CES 2021 day one highlights: New TVs, Wi-Fi 6e, and lots of crazy concepts

Hisense Social Laser TV 2021

Looking for the latest CES 2021 news? We’re liveblogging all the latest CES 2021 announcements. Here’s a quick recap of the biggest, most important developments we’ve seen thus far. Stay tuned to this page and be sure to smash that refresh button occasionally — we’ll update this page regularly as the day goes on.

Mind-bogglingly beautiful displays and much, much more

by Drew Prindle

CES 2021 day one is starting out strong and it’s already clear that display technology is going to take a big leap forward this year. Just look at the announcements from some of the industry’s biggest names. Samsung, for example, dropped three consumer-targeted variants of its insane Micro-LED TV, “The Wall” — as well as a few hints about its upcoming QLED offerings.

Not to be outdone, Sony came out swinging with some blockbuster announcements of its own. The standout? Definitely the 85-inch 8K Master Series Z9J, which is outfitted with every single next-gen display technology that Sony has to offer.

TCL brought the heat as well, with a newly announced 8K version of its immensely popular 6 Series line — which were already high on the list of our favorite TVs on the market.

And finally, LG took a significant step forward with it’ already industry-leading OLED technology. OLED NEO, as it’s called, is set to be brighter, better, and more affordable (relatively speaking) than previous iterations.

LG OLED Lineup CES 2021

But day one wasn’t all about TVs. We also got a peek at the next generation of Wi-Fi, as a number of networking companies unleashed their new Wi-Fi 6e routers. Unfortunately, most existing phones and computers won’t be compatible with the 6e standard, but we expect that to change as we move deeper into 2021.

Last but not least, we’ve also noticed a significant uptick in the number of concepts on display at CES this year — like Samsung’s crazy “Digital Cockpit” and LG’s roll-up phone, for example. It seems that with the new virtual format, companies are feeling a bit more free to showcase far-flung concepts that don’t necessarily exist in the flesh quite yet. Keep an eye out for more of these to drop tomorrow and throughout the week!

Intel and Lenovo came out swinging

by Luke Larsen

The first day of CES 2021 for computing got the show off to a great start. Intel was the star of the show, along with all the companies coming out to show support with new laptops.

Intel’s direct and announcement-heavy news conference covered everything from 11th-gen processors for Chromebook to previews of future Alder Lake desktop chips. With AMD and Nvidia scheduled for tomorrow, Intel needed to come out of the gate swinging, and its broad spray of announcements did the trick.

The surprise hit was the announcement of its 35-watt H-series chips. These lower-powered gaming chips are perfect for a new breed of gaming laptop – one that’s much more portable than what’s currently been available.

Lenovo also made a splash in support of Intel’s new 11th-gen vPro processors with a sprawling update to its ThinkPad lineup. I got to try out the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, a brand new option in the line, and was astounded by just how refined and gorgeous the design is. It’s definitely the laptop to beat going into day 2 of CES.

Affordable 5G phones and ridiculously rad rollables

by Andrew Martonik

Everyone was taken by surprise at how many solid mobile announcements have come out of CES thus far. Leading into the show Motorola dropped its 2021 Moto G lineup, which will anchor the affordable Android world for the next several months. TCL followed it up with its new 20 series smartphones, which are also affordable and include 5G despite the low price points. TCL also showed a tablet using its NXTPAPER display, which uses no backlight and has incredibly low reflectivity, but runs at 30Hz and has full color.

The big stunner was unexpected teases of rollable displays. LG opened and closed its press conference with a tease of its rollable smartphone, which expands from smartphone to tablet with a smooth motorized movement. TCL followed it up with a vertical unrolling smartphone, as well as a completely crazy 17-inch “scrollable” display that looks straight out of a fantasy film.

Cleaning robots, pet collars, and on-demand ice cream

ColdSnap rapid-freezing appliance

by John Velasco

Small appliances, bathroom tech, and touchless experiences all dominated the smart home space during the first day of CES 2021. The ColdSnap, a countertop appliance that dispenses soft-serve ice cream through the use of disposable pods, blends convenience and speed similar to a Keurig machine brewing coffee in an instant. You may never have to ever venture outside again to treat yourself to a refreshing dessert. Meanwhile, Kohler introduced its new bathroom lineup complete with touch-free experiences. From a toilet bidet that opens and closes its lid automatically, to connected faucets that dispense water without touching handles, Kohler’s focus at CES 2021 was providing homeowners with touchless experiences just about everywhere.

Cleaning robots continue to be a huge draw, especially when they save us time — while keeping the home squeaky clean. The Samsung Jetbot 90 leverages a camera to go around obstacles, plus act as a security guard when you’re away giving you eyes at home. Eufy focused on a stronger suction performance with its offering, by slipping in twin-turbine tech into its RoboVac L80 — making it the company’s most powerful robot vac to date. And finally, Roborock is making those tough, stuck-on stains easier to remove with the sonic mopping pads that vibrate vigorously with the S7.

One of the more intriguing gadgets we checked out remotely was the Petpuls A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) pet collar that can detect how your pet is feeling. It won’t give them a voice per se, but its voice recognition tech can analyze the tones and pitches of your furry friend to determine if they’re happy, anxious, angry, sad, or relaxed.

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