The problem with virtual CES is that you don’t get to see and handle all the products in person.
Well tell you what I went out and got ten of the hottest new laptops at CES.
I got them right here and we are going to talk about it today.
I’m Dan Ackerman and I am here to talk about all the coolest laptops of CES 2021.
with Jason Heiner.
All right, Dan, thanks so much.
We’re here at CES 2021.
And we’ve got a lot of great laptops to talk about Dan, we’re gonna talk about the four big trends that you’ve seen in all the laptops this year and then break down some of the best machines that you’ve thankfully got in your hands and can show the audience all of the stuff they can expect coming from this show and that they’re gonna see throughout the year.
We don’t always think about Dell, latitude laptops and other business laptops is the most exciting thing.
But Dells got a bunch of new latitude updates this year.
And because we’re all using business laptops so much, I feel like they always have something interesting about them.
Even this guy right here.
This is the latitude 5000.
It’s like the entry point in the series.
I will say if you start a new job and this is the laptop you get, you may not be the CEO just gonna say that.
But what I like about this even even the basic one, they have put some bio plastic from Trees inside this as part of the construction, the back of the lid that’s one of the bulkiest parts of a laptop and this is 21% bio plastic.
And, I love that even on the least expensive latitude model, there’s a Cool feature like that so at least at least you feel like you’re making little progress and I would love to see this.
This tree based planets they get a lot more product.
And Dan, can you explain just a little bit what is bio plastic you mentioned tree based plastic is there anything else people should know about that?
Yeah you know it’s it’s usually made it’s made from from bio waste in this case trees but there’s a an HP and Lenovo here and I think some of the parts inside those are made from recycled you know see salvage plastic from the sea and they use that in components inside as well.
But first you know what first actually let me give one more shout out to Dell for the latitude 9000.
This was a big hit at CES last year because it had five key options and it was super thin and light, a real premium line and you know, this is a clamshell you can also get it in a two in one, but I love that this and a few of the other ones now have a dedicated button.
We find it right here.
This is f9 in this case, but it takes the webcam and it puts a physical shutter over it not a slide over, not a software cutout.
The button is connected to a physical like red dot that covers the webcam.
And I think if you’re on all day in meetings like you and I are, you want to have times where you could make sure that camera is shut off.
And that’s a that’s a nice way that they’re emphasizing privacy on commercial laptops, where you really need that for appesec but you also want it because it’s in your house now.
Your first trend is more business IE laptops for this year and you mentioned the Dells, but there’s some also some HPS and Lenovo you want to talk about too, right?
That are that are part of this trend.
A couple years ago there was an HP laptop I liked a lot called the elite folio.
It had kind of a leather cover stitch to it.
It was a Windows laptop and it had kind of a surface profile because you could like fold it back like a tablet.
So now there’s a professional version.
And this is the HP elite folio.
It looks like a regular laptop from the front.
The back is this leather cover this actually vegan leather To the real leather on the consumer version I like this better as a as a longtime vegetarian.
And other than that this is this is very similar design wise to the consumer version which I love to take the screen it tilts like this They just fold it down like this.
There’s a stylus inside and it’s got that HP privacy screen, so you can hit a button and it will stop people from seeing into the screen from like a side view in an airport or at the next desk over.
Not that we sit next to other people with desks anymore, but someday And I love that it’s got this stylus.
You can see the stylus, it’s right there below the screen.
And you can just reach in and take it out the Surface Pro X I think that’s something similar.
And then it charges while it’s in there too.
And I think that is I think that is super cool and that’s also a Snapdragon processor with 5g support.
We were talking just round up our Convo about business laptops.
There was one I liked last year a lot and there’s a new version of it.
Here it is this little guy right here.
It’s the HP dragon fly.
There’s also a dragon fly max that’s bigger.
This is just the regular dragon fly.
Now this one of course, the two in one it’s great when I love last year and they still have this one is titled tracker support so you can treat it like a tile, you know, you can click on your your tile app or the tile thing.
So, I always wanted to take one of these and throw it out in the woods and see if I could find it and I have not Actually gone through with that yet, but I also love that it’s got the physical shutter button that some of the other laptops have.
And they’ve upgraded this.
The last one was, eighth Gen Intel now it’s 11th Gen, so It was kinda a first gen one last time because it was the first gen.
Now it actually feels like a fully finished product and I think it’s a it’s one of the sharper looking business laptops.
So if you don’t want something that’s quite so commercial looking.
This one’s got a great consumer vibe to it, but it’s still part of the business line.
That blue is nice, you know the leather on the folio is really nice too but it is you start to look at these things that you’re you’re spending that much time with and, and you know make a little bit of a statement as you carry it around eventually you know you’re going to Carry these things around in business meetings and all of that, and it does make a little bit of a statement.
I’m going to show you something and you tell me what you think is different about this laptop from a lot of the other ones.
You see, I’m just gonna lift it up here slowly, all right?
Okay, you’ll be able to see it better if I do this.
Okay, you know, immediately I know it’s a Lenovo because of the little red.in, the middle, the little joystick [LAUGH] .Um, but, you know, beyond that, I’m trying to think what maybe tipped me off a little bit three to two What is it?
Well, this is a three by two aspect ratio screen like the, like the business laptops and really even regular mainstream laptops of your many many years ago.
Now we’re back to,now we’re back to the three two and people are loving it because when you’re doing work stuff and this is a Think pad, you get a lot more real estate for the kind of stuff you’re doing the spreadsheets and the Word documents.
I love that I’m glad you brought it up and sorry for being such a bonehead and missing it but no, you’re right like that is one of the things that people for that small group of people that likes iPads over laptops, they’re like I like the three by two.
I like the bigger screen.
Because when you’re scrolling through web pages when you’re looking at spreadsheets with a lot of rows, it matters that that actual that extra screen depth, you know, vertically is is helpful, and it’s super thin as well.
This is now listen, nobody’s had the x one carbon for years that’s been their flagship ThinkPad.
This is the x one Titanium even better because titanium it’s actually benefit carbon I mean come on, it’s it’s their finished two in one it’s 11.5 millimeters thick which is not super thin for a laptop in general but for a business to in one definitely is.
And I love that taller screen, especially if you’re working on like PDFs and Word documents and things like that.
It actually makes it or reading CES press releases 17 hours a day.
I think it makes a difference having that extra top and bottom whereas all the 16 by nine were built around HD video which is cool for consumers but I think professionals are going to want that.
That More square more traditional aspect ratio, also 5g support coming to that guy as well.
I like to point or I hate to admit it, you know it sort of dates you but as far as laptops go before the the trackpads got really good.
That was the only thing that would save you from not having to have an external amounts.
I’m sure you remember those days Well, alright so Dan that’s trend number one was business sorry hit us with trend number two All right, let’s talk about something that’s more fun than just a business laptop.
Dual screen laptops, laptops with more than one screen.
Even phones with more than one screen.
We’ve seen this over the last couple of years, we had a bunch of prototypes last year.
Now we have the second generation of some of these we have advanced prototypes to some of these.
One of my favorites is the new version of the Seuss Zenbook duo and you can see right here so it’s got the regular screen on top and it’s got this secondary screen right down here.
The original zenbook do I think had a smaller version of this so this is larger, it’s at a bit of a funky angle so it actually matches up with the top screen better visually when you see it and there’s even a little fold out Thing at the bottom to put it up on the nice angle and keep the airflow going.
But I found something that is new for this version of it that I think is just awesome and that is a partnership with Adobe where they have put together Adobe control panels.
And this is premiere and you got to a couple jog wheels, a couple controls.
If I start with say, if I start playing with video right here There we go.
See, I’m using the Jogwheel
Going back and forth,
Going back and forth and that’s the whole bunch of other things as well.
So as somebody who does a lot of Adobe stuff, I think that’s awesome.
I threw in a picture of I think Vegas last year when we were there in person, and you can use them this jog wheel becomes like a zoom.
Here we go.
And then I put two layers together.
And this jogwheel is like layer is layer transparency right now.
So there’s the stage on one layer, and there’s Las Vegas on the other layer.
And I think that’s super cool.
One thing I don’t love about this style of laptop is always put the touchpad Over on the side instead of the bottom because they don’t have room for it.
And you know what?
We’ve just been conditioned by decades of where the touchpad is you move that at your own peril because you’re missing with with many, many years of muscle memory.
So that that’s my big complaint about that.
That’s the first time I’ve seen something like that.
That looked actually useful.
That little demo you did.
Yeah, it was impressive.
That could work
I yeah, I feel like it’s gimmicky until you find something that’s actually practical even just like the touch bar on the MacBook, which I don’t find that useful except like three things which are awesome and that’s like brightness and volume.
And maybe like,muting and unmuting basically I mean you The touch bar is worth it just for that and I love it for that.
But a lot of the other stuff, you know you don’t use every day so if you have something you can actually use.
I think that’s awesome.
All right, Dan so you do have another dual-screen laptop you wanna show us I have a completely different kind of dual screen laptop.
And again, this is like a version two of something that we saw last year at CES.
And it’s this guy.
It’s the thick book, not the ThinkPad thinkbook plus Gen two and it’s got a regular laptop screen on the front.
And then on the back The entire back panel is an E ink display.
And last year’s version was similar but the display was much smaller.
So if you close this display, it’s gonna go into its own little proprietary menu system.
There it goes and it will show you.
By flipping here, it’ll show you, your Outlook calendar, and any emails that you have coming in, and it has links to a bunch of other Microsoft, stuff.
They actually have Kindle, integrated now, which is super cool, and I love that the eating screen doesn’t really use any power, so you can keep that.
Open all the time and have your calendar and your notes and your reminders on there.
And it’s either using zero power like a candle that’s off or just such minimal power that you don’t have to worry about it.
That’s a really interesting thing.
And you know, for Lenovo, it’s pretty experimental.
I tend to think of Lenovo design is like
Designed for grownups you know, most of their stuff is not super experimental but they put stuff through its paces and make sure that design is pretty solid like you wouldn’t see them doing something like you know, shoving the, the, the touchpad over on the right right they their their stuff is Tends to be very middle of the road tested, tried.
So this is kind of experimental for them which you know, I’m not gonna knock it because obviously if they put it on there, they’ve tried it with enough people and enough of their users that
People found that useful enough that they would put it in a real product for sure.
Yeah, and it’s a second generation but also so so that shows that there’s some legs to it.
And I love that you can take notes here I started to take some notes on here.
[LAUGH] And then you can take your your written notes.
You know it took a little practice to do that and save it as text.
And then when you open the laptop back up into regular Windows you can cut and paste that you can paste that text because it’s on your on your clipboard already and you can draw stuff and doodle stuff too.
I love eating.
I feel like we don’t use it in enough products.
It’s not super responsive.
It’s not for like, instant gratification.
But if I was on a plane, I could just read my Kindle book on the back of this laptop and not worry about running down my laptop battery.
You’ve got a couple other trends though that you wanted to highlight as we’re, Wrapping this up?
Well, what’s the big thing that everybody is going out and buying over the past nine or ten months, the thing that you can’t find in stock anywhere?
It’s a Chromebook, expecially a nice Chromebook, because we figured out that everybody needs to have their own machine now.
Every kid who’s doing Every kid who’s doing remote schooling needs their own laptop, you can’t have a family one or one just for the kids anymore.
So one that I liked a lot was this guy right here.
This is the Acer Chromebook, spin 514, it’s interesting in that way.
One it’s a little bigger than a lot of Chromebooks.
And number two, it’s AMD ryzen powered, which we don’t see all that often.
And of course, because it’s called a spin from Acer it does this, but that’s not why I’m excited about this one.
I’m excited about this one because It’s actually tough enough to survive at least most kids.
It’s a milspec Chromebook.
You know what some business laptops are not a lot of consumer ones are.
I haven’t seen that many Chromebooks that are though a few and it’s got Gorilla glass on the screen.
So if this is not kid proof, I don’t know what it is.
And I think it’s gonna be fun.
Four 79, which is not bad for a big 15 inch, premium metal construction, Chromebook.
Dan, for the audience that doesn’t know what mill SPECT is, why don’t you, a mil-spec that you explain that a little bit and why and why they’re going to want that.
If they’re given to a Chromebook, especially to like.
A kid under 10 or something, and maybe clumsy ones that are teenagers too.
So when people used to take laptops and tablets and things out in the field to an oil rig to a construction site at a hospital, you have to make sure that it’s not gonna let Dustin get into the sides and ruin it.
If you get a little wet, it’s not going to ruin it.
If you drop it from, you know, you know, 15 inches onto a concrete surface.
It’s not going to break those different levels of it.
So that military spec testing because it’s based on some military standards for procurement rules for the military, that’s why they call it milspec.
So if you see a milspec laptop, that base that basically means it’s a rugged laptop, there’s old Panasonic toughbooks used to be like that, but now everybody makes at least one version of it.
I love seeing it in a Chromebook.
How about yet another problem?
And of course, the other big Chromebook of the show is one I actually went to go see in person the other week.
That’s the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. And you can tell Samsung is taking these seriously because they’re putting the super fancy galaxy name on them.
They had one last year there was, you know, a nice fancy Chromebook, I think was like $1,000,b attery life wasn’t great.
This version aims to fix some of that.
It’s got a Cue LED screen now, which is the same technologies in their TVs.
The more expensive one had a 4k OLED screen.
So, this is technically I would say, not as nice, but it’s gonna save you a ton on battery life and Kulim looks great.
Supposedly louder because everyone complains that their small laptops are not very loud.
And you can get an Intel Celeron or cry three.
And I think that either one of those is going to be good for everyday students.
And it’s a cool bright red color.
And if you just you know, everyone is drawn to the eye is drawn to it, and it’s really nicely made.
I think it’s one of the sharper looking Chromebooks that I’ve seen.
Last year, we went on the stage and brought this one up.
This is one of our sort of picks for sort of the best Looker of the year.
It was really sharp, the red looks great, the metal as well Is terrific and it really kind of lives up to the galaxy branding.
I remember us saying last year Dan, so it’s good to see them.
I’m dealing with a couple of the flaws that it had and we pointed out several of them last year including the price.
It’s nice to see them dealing with that.
And making what was an interesting product a lot more palatable to a lot more people potentially a lot more practical.
Definitely 550 and $700 versus 1000 bucks and better battery life.
I feel like a I feel like that’s a winning combination there.
I look forward to testing that one out a little bit more.
And normally at the shows we spent a lot of time talking about gaming laptops and gaming desktops and graphics cards because there’s a lot of gaming tech at the show.
This year not so much if this was a sports team I would say this is a rebuilding gear for PC gaming because the PlayStation five just came out the Xbox series X series s just came out that’s where a lot of the excitement is but invidious here new laptop graphics cards and and i think that the key takeaway Four gaming laptops this year is that people are making gaming laptops that don’t necessarily look like gaming laptops.
That’s really interesting because when I think even still to this day when I think a gaming laptop i think is some like big honkin thick thing.
With sort of a weird kind of cover on the back, and something that you wouldn’t want to take into, you a conference room in your office, but that’s changing big time, isn’t it?
It definitely is and part of it is the the standardization of the look of consumer and commercial EAD gaming laptops, you know, you want one machine to do everything for you.
So it’s got to kind of have a middle of the road look and also the fact that the the parts inside are getting so power efficient, they don’t need as many fans.
The GPUs are very small and very powerful.
The desktop 3000 Series of videos is now available in laptops just like they did with the 2000 series last year so you can get away with something like this.
Here’s a new one from the show.
This is the Acer predator Triton 300 and you see it’s pretty thin for a gaming laptop and it’s It’s certainly you know, it could it could be one of those devil attitudes we looked at before you know, there’s nothing that really jumps out about it.
There’s a tiny little bit of branding here and there, but that’s it.
And inside 11th Gen core AI seven, you can get the next gen NVIDIA GeForce up to 3000 series in here and something this then which I think is great You know, and you’re going to find 144 hertz screens and a lot of these because people like the higher refresh rate for gaming.
So I think that these thinner gaming laptops that are not quite as over the top, maybe when you take out all the fans.
And the need for the heat pipes and the cooling.
That gets rid of the excuse to have the big glowing lights inside and the monster logos and the alien logos.
Just the fact that you can make it thinner.
You can get rid of all that extra stuff used to cover up the bulk.
All right, anything else on gaming then?
I’ll show you one more from Lenovo which is not known as a huge gaming brand but they actually do a really nice job because they know so much about ergonomics and keyboards and touchpads and construction from their business laptops, all that stuff comes through into the other into the other lines as well.
This is the Legion, slim seven and this is their super thin gaming laptop.
So very similar specs to the other one.
I like a little offset screen right here.
So you have you have a little bit more.
Angle choice there and it just kind of looks sharp.
And this is actually this is the one thing I have that’s actually a mock up.
It’s not a real screen on it, but it’s here to show us what the product will look like when it’s ready.
So you summed up the four big trends from this year CES in terms of laptop Tops we’ve got the workhorse business laptops which of course everybody’s using for work from home and educate from home, you’ve got the double screens which is an innovative form factor idea that we’ve seen from a couple of manufacturers, you get the chromebooks coz of course a lot of the education stuff is also happening.
On Chromebooks and you’ve got the gaming laptops where interestingly enough, some of these new, hot new laptops are even stronger and more powerful than the latest.
Please station five, an Xbox series X. So lots of great stuff to talk about this year.
And Dan, thanks for running us through all of.
Or doing the show and showing everybody all the new labs, it’s always my favorite part of CEF.
I was getting word, or it could be able to do it this year, at least not the right way., but the fact they were able to get all of these laptops and bringing them to you and show them to you and have this conversation for reef.
Talk about what’s cool.
And what the trends are I feel just because of that, this is a successful CES for me.
The thank you Jason heiner.
I’m Dan Ackerman and thank you all for seeing the coolest and best laptops of CES 2021.