You waited, we delivered. Here is the very best of CES 2021.
Best TV – Samsung Neo QLED & MicroLED
It was too hard to choose here. With MicroLED TV’s hitting the consumer market in 2021 – starting at 99” initially but working their way down to…I’d guess 75” by the end of the year, these TV’s promise some huge image quality benefits. Not to be outdone…by themselves, Samsung also introduced Neo QLED which takes the existing QLED technology to the next level by combining quantum matrix technology with a Neo Quantum processor. By using thin micro layers filled with tons of LEDs, there is fine, precise control over exactly where the screen is lit and by how much.
Best Home Theatre / Audio – Sony SRS-RA5000 360 Audio speaker
Certainly Sony’s introduction of 360-degree audio has me excited. They made sure to make this more than just a concept or future tech – there is a speaker coming out, nay, 2 models that promise to implement the 360 degree audio experience. I wonder how it makes normal audio sound given that not everything is recorded for 360-degree audio these days. Either way, it’s a promising step forward.
Best Drone – Airpeak
Armed with a Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless camera, Sony envisions Airpeak to be the evolution of drone cinematography.
Best Transportation Tech – Mercedes Benz MBUX Hyperscreen
This is possibly the most interesting automotive announcement. Mercedes introduced the MBUX Hyperscreen – a 141cm wide screen/computer that sports 46GB/s memory bandwidth, 12 actuators providing haptic feedback, physical vent hole punch outs in the screen, no menus…I mean, the list goes on. As a techie, I’d like to see this screen in every high-end car…TODAY! I can’t wait!
Best Smart Home – Samsung Jetbot 90 AI+
This will be Samsung’s next entry as they continue to impress me. The Jetbot 90+ AI naming actually makes me think of a robot floor washer rather than a vacuum, but it’s a LiDAR and 3D sensor packed vacuum powered by Intel AI and it even empties itself. Umm..yeah. Then you tie in the Smart aspect – the ability to use onboard cameras to view around your home, pull out the phone to adjust zones or put the bot into action. And much more.
Best COVID Tech – Razer Project Hazel
On our day 1 recap, I blasted Razer but honestly, Project Hazel is imaginative, highly valuable in a pandemic and frankly surprises me. The idea that a reusable mask, armed with high quality filtration, vocal amplification and a UV cleansing charge case is brilliant. Certainly one of the more imaginative tech solutions for a COVID era.
Best Phone/Mobile Device – Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
I know it wasn’t strictly announced at CES, but it was announced DURING CES, so it’s going to make the list. By far, the Galaxy S21 Ultra displayed at Galaxy Unpacked today blew me away. Armed with both a 3x optical zoom camera and a 10x optical zoom lens, the camera capabilities alone of the S21 Ultra don’t stop there. A 40MP selfie camera capable of 4k video adorns the front and the rear cameras enable 8k24 recording at the max while 4k60 is the max combo on the back. The 120Hz, HDR10+ QHD AMOLED display putting out 1500 nits of brightness is sure to impress anyone who cares about visual quality and will make your enjoyment of media and gaming so much greater.
Best Computer / Tablet – Zephyrus Duo 15 SE
This year the Zephyrus Duo just got better. Armed with the latest Ryzen 9 mobile CPU and an RTX 3080 mobile GPU to accompany the up to 300Hz 1080p display panel (or go with the optional 120Hz 4k). This is all combined with a 4k secondary display to make complicated tasks simpler and you’ll understand why I love this machine. It’s a gaming and productivity beast.
Best Computing Tech – Ryzen 5000 Mobile
With chips ranging from the Ryzen 3 quad-core chips running up to 3.8GHz all the way up to 8-core chips running at 4.8GHz, these chips are sure to impress in the benchmarks and make me feel like the days of dual-core budget Intel chips in laptops are numbered. In fact, even the days of top notch Intel chips in laptops are numbered by the looks of it.
Best Computing graphics – RTX 30 Series Mobile
It should come as no surprise that the 2nd-gen RTX cards from NVIDIA would make their mobile debut at CES this year. With expectations high around mobile gaming and tons of mobile gaming workstations sporting 120Hz+ displays, I can say with certainty that these chips ranging from the 3060 to the 3080 will provide gamers the ability to game on the go.
Most Innovative – Samsung Neo QLED Eco Remote
This is possibly the most innovative thing I saw at CES from an every-day perspective. The idea that you’d solar power charge your TV’s remote control is simple and brilliant. Samsung says this remote can be charged by one of 3 sources – outdoor light, indoor light or as a backup, USB. Either way, this remote control takes the cake for trying to reduce the number of batteries we consume annually in a device we all have at least one of in our homes. This isn’t just a concept – it’s coming to 2021 TV models from Samsung.
Best of CES 2021 – Razer Project Brooklyn
The Best of CES 2021 is a tough one. We’ve had so many products thrown at us over the last 3 days and it’s overwhelming. But I have the Best of the Best category and thus must pick something. This year, I’m going with…the Razer Project Brooklyn. For me, CES is all about hopes and dreams. The end of 2020 was all about gaming, power houses, better displays and graphics and most commonly termed – better experiences. Well the inner gamer in me knows, Project Brooklyn is all about bettering the gaming experience. From the fold out translucent screen to an ergonomic seat and built in keyboard and mouse table, Brooklyn is all about the best possible experience. Bravo Razer, you managed to impress me once again.