HotHardware's Best Of CES 2019: Laptops, Displays, Systems And More
Here Are Our Picks For The Best Products Of CES 2019
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is one of the biggest events in the Tech space each year. We typically see a dizzying array of new products launch during the week of CES; more than we are likely to see in the following few months. Not all products are block-buster standouts though, and some of these technological spectacles inevitably shine brighter than others. After sifting though all the products we saw last week, we've compiled a list of the best products that we got time with at CES 2019. And with that, we'll just dive right in...
Asus's ProArt PA90 is a cylindrical mini-PC that packs a surprising amount of power into it a compact enclosure. These systems comes with either an Intel Core i7-9700K or a Core i9-9900K crammed in, along with either a Quadro P2000 or a Quadro P4000 professional workstation GPU.
Asus designed the PC with an all-in-one liquid-cooling system that keeps the processor from overheating. This system's cooling solution is also designed to be relatively quiet, and Asus notes that its ProArt PA90 is 36% quieter than comparable systems as a result (what yardstick they're pointing to is hard to tell but it was relatively quiet regardless). If the system does run into a thermal overload issue, Asus engineered the top of the PC to automatically open, which increases airflow by 38% and quickly cools the system down. It's like a convertible for geeks, but with its NVIDIA Quadro graphics it screams content creator or designer all the way.
Dell reworked their XPS 13 product line this year with refinements in all the right places. The 2019 XPS 13 is still built around a 13.3-inch panel that fits into an 11-inch form factor with exceptionally trim 4mm side bezels and a 5.98mm bezel on top, which now is home to a dramatically smaller camera array that puts a bullet in the bottom-mounted "nose cam" of old. The model we have in for testing now also sports excellent performance for a thin and light laptop. It came equipped with Intel's Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake) processor, and testing with Cinebench R15 and PCMark 10 shows that this is the fastest XPS 13 to date, and that it is at the top of its weight class. Toss in the new Frost White silver/white spun glass color combo and we fell back in love.
In an effort to build the world's fastest mobile gaming laptop, Dell constructed what it has dubbed the Alienware Area-51m. Though recent Area-51 landings have been on the desktop, this mobile killing machine is an other-worldly hybrid, cross-breeding of a laptop and desktop species. In its most powerful configuration this system comes loaded with a GeForce RTX 2080 graphics processor paired with an Intel Core i9-9900K desktop chip. The notebook comes factory overclocked to maximize performance and it sports Dell's Alienware Cryo-Tech V2.0 thermal solution to keep everything running cool. However, its key features reside in the user serviceability of the machine. Everything from its CPU, to RAM, storage and even its GPU are user upgradable down the road.
Check out our video coverage here, with Dell exec Frank Azor giving you a deep dive look into this alien beastie...
Digital Storm's Spark may be the system gamers in search of a compact gaming PC, packed with the latest and greatest gear, have long been looking for. Digital Storm is billing the system as the world's smallest PC with custom hard line water cooling...
Measuring 6 inches deep by 4 inches wide by 12 inches tall, it's ridiculously miniature. The thermal solution on board makes it possible for Digital Storm to pack in an Intel Core i9-9900K alongside a GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. Though NVIDIA's previous gen GeForce GTX 1080 was seen here, DS notes GeForce RTX products will be coming to the platform in MXM style form factors soon. The power supply is external but look at that tiny radiator and pump. It's a cute little bambino gaming rig.
For those that love gaming on the big screen, it doesn't get much better than HP's Omen X Emperium 65. This display uses an enormous 65-inch 4K panel that has support for the HDR10 color gamut. The display also comes equipped with NVIDIA's G-SYNC adaptive refresh technology and it has a fast 144Hz refresh rate to create a smooth and immersive gaming experience at its crispy high resolution.
As if that wasn't enough, this glorious theater-sized PC gaming-tuned display come with a four speaker sound bar with four passive radiators that thumps out a pounding 120 Watts of sound. Finally, the icing on the cake is an integrated NVIDIA SHIELD TV streaming system that's setup to stick it to the cable man and cut the cord.
Give it a listen and watch Marco throw down at 4K here...
Kingston teamed up with Audeze and Waves Technology to create its Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets that deliver an all new audio experience. This headset uses 100mm planar magnetic drivers and advanced 3D audio technology to create an immersive experience that sounds like it is coming from all around you, with positional head tracking to boot.
We strapped these bad boys on at the Digital Experience event, the night before CES 2019 opened to the public, and we were kind of blown away. As your head turns and pans in an area, sound from the drivers is correctly positioned to originate from its correct source area in a game. These cans could well be just the edge you need in your next Fortnite throw-down and could be a natural accessory for VR systems.
Lenovo's flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been a mutli-year Editor's Choice winner here at HotHardware, so we're always eager to see what the company will bring for the platform's annual refresh. This year Lenovo did not disappoint and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon appears to be shaping-up better than ever.
Lenovo trimmed the fat from its already svelte 6th Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook to create the new 7th Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon that is even thinner at 14.95mm and lighter at just 2.46 pounds. Lenovo didn't skimp on the hardware to achieve this reduction in size and weight though; the 7th Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon can come equipped with up to a 2TB NVMe SSD and Intel's Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake CPU. You can see more of the goods in this video we shot in Lenovo's suite...
The notebook also packs in a 51WHr battery that Lenovo claims can last for up to 15 hours. Other enhancements include an updated Dolby Atmos sound system with top-firing drivers and a new finish on its lid that shows off its carbon fiber chops with a subtle hatched look. The whole package is just pure slick.
Now that 4K TVs are becoming relatively commonplace, it's time for something new to shake up the TV landscape, and LG is aiming to do just that. At CES, LG announced its upcoming ThinQ AI Smart TVs that will drive an 8K resolution, but with some cutting-edge tech on board as well.
Deep learning algorithms running on the TVs Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor help to enhance image and sound quality, and the TVs are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. LG notes these TVs have built-in upscalers and are based on OLED technology for seriously punchy images and crisp picture quality. We do love us some OLED, that's for sure. It appears the largest of these TVs will measure in at 88-inches, but be ready to shell out a premium to get one of these impressive displays.
NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060 is the successor to the company's previous generation GeForce GTX 1060 and offers nearly a two-fold increase in performance, along with support for a wide range of new features such as Ray Tracing and NVIDIA DLSS. Priced at $350, this graphics card is likely to have a strong impact on the gaming world as the least expensive Ray Tracing-enabled graphics card released to date by NVIDIA.
Gamers who were initially disappointed in the higher price points of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 cards, can step up to Turing's cutting-edge at this much more mainstream price point. The card will even trade wins with a previous generation GeForce GTX 1080 with standard rasterized graphics, as well as hold up to 1080p high image quality ray-tracing infused mixed rendering at playable frame rates. We'd call that a win-win and we gave it an Editor's Choice to go along with those victories.
Samsung is redefining the term "ultra-wide" with its new new CRG9 display. Measuring a 49-inches diagonally with a 32:9 aspect ratio, this display is exceedingly large and it supports HDR, FreeSync 2, and a fast refresh rate of 120Hz. In love yet?
The most impressive aspect of the display, however, is its 5120x1440 resolution. So many of these larger curved displays are dropping in with a 1080 pixel vertical resolution, but Samsung thankfully saw fit to deliver 1440p, which is almost a necessity on a big panel like this. With this number of pixels to push, you'll need a pretty beefy GPU to get the job done at good frame rates, but what a way to go. This is a curved display for baller gamers, content creation professionals, or anyone that simply demands copious screen real estate.
Lastly, but certainly not least, this little fella comes from our friends at Toshiba. The SSD market never sits still for long and the pace of advancement is fierce these days. Building on the success of its BG3 stacked NAND technology, Toshiba announced its new 3D BG4 BiCS TLC NAND that is built on 96-layer technology.
New SSDs built using Toshiba's BG4 technology will have roughly double the capacity of their BG3 predecessors, up to a maximum of 1TB, and yes, that's on a single chip. Performance has also increased considerably, with read and write speeds climbing to 2,250MB/s and 1,700MB/s respectively. With double the capacity and 50% more bandwidth, Toshiba says you can have your cake and eat it too. Expect to find these scrappy little fellas in many a laptop or hybrid mobile device this year.
And that wraps-up our best of CES 2019 awards for another year. There were other consumer electronics marvels at the show, but these products were particularly interesting to us, so we felt they might be impressive for you as well. We look forward to kicking the tires on many of these break-out devices in the days ahead, so stay tuned!