It’s Saturday, CES is finally done, and over 150,000 people have fled Vegas for less light-saturated locales. We walked the show floor and went to every secret hotel meeting we could to find the best gadgets coming out of CES this year.
These are nearly all products that will be available in 2020—no concept cars or far-fetched robots here.
All first-gen products are a bit awkward, and that goes double for anything featuring a flexible display. Even so, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold seems really promising. You can use it in landscape mode with its detachable keyboard like a portable all-in-one, or rotate it 90 degrees, bend it in half, and voila, you have a thick, but still very portable clamshell.
And unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the X1 Fold doesn’t have a crease, with Lenovo even using the gap between its screen as a place to stash its keyboard while travelling. And because the X1 Fold is part of the ThinkPad family, it had to pass the same battery of mil-spec test regular Thinkpads get subjected too, so it shouldn’t be a delicate flower like the Galaxy Fold.
But perhaps best of all, is that—unlike Dell’s foldable Concept Duet—Lenovo is going to start selling this thing this spring. Like it or not, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is the start of a new era for laptops. - Sam Rutherford
Wear OS has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to smartwatch operating systems. That’s why it’s notable that Suunto, which is known for its in-depth performance metrics and GPS maps, has picked it for its platform. The Suunto 7 is the company’s first true smartwatch, and even though it’s a big boy, it’s not hideous and is incredibly light on the wrist. When you consider it comes with offline, downloadable maps, NFC payments, Google Assistant, over 80 sports profiles, and around two days of battery life (pretty good for a Wear OS watch), it’s definitely one of the more exciting wearables at the show. — Victoria Song
I still have no idea who will actually subscribe to Quibi, the new phone-only streaming service from the guy who brought you Dreamworks. But there are a lot of talented people making content for Quibi, and it’s the rare streaming service that’s still studio agnostic—with content planned from Disney even! But what’s really cool is the way it serves up to different films with the same soundtrack. You decide the experience you get all by the orientation of your phone. — Alex Cranz
TCL 6-Series of 2020
The cheap 4K TV keeps getting better. Not only is the 2020 TCL 6-Series outfitted with future-forward ports like HDMI eARC. It’s also getting new backlighting with mini LED technology. This means that, whereas last year’s model had 100 local dimming zones, the new model will potentially have thousands, which should greatly improve contrast and viewing angles. In other words, this upgrade could bring the picture quality closer to that of an OLED TV for a fraction of the price. — Adam Clark Estes
L’Oreal has consistently brought interesting skincare tech to CES year after year, and the Perso is no exception. It’s an attractive device that manages to blend together AI, augmented reality, and environmental data to create a personalised skincare regimen.
The hardware is also impressive, featuring special motors that work with NFC-enabled cartridges to dispense the precise amount of product. Perso can also be used to create custom lipstick colours and foundation. The design is also thoughtful in that the top detaches, so whatever you create can be carried along with you for the rest of the day. While Perso won’t launch until next year, it could easily be a device that not only reduces trial-and-error but could also save money and declutter your bathroom. — Victoria Song
It feels as though electronic paper has evolved at a glacial pace compared to other display technologies like LCDs and OLEDs. Since Sony’s original Sony Librie came out 16 years ago, e-paper has remained black and white, with only marginal improvements made to its contrast and resolution. E Ink started demonstrating its first full-colour electronic paper displays at CES a few years ago, but for 2020 it’s managed to solve issues with agonizingly slow refresh rates.
It now takes E Ink’s coloured electronic paper less than two seconds to load an entirely new image, which paves the way for its use in e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle. Colour reproduction is limited to around 40,000 shades, but the advantages of E Ink technology are still there, including easy visibility in sunlight, and incredible battery life. — Andrew Liszweski
We can’t believe it’s not pork! This year, Impossible Foods introduced a plant-based pork substitute that blew us away in a taste test. The texture, cook time, and flavour are spot-on, and frankly, we couldn’t tell the difference between Impossible pork shumai and the real thing. It’ll be available in select Burger Kings later this month. We’re not entirely sure when it’ll hit restaurants or grocery stores on a larger scale, but we can’t wait to stuff our faces. — Victoria Song
Chromebooks are pretty simple devices, there’s no need for a ton of gimmicks or shouty features. So on Samsung’s first-ever Galaxy-branded Chromebook, Samsung didn’t mess with the formula and instead just made sure that every single spec and component was really high quality. Sure, starting at $US1,000 ($1,449), it’s kind of expensive, but when you consider that the Galaxy Chromebook has a 4K AMOLED screen with HDR certification, stylus support, an Intel i5 CPU, and up to a 1TB SSD, the Galaxy Chromebook still manages to feel like a deal. And with a super-thin aluminium chassis and a beautiful red paint job (the grey one is fine too), the Galaxy Chromebooks are some of the prettiest laptops we’ve seen in years. — Sam Rutherford
The Jabra Elite 75t released last fall stood out as a potential AirPod Pro killer thanks to their killer performance and great sound. Now, the Danish audio company has improved on that design with a new ultra-waterproof and durable version designed for sports: the Elite Active 75t.
The new truly wireless earbuds feature an IP57 rating, which means they’re submersible in up to a metre of water for 30 minutes, as well as a soft-touch coating that makes them easier to handle with sweaty palms. They also get 7.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, and they’re still cheaper than AirPods Pro! — Adam Clark Estes
By monitoring signal disruptions in your home’s wifi, Linksys Aware turns your wireless network into a home security system that doesn’t require any additional hardware to install. At launch the feature was limited, simply alerting homeowners to the presence of potential intruders while they were away, but in 2020 Linksys will be expanding what Aware is capable of through optional Wellness Pods that increase the feature’s sensitivity, allowing it to detect someone having a restless sleep based on subtle movements and even their breathing rate. The Pods will also allow Linksys Aware to detect and react to someone falling, such as an elderly relative, triggering an emergency response which includes contacting help and even reassuring them through a smart assistant like Amazon’s Alexa. — Andrew Liszewski
Pinball machines haven’t seen a lot of big changes over the years. They’re still primarily just balls flying across a stretch of smooth material and manipulated with bumpers and springs.
But Stern’s new Stranger Things machine really seems to incorporate all kinds of cool and unusual stuff. In particular, magnets that mimic Eleven’s telekinesis and hold balls in place, and a big projector in the centre of the play area that seriously catches the eye. — Alex Cranz