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CES is an whirlwind of gadgetry, but it’s also a crucial look at the year ahead for tech. Here are a few of the trends we spotted at this year’s CES that are bound to ripple out through the rest of 2021.
OLED displays are well-loved for their best-in-class brightness and contrast, an effect of screen technology that allows every single pixel to be controlled individually. While it's long been the standard for top notch big screen TVs and phones, OLED screens are filtering down into the last bits of territory they have yet to fully conquer: smaller screens.
This CES, LG announced it will be making its first 42-inch OLED panels, and announced its UltraFine OLED Pro computer monitor, with a 31.5-inch 4K OLED screen. And while OLED-sporting laptops aren't entirely new, there are now more than ever with new offerings from Asus and Lenovo. This is surely just the beginning.
A new breed of Wi-Fi arrives in force
The foundation for Wi-Fi 6, a newer and speedier standard for all your various devices to send data back and forth, started to be laid last year as devices like the iPhone 12 rolled out with native support for it. The main missing piece, until now, had been the routers. And at CES 2021, they're here.
Linksys and TP-Link have announced new mesh-network routers that boast support for Wi-Fi 6E, the fastest version of the new standard. And D-Link has a USB adapter that can bring the peppier connection to older laptops and desktops as well.
Gaming laptops go stealth
If the words "gaming laptop" make you think of a big, chunky, jet-black machine emblazoned with streaks of neon, that's understandable but a little bit outdated. Laptops with the guts to handle serious gaming — namely a discrete graphics card — have been getting slimmer and subtler for years, but 2021 is taking the trend to a new level of maturity.
Alongside the announcement of a new slate of mobile video cards from Nvidia and processors from AMD, CES 2021 is bring the announcement of a whole new generation of I-could-bring-this-to-the-office devices like the aptly named MSI Stealth 15M (sporting Intel's latest 11th-gen chips) and the two-in-one convertible ASUS ROG Flow X13. Yes "ROG" still stands for "Republic of Gamers" but nobody has to know unless you tell them.