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The best new gaming laptops of CES 2021

CES 2021 is turning out to be a monumental show for gaming laptops with some of the biggest laptop trends centered around the experience. With new hardware from Nvidia, Intel, and AMD, new gaming laptops have never been so powerful, sleek, and technologically advanced.

With stocks of desktop GPUs and consoles still low, one of these new laptops at CES may be the best way to get next-generation hardware to game on.

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Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

The Triton 300 SE is a Predator gaming laptop unlike any the company has ever designed. Not only does it eschew the bombastic vibe the Predator brand is known for, it does it in an unimaginably portable package. With a 14-inch screen and a 0.7-inch-thick chassis, it represents a new category for gaming laptops, one rivaled only by last year’s Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

Using Intel’s newly announced 35-watt H-series processor and Nvidia’s RTX 3060, the Predator Triton 300 SE bares little resemblance to the gaming laptops of old, which is exactly what makes it so exciting.

Read more about the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Razer Blade 15 QHD 240Hz

The 360Hz refresh rate on the new Razer Blade 15 might be the flashier spec, but it’s the brand-new 1440p resolution that caught our attention. While 1440p gaming laptops have never taken off, it was primarily because mobile GPUs haven’t had the power needed to play games at decent frame rates at that resolution.

The latest Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics change all that. Not only does Razer seem to think the RTX 3070 or 3080 can handle 1440p on a gaming laptop, apparently it thinks games can even make use of a 240Hz refresh rate. That’s astounding, and it just may have opened up 1440p gaming on laptops for the very first time.

Read more about the Razer Blade 15 QHD

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE

Gaming laptops have always offered 4K resolutions as an option, but they were never ideal for gaming. Not only was it far too difficult to actually play games in 4K, having your screen locked at 60Hz meant even 1080p gaming was hindered.

The ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE makes 4K gaming on a laptop a reality. Powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX and an Nvidia RTX 3080, gaming in 4K doesn’t seem quite so impossible anymore. The Zephyrus Duo 15 SE has something no other 4K gaming laptop has: A 120Hz refresh rate screen. Depending on the game, you may want to switch between resolutions, but the 120Hz screen means you’ll get smooth gameplay no matter what.

Alienware m15 R4

Alienware’s latest update to its mainstream gaming laptops, the m15 and m17, don’t make any major changes. The display has been cranked up to 360Hz and the latest hardware is inside, but you’d never know it from the exterior.

But the real innovation comes in terms of ports. The Alienware m15 R4 is the first laptop to support HDMI 2.1, the important new standard found in the next-gen consoles and televisions. So yes, you’ll be able to play 4K games at 120Hz on one of the few new HDMI 2.1 gaming monitors out there.

Even more exciting? The prospect of making PC gaming on televisions a bit more palatable. HDMI 2.1 lets the Alienware m15 R4 play just as well in the living room as it does at your gaming desk.

Read more about the Alienware m15 R4

Lenovo Legion 7 16″

The Lenovo Legion 7 16″ is another 1440p gaming laptop, but this one stands out with a unique screen size and aspect ratio. The Legion 7 has a 16-inch screen at a 16:10 aspect ratio, making for a 2560 x 1600 resolution. While most of the laptop world is happily moving onto taller aspect ratios like 16:10 or 3:2, gaming laptops are the only ones staying at 16:9. Not the Legion 7.

The Legion 7 also sports AMD’s latest Ryzen 5000 processors, all the way up to the eight-core Ryzen 9. Combined with up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 and a 165Hz, the Legion 7 looks like an absolute gaming monster that could be equally good with content creation.

It’s all packaged in Lenovo’s understated Legion design, which comes in under an inch thick and at 5.5 pounds.

Read more about the Lenovo Legion 7

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A new iMac and 15-inch MacBook Air are almost ready to launch
A student types at a desk on a pink Apple iMac 24-inch M1 desktop computer.

The M1 iMac made a big splash when it launched in spring 2021, but it’s been a long two years without updates since then. There’s some good news for Apple fans, though, as a new iMac is apparently almost upon us.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who claims the next iMac is undergoing production tests as we speak. This stage of development (known as engineering validation testing, or EVT) means the product is getting close to launching.

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USB charging and laptops

You have probably already used USB connections to charge smaller devices either from your computer or from an outlet. That works well because past USB connections had enough wattage to successfully power up those smaller batteries. Prior versions of USB could only handle a limited amount of power, which is why laptop chargers have typically retained their larger, bulkier cables.

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One of Lenovo’s best Chromebooks is turning to Windows
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Lenovo is updating it's popular IdeaPad Duet 3, which sits among the best Chromebooks on the market, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This time around, the Duet 3i is coming with Windows 11 instead of ChromeOS, along with some updates to the case and components.

The IdeaPad Duet 3i is a lightweight, productivity-focused laptop featuring the Intel Processor N200 with Intel's integrated graphics, 4GB and 8GB memory options, and 128GB and 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage options. It runs the Windows 11 operating system. The touchscreen laptop is 10.68 x 6.77 x 0.35 inches overall; however, it is detachable from its keyboard, making it versatile as a smaller and more portable tablet. Software-wise, the device adapts quickly from laptop to tablet to pen mode to help not impede workflow. You can also purchase a Lenovo Digital Pen for writing purposes.

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