Hot Hardware’s 10 Best Of CES 2024: Here Are The Showstoppers

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has now come to a close, and as the HotHardware team make its way back home, it's time to reflect. This year we saw a plethora of new tech, from artificial intelligence applications to laptops, desktops, and displays, amidst so much more. Truthfully, it's hard to catch all the announcements and see all of the exhibits between live showings, keynotes, various venues and the show floor. However, we have determined the best-of-show that we think you should be aware with CES 2024 behind us.

NVIDIA Avatar Cloud Engine – Real-Time NPC Conversations

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2024 might just be the year NPCs get better artificial intelligence, and NVIDIA is planning to capitalize on that opportunity. One of the coolest AI applications we came across was the Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE), which had been mentioned previously at Computex 2023. This is a collaboration between NVIDIA and startup Convai, wherein developers can integrate cloud-based generative AI into their games to enhance NPC conversations to mimic that of the real world. Take a look at the demo we got to see live in the video below, and let us know what you think of the tech:

Lenovo CES Showcase – Innovative ThinkBooks

thinkbook plus gen 5 detached

Lenovo always has some cool stuff to show off, and this year was no different. With its latest ThinkBook announcements the company came out swinging this CES. The first of these is the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid, a laptop that effectively includes an Android tablet and packs in portability, functionality, and artificial intelligence prowess. If you thought the Lenovo dual-display laptop of yesteryear’s CES was wild, you'll probably dig this one. In short, this laptop is powered by Intel Core Ultra processors and Intel Arc graphics, but it has a 14” 2.8K OLED display that can be detached and used as an Android tablet powered by a Qualcomm processor and a separate battery. Attached the notebook to an external display, and you can use both devices at the same time.

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Going a more traditional route but cool nonetheless, the Lenovo Thinkbook 13x Gen 4 is an ultra-thin and ultra-light laptop powered by Intel Core Ultra Processors, Intel Arc Graphics, up to 32GB of 8400Mhz LPDDR5x RAM, and some impressive I/O. It also has a whopping 74-WHr battery, which Lenovo claims can drive this laptop for up to 21 hours of video playback, 11.4 hours of web browsing, or 8.2 hours of conference calls.

Dell Ultrasharp U3425WE – Incredible Display For Daily Driving

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Dell had a couple of really cool announcements, but its new Ultrasharp displays were definitely stand-outs. There is a 40” WUHD display in the Ultrasharp line-up, but that is going to be over the top for most folks. The 34” Ultrasharp U3425WE, however, hits the sweet spot. This is a WQHD (3440x1440) display boasting a 120Hz refresh rate, 99% DCI-P3 coverage, and an IPS Black panel that delivers a 2000:1 contrast ratio. Further, it features a built-in Thunderbolt 4 Hub, which can deliver 90W of power and includes:
  • Three USB-C ports.
  • Five USB Type-A ports.
  • A 3.5mm audio jack.
  • A 2.5Gb Ethernet port.
Basically, this is an incredibly impressive display and dock all rolled into one package.

Alienware m16 R2 – A Showing of Impressive Alien Tech

Alienware m16 R2

The Alienware m16 R2 was redesigned to improve cooling performance by up to 43% over the previous generation, to maximize performance in a relatively thin form factor. Further, it is rocking Intel Core Ultra H processors under the hood, which can be paired with up to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4070 GPU and a 90WHr battery. The machine also features express charging technology, which can charge the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes.

AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT – Navi 33 Hit With Some AMD Adrenaline

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The AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT made its debut at CES 2024. AMD's latest mainstream GPU provides a boost over the prior AMD Radeon RX 7600 thanks to increased clocks and a larger 16GB local memory for a $60 premium, which brings the MSRP to $329.  With these enhancements, the board power also increases from 165W to 190W.

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Overall, AMD says that the Radeon RX 7600 XT trades blows with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4060, especially when frame generation tech is enabled. We hope to have a review of the card posted at some point to make some comparisons for ourselves, so stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

Phison PS5206-E26 Max – Powering The Future Of SSDs

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At CES, industry leader Phison showed off its PS5026-E26 PCIe 5.0 controller paired to Micron's fastest NAND flash memory on a reference design SSD, which proved to be pretty impressive. The controller uses a PCIe Gen5x4 interface and supports sequential reads of about 14,000 MB/s and writes of 11,800 MB/s. Long story short, the reference design SSD using the E26 controller outperformed almost everything else in its class. Ultimately, this is a rather impressive device, and we cannot wait to see where Phison's partners take it in 2024.

MSI Titan 18 HX – An Ultra Powerful Desktop Replacement

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MSI had some impressive announcements as well, not least of which is the very powerful MSI Titan 18 HX, which seems to be deserving of its name. This is a laptop powered by up to an Intel Core i9-14900HX, 128GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, the latter of which drives the sizeable 18” display. This display is something special too, as MSI claims it to be the world’s first 4K 120Hz mini LED laptop display with a DisplayHDR 1000 rating. Of course, MSI pushed AI with this and other laptop announcements too, but ignoring that, this is simply an impressive laptop featuring the best of the best of today's mobile PC platform technology.

Intel Core 14th Gen HX – Processors For Gaming Dominance

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We would be remiss if Intel did not get a mention with the slew of products announced at CES. Beyond Meteor Lake, which we learned of last month in New York, Intel Core 14th Gen HX processor for the desktop have been power-gated to be more hospitable for tighter laptop thermal capacities, while still delivering plenty of gaming punch. The pack leader here is the Core i9-14900HX, that trades blows with AMD’s Ryzen 9 7945HX3D in gaming workloads.

Besides the HX lineup, Intel also announced Core Mobile Processors Series 1, which are 14th Gen CPUs that are a derivative of the previous gen Rocket Lake architecture for the thinnest and lightest devices. Further, Intel revealed a handful of Intel Core 14th Gen Desktop Processors to add to the existing high-end “K” processor models. You can check out the full coverage of all of Intel’s announcements here, and safe to say that Intel's new silicon is looking rather robust. Check out our video reel of demos from Intel, right here below as well, to wet your whistle...

Snapdragon Digital Chassis And Cockpit – Qualcomm’s Mobility Quest

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qualcomm snapdragon cockpit

CES 2024 was not just about PC hardware and adjacent technology, as Qualcomm has proven with its Snapdragon Digital Chassis and Cockpit. Qualcomm's Snapdragon Digital Chassis concept car is a tech demo of all Qualcomm's automotive innovations contributing to the future of digitally-transformed modern vehicles. Out of the gate, this includes connectivity features that you might expect from the company, such as 5G modems, global positioning, WiFi connectivity, and more.

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This scope expands when you get inside the vehicle with Snapdragon-based compute units, audio solutions, safety features, and artificial intelligence capabilities at the helm. In addition, this version of Snapdragon Cockpit is powered by Unreal Engine on its main console, and in the back seats of the rolling tech showcase were some sweet in-seat displays where kiddos and adults alike can play games on-the-go to pass the time. However, this list is non-exhaustive, in that there are many more innovations Qualcomm contributes to the automotive industry with its technology. We got to sample all this with a live demo at CES, which you can check out for yourself in the video here below... 

Acer Predator SpatialLabs View 27 – No Glasses 3D

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As we’ve mentioned, there was a lot to cover at CES 2024 this year, especially with respect to display innovation. While AI was a focus for many, there is a lot of display technology going around these days and things are getting more impressive with every iteration. One of the standouts in this crowd was Acer with the Predator SpatialLabs View 27 gaming monitor, a 27” 4K panel that can run at 120Hz, includes AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility, and 400 nits of brightness output. While this may sound a bit pedestrian, this gaming panel has a trick up its sleeve. In face it can switch between 2D and 3D content modes and the results were impressive to say the least.

This expands Acer’s stereoscopic 3D display line, “letting gamers dive deeper into the depths of 3D worlds. You can see what this looks like in the video above, and our very own Marco Chiappetta was rather impressed with the new panel tech, when he got a hands-on look at it, proclaiming, Acer's 3D Predator SpatialLabs View 27 monitor was amazing. It was the best thing I saw live at the show." With that, it's safe to say that this is pretty cool technology, and perhaps it's an indication that 3D technology is making a comeback after being a flash in the pan of premature tech. We will have to see, though, and perhaps we can get one of these in-house to take a look at over the long term, to see what it's all about.

At the end of the day, CES 2024 had a lot going on, and seeing all the announcements as they rolled out was more than exciting. Of course, there is much that we could not hit in this list, so keep an eye on HotHardware for future announcements or follow the CES2024 tag for everything we have covered so far and moving forward...
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