The all-virtual CES 2021 has kicked off, and while there may not be thousands upon thousands of people in Las Vegas, they’re tuning in from all over the world to hear the latest announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and other major consumer-electronics manufacturers.
Here’s a brief look at many of the top devices and tech being shown off at CES on day 3. We’ll be updating this page as the show goes along, so stay tuned for more news.
Top stories from Day 3 of CES 2021
Samsung’s 110-inch MicroLED TV took center stage at the company’s First Look event where it also announced more Neo QLED TVs and MicroLED sets coming later this year, too. Neo QLED promises more depth and gradations of luminance with more densely packed backlighting zones.
Not to be outdone, the latest model of Samsung’s artsy The Frame set, which hangs on the wall like a painting, has a new feature: It can now be rotated into portrait mode so that you can display the Mona Lisa as well as Monet’s Water Lilies series while you’re not watching TV. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
How about a robot butler? Samsung’s Handy Bot can not only load your dishwasher, but also pour you a glass of wine. It’s a bit creepy, but we want one just the same.
If you spill that glass of wine, the Samsung JetBot AI+ robot vacuum cleaner will know better than to try to clean it up. Its 3D sensor and AI-powered object recognition can tell dust and dirt apart from spills and mud, so it won’t track liquid messes around the room.
There’s also a solar-powered TV remote that can recharge itself from the lighting in your living room. The Solar Cell Remote Control is designed to last 2 years on a full charge.
Samsung also unveiled the latest in its soundbar lineup. Not only will there be added AirPlay 2 for Apple devices, more importantly, there will be improvements to Dolby Atmos surround sound, giving better 7.1.2 audio.
Finally, Samsung may have slyly teased a sneak peek at the Galaxy Note 21 phablet in a promo video about the company’s new recycling program.
LG has a thing for rollable devices. Last year, it was its rollable TV, and this year, the company teased the LG Rollable phone, whose screen expands and contracts. And we could be seeing it as early as March.
But it’s not finished on the TV front; At its press conference, it showed off the 55-inch Transparent OLED Smart Bed, a concept transparent TV that sits at the foot of your bed and rises up to various heights depending on what you want to see.
And then there were the TVs with LG’s own OLED “evo” technology, which should boost the overall brightness and color range of OLED screens because LG says there’s more light output per pixel. For 2021, evo will be only on 55-, 65- and 77-inch screens in the Gallery G1 range, probably this spring.
Be sure to check out the 5 biggest things LG announced at CES.
Sony also unveiled its 2021 TV lineup, which include 8K sets, OLED displays, and 4K LED sets with acoustic multi-audio technology — the screen itself is a speaker. In addition, Sony is transitioning its sets from Android TV to the Google TV platform, which should help make it more competitive with LG’s webOS and Roku-powered TV interfaces.
Sony has unveiled two new 360-degree wireless speakers. The RA3000 and RA5000 offer Dolby Atmos-like 3D sound and support 360 Reality Audio, Sony’s equivalent of Apple’s Spatial Audio. They also have Chromecast built-in, are compatible with Spotify Connect and can be paired with a Google Assistant or Alexa device.
And Sony went outside with its new Airpeak camera drone, a professional-quality quadcopter that can carry a full-sized Sony DSLR camera. Pricing has yet to be determined — it won’t be cheap — but the drone will be available this spring.
TCL announced new 4K and 8K TVs, some sweet-sounding soundbars and even more connected home appliances at CES 2021. All 6-Series Roku TVs introduced in 2021 will be 8K sets, the company said, but it will still offer its 4K 6-series models as well.
The company announced two new phones, the TCL 20 5G and the TCL 20 SE. The first sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 system-on-a-chip and retails for €299, a new low price for a 5G phone. The second uses a Snapdragon 460 and goes for €149. Neither have been announced for the U.S. market yet. And not to be outdone by LG, TCL gave us an update on its own rollable phone.
eInk readers look to have a new challenger in TCL’s NXTpaper tablet, which uses a screen technology that reduces blue light and flicker for better contrast than e-ink displays.
Here are the six biggest things that TCL announced at CES 2021.
Other TV makers showed off their wares at CES 2021. Panasonic took the wraps off its JZ2000 flagship set, which features Dolby Atmos sound, dual Bluetooth connections, HDR10+ and an AI-driven CPU that automatically calibrates the screen to the changing light in the room.
Lenovo unveiled a bevy of new products, including the Nintendo Switch-like LaVie Mini, which has a small 8-inch display and can be paired with a keyboard or connected to handheld controllers for some gaming. Too bad it’s just a prototype at this point.
The company also rolled out a Yoga all-in-one desktop model plus two sleek new monitors.
The Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 all-in-one has a 27-inch 4K screen that rotates 90 degrees for portrait mode. Behind the screen are an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. It will be available next month at $1,599, though there’s no date on when it will come to the U.S.
The Lenovo L24i-30 (starting at $159.99) and Lenovo L27e-30 (starting at $189.99) full-HD monitors are 23.8 and 27 inches, respectively, and have all-metal stands that manage your cables and, even better, hold your smartphone. They feature AMD FreeSync support with refresh rates up to 75Hz for your gaming needs. Expect to see both in March.
Check out our ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga hands-on, which is officially the thinnest ThinkPad ever.
For gamers, Lenovo debuted the Legion 7 and Legion 7 Slim, but didn’t give many details. All we know is that the laptops will sport AMD Ryzen 4000-series CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000-series GPUs. We don’t know when they’ll come or how much they’ll cost.
And a new ThinkPad is aiming to take on the Surface Pro 7+. The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable looks a lot like its Microsoft counterpart, albeit with the company’s trademark TrackPoint.
While the Yoga might be Lenovo’s showiest machine, the real battle is happening between PC and MacBooks. As tech reviewers continue to be enthralled by Apple’s M1 processor, Lenovo is fighting back with its IdeaPad 5 Pro, featuring AMD’s latest 4000 series CPU.
And don’t forget the ThinkBook line. Lenovo unveiled four new ThinkBooks, including the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 with an e-Ink display on the cover. The other three are the ThinkBook 13x i (yep, that’s an italicized stand-alone lowercase “i” to denote an Intel CPU) and two AMD-based models, the ThinkBook 14p and 16p. All four should hit the market by April.
Lenovo was also excited to tout that its laptops will have Alexa Show Mode. The feature would turn laptop screens into devices similar to Amazon’s Echo Show.
HP introduced two new additions to its super-lightweight Elite Dragonfly laptop line. The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has a 5MP webcam and starts at 16GB of RAM, while the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 has a 720p webcam and starts at 8GB of RAM.
Both will sport 11th-Gen Intel Core processors, up to 2TB in SSD storage and 13.3-inch screens, and can hold up to 32GB of RAM. The price tag for either model has not been announced — they probably won’t be cheap — but HP says they’ll be available later this month.
Meanwhile, HP’s new Envy 14 gives the MacBook Pro M1 a run for its money with a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display powered by a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti graphics card. It’s also got an 11th-Gen Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and HP said it will run 16 hours on a charge. The HP Envy 14 for 2021 starts at $999 and will be available later this month.
For serious portability, there’s the latest HP Elite Folio, which runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 system-on-a-chip with 5G built in. The 13.5-inch 2-in-1laptop weighs less than three pounds but packs in up to 16GB of RAM and an SSD of up to 512GB — plus a stylus for when you want to use the Elite Folio in tablet mode. Pricing will be announced closer to the HP Elite Folio’s launch next month.
Dell’s gaming division trotted out two new Alienware laptops, the m15 and m17, powered by Intel 10th-Gen CPUs and Nvidia 30-series GPUs. Storage options go up to 4TB, huge for a gaming laptop.
On the stationary side, the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 line got an upgrade to supporting AMD’s 5000 series of CPUs. As for GPUs, you can choose between AMD and Nvidia’s latest cards.
Acer introduced its Chromebook Spin 514, a 14-inch 2-in-1 notebook powered by an AMD Ryzen 3000 C-series CPU and an AMD Radeon graphics card. The Chromebook will have up to 16GB of memory and an SSD of up to 256GB. The notebook starts at $479.99 and is coming to the U.S. next month, followed by the rest of the world in March. An Enterprise model that starts at $749.99 is due in March.
Over on the PC side, Acer isn’t pulling any punches. The Taipei-based company announced its new Nitro 275 Hz gaming monitors. Starting at $900, it’s way more expensive than a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
It also unveiled three new Acer gaming laptops. The Acer Predator Helios 300 sports an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, while its smaller sibling the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, a card for which the desktop version isn’t yet available. Both are powered by 11th-Gen Intel Core chips. The cheaper Acer Nitro 5 also has an RTX 3080 and can be configured with either an AMD Ryzen 5000 or Intel 11-Gen CPU.
For non-gamers, there’s the Acer Aspire 7 and Aspire 5. Both come with AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs, but the 7 has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card while the 5 has an AMD Radeon RX 640.
Razer unveiled its new Razer Blade 15 and Razer Blade Pro 17 gaming laptops at CES 2021. Both can be shipped with Nvidia’s powerful RTX 30 graphics cards.
The Razer Blade 15 comes in nine different configurations, ranging from a $1,500 base model with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti to a $3,300 unit with an RTX 3080. The cheaper configs have full-HD displays and Intel Core i7-10750H chips, while the pricier ones sport QHD or 4K screens and Core i7-10875 CPUs. Storage ranges from 256GB to 1TB and RAM from 16GB to 32GB.
The Razer Blade 17 starts at $2,300 and has four different versions, the priciest of which is $3,600. But all sport an Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3080 graphics card. You can choose the amount of RAM (16 or 32GB), screen resolution (QHD or 4K) and storage (512GB or 1TB).
And for something rather different: Razer unveiled Project Hazel, an RGB face mask with rechargeable filters. Then there’s Project Brooklyn, an immersive gaming chair with a wraparound OLED screen. Both are just concepts for now, but they’re fun ones.
Asus leaned hard into gaming laptops at CES 2021. It trotted out the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, a behemoth that has a full-width touchscreen rising out of the space between the keyboard and the main screen. It’s got an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX mobile CPU.
Then there’s the tiny Asus ROG Flow X13, which has a decent GPU and CPU. But plug it into the ROG XG mobile external GPU unit and it becomes a versatile gaming desktop, supporting up to an RTX 3080. Its opposite is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, a mighty beast with all the top specs you’d want.
Nvidia rolled out the long-awaited GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, at $329 the most affordable option in its new 30-series of GPUs. It’s due in late February.
The graphics powerhouse also detailed the plan for more than 70 laptops from different manufacturers to have the mobile versions of the 30-series GPUs, ranging from the RTX 3080 to the 3060.
At its press conference, Intel took the wraps off its Rocket Lake 11th Gen Core H Series processors, which should show up in more than 40 laptop designs in the first half of 2021. The Core H Series chips can hit speeds of up to 5GHz, and promises “smooth” gaming in 4K.
The company also announced its 11th-gen Rocket Lake-S chips for desktops, promising up to 50% improved integrated graphics performance, and up to 19% in gains on instructions per cycle.
Not to be left out, Intel rival AMD debuted a new line of laptop processors, the AMD Ryzen 5000U series, some of which will hit speeds close to 5GHz. The Ryzen 7 5800U will clock in at 4.4Ghz yet deliver a long battery life to regular laptops, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su said.
Then there’s the Ryzen 9 5900HX and Ryzen 9 5980HX, two 16-thread chips made for gaming laptops. The latter will reach 4.8GHz, Su said. She added that laptop versions of the Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards would also be coming soon.
While E3 is generally regarded as the gaming expo of the year, there’s always a few games industry announcements at CES, and 2021 was no different. Sony took the opportunity to detail its upcoming game-launch schedule for the PS5, including Hitman 3 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
OtterBox, the purveyors of thick phone cases, will be making protection for the Xbox Series X controller. So, if you throw your controller at the television, at least only one item will break. While the OtterBox Easy Grip Controller Shell does look bizarre, the new carry case and phone clip look solid.
Intel too is taking an aim at laptop graphics with its new 11th Gen Core H-series. It aims to deliver “smooth” 4K gaming for titles like Destiny 2: Beyond Light and Hitman 3, as well as above 70fps for esports titles like League of Legends.
Accessory maker HyperX showed off the HyperX ChargePlay Duo Controller Charging Station for Xbox controllers and the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which strips out the function and arrow keys to reach 60% of full size.
Headphones and Earbuds
Belkin unveiled an AirPods rival that aims to make you sound better on calls. The SoundForm Freedom True Wireless Earbuds sport noise-cancelling microphones and are rated IPX5 for water resistance.
The audio itself isn’t noise-cancelling, but Belkin says the buds can last 8 hours per full battery charge. The charging case can be charged by any Qi wireless charger. Pricing and release date have yet to be announced.
The V-MODA M-200 could be a challenger to the AirPods Max and other active noise-cancelling headphones. With a starting price of $500, they’re certainly as expensive as Apple’s new headphones, but they feature tunable ANC as well as customizable faceplates.
Too expensive? Then you might want to check out the JBL Tour One headphones, which boast up to 50 hours of battery life, and the the JBL Tour Pro Plus, a pair of true wireless earbuds. Both include “adaptive” active noise cancellation (ANC). They’ll cost will cost $300 and $200, respectively, when they’re available in late March.
Even less expensive are Earin’s A-3 wireless earbuds, which the company calls the “smallest and lightest” headphones ever and will retail for $199 when they’re released this winter. They barely stick out of the user’s ears, yet have a microphone and accelerometer and can even tell in which ear they’re placed.
Still too expensive? TCL’s MoveAudio S600 earbuds feature noise cancellation and a transparency mode for €149 (about $180). They’ve also got IP54 dust and water resistance.
For even less, there’s Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro wireless earbuds, which cost just $130 and also feature noise cancellation, wireless charging and a transparency mode. And they beat all AirPods by having IPX4 water resistance.
Wired earbuds aren’t dead yet. The Sennheiser IE 300 will cost more than $350, but offer “a detailed high-fidelity listening experience” for serious audiophiles.
Finally, there’s the Noopl, an iPhone accessory that plugs into the Lightning port and sends audio signals straight to your AirPods. It’s perfect for trying to listen to the person you’re speaking to in a crowded room, and if you’ve got AirPods Pro, the Noopl will even focus the microphone in the direction you’re facing. It’s due next month for $199.
Having a Dolby Atmos sound system is the must have for any home theater setup. Unfortunately, users either have to wire seven-to-nine speakers around their room, or buy an expensive sound bar that tries to simulate the effect by bouncing audio waves off the ceiling.
Well, JBL is trying to make things a bit more affordable with its Bar 5.0 MultiBeam, which will cost only $400. And LG announced six separate soundbars, including the remarkably small QP5 Éclair, which is less than a foot long and offers Dolby Atmos 3D sound — it’s coming this summer for an undisclosed price.
Meanwhile, Panasonic debuted a Final Fantasy-themed SoundSlayer soundbar. Developed with FF studio Square Enix, it’s got three different modes designed for gaming, including one each for first-person shooters and for RPGs. It also supports Dolby Atmos.
Health and Fitness
Amazfit, which makes one of the best cheap smartwatches around, announced the $139 Amazfit GTR 2e and Amazfit GTS 2e, which will have SpO2 monitoring and stress monitoring, because there’s nothing to stress us out these days.
OnePlus has a new fitness band coming this week, too, and boasting such features as SpO2 blood oxygen sensor, IP68 water resistance, and 13 different fitness modes. However, it will only be available in India.
They’ll both have competition from the new Honor Band 6, which also has an SpO2 sensor and will monitor your heart rate and sleep patterns for about $35.
Toto, the Japanese company behind luxurious and expensive toilets — or washlets — has announced a new smart toilet that can analyze your waste. Titled the WELLNESS TOILET, it uses sensors to analyze fecal matter and then sends updates to a user’s smartphone and gives recommendations on how they can eat better.
When it comes to tracking your steps as you run errands, the best option has been, and continues to remain, the Apple Watch. Well, Fossil isn’t throwing in the towel yet. It announced the new Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen Smartwatch, which, as you can gather, features LTE connectivity.
Bowflex introduced three new exercise machines. The $2,699 Bowflex Treadmill 22, available this week, features a five-foot track, while the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 cardio machine, coming in the spring, has 20 resistance levels. Both have touchscreens that integrate with Bowflex’s JRNY fitness app and can also stream Netflix or Disney+ shows. There’s also a new Bowflex VeloCore stationary bike.
You can get a home workout sans heavy hardware with Wondercise’s Live Multi-Point Motion Match Fitness Training System, sort of the big-kid’s version of Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure. One strap goes around your leg, another goes around your arm, and your heart rate is measured by an Apple Watch or Garmin Watch. Subscriptions are $5 per month.
From door handles, to padlocks, and even bike locks, just about every new smart lock shown off at CES can be opened with a fingerprint. Check out our roundup of the smart locks of CES 202 here.
A whopping 53% of Americans own dogs. It’s no surprise that some dog tech was going to make it to CES 2021. The one that caught our attention was this $3,000 automatic doggy door.
It’s not just smart locks and doggy doors that were on the virtual CES floor, so too were robot vacuums, like the Rocorock S7 that can both suck and mop.
Don’t like touching surfaces in this age of COVID-19? We’ve seen lots of hands-free smart-home products at CES 2021, including faucets, toilets, video doorbells and even a fridge that responds to voice commands.
If you like singing along to music in the shower, the Ampere Shower Power Bluetooth speaker is ready for you. It clamps onto your showerhead and, like a Canadian power plant, uses the flow of water to recharge its battery.
Finally, one of our absolute favorite products so far at CES 2021 has been the ColdSnap, which looks like a Keurig coffee maker but dispenses ice cream, frozen yogurt and margaritas. Just pop in a pod, and your chilly concoction will be ready in 60 to 90 seconds.
The top router makers showed off their newest models at CES 2021. Asus unveiled the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, a gaming-friendly model that supports the new Wi-Fi 6e standard. It’s coming later this month for $549.
Netgear’s Nighthawk RAXE500 also has Wi-Fi 6e and can run 12 separate streams at once. You’ll be able to pick it up this month for $599.
Mesh routers were plentiful as well. D-Link debuted its AI M32 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router, which covers up to 3,000 square feet per unit but for which the price and availability weren’t provided.
Linksys’ AXE8400 mesh unit covers the same amount of ground, but supports Wi-Fi 6e and will retail for $449 for a single unit later this year. And TP-Link unveiled the Deco Voice X20, an Alexa-compatible combination smart speaker and mesh router — but there was no word on availability or pricing.