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The biggest consumer tech show of the year was a bit different here in 2021, having gone fully digital for obvious reasons. Still, was host to a menagerie of new gadgets with releases will be sprinkled out across the rest of the year (if they don't get pushed back even further). Now that the show has wrapped, here's the definitive list of highlights from 2021.
Razer Blade 15 (2021)
Razer is giving its 15-inch gaming laptop a big upgrade in 2021. More specifically, it's integrating it with Nvidia RTX 30 graphics and giving it a new 1440-pixel display with an incredibly fast 240Hz refresh rate. This means that what was already one of the best gaming laptops, is going to get a heck of a lot better in 2021. It's available for preorder right now and starting at $1,699.
TCL Wearable Display
The TCL Wearable Display might have a boring name (for now at least), but it's one that speaks to the best part of its design: simplicity. Sure, putting two 1080p mini OLED displays creating an effective 140-inch display in what looks like a pair of sunglasses isn't literally simple, but the TCL Wearable Display is exactly what it claims to be, a display with no extra VR capabilities or other cruft you don't need. This is a big TV you can fit in your pocket, that's it. TCL's video sunglasses have existed in prototype form for a few years, but will be making it to the public sometime in 2021, though price and availability are still unannounced. The one catch is that these glasses can't play media themselves, they'll need to be attached to a device.
LG C1 OLED TVs (2021)
Last year, LG's CX line was most people's pick for the best OLED TV you could buy. Well, the C1 is the next-generation of that acclaimed TV. The big update is that LG is now offering a 83" model — the biggest screen size in the line — and added some new gaming features to optimize the C1 for the next-generation consoles. In addition to the 83" model, the C1 will also be available in 48", 55", 65" and 77" sizes. (Note: the C1 does not have LG's fancy new OLED evo panel, like with the LG G1 OLED TV, which delivers improved brightness and better overall picture quality.)
LG UltraFine OLED Pro
For years, LG's UltraFine monitor line has been the preferred high-end option to partner with your MacBook — Apple even sells them itself. And now the company has announced its first UltraFine monitor with an OLED display: LG UltraFine OLED Pro. It's a 31.5-inch 4K monitor that, because of its OLED display, is expected to have significantly better contrast and picture quality than LG's current UltraFine 4K monitor. It'll come with a USB-C connection, three USB-A ports, two DisplayPort ports and an HDMI port. Unfortunately, LG has not announced pricing or availability information yet.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung released the first-generation Galaxy Chromebook last year and it was a big deal because it was really the first premium Chromebook. And yes, it was really expensive (almost $1,000). Well, apparently it didn't sell that well because Samsung's new Galaxy Chromebook is a lot less premium. At $549, it's basically half expensive and Samsung got rid of its fancy 4K OLED display. That said, if you don't mind the picture downgrade — it's now a full HD QLED display — the new Galaxy Chromebook just became a lot better value.
It's been long rumored that LG is working on a rollable smartphone (similar to its rollable OLED TV) and the company teased just that at its CES keynote event. Not much is known about the smartphone — and it's just a prototype right now — but you can see from the above video that its display "rolls" to extend and nearly double its screen size. Pretty cool.
JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier
JBL's newest integrated amplifier doesn't look like it's from 2021, and that's definitely a huge chunk of its curb appeal. With its big, beautiful silver knobs and teak-wood veneer side-panels that look like they hopped out of a time machine on their way from decades past, the SA750 is screamingly stylish. Inside, though it's very 2021. Integrated amplifiers, which pair traditional amplifier hardware with modern-day streaming tech, are quickly becoming the cornerstone of the modern hi-fi setup. With a high-resolution DAC, support for AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and Roon, plus a 220-watt amplifier, the SA750 should be able to power your hi-fi until it goes out of style and comes back again.
It'll be available in April 2021 for $3,000.
TCL 6-Series (2021)
TCL's 6-Series has been one of the best budget 4K TVs available for years, and don't expect that to be changing in 2021. The new models feature similar Mini LED technology that's also integrated into higher-end 4K TVs by Samsung and LG. Maybe more significantly, however, is the fact that TCL announced that it will be releasing 8K 6-Series models for the first time — these promise to be some of the most affordable 8K TVs, should you want to make the jump.
Dell Latitude 9420
Dell's latest generation of business laptops are, at first glance, capable-if-bog-standard business laptop offerings sporting the latest Intel chip, but their best feature is a subtle little mechanism that would be at home in all sorts of gadgets. The new Latitudes sport Dell's new SafeShutter webcam which has an integrated, physical shutter that flicks open and closed as you enter or exit relevant applications, giving you absolute peace of mind at a glance. Sure, you can slap a sticker or slice of electric tape on any laptop, but why should you have to?
Samsung Neo QLED TVs
While OLED TVs are still the king of picture quality (and demand a price to match) Samsung's made strides to bridge the gap with its new Neo-QLED TVs. Utilizing a matrix of white LED backlights like other LED sets, Samsung's Neo-QLEDs have backlights that are 40 times smaller than the norm, allowing more precise control of what part of your screen is lit up by how much. The result is less "blooming" and deeper blacks, which bring the picture quality even closer to OLED displays which can control each pixel individually -- for a price.
Philips Hue Wall Switch Module
This new Wall Switch Module turns your standard light switch into a smart one that can control your Philips Hue smart lights. It solves one of the biggest problems with smart lights in that it prevents you (and others) from flicking the physical light switch and effectively screwing up your smart lights. Each module will cost $40 and be available this summer.