Tech Advisor’s Best of CES 2022 Awards
After going virtual last year, CES returned to an in-person event in Las Vegas for 2022 – albeit a smaller one, with reduced capacity and a few notable absences (including ourselves, as we covered the whole event from home).
Still, that didn’t mean the launches were quieter – and in fact this was one of the most exciting CES shows in years.
Intel, Nvidia, and AMD all turned up with new CPUs and GPUs (and the OEMs duly followed with a raft of exciting laptops); Samsung, OnePlus, TCL, and Nokia all turned up with smartphones; and Sony even decided to casually drop a full spec sheet for the PlayStation VR2 headset.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here are Tech Advisor’s 15 Best in Show Award winners for CES 2022.
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
Asus has become the latest company to dip its toe into the world of foldables. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is 17.3in tablet which can be folded in half to create two 12.5in screens. It’s the biggest Windows foldable so far, and only the second ever after Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold.
But Asus wants it to replace your laptop entirely, with the option to connect a dedicated Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad for a desktop-like experience. Powered by a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, alongside 16GB of RAM and a 75Wh battery, it’s the first foldable confirmed for Intel’s Evo Platform of high-end devices.
Ok, it has a silly name but it’s great to finally see some rivals to Samsung’s lifestyle range of TVs and the LG Objet is a particularly interesting one. The lean-to design (which can also be wall mounted) features a moving fabric cover so you can hide some or all of the screen.
While not in use, it can display things like artwork as well as music playback, clock and date. The Objet will be available in a range of colours with a 65in OLED panel.
Intel 12th-gen laptop CPUs
After several years of iterative updates, Intel’s new laptop CPUs deliver big changes. Alder Lake shifts to a new hybrid architecture, with the ability to dynamically switch between performance and power efficiency cores according to your workload.
With a total of 28 processors across three distinct categories, there’s a new Intel chip for Windows devices of every shape and size. The company is also targeting its fastest ever rollout, with several Alder Lake-powered laptops announced at CES and plenty more on the way.
OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus didn’t quite go so far as officially launching the OnePlus 10 Pro flagship at CES, but by revealing the design and specs and announcing a Chinese launch event for next week, it’s basically done the whole job.
A striking new design is paired with battery & charging upgrades, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, and an updated camera with more help from Hasselblad. We can’t wait to see how it holds up once we get our hands on it.
With the PlayStation 5 now a year old, Sony has shifted focus to its upcoming PlayStation VR2 headset. The company has teased its existence in the past, and even given us our first look at the upgraded Sense controllers, but it was at CES that we finally got to hear about specs of the headset itself – and it sounds impressive.
Visuals are delivered via 4K OLED HDR display, with a 2000×2040 resolution per eye, with either a 90 or 120Hz refresh rate depending on the app or game you’re playing.
There’s also the upgraded inside-out tracking system, a simpler one-cable connection, and even haptic feedback to help deliver a more immersive experience, simulating heartbeats or bullets whizzing by.
Compared to the first-gen headset, it’s a phenomenal upgrade.
Nvidia RTX 3080Ti for laptops
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti for laptops represents a huge step forward for laptop graphics performance. It’s the first time that Nvidia has released an ’80 Ti’ variant, and the branding is well deserved.
In fact, Nvidia claims that the 16GB of GDDR6 memory of the RTX 3080 Ti provides similar graphics performance to the GeForce RTX Titan, a $2500 desktop GPU released in late 2018, which is great news for both gamers and creatives on the move.
While the latest desktop cards are still more powerful, the RTX 3080 Ti for laptops closes the gap significantly.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 with XG eGPU
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is a tablet with a difference. While you can’t run AAA PC titles on Apple’s top-end iPad Pro, the combination of a 12th-gen Intel H-series chip and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 at the heart of the 13in ROG Flow Z13 allows for true mobile gaming without compromise.
It’s not just a tablet though; the clamshell case turns it into a hybrid laptop, but more impressive is the (optional) Asus XG eGPU. Connected via a proprietary cable, the Asus XG and its desktop RTX graphics card can be used to power a desktop experience, providing desktop-level performance for work and play and more connectivity too.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
With a colourful design that nods to the original S21 series, and strong specs that are close to its flagship siblings, this could be the Goldilocks S21 model – even if we do wish it was just a little bit cheaper.
Jabra Elite 4 Active
Jabra may not be as well-known as the likes of Samsung and Sony, but it has always been a strong competitor in the headphone space – and the launch of the Elite 4 Active earbuds is a prime example of why.
These earbuds are designed for working out, with an ergonomic design and an IP57 rating. In addition, they feature ANC (active noise cancellation), Jabra’s HearThrough technology, and a battery life of up to 28 hours when using the charging case.
The most impressive thing is the price tag of £119/$119, making these some of the best value fitness earbuds around.
Withings Body Scan
The next big thing for home smart scales is segmental analysis, whereby body composition measurements are given for individual body parts, such as torso, arms, and legs. Withings’ Body Scan features a retractable handle which carries four additional electrodes and allows not only for this more granular, accurate body composition analysis but also acts as a 6-lead ECG.
This heart health technology builds on Withings’ current vascular age readings and will pick up any worrying heart rhythm patterns. Service subscribers in certain regions will also be able to share readings and measurements with trainers and medical professionals.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus (third-gen)
The latest ThinkBook Plus delivers some of the biggest gen-on-gen changes in recent memory, introducing a new approach to dual-screen multitasking in the process.
Gone is the external e-ink secondary display, replaced by a new 8in LCD panel embedded next to the keyboard. This is fully compatible with Windows 11 and the built-in stylus, meaning you can use it to take notes, edit images or mirror your smartphone screen.
The 17.3in, 120Hz main display adopts an ultra-wide 21:10 aspect ratio to accommodate the extra panel, while you’ll also find new Intel CPUs under the hood.
Sony Master Series A95K
Although Sony introduced its first Mini LED sets this year, it’s the Master Series A95K that particularly piqued our interest. Quantum Dot and OLED technology on their own are nothing new but it’s the first time we’ve seen them together.
It promises the best of both worlds with wider colour and up to 200% better brightness compared to conventional TVs. The A95K looks stunning and is packed with features including the new Bravia Cam for things like gesture control, automatic adjustments and video calls.
Along with refreshes to its existing X and M series laptops, one of Alienware’s biggest CES 2022 reveals was one of its smallest machines yet. The Alienware X14 brings the same features and sensibilities as the existing X15 and X17 but scales down to a 14in Full HD 144Hz ComfortView Plus display with a 7ms response time.
On the inside, there’s a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and a choice of Nvidia RTX 3050, 3050 Ti, or 3060 GPUs to choose from; not bad for what Alienware claims is the world’s thinnest gaming laptop.
Boasting six display ports, Plugable’s new laptop docking station offers unprecedented monitor flexibility for a consumer USB dock and does away with the need for any extra display adapters.
This CES star doubles the number of monitor connections of rival consumer docks.
The USB-C Triple 4K HDMI and DisplayPort Horizontal Docking Station (UD-6950PDZ) features 15 ports and can support three 4K external displays at 60Hz over Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 using a mix of display technologies.
There’s also six USB-A ports and Gigabit Ethernet for wired internet access.
The UD-6950PDZ will be available to buy in the spring for $249.
Dash cams are becoming ever more popular because they provide indisputable evidence of what actually happened in the event of an incident. Nextbase’s iQ doesn’t just record video though: it’s a much more useful security device for your car than the average dash cam.
For a start, its three cameras capture an all-round view, including the interior of the vehicle, but it’s really the fact that it’s connected which elevates it above rivals. Not only can footage be uploaded directly to the cloud, but you can remotely view the feed from all three cameras on your phone, just like a home security camera.
It will also alert you of important movement or motion, such as when another vehicle hits your parked car, and you can track your car’s location in real-time.
With a slew of other driver safety features, the iQ is well deserving of our Best of CES 2022 award.