CES looked a bit different this year after going all-digital, but that didn’t stop companies from unveiling new products. After careful deliberation, the How-To Geek and Review Geek teams have awarded the following 11 products with How-To Geek’s Best of CES 2021 awards.
Before jumping into the awards, Review Geek has been hard at work covering all of the CES 2021 announcements that you need to know about. Head on over there if you’ve missed anything from the internationally renowned trade show.
Best in Show: Kensington StudioDock
In order to stand out from everything announced at CES 2021 and win Best in Show, a product needs to make an entrance. The Kensington StudioDock did just that, causing most of the team to say, “I want that.”
Using the StudioDock in conjunction with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can turn your iPad Pro or Air into an iPadOS iMac. Use the two built-in wireless chargers and the optional Apple Watch charger (which is coming soon) and the all-in-one system will transform into the ultimate workstation or secondary display.
Unfortunately, Kensington hasn’t announced a release date or price for the StudioDock, but you can sign up on the company’s website to be the first to know when the dock goes on sale.
Best Concept: Razer Project Hazel
Disposable and fabric face masks are so 2020. That’s why Razer is working on Project Hazel, a high-tech mask concept chock full of technology you’d expect from the gaming company. In addition to customizable RGB LED lights, the transparent N95 mask includes a tiny microphone and amplifier, active ventilation, and comes with a charging case with built-in UV lights.
Although most of Razer’s concepts that have been shown off at past CES events haven’t come to market, it’s possible that the company might bring Project Hazel to the masses by the end of 2021.
Best Smartphone: TCL 20 5G
Known best for its televisions, in 2020, TCL brought some of the first budget-friendly 5G smartphones to market. This year, the company is looking to keep the ball rolling with the introduction of the TCL 20 5G.
Equipped with a Snapdragon 690 5G chipset, a beautiful 6.67-inch FHD+ display, a 4,500mAh battery, and an AI-powered triple camera setup (including a 48 MP sensor), this Android handset will be hard to beat by those looking to not spend a fortune on a new smartphone.
U.S. pricing and availability will be announced later in the year, but for now, we know that the 20 5G is priced at €299 (roughly $363 USD) and comes in Placid Blue and Mist Gray. The handset will first ship in Italy starting in February and expand to other countries and regions.
Best Mobile Accessory: Satechi 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand
Third-party MagSafe chargers are finally starting to arrive, and Satechi’s 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand is probably one of the cleanest multi-device options currently available. If you’re someone rocking AirPods and an iPhone 12, this charging station is perfect for a bedside table or your desk.
The Satechi 2-in-1 Charging Stand is already up for pre-order for $60. But if you hurry and purchase one by January 18, 2021, you can save 20% by using the promo code “Magnetic.”
Best Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung stole the show in 2020 when it unveiled its Ferrari-red Galaxy Chromebook. Unfortunately, the ultra-powerful and ultra-expensive Chromebook didn’t get great reviews. Samsung took this feedback as a learning opportunity and announced a similar-looking yet vastly different Galaxy Chromebook 2.
Now priced at just $550 with an Intel Celeron 5205U chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in storage, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 sports a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 QLED display and supposedly has a 14-hour battery life. For $150 more, you can get a 10th-gen Intel i3 CPU and double the RAM and storage.
Best TV: TCL 2021 6-Series (R648)
TCL’s TV division is going all-in on two things: 8K and mini-LED. Introduced at CES 2021, TCL’s 6-Series (R648) uses third-gen mini-LED backlighting technology called OD Zero to up the TV’s brightness, add smoother uniformity between the millions of mini-LEDs, and up the contrast, all while shrinking the thickness of the television’s panel.
The addition of 8K resolution in all 2021 6-Series Roku TV models makes it more accessible to more people. Although there might not be a lot of native content available to take advantage of all those pixels, TCL believes its AiPQ Engine will be able to handle upscaling 4K content smoothly.
This year’s TCL 6-Series TVs with 8K mini-LED technology will be available for purchase later this year alongside last year’s 4L 6-Series Roku TV models. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
Best Computer: Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i
If you ever get tired of looking at your laptop’s bright display, Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i is a dual-screen computer that includes a full-size e-Ink panel on its outer lid. While the business-focused laptop includes the top-class specs that you might expect, the 12-inch e-Ink panel has a redesigned UI that gives you quick access to your favorite applications and tools
Lenovo plans to begin selling the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i starting at $1,549 in Q1 of 2021. No set date has been announced at the time of writing.
Best Computer Monitor: LG UltraFine OLED Pro
If you were waiting for a company to announce an ultra-accurate computer monitor at CES 2021, look no further than the LG UltraFine OLED Pro. This 31.5-inch 4K display claims to have 99% Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color accuracy, a million-to-one contrast ratio, and utilizes the OLED screen technology for true blacks and HDR playback.
The UltraFine OLED Pro, which appears to be primarily marketed for content creation professionals, is set to hit shelves sometime later this year. LG has not announced a set release date or price.
Best Smart Home: myQ Pet Portal
If you’re tired of having to let your dog out or don’t want to install an ugly doggy door, myQ, the makers of internet-connect garage door openers, has the perfect solution. Introduced at CES 2021, the myQ Pet Portal replaces your entire door with one with a smart doggy door.
Controller either by an app on your smartphone or a smart tag on your dog’s collar, the doggy door slides open long enough for your pet to walk through and then closes behind them. When it’s time to come back in, the doors can again be automatically opened. The addition of cameras, speakers, and microphones on both sides of the door helps you know when your dog needs to go out.
I hope that your dog really is your best friend, though, because the myQ Pet Portal starts at $3,000.
Best Robot Vacuum: Roborock S7
The Roborock S7, which might look like your standard robot vacuum but isn’t, automatically and smartly vacuums and mops your home simultaneously. With its sonic mopping feature, the S7 scrubs the floor 1,650 to 3,000 times per minute to clean up dried-on messes. Plus, the robot vacuum can identify surfaces and lift its mop attachment when vacuuming carpets so they don’t wet.
The Roborock S7 goes on sale for $649 starting on March 24, 2021.
Best Gaming: Arcade1Up X-Men 4 Player Arcade Cabinet
Reliving the 80s-era arcades can now be done easily from your living room or game room. Arcade1Up, one of our favorite companies making replica arcade machines, took to CES 2021 to launch new cabinets for Breakout, Dragon’s Lair, Killer Instinct, and more, but our pick for the best new release is the X-Men 4 Player Arcade Cabinet.
Honorable mention does have to go to Arcade1Up’s pub-style, four-player Pong cabinet. Unlike the company’s past cabinets of this style, this one is at standing height.