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CES 2021 day two highlights: Bold ideas and lots of bending OLEDs

Looking for the latest CES 2021 news? You’ve come to the right place. We’re keeping a running tally of all the hottest 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 week progresses.

The calm after the storm

razer project brooklyn
Image used with permission by copyright holder

by Drew Prindle

Day two of CES 2021 was admittedly a nice change of pace. Whereas day one saw an almost incomprehensible number of announcements and big product launches, day two was a bit more subdued. We saw a smaller number of new product launches and unveilings today — but that’s not to say that was a bad thing. With the avalanche of initial announcements out of the way, there was a lot more space for smaller companies to strut their stuff, and also for some of the more well-established brands to showcase their more experimental ideas.

My personal favorite announcement of the day came from Razer: A company mostly known for its computing peripherals and affinity for RGB lighting. Today though, the company showed off some truly wild concepts — including a gaming chair with a face-wrapping flexible OLED screen, and a mask that digitally un-muffles your voice.

Another unexpectedly awesome launch? TCL’s new NXTPAPER display tech, which is a totally new kind of display technology that works a lot like e-ink and doesn’t require backlighting. The only difference? It’s also full color and has a fast refresh rate, so you can use it for far more than just reading e-books.

Minimal movement in mobile, but get ready for Samsung

by Andrew Martonik

After a seriously busy first day for mobile at CES, the second slowed down considerably. Samsung made the biggest announcement of the day, detailing its new Exynos 2100 chipset that will power the Galaxy S21 in some regions. It once again sounds incredibly impressive on paper, moving to a 5nm process that saves power and contributes to a 30% overall performance increase. But Samsung’s history has us cautious to heap praise on an Exynos chipset before seeing it in action. Samsung’s U.S. flagships will still use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.

Elsewhere we got some good news for smartwatch fans: Fossil will be launching more LTE-enabled watches in the near future, partnering with carriers in more countries. We also saw yet another interesting use of the iPhone 12’s MagSafe system, with a new PopSocket phone holder that provides grip, and comes off magnetically whenever you want it to.

The cavalcade of computers continues

Image used with permission by copyright holder

by Luke Larsen

Today was a huge day for computing, with press conferences from some of the biggest players in the game. The day started with AMD’s keynote from CEO Dr. Lisa Su where she announced the new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors. These are a big deal in the Intel/AMD horserace and continue the momentum AMD has had throughout 2020.

Nvidia followed that up with the press conference I’ve been waiting all week for — the launch of the GeForce RTX 30-series mobile graphics cards. Nvidia says the RTX 3060 is 30% faster than the PlayStation 5 — and that’s the lowest model! More than that, nearly every gaming laptop manufacturer came out of the woodwork to update their laptops, and introduce some daring new designs.

One of the most interesting designs is the Predator Triton 300 SE, which features a 35-watt Intel chip and the Nvidia RTX 3060 in a laptop under four pounds. Or how about the Razer Blade, which has now been updated with a 1440p 240Hz display? Or the Alienware m15 R4, which is the first laptop to support HDMI 2.1? An explosion of innovative technology is transforming what these laptops can do.

The wildest idea, though, came from Asus, who announced its ROG Flow X13. It’s a 13-inch 2-in-1 that doesn’t look like much of a gaming laptop — and it’s not. That is, until you connect it to the XG Mobile, which is the smallest external GPU enclosure ever made. Using a proprietary connection over PCIe that has twice the bandwidth of Thunderbolt, all of a sudden, that 13-inch laptop becomes a powerhouse gaming machine.

It’s a wild idea, and CES is exactly the place to show off wild ideas.

Screens of all shapes and sizes

LG Bendable Gaming OLED TV
LG Display

by Caleb Denison

Typically, LG Display — LG’s display manufacturing arm — has a super-secret room in which it shows off its latest innovations. This year for virtual CES 2021, the room was opened to the public for all to see, and there was plenty to see indeed. Headlining the showcase is a 48-inch bendable OLED gaming monitor/TV with all the latest gaming features, including a screen that acts as the speaker, positioning sounds and voices from their location on-screen. The display can be rendered flat for watching TV and then bent into a curved position with a 1,000-millimeter radius for immersive gaming. It’s exactly the kind of tech we love to see at CES.

Along with that bendable screen, LG also showcased a rollable transparent OLED it thinks you might want to park at the foot of your bed. Enclosed in a slim case, the transparent OLED screen scrolls up into two positions, one smaller for informational display, the other full-screen for watching just about anything you want. You have to see it to believe it.

Working up a sweat in the smart home

by John Velasco

Day two of CES 2021 yielded only a couple of new, worthwhile announcements for the smart home. The first takes us to the connected gym space, as iFit announced its new ActivePulse feature that leverages your heart rate to customize your workouts on its cardio machines. It’s a good way to challenge you because it’ll adjust a treadmill’s incline and speed so that you’re at the optimal heart rate level.

The second notable announcement came from TP-Link. The company introduced several new gadgets for the smart home covering security cameras, light switch, outdoor plug, and a new Kasa mesh router doubles as an Alexa smart speaker. The Deco Voice X20 is powered by Alexa, so it effectively acts similar to an Echo speaker.

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