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Best of CES 2020: which products deserve to be on your shopping list?

CES is the world’s largest technology show, and that means one thing: every big name tech company in the world (except Apple, naturally) announces something big there each year. So which, out of the thousands of launches in 2020, caught our eye? Find out below the Fold…

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

This was the bendiest CES yet, as manufacturers attempted to outdo each other in their use of flexible OLED screens. In a crowded field it’s Lenovo that stands out. It’s committed to launch this 13.3in tablet/laptop (we need to think of a new product category name) this summer, and at a respectable price of $2,499 too. With a detachable Bluetooth keyboard that sits snugly in the middle of the “book” when closed, this is an excellent first stab at a completely new form factor.

Dell XPS 13 (2020)

We almost hate to give the XPS 13 another Best of CES award, but annoyingly we think Dell has done just enough to keep this 13in ultraportable ahead of the chasing pack. It’s even faster thanks to Intel’s 10th Gen Core processors, while the 16:10 screen looks simply fabulous. But come on Dell, give us something more glamorous next year, please.

AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile Processors

We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an AMD processor in next year’s Dell XPS 13, especially if AMD’s big claims for its new mobile chip – its first to be based on the 7nm Zen 2 architecture that has made its desktop processors so potent – prove to be true. Eight cores, 16 threads and low power consumption are a killer combination that may well mean AMD steals yet more sales from Intel. 2020 could be a very big year for the comeback kid.

Razer Tomahawk Gaming PC

If there was a bright note for Intel (although it did also win our unofficial award for worst keynote presentation) it was its NUC 9 Extreme “compute element”. This packs the processor, motherboard, memory and storage into one module, but crucially leaves graphics acceleration to others. Razer wasted no time in producing this beautiful design, so let’s hope testable machines arrive in the summer as promised.

Netgear Nighthawk Mesh System AX1800

What could be better than a far-reaching mesh system? Perhaps you’re thinking super-fast, super-reliable 802.11ax Wi-Fi. Well how about the two combined? While other manufacturers are still struggling to get 802.11ax products out of the door, Netgear has doubled down. It even manages to make these little square boxes look nice. While we would have liked two Ethernet ports packed into each satellite we can live with the single offering when the user interface Netgear provides is as simple and elegant as it is. The MK62, with one router and satellite, will ship this month for £230.

Samsung Odyssey G9

Does anyone need a 49in monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and 5,120 x 1,400 resolution? No, absolutely not. Does anybody want one? Oh yes. We hate the word “immersive” here at Big Tech Question, but there’s nothing quite like the action surrounding you in blistering detail during a car race or when you’re fending off yet another batch of zombies. Let’s not worry about tiny things such as the price, or indeed availability, as Samsung has so far remained tight-lipped.

1TB SanDisk Ultra Dual Luxe USB Type-C

From the ludicrously large to the ludicrously small – this flash drive is so tiny you couldn’t actually write its name on its surface area – we desperately want a SanDisk Ultra Dual Luxe USB Type-C. Note the tiny hole to slip onto a keyring too. Despite the name, it’s actually USB Type-A compatible: just swivel the drive round on its hinge and you can have the choice between the two ports. We don’t have a price yet, but it’s due to be released by the end of March.

Insta360 One R

Rather than show the modular boxes, here’s what the Insta360 One R can do…

Still on the tiny theme, the Insta360 One R won many fans at CES for its sheer flexibility. Not just in the fact that it can shoot 360-degree video but that it doubles as an action camera. A clever modular design means that you can attach camera modules in whichever direction you wish, with three to choose from: one 4K wide-angle, one 5.7K dual-lens 360-degree camera, and one 5K wide-angle that includes a 1in sensor to help capture images in low light. Prices start at $300 for the 4K kit, rising to $430 if you buy the 4K and 360-degree camera, and it’s available from 14 January.

Tanvas

Our one startup on the list is Tanvas. Its big idea is to control the amount of friction on your screen – no additional hardware necessary – to give it a bumpy feel. Or make it feel grainy. Or to add ridges. Or whatever else you can think of where added resistance will aid navigation. They’re working with car manufacturers but it’s one of those technologies that could have all sorts of fascinating uses. Or, of course, disappear without a trace.

Shure AONIC 50 headphones

Let’s end on a calm note. You’ve spent all week at the world’s most frenetic trade show, elbowing people out of the way in your efforts to see the latest tech first. Now it’s time to relax. So slip on this $399 set of headphones and switch off the world, thanks to simply superb noise cancellation. And, this being Shure, you can expect top-notch sound quality too. Feel your cares, along with your hard-earned money, drift away…

NuraLoop earphones

STOP PRESS! A late entry onto our list but that’s only because we experienced the wonder that is NuraLoop on Thursday morning. For these earphones are that rarest of things: unique. They detect what you hear through, you know, science, and then adjust the output of the earphones to match. As a result, music is clear, detailed and a pleasure to listen to. Add a nice design, intuitive controls and 16 hours of battery life and they justify their $199 price. You can pre-order for April delivery now.

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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