBL revealed a host of new products ahead of the event on Thursday.

Updates to the company’s headphone lines included an expansion to its Live series with the Live 440NC, Live 660NC and the Live Pro+ and the introduction of the new Tour series, offering over-ears and true wireless earbuds to professionals.

JBL also unveiled the latest update to its Charge portable speaker line and the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar that brings virtual Dolby Atmos audio into your living room.

Lenovo made its CES announcements on Thursday and there are loads of new products to get excited about. The list included processor and GPU updates to the IdeaPad line, a 5G laptop to tackle home Wi-Fi troubles, an all-in-one desktop with a rotating display and a concept laptop that brings the best of the Nintendo Switch to PC gaming.

The company also launched an OLED version of its 14-inch Yoga Slim 7i Pro laptop this week. The 2.8K 90Hz OLED panel will offer a more vibrant and contrasted display option for anyone not sold on the current LCD model.

Lenovo is expected to unveil more devices during the event next week. We hope to see more gaming-oriented Legion series, in particular, as this has been absent from the announcements so far.

You can find all of the new products so far in further detail in our guide to Lenovo at CES.

LG announced updates to its OLED, QNED Mini LED and NanoCell TV ranges at CES 2021. The QNED Mini line, which was announced at the end of December, is available in sizes up to 86-inches and in 4K and 8K variants.

Additions to the OLED line include the Z1, G1 and C1, confirming predictions that LG would be refreshing its product names by moving back to “1” for 2021.

The new OLED and QNED, along with two models in the NanoCell series’, will also see an update to the newest α9 Gen 4 AI processor.

The company showcased its Transparent OLED TVs at the all-digital event earlier this week. The company has applied the new displays to a handful of everyday objects, including a sushi bar, a train window and even a smart bed, to give us a peak at the “upgraded lifestyle of the future”.

LG has also announced an update to Intel’s 11th Gen Core processors for the lightweight Gram line of laptops. The five new laptops will include 17-inch, 16-inch and 14-inch sizes, with the latter two also available as 2-in-1 devices.

In mobile news, LG gave us all a sneak peak at the LG Rollable – a concept smartphone with an expandable display. The tech looks to be a smaller version of what we’ve seen LG present on TV’s as previous CES, in this case allowing users to go from using a phone to a tablet-sized device in seconds. 

Finally, there was the latest CineBeam 4K laser projector with the ability to adjust the picture depending on the light in the room.

Nvidia ‘GeForce RTX: Game on‘ event was packed with exciting news for desktop and laptop PC gamers.

The company unveiled three new mobile GPUs for gaming laptops – the RTX 3080, 3070 and 3060. The least powerful of the three 30-Series laptop GPUs promises 30% faster performance than the PS5, along with 90fps Ultra 1080p support. 

On the other end of the scale, the RTX 3080 will allegedly power the “world’s fastest laptops”. All three GPUs also support ray tracing and DLSS.

Nvidia also officially confirmed the GeForce RTX 3060 for desktop gamers. The GPU offers 60+fps for 1080p gaming, ray tracing and DLSS and is the most affordable 30-series card available.

Nvidia also revealed a list of games that will support DLSS and ray tracing or Nvidia Reflex, which you can find in our guide.

Panasonic announced the JZ2000 OLED TV on Friday morning. The flagship display is available in 55-inch and 65-inch variants and is powered by the new HCX Pro AI processor.  Along with its new AI skills, the TV boasts improved gaming performance, HDR support and spacious Dolby Atmos sound.

The company also unveiled a Final Fantasy XIV edition of its Panasonic Soundslayer gaming speaker. We previously offered the soundbar four out of five in our review, so the addition of Final Fantasy decals is sure to tempt some players.

Razer wasn’t short of announcements this CES, with reveals including an upgrade to the Nvidia RTX 30-Series for its gaming laptops, a futuristic-looking gaming chair and a smart face mask (in true 2021 fashion).

Configurations for the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17 will now max out at Nvidia’s newly announced mobile GPUs – the RTX 30-series. Furthermore, the company revealed to Trusted Reviews that it plans to phase out the RTX 20-Series, leaving the GTX 1660 Ti the only current Razer Blade 15 GPU.

Razer will also introduce Quad HD displays to its laptops, along with refresh rates as high as 360Hz.

The company also unveiled a concept gaming chair with a 60-inch OLED curved display, built-in vibrations and Razer Chroma RGB lights called Project Brooklyn, and a smart RGB face mask with N95 grade protection titled Project Hazel.

Samsung offered us a sneak peak at its 2021 line of TVs this week. The new range includes a flagship 8K model, Neo QLED 4K models and plenty of other new tech. You can read more about what Samsung has in store in our full guide to the range.

The company revealed the world’s first QLED Chromebook on Thursday. The bold new Galaxy Chromebook 2 brings the high-end TV tech to a 13.3-inch touchscreen, allowing users to stream content on the display for just $549.

We also saw the Galaxy Book Flex2 5G launch this week. The 2-in-1 packs a 360-degree hinge and comes with the S-Pen stylus for sketching on-the-go. Inside, there’s the 11th Gen Intel Core processor, Intel Irirs Xe graphics, and 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support. The device has a Full HD QLED touchscreen and a 13MP camera on the lid, as well as a front-facing 720p camera for video calls.

As far as home appliances go, our home technology editor David Ludlow actually sat down with the company this week to discuss the Bespoke Refrigerator range coming to the UK. You can read more about the customisable appliances in our interview.

Of course, it wouldn’t be CES without a few robots – and Samsung definitely delivered with its Bot Handy announcement. 

The robotic housekeeper uses AI to help out with daily chores around the house. Tasks the Bot Handy can handle include setting the table, unpacking groceries and even pouring you a beer at the end of the day.

You can read more about the Bot Handy and Samsung’s other robot helpers in our guide.

So, what else do we hope to see from the company this week?

Just the other week, Samsung announced its first MicroLED TV marketed to consumers.

The 110-inch, near bezel-less display uses micrometre-sized LED lights to eliminate the need for a backlight or colour filters. Instead, the display is self-illuminating, producing light and colour from its own pixel structures that cover 100% of the DCI and Adobe RGB colour gamut, allowing the TV to deliver “lifelike colours and accurate brightness”.

However, there’s one major catch – the display is only available in Korea.

The good news is that the tech is slated to be coming to the rest of the world in early 2021, making CES the perfect time for Samsung to introduce the innovative new display to the US and European markets. Just don’t expect to be able to afford it right away Korean site Pulse has reported that the TV will cost a whopping 170 million won (that’s around £114,000…).

Fossil-owned smartwatch brand Skagen announced the new Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR at CES today.

The smartwatch features an e-ink display, allowing it to remain in an always-on state and stretching its battery to up to 14 days on a single charge.

The stylish smartwatch is available in two sizes and includes physical dials to show the time above the smart display. While more of a smartwatch than a fitness band, this wearable is also capable of tracking your workouts and heart rate and has a water resistance rating of up to 3ATM.

CES is the first major trade show to follow November’s PS5 launch, meaning we were looking forward to seeing Sony release some TVs that integrate better with the console – and we weren’t disappointed. 

Sony launched a range of new OLED and LCD displays designed to support the next-gen console this week. These include sets with 4K support at 120fps, variable refresh rates, auto low latency modes and eARC.

In the world of audio, Sony has unveiled its first speakers capable of supporting the 360 Reality Audio format – the SRS-RA5000 and the SRS-RA3000

Sony’s press conference with take place on January 11 at 10pm so make sure to tune in there to hear other announcements.

Last year, TCL took to the stage at CES to launch the latest generation of its Mini-LED TVs and we’re hoping to see more of them at CES 2021.

TCL’s Mini-LED TVs are designed to combine the brightness of LCD and the contrast of OLED at a low cost. Powered by the company’s Quantum Contrast technology, the displays harness the power of thousands of individual Mini-LEDs to provide “unrivalled contrast and brilliant clarity”.

We got to share our hands on experience with the 8-Series Mini-LED 8K TV last CES, and we can’t wait to possibly hear more about Mini-LED in 2021.

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