The world’s biggest technology show is drawing to a close, giving our editors a chance to draw a breath and decide which products will live long in the memory (and quietly ignore the ones we think will never see the light of day). Enjoy!
Acer Swift 14
Acer has simplified the names of its laptops for 2023, and in the case of the Acer Swift 14 it’s also improved its looks. The gold edging, while reminiscent of HP’s Spectre range, adds a touch of novelty and class that is so often lacking in laptops.
It should be as fast as its Swift name suggests, with Intel’s 13th generation Core H series processors inside, while a 15mm thickness and 1.2kg weight mean it could live up to a Sleek moniker too.
We await a confirmed UK price, but we know the new Acer Swift 14 will go on sale in February 2023 from €1,399 in Germany, so we expect it to start from between £1,299 and £1,399 in the UK.
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023)
Nvidia has had a busy CES, releasing not only an update to its GeForce Now streaming service (see below) but also the GeForce RTX 40 series for laptops. It claims that over 170 different laptop designs will feature the new chips, and two of those laptops make this list.
First up is the 2023 update to the popular Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, which is slim compared to most high-end gaming laptops… but isn’t quite as slim as the Razer Blade 18 below. In return you get support for a pumped-up 145W version of the RTX 4090, the most lethal chip in Nvidia’s mobile armoury, along with Intel’s fastest mobile Core processors.
Asus wraps it all up in a truly striking chassis, complete with its AniMe Matrix technology that allows you to customise the lid with your own artwork or message. Oh, and a mini LED 16in panel that goes up to 240Hz with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. Only a 2.1kg weight and a stonking price count against it: it starts at £3,300 for an RTX 4080 and Core i9-13900H, and we expect it go on sale in the UK during March.
Dell Concept Luna: late 2022 update
In late 2021 Dell unveiled Concept Luna: a futuristic laptop where components could be reused rather than discarded thanks to a highly modular approach. In December 2022, it released updated videos (such as the amateurish but revealing one below) based on its work, and we’re impressed. It’s now possible to disassemble a laptop in a minute, with the parts then reusable and replaceable.
While this remains a prototype, Dell claims that Concept Luna is part of its “long-term vision” for circular design and thus, we hope, will eventually find its way into shipping products.
Lenovo Tab Extreme
Always assuming that Apple’s lawyers don’t find a way to block its launch – when coupled with the floating keyboard it looks so similar to the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard that only their mum could tell the difference – the Lenovo Tab Extreme could be a big hit in 2023.
There is one big difference between the Tab Extreme and the iPad Pro: size. Featuring a 14.5in panel, it could be an even more effective laptop replacement than Apple’s device. OLED technology, a 3K resolution, 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut and a 120Hz refresh rate all count in its favour too.
There are three downsides to this device. First, it runs Android, which remains second best to iPadOS by some distance. Second, it weighs 1.5kg with the keyboard added. And third, we don’t yet have a price or release date in the UK.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist
Lenovo’s Yoga Book 9i has grabbed many headlines at this year’s CES thanks to its two-OLED design, one of which sits above the other… but will people actually buy it? We’re not so sure. And while we don’t think the ThinkBook Plus Twist will dominate sales this year either, there’s something about its two-panel twist that makes our credit cards twitch.
When you want a normal laptop, the main 13.3in OLED display is on hand. But when you want to read or draw on-screen, you can twist the lid round and view the 12in E Ink panel. Which is colour, not mono.
The ThinkBook Plus Twist goes on sale in June 2023 with prices starting from $1,649.
It’s not often we cover tech that is truly life-saving, but the Lifeaz Defibrillator almost certainly will be. This compact unit is designed for use in the home, so that patients with heart conditions don’t have to wait for an ambulance to arrive. Getting treatment in the first few minutes after a heart attack can make the difference between life and death, and 80% of heart attacks occur at home.
The defibrillator is fitted with a speaker that gives clear audio instructions to the person using it, and there are printed step-by-step guides inside too. Sensors won’t let you shock a patient who has an active pulse, so there’s little danger of an untrained helper getting it seriously wrong.
You can already order the Lifeaz Defibrillator from its German online store for €999 (where it can also be rented for €36 a month), but the company told us that it will be coming to the UK this year.
Nvidia GeForce Now Ultimate with RTX 4080
Along with a new desktop graphics card and the latest mobile RTX 4000 series chips, as in the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 above, Nvidia used CES 2023 to “upgrade” its GeForce Now Ultimate streaming service. And boy is it good.
When Nvidia challenged us to work out which PC was running on local graphics card and which using GeForce Now, we failed. And if you’re worried about latency, it’s half that of the Xbox at 60Hz.
The UK will be among the first regions to benefit from the upgraded service, hopefully at the end of January. How much? It’s punchy at £17.99 per month.
Razer Blade 18
When Razer describes the Blade 18 as a desktop replacement, it isn’t kidding around. The key to its likely success is an 18in display, and it looks stunning – no surprise at it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut favoured by photographers and film-makers. A 3ms response time and G-Sync compatibility is there for gamers, too.
We’re desperate to see whether it will match the likes of the Asus ROG Zephyrus for speed, with Razer making big claims for its cooling system; this has to be perfect as a slim chassis and great thermals rarely go together. Still, it’s promising cards up to the RTX 4090 “with full TGP” (that is, total graphics power) and Intel’s 13th generation Core i9 HX processors.
Razer hasn’t given a UK release date or price yet, but it will be shipping in the US in the first quarter of 2023 with prices starting at $2,900.
Handheld gaming has come back with a vengeance in the past year or so, and the revamped Razer Edge provides another hugely tempting option. In a nutshell, it’s a 6.8in Android tablet with a glorious 144Hz screen and game controllers on either side. The controllers are a near replica of Razer’s Kishi V2 Pro controllers, which can be snapped to either side of a regular smartphone, but throw in the added benefit of vibrating haptics.
The buttons are a little small and mushy for my fingers, but even in the ten minutes I spent playing with it on Razer’s stand at CES, I was smitten. It’s a perfect way to take advantage of Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud gaming service or GeForce Now (see above), and you can also Steam Link from a nearby PC. That’s not to mention any games you might find in the Android store. It will cost $400, although there are more expensive Founders and 5G versions coming.
Unistellar eQuinox 2 telescope
Want to see the beauty of the winter night sky without getting cold? The Unistellar eQuinox 2 telescope doesn’t have an eyepiece – instead it connects to apps on smartphones and tablets, so that you can see the results from a toasty living room.
The telescope offers autotracking, allowing you to search for a particular constellation and planet and watch the telescope automatically rotate into the right position. It has a focal length of 450mm and 50x magnification, and captures 6.2-megapixel images that are easy to share from the app. It also deals cleverly with light pollution, digitally removing unnatural light or objects such as passing Starlink satellites.
You can pre-order the eQuinox 2 for £2,199 today, with shipping promised from 15 February 2023.