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CES 2020 Top Picks Awards: The very best products at CES
CES is always a great start to the tech calendar, and 2020 was no different. With fewer smartphone releases than normal, we had plenty more time to look further afield at the technology, products, and innovations that will help define the year ahead. Without further ado, here are the very best products of CES 2020 as voted by our editorial team on the ground.
CES 2020 Top Picks:
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is so cool you really have to see it to believe it. It’s a foldable laptop that looks like a tablet or monitor when laid out flat and a regular laptop when half-open. When folded closed, the 13-inch device is small enough to fit inside a Uniqlo inside-jacket pocket (we tried). The versatility of the ThinkPad X1 Fold is crazy.
It has an ultra-thin Bluetooth keyboard that slots in between the screen when folded, eliminating the gap. It can be used either on a table as a regular Bluetooth keyboard or plopped onto the bottom half of the folded screen for a super-compact laptop experience. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is coming later this year and we can’t wait to get our hands on one for keeps.
Insta360 One R
4K wide-angle action cams are nothing new, but modular action cams that let you switch out lenses are. The Insta360 One R is destined to shake up the action cam space by allowing users to switch out not only lenses, but sensors as well. This is a huge deal.
The modular nature of the One R is really quite clever. Rather than just popping a different lens on a stock body, each lens module comes with its own sensor, meaning you always have the right sensor for the lens you’re using. There’s a processing module that sits next to it and a battery module on the bottom, meaning you can custom build the action cam you need for the situation.
Lots of smartwatches launch with nice-sounding features you eventually realize aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. And then some smartwatches deliver. The Withings ScanWatch delivers on two big promises: an FDA-approved ECG for accurately detecting arrhythmia (AFib) and sleep apnea, two big concerns you can now monitor throughout the day and night.
The Withings ScanWatch also adds other smartwatch features and upgrades the build quality from previous ECG-equipped watches, incorporating a rotating crown for more intuitive navigation. It has Sapphire Glass on the front, a 316K stainless steel body, GPS, and 5ATM water resistance. Despite all the monitoring the ScanWatch does, you’ll still get 30 days of battery life out of it thanks to the low power demands of the display.
Read more: More of the best wearables at CES 2020
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook practically stole the show at CES 2020, being at the same time a beautiful piece of machinery and a powerful Chromebook. It includes a stylus, uses a convertible design and the metal chassis is sleek and well-made. If you’ve been wondering when the next high-end Chromebook would appear that you should pay attention to, this is it.
Don’t miss: The best Chromebooks of CES 2020
Bluetooth LC3 codec
A new Bluetooth codec may not sound like the most exciting announcement, but there’s no denying it really does sound great. The new Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3) in LE Audio from the Bluetooth SIG promises to really open up audio streaming this year.
Multi-stream audio allows different streams to be transmitted to, say, a hearing aid, meaning you can listen to music and your surroundings at the same time. You can also broadcast Bluetooth audio to an unlimited number of nearby devices. There’s also a 50% improvement in audio quality with lower demands on data transfer rates. No matter what you listen to, the Bluetooth LC3 codec is likely to make it sound better this year.
OnePlus Concept One
We don’t typically see OnePlus at CES but the company was here this year, and boy did it make a splash with the Concept One. The device is ostensibly a OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren edition with a new exterior. The Concept One uses electrochromic glass over the cameras on the back which allows them to disappear when not needed. It also functions as a variable ND filter for photography which is a niche use case but still super cool.
OnePlus isn’t necessarily planning to release the Concept One in its current form, but a device using electrochromic glass is on the cards for 2020.
CES 2020 Spotlight awards
Not all products were brand new, never-before-seen or comprised groundbreaking new tech. Some were just the first time we’d seen the products on US soil or were simply those we felt needed more attention than they otherwise might get against the backdrop of CES craziness. That’s why our Spotlight awards aim to highlight those products that deserve attention even if they’re not necessarily as attention-grabbing as some other award winners.
Honor Band 5 Sport
The Honor Band 5 Sport is a very capable and affordable fitness tracker that uses a strap made entirely of recycled plastic water bottles.
There’s six-axis motion tracking that supports a wide variety of activities, including cycling, running, and swimming. The band can also be worn around the ankle in footwear mode, enabling accurate tracking of foot strike patterns, step length, ground contact time, and more.
DJI RoboMaster S1
The DJI Robomaster S1 is an educational robot designed to spark the interest of youngsters while also captivating their parents. You have to first build the robot before putting it to use and, once assembled, you can then program functions for it with the Android app.
It’s not all engineering and programming though — the S1 is also a super-fun little robot. There are several follow modes, features and ports, and of course the gel-bead blaster cannon, making the S1 a treasure-trove of possibilities for the inquiring young mind.
Panasonic Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics is a brand many will remember from back in their DJ days, so to see Panasonic introduce the true wireless Technics EAH-AZ70W earbuds was a pleasant blast from the past with a modern twist.
The EAH-AZ70W feature Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling, MEMS microphone, splash proofing, and app support. They promise six hours of battery life and use a new acoustic design. 10mm dynamic drivers with a graphene coating improve mid- to high-range sound output and an acoustic control chamber manages airflow for even better sound.
There are a lot of TVs at CES but the Skyworth Q91 is one of the biggest and most affordable. A 75-inch 8K IPS LED TV from a storied television maker for under six thousand U.S. dollars is worth paying attention to.
But there’s more to a TV these days than just a screen and Skyworth delivers with an 8K AI Image Processing Engine, Dolby Atmos 2.1.2, a soundbar with Wonder Audio Sky Echo, a camera for web-conferencing, and SwAIoT for connecting all your smart home products to your TV, no matter if they’re Skyworth products or powered by Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- If you missed anything from CES 2020 don’t miss our roundup of all the biggest announcements from the show.