The 12 Coolest New Laptops At CES 2021

This week at the all-digital CES, laptops from Lenovo, Dell, HP and Acer are making their debut with innovative features for WFH.

CES: Laptops Galore

At the annual CES, laptops are always a main feature. But notebook makers at CES 2021 are taking things to the next level, as demand continues to surge amid widespread work-from-home. At the all-digital CES, laptops with innovative features for WFH include new devices from Lenovo, Dell, HP and Acer, while Samsung and Dynabook are also showcasing upcoming laptops at CES 2021. The launches include both 2-in-1 laptops and clamshell models, and feature a focus on portability, collaboration, performance and design. Many of the new laptops sport notable features such as 5G connectivity, 11th-gen Intel processors, audio that is optimized for conferencing and low blue light displays with optional integrated privacy screens. Key CES 2021 laptop launches include Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9), HP’s Elite Dragonfly G2, Dell’s new Latitude portfolio and Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2.

What follows are the 12 coolest new laptops to look for at CES 2021.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9)

Lenovo says it has done a complete redesign of the popular ThinkPad X1 Carbon for its ninth-generation release this year. Updates on the X1 Carbon Gen 9 include a new 16:10 aspect ratio and reduced blue light on the 14-inch display, which will offer a choice between UHD or FHD resolution (up to 500 nits of brightness). Other new features and capabilities include an integrated fingerprint reader on the power button; optional 5G or LTE connectivity; a wider touchpad; and support for Dolby Voice, which optimizes the performance of the notebook’s microphones and speakers. Dolby Voice features include dynamic levelling, which automatically adapts to voices that are quieter or far away and provides noise suppression to limit background noises and echo. The new X1 Carbon will also include a larger battery than the previous model, at 57 Whr, to enable battery life of up to 16 hours.

On performance, the notebook will be powered by 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro) and be configurable with up to 32 GB of RAM. And on security, an embedded human presence detection sensor will lock the X1 Carbon when the user walks away--and then automatically log the user back in with the help of Windows Hello facial recognition--while the notebook will also offer an optional integrated privacy display to protect against viewing by onlookers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Gen 9, will have a starting price of $1,429 and will be available in February.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

As the newest addition to Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 line, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga stands out as the company’s thinnest ThinkPad device to date, at 0.45 of an inch thick. The convertible laptop—which gets its name from the titanium material that covers the exterior of the device--is also lightweight at 2.54 pounds. The ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga comes with a 13.5-inch display with 2,256 x 1,504 resolution, 450 nits of brightness, a 3:2 aspect ratio and support for Dolby Vision HDR. Other key features include optional 5G or LTE connectivity, support for WiFi 6 and 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro). And to assist with collaboration, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga includes four far-field microphones, a Dolby Atmos Speaker System and an HD camera.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga will have a starting price of $1,899, and will be available to order in January.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro

Lenovo is also using CES to introduce new models in its IdeaPad lineup, including the IdeaPad 5 Pro. The notebook sports a 16-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio for a wider amount of usable screen space, as well as reduced blue light technology up to 350 nits of brightness and slim bezels (for a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio). The IdeaPad 5 Pro also features an all-metal body in “Cloud Grey” or “Storm Grey” color options. On performance, the laptop will be powered by AMD Ryzen H-Series processors and will be available with Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics and up to 32 GB of RAM. Other key capabilities include an IR camera that enables Windows Hello facial authentication log-in and includes time-of-flight sensors to automatically pause a video when the user walks away. Meanwhile, the IdeaPad 5 Pro will feature the new Alexa Show Mode capability, which adds voice control via the Amazon Alexa assistant and “turns your PC into an Echo Show-like display,” Lenovo says.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro will have a starting price of $1149.99 and is expected to be available in May. Alexa Show Mode is expected to become available in the second quarter.

Dell Latitude 9420

At CES 2021, Dell Technologies is showcasing its new Latitude 9420 notebook, available both as a 2-in-1 or a clamshell model. The notebook will include a 14-inch display with FHD+ resolution (clamshell model) or QHD+ resolution (for the 2-in-1 model), as well as a 16:10 aspect ratio to offer a 5-percent larger viewing area and brightness of 500 nits. The clamshell version has a starting weight of 2.9 pounds and a thickness of just 0.55 of an inch.​ In terms of connectivity, the Latitude 9420 will offer optional support for high-speed 5G or LTE, along with WiFi 6. Key collaboration features include a built-in speakerphone, dedicated mute and mic keys, and an enhanced webcam with capabilities for background blur and automatic light correction.

Other key features include ExpressSign-in 2.0--which leverages Intel Visual Sensing Technology to enable faster auto-wake and auto-lock--and the AI-powered Dell Optimizer, which enhances app performance through learning the way that each individual user works. Meanwhile, on security, the Latitude 9420 also offers what Dell is calling the “industry’s first automatic webcam shutter,” which “knows when to automatically open or close by syncing with your video conferencing applications,” the company says.

The Dell Latitude 9420 will have a starting price of $1,949 and will be available in the spring, the company said.


Dell Latitude 7520

Also joining Dell’s Latitude lineup of business-focused notebooks is the Latitude 7520, which offers a 15.6-inch display with either 4K/UHD or FHD resolution. Top features include an optional FHD webcam, optional LTE connectivity, adaptive thermal response (to keep the laptop cooler) and ComfortView Plus (which reduces blue light from the display). Other key capabilities include ExpressSign-in, Dell Optimizer and ExpressConnect, which prioritizes conferencing apps for bandwidth. On performance, the Latitude 7520 offers 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro) and up to 32 GB of RAM. And for the exterior of the notebook, the Latitude 7520 is available in either aluminum or carbon fiber. Additionally, Dell is announcing two other new notebooks for the Latitude 7000 series -- the 13.3-inch Latitude 7320 and the 14-inch Latitude 7420.

The Dell Latitude 7520 will have a starting price of $1,649 and will be available Jan. 12.

HP Elite Dragonfly G2

HP Inc. is using CES 2021 to launch the follow-up to one of its most buzzworthy business laptops in recent memory, the Elite Dragonfly. With the Elite Dragonfly G2, HP has added 5G connectivity, integrated Tile tracking (in the event the laptop goes missing) and the HP Tamper Lock intrusion detection technology, which automatically locks the PC if it has been physically opened and provides the user with a notification. The 2-in-1 notebook continues to offer the Dragonfly Blue magnesium chassis along with a 13.3-inch display with FHD or UHD resolution and a weight of just 2.2 pounds, making it the “world’s lightest compact business convertible,” according to HP. On performance, the second-gen Elite Dragonfly moves up to 11th-gen Intel Core vPro processors and will offer up to 32 GB of RAM, up from 16 GB on the original model. Other new features include the Sure Shutter privacy shutter on the webcam, which is operated using a dedicated key on the keyboard rather than the manual slider on the first-gen model of the notebook.

The HP Elite Dragonfly G2 is planned for availability in January. Pricing was not released.

HP Elite Dragonfly Max

HP is also expanding its Elite Dragonfly portfolio with a brand-new model, the Elite Dragonfly Max. The model aims to stand out with an emphasis on advanced collaboration features, HP said, including a 5-megapixel camera (compared to a 1.2-megapixel camera on the Elite Dragonfly G2) and four wide-range microphones that are optimized for conferencing (compared to three on the G2 model). Meanwhile, the 13.3-inch display on the Elite Dragonfly Max will include HP’s Eye Ease technology for reduced blue light. The notebook will also be available in a “Sparkling Black” color in addition to Dragonfly Blue, and other key elements include 5G connectivity and 11th-gen Intel Core processors.

The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is expected to be available in January. Pricing was not released.

HP Elite Folio

Building on the concept that HP debuted with the Spectre Folio, the company is launching a new business device at CES featuring a similarly distinctive design--the HP Elite Folio. Like on the Spectre Folio, HP’s Elite Folio features a “pull-forward” mode where the 13.5-inch screen can come forward and magnetically lock into position closer to your viewing. The Elite Folio features a magnesium chassis (rather than the leather covering on the Spectre Folio) and includes an integrated digital pen in the keyboard. The notebook is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G processor, enabling optional 5G on the device. Other key features on the Elite Folio include up to 24.5 hours of battery life, an optional integrated Sure View Reflect privacy display, a 76-degree field of view webcam, a dual microphone array and high-definition Bang & Olufsen speakers.

The HP Elite Folio is planned for availability in February. Pricing was not released.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8

HP is bringing an upgrade to its midrange EliteBook notebooks with the debut of the EliteBook 840 Aero G8. The notebook features a starting weight of 2.5 pounds--a half pound lighter than the standard EliteBook 840 G8--as well as optional 5G connectivity and numerous other notable features. Those include an optional Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen on the 14-inch display; integrated Tile tracking; an HD camera and three microphones; and optional 11th-gen Intel Core processors.

The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is expected to be available in March. Pricing was not released.

Dynabook Satellite Pro L50

Dynabook Americas, formerly Toshiba America Client Solutions, is reviving Toshiba’s former Satellite Pro laptop series with new business-focused models including the Dynabook Satellite Pro L50. The notebook features a 15.6-inch FHD display, a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. Other features include an HD webcam, dual-array microphones and a wide selection of ports (including USB-A, USB-C, HDMI and Ethernet). On portability, the Satellite Pro L50 weighs 4.07 pounds and measures 0.74 of an inch thick.

Additionally, Dynabook is introducing two other new models in the series--the 14-inch Satellite Pro C40 and the 15.6-inch Satellite Pro C50. Dynabook said that IT distributor Synnex will oversee U.S. distribution for the new Satellite Pro series laptops.

The Dynabook Satellite Pro L50 is priced at $899.99, while the Satellite Pro C models start at $499.99.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 stands out as the company’s first Chromebook to feature AMD Ryzen 3000 C-Series processors and AMD Radeon graphics, which enable strong performance, responsiveness and battery life (up to 10 hours), Acer says. The Chromebook Spin 514 includes a 14-inch display with FHD resolution, and the device is highly durable with Gorilla Glass on the display and a reinforced aluminum chassis, according to the company. Other notable features include slim bezels around the display (for a 78 percent screen-to-body ratio) and a thickness of 0.68 of an inch, as well as options for up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage. Additionally, Acer is offering a variant of the convertible notebook aimed at business users—the Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514—with additional security and management capabilities.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 has a starting price of $479.99 and is planned for availability in February. The Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 starts at $749.99 and will be available in March.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Samsung is also debuting a new 2-in-1 Chromebook at CES, with the second-gen update to the Galaxy Chromebook. For the Galaxy Chromebook 2, Samsung has brought in what it’s calling the first-ever Chromebook display that uses QLED—the quantum-dot technology that has previously been used in Samsung TVs. The 13.3-inch convertible FHD display is “capable of producing over a billion different colors” through the use of QLED, making “every visual” bright and vivid, Samsung says. Other key features include Smart AMP sound (which Samsung says offers 178 percent louder audio than the typical amplifier); a new keyboard with wider keys; a thickness of just 0.55 of an inch and weight of 2.7 pounds; and up to the Intel Core i3-10110U processor.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 will have a starting price of $549.99 and will be available during the first quarter.