Consumer tech show CES means a slew of fresh tech offerings from all your favorite brands. It also means plenty of gimmicks too, so to save you some time (and hopefully money too) we’ve selected what we think are the stand-out laptops launched so far. In particular, those with hybrid CPUs have piqued our interest and look to be offering some exciting new tech for creatives. We’ve also seen some fascinating new audio technology: Mind Control Earbuds and the Noveto N-1. Let’s check out the new gear!
MSi Creator Series Laptops:
In the gaming world, MSi is well known for its uncompromisingly high spec laptops with effective cooling solutions and multicolor backlit keyboards. Aside from these mobile gaming stations, it’s the 3 new laptops in the Creator Series that stood out at CES this year. A thinner design and a new vapor chamber cooling system that supposedly increases the potential performance by 45% make them sound formidable. Starting with the more entry-level Creator M16 16-inch laptop at $1,499-$1,599. It might not have DDR5 RAM or Pen support like the Z17, but it gives you a formidable system for the price. The Z16P and Z17 Creator touch screen laptops are lighter and slimmer in their design offering support for all the latest hardware, including 12th-gen Intel Core i9 CPUs and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPUs. However, price-wise, the Z16P will be $2,499-$4,399, and the Z17 will be $2,499-$4,599.
Gigabyte Aero Series Laptops:
In a similar fashion, the Gigabyte Aero series carries 3 models, starting with the Aero 5 at the more affordable end. With the capacity to support 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs and DDR4 RAM modules, this is the more basic of the three. The Aero 16 and 17 are equipped with all the latest trimmings, including the first 4K+ OLED display in a laptop. With support for the latest Intel Alder Lake H-series chips and NVIDIA GPUs, these are set to become some of the most sought-after mobile workstations on the market for creative use. Although prices have not yet been posted, it’s likely these will start in the $2500 range.
HP Elitebook 605 and 805 G9 Series Laptops:
Starting with the more budget-friendly 605 Series, the new HP Elitebooks seem to be aimed at providing most of the pro features you’d expect in an affordable package. These still support only DDR4 memory, mid-range AMD Ryzen chips, and go up to 14-inch in display size with the Elitebook 645. The more impressive 805 series enters with the 13.3-Inch 835 with fixed RAM, while the other 2 models in this range have user-replaceable memory modules. The 845 and 865 are 14 and 16-inch respectively, which can be outfitted with the very latest AMD Ryzen mobile CPUs and also offer DDR5 memory support. Prices and availability are yet to be announced.
Dell XPS 13 Plus:
On the more compact side, Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus stole the show as far as reinventing itself from the previous model goes. With an overall design that looks distinctly borrowed from the touchbar era Macbook, the XPS 13 Plus may be small, but it will support 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs and soldered DDR5 memory modules. Weighing only 1.25 kg / 2.73 lbs it can be configured with either an IPS or OLED display and has some great new thermal efficiency features. However, the only drawback is the connectivity options of having only 2 USB-C ports, which some might find a little limited. The base configuration will start at $1199 and it will be available this quarter.
ASUS Zenbook 17 FOLD and Zenbook 14 OLED Laptops:
As per usual, ASUS breaks into new territory with the new Zenbook 17 FOLD. This foldable Zenbook offers 17.3 inches of screen real estate when fully open, and will support 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs as well as DDR5 RAM. The multiple configurations and screen workflow features make it an interesting prospect for almost any purpose. In the more traditional vein, the new Zenbook 14 offers support for both Intel and AMD CPUs. However, the AMD configurations will only have DDR4 memory capabilities. This 14-inch laptop also comes in a limited Space Edition and offers great connectivity options. No pricing for these is available as yet, and they are likely to launch around midway through 2022.
Mind Control Music Control with Wisear Technology
Based in Paris, France, music tech startup Wisear has been hard at work developing the technology that allows your thoughts to control a smartphone’s basic music playback controls. Using specialized earbuds, the system carries out commands when you think of raising the volume, skipping to the next track, or muting the audio completely. Using sensors from the same manufacturers that created Apple’s AirPods 3 and the Bose QuietComfort earbuds, the system measures your brain activity. The system uses a method called “EarEEG” that combines an AI algorithm with the data captured by the sensors.
Noveto N-1 – Soundbar with Invisible Headphones
Using “Smart-beaming” technology, the Noveto N-1 creates a discrete, localized listening environment from your desktop without the use of headphones. The onboard camera then tracks the listener’s head movements, adjusting the stereo field accordingly. Astonishingly, the system will even balance itself should you tilt your head to one side. The beauty of this hyper-directional speaker technology is that those sitting next to the listener can hear only around 10 percent of the actual volume.