Best Of CES 2022: CRN’s Top 20 Highlights And Hottest Products
CRN rounds up the hottest products and top highlights from this year’s CES, which includes new processors, laptops, smart home devices and an innovative desktop case that can ‘breathe.’
And Just Like That, CES Has Wrapped Up Once Again
CES 2022 was eventful for more reasons than usual this year—happening during a major surge in COVID-19 cases, for one—but it also brought about several new technologies and products that will likely adorn countless homes and offices later this year.
This includes several new CPUs and GPUs unveiled by Intel, AMD and Nvidia as well as the desktop PCs and laptops from Dell, HP Inc., Lenovo and others that will use those processors.
But CES 2022, which ran Jan. 4-7, was more than just a show for PC technologies: There were also smart home devices, wearables and even robots with new and interesting capabilities.
What follows is CRN’s Best of CES roundup, which includes our picks for the hottest processors, laptops, smart home devices, wearables and other products that were shown off at CES 2022.
12th-Generation Intel Core H-Series
Intel said that its new 12th-generation Intel Core H-series mobile processors can take on not just AMD but Apple too when it comes to high-performance laptops.
The chipmaker is calling the new H-series “the fastest mobile processor ever” and said the flagship Core i9-12900HK outperforms AMD’s flagship H-series CPU from last year and Apple’s new M1 Max that powers the latest MacBook Pro models. Intel said the 12th generation represents its fastest ramp yet for H-series processors, with more than 100 laptop designs expected this year from Acer, Dell, Gigabyte, HP Inc., Lenovo, MSI and more. Systems will be available starting in February.
Intel said the lineup’s flagship Core i9-12900HK provides up to 40 percent faster performance than the previous Core i9-11980HK. It also said the processor outperforms AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 5900HX across multiple measures, including games and content creation applications. Intel measured the chip against Apple’s M1 Max and M1 Pro chips too and found instances where Intel’s is better or on par.
Find more information on the 12th-generation Intel Core H-series here.
AMD Ryzen 6000 Series
AMD used CES 2022 to mark the launch of the Ryzen 6000 CPUs for laptops with some big features: powerful integrated graphics via the RDNA 2 architecture, industry-first support for Microsoft’s Pluton security processor and battery life of up to 24 hours for video playback.
The Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs are based on TSMC’s 6-nanometer manufacturing process, and they mostly use AMD’s new Zen 3+ architecture, which provides performance and efficiency gains over the Zen 3 architecture that was introduced in 2020. The “high-performance, ultra-efficient” architecture sports 50 new and enhanced power management features and an adaptive power management framework, which allows the new chips to support up to 24 hours of battery life for video playback, AMD said.
The Ryzen 6000 mobile processors cover three laptop segments—thin and light, gaming and content creation, and commercial—and they will help power more than 200 premium laptops this year, with availability starting in February. With the lineup’s Ryzen 9 6980HX hitting 5GHz for gaming laptops, the new processors feature AMD’s “fastest clock frequencies” yet, according to AMD.
Find more information on the AMD Ryzen 6000 series here.
AMD Ryzen 7000 Series
While AMD used CES 2022 to mostly focus on its new Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs, the chipmaker teased that Ryzen 7000 CPUs are coming for desktops in the second half of 2022, and they will push the boundaries of the chipmaker’s performance-per-watt leadership.
As a teaser, AMD showed a live demo of “Halo Infinite” running on a Ryzen 7000 CPU at high frame rates and with all cores running at 5GHz.
The Ryzen 7000 series will use the company’s Zen 4 architecture on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process, and they will require the new AM5 LGA1718 socket for motherboards that will enable new capabilities like DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 connectivity. While the new AM5 socket means customers will have to buy new motherboards for Ryzen 7000 CPUs, the socket will be compatible with existing AM4 coolers.
Find more information on the AMD Ryzen 7000 series here.
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold
Asus said its Zenbook 17 Fold is “the world’s first 17.3-inch foldable OLED laptop,” offering two display configurations in one device: a large 4:3 17-inch touch screen that can fold in the middle to create two interconnected 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,280 displays.
The laptop can be paired with a full-size Asus ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad when the touch screen isn’t enough. The device comes with an HD IR camera that works with Windows Hello and the new Intel Visual Sensing Controller chip to provide several AI-powered features, including user-presence detection and video noise reduction.
The Zenbook 17 Fold is powered by 12th-generation Intel Core H-series processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics. The foldable laptop was co-engineered with Intel, allowing it to meet hardware specifications and key experience indicators for things like responsiveness, instant wake and battery life, which have been defined by the Intel Evo program for premium laptops.
The laptop will be available mid-2022, but pricing information was not available. Find more information on the Zenbook 17 fold here.
CyberPowerPC Kinetic Series Desktop Case
CyberPowerPC is taking inspiration from kinetic architecture with its new Kinetic Series line of desktop cases, which can essentially “breathe” to optimize airflow.
This “breathing” functionality is made possible by 18 individually controlled articulating vents on the front of the case that open and close automatically in response to the system’s internal ambient temperatures. When the system starts to run hot, the vents will contract to let more air inside the chassis. The vents will then expand once the temperature is low enough.
CyberPowerPC said the vents are controlled by a customizable software interface, which allows the vents to adjust “in real time to every single degree of temperature change.”
The Kinetic Series supports full-sized ATX motherboards, and they will be available in the third quarter of this year. The cases are expected to retail for $249. Find more information here.
Dell XPS 13 Plus
The Dell XPS 13 Plus is a “reinvented” version of the company’s flagship laptop that represents its “most powerful yet.” For the first time in an XPS 13, the new model is designed with a 28-watt specification, which will make it even more powerful than previous iterations while keeping the same size. The laptop is 0.60 of an inch thin and starts at only 2.73 pounds.
The laptop comes with new features such as a zero-lattice keyboard, seamless glass touchpad and capacitive touch function rows that leave “no wasted space” between the laptop’s curved edges. The laptop is powered by the new 12th-generation Intel Core P-series processors, with support for up to 14 cores and a maximum boost frequency of 4.8GHz. It also features Express Charge 2.0, which allows the laptop’s battery to reach 80 percent charge in less than an hour.
The XPS 13 Plus will be available in the spring starting at $1,119. Find more information here.
Intel Arc Discrete Graphics
Intel used CES 2022 to kick off its entry into the competitive discrete GPU space with Intel Arc graphics. While Intel didn’t share as many details as some had expected, it was still a momentous occasion as Intel confirmed that it is shipping Arc GPUs to OEMs with more than 50 design wins expected this year.
Those design wins consist of both laptops and desktops from several major OEMs, including Acer, Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, HP Inc., Lenovo, Samsung and MSI, Intel said at its CES press conference.
The chipmaker plans to take on Nvidia and AMD with “industry-leading advanced features” such as hardware-accelerated ray tracing, an AI-driven upscaling technology called Xe Super Sampling, and Intel Deep Link technology, which allows Intel’s CPU and GPU to work in tandem to optimize performance.
Intel said it is already seeing good pickup with its Xe Super Sampling technology, also known as XeSS, among large and small game studios. This includes Kojima Productions, which is doing an exclusive XeSS integration for the upcoming “Death Stranding: Director’s Cut.”
Find more information on Intel Arc discrete graphics here.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Nvidia is redefining high-performance gaming laptops with the introduction of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti to notebooks this year.
The company said the new products, which will be available in laptops starting on Feb. 1, are bringing the “flagship” 80 Ti class of GPUs to laptops for the first time after previously only being able for desktop PCs.
The RTX 3080 Ti features 16GB of the “fastest GDDR6 memory ever shipped in a laptop,” according to Nvidia, and it “delivers higher performance” than Nvidia’s Turing-based Titan RTX for desktops. Laptops equipped with the RTX 3080 Ti will start at $2,499.
Nvidia said the RTX 3070 Ti is 70 percent faster than laptops running the previous-generation RTX 2070 laptops and can hit 100 frames per second at 1,440p resolution. RTX 3070 Ti laptops will start at $1,499.
Find more information on GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti laptops here.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
Nvidia wants to get more gamers to upgrade their old graphics cards with the launch of the new GeForce RTX 3050, a new entry-level GPU for desktop PCs.
The RTX 3050 will be available on Jan. 27 starting at $249 from Nvidia’s board partners, and it will be the first 50 class GPU to enable ray tracing in games at more than 60 frames per second.
The GPU comes with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory, second-generation RT cores and third-generation Tensor cores, the latter of which power Nvidia’s AI-based DLSS upscaling technology.
Find more information on the GeForce RTX 3050 here.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
Lenovo is offering a new twist on dual-display laptops with the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, which sports an 8-inch secondary screen in addition to its 17.3-inch ultra-wide primary display.
The second display is situated next to the keyboard and touchpad, giving users more screen real estate for a variety of tasks and applications, including calculators, notepads, drawing boards and chat windows for teleconferencing applications. The 8-inch screen can also be used as a quick launcher for frequently used applications and for smartphone mirroring.
The primary display has a 21:10 ultra-wide aspect ratio with a 3,072 x 1,440 resolution at a 120Hz refresh rate. The laptop is powered by 12th-generation Intel Core H-series processors, up to 32 GB LPDDR5 and up to 2 TB of solid-state storage.
The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 will be available in May with an expected starting price of $1,399. Find more information on the laptop here.
Somalytics SomaControl And SomaSense
Somalytics, a company spun out of the University of Washington in November, brought to CES its products powered by miniature carbon-nanotube paper composite capacitive sensors, said to be 100 times smaller and 10 times faster than existing capacitive sensors.
The SomaSense 3D floor mat observes, monitors and reports presence, gait, foot pressure and other wellness factors, according to the company.
Its SomaControl device—the white circle pictured below the laptop—is a 3-D gesture monitor that allows users to control a digital device through hand movements without contact. The SomaControl is meant for gamers and home environments, according to Somalytics.
The company also wants to apply its devices to industrial safety, transportation, wearable technologies and other use cases. Mass production of the capacitive sensors should start this year, according to Somalytics. Find more information on the technology here.
Targus Cypress Backpack
Mobile computing accessories manufacturer Targus introduced its Cypress Hero Backpack with Apple Find My technology.
The company’s backpack is built from recycled plastic water bottles and has a built-in location tracker to help owners find the backpack on the Find My application.
Users can press a button in the backpack to ping missing iPhones and receive an alert on its location. The backpack has a replaceable battery rechargeable through USB, according to Targus.
The company, founded in 1983, also showed its Dock720 USB-C 4K Quad Dock, a biometric device and docking station delivering support for single 8K resolution or 4K displays.
The backpack can be purchased here.
Samsung Eco Remote
Samsung added a new twist to its Eco Remote at CES this year: Not only can it charge from solar energy, but it can also charge using radio waves from a nearby Wi-Fi router.
The company said this new charging capability, which is made possible by radio frequency harvesting technology, can significantly reduce battery waste. The remote is being introduced for an expanded line of Samsung products, including TVs and home appliances.
More information about the remote and Samsung’s sustainability initiatives can be found here.
Although not yet available in the U.S., the Cookit smart food processor from German engineering company Bosch made an appearance last week at CES 2022.
Cookit offers guided cooking, automatic programs and can save personal recipes, which go into Bosch’s Home Connect application. Cookit can slice, chop, shred, steam, boil and perform other cooking functions, according to the company.
Sensors in the smart food processor monitor the temperature in the work bowl, comparing it with the recommended recipe temperature. The device also works with Amazon Alexa.
More information on the Cookit smart food processor can be found here.
Liteboxer showcased its shield device that enables boxing workouts at home. Its LED light pads sync with music and tracks users’ progress, according to the company.
The device measures punching force, accuracy and stamina. The platform allows users to compete with friends and offers trainers to assist with exercises, according to the company.
During CES 2022, Liteboxer announced a VR fitness experience that will arrive in March for the Quest 2 headset that is sold by Facebook parent company Meta. The VR experience will come with a large music library from popular artists. It doesn’t use a controller, according to Liteboxer.
The company was founded in 2017 and has raised $26 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.
More information about Liteboxer, including where to buy Liteboxer Shield, can be found here.
Astro Slide 5G
BlackBerry fans, rejoice: The Astro Slide 5G from mobile handset manufacturer Planet Computers is keeping the dream alive as the first 5G smartphone to come with a full physical keyboard.
Like some Android phones of yesteryear, the Astro Slide 5G’s physical keyboard slides out from behind the device, giving users a large and wide typing surface with backlit mechanical keys that can be programmed for a variety of tasks.
The Astro Slide 5G features a 6.39-inch MOLED display as well as a 48-megapixel rear camera. It’s powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 800 chipset, and it comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The device is expected to be available globally in the summer.
Find more information on the Astro Slide 5G, including how to preorder, here.
Representatives of Shiftall, a subsidiary of Panasonic, demonstrated the company’s HaritoraX motion-tracking device for waist and leg movements.
During the demonstration, a company representative donned a virtual reality headset from Oculus— which shares the same parent company as Facebook, recently renamed Meta—and a virtual avatar on his Alienware laptop stood up and sat down at the same time as the demonstrator.
HaritoraX is scheduled to ship in the U.S. in spring. Thousands of units have shipped in Japan already, according to the company. The device works for SteamVR and tracks hip and leg movements for metaverse users. The device has a built-in rechargeable battery for more than 10 hours of power on a single charge.
The device works with Oculus Quest 2 and other headsets, according to Shiftall. The company has 25 employees.
Preorder information for the HaritoraX can be found here.
Naio Technologies Oz
Naio powers Oz with a real-time kinematic GPS guidance system. The robot is sold in 48 countries, according to Naio. The robot weighs about 330 pounds and is about 3 feet tall and 4 feet long. It can travel about 1.6 feet per second.
Naio’s other robots include the large-scale vegetable weeding Dino and the vineyard weeding Ted.
The company was founded in 2011, according to Crunchbase.
Preorder information for Oz in North America can be found here.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
This offering comes in a 4.2-inch folded compact design with a 1.9-inch cover screen.
The phone has a dual rear camera and shows users previews of photos on the cover screen. It has a 5nm processor and 8 GB of RAM.
The phone can be purchased here.
Pickwheel’s feet-controlled electric carrier was seen zipping along the CES show floor last week.
Users can cover large spaces while keeping their hands free, according to the company. It‘s aimed at maintenance and cleaning service workers, event hosts, security guards and other jobs.
The Pickwheel carrier weighs about 60 pounds and can tow about 220 pounds. It has a clip-on lithium-ion battery, according to the company.
Find more information on the Pickwheel carrier here.