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The most exciting laptops trends from CES 2022

Laptop manufacturers showed up in full force at CES 2022, unleashing dozens of new models, updates, and more.

Among the best new laptops from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Asus, we noticed a few important trends that are going to have an impact on laptops throughout 2022 and beyond.

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Haptic trackpads are here to stay

Close up of keyboard and trackpad on a Dell XPS 13 Plus.

For many years, haptic feedback trackpads were Apple’s domain. Haptic feedback means instead of a physical click mechanism, the trackpad uses motorized haptics to simulate the feeling of a click without an actual button involved. After years of having the technology only on MacBooks, we finally started to see some high-end Windows laptops adopt it in 2021, such as the Surface Laptop Studio.

But at CES 2022, it feels like a full-on trend. The Dell XPS 13 Plus was the first laptop we saw use one, building a haptic feedback trackpad right into the single pane of glass across the palmrests. And then it also popped up in the ThinkPad Z13, another new laptop at CES that impressed us.

The most surprising haptic trackpad, though, was found on the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook — that’s right, a Chromebook. Now, this is no ordinary Chromebook — it might be the most premium-looking Chrome OS device ever made. The inclusion of a haptic trackpad here, though, is still a sign that this technology is spreading like wildfire.

720p webcams are no longer acceptable

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z16 with a videoconferencing app open.

Webcams were everywhere you looked at CES this year, and for good reason. It took over two years, but laptop manufacturers finally made the slow gears of supply chains turn to respond to the proliferation of remote work. Finally, nearly every new laptop announced at CES this year had at least a 1080p webcam. HP even made it a point to include a 5-megapixel camera in every commercial PC that came out.

Even most of the monitors to launch at CES had built-in webcams. New high-end releases like the Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ or HP Z34c even came with 4K cameras up top for crystal-clear video calls.

Chances are, if you’re buying a new tech product in 2021, it’ll likely have an improved webcam versus previous years. What a relief!

OLED, mini-LED are everywhere you look

The Alienware 34 QD-OLED with its new display technology.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

For so long, conventional LED was the only choice for laptop displays. But at CES 2022, it became clear that newer display technologies are finally making their way to a large number of laptops. At CES, OLED and mini-LED were everywhere you look, including in large monitors, gaming laptops, and standard Ultrabooks.

Heck, we even saw the brand new QD-OLED panel make its debut in a gaming monitor, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED, just as it hitting the first wave of Samsung televisions. That’s impressive, and it shows that manufacturers are finally taking display technology seriously.

New graphics options

Intel announces Intel Arc dGPU for Alienware x17 laptop.

Nvidia, of course, holds the crown for laptop graphics. But Intel and AMD showed up at CES 2022 determined to provide a legitimate alternative. AMD filled out its Radeon 6000 series with eight new mobile GPUs, including options for thin-and-light gaming laptops to counter Nvidia’s Max-Q technology. The company even demonstrated some impressive capabilities of its integrated APU graphics in its new Ryzen 6000 chips.

Intel, meanwhile, announced a soft launch of its first Arc Graphics. These are the first discrete GPUs from Intel that are meant for gaming and demanding creative applications. While there are a lot of question marks surrounding Intel Arc, apparently over 50 PCs will launch with the new graphics, including both desktops and laptops. That’s a good start for a new player in the discrete GPU space.

But whether or not the laptop you buy goes for one of the underdogs or the safe bet of Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti, there are more graphics options than ever before.

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