Samsung Is Making MicroLED TV Sizes That Are More Practical for Us Commoners

Samsung’s Neo QLED 8K

Samsung’s Neo QLED 8K
Image: Samsung

Samsung’s consumer-friendly version of its larger-than-life The Wall display will eventually be available in a more reasonable 76-inch version—you know, for those of us whose homes can’t actually accommodate 110-inch televisions.

Samsung announced the smaller version of the MicroLED TVs today during its big Unbox and Discover event. While the 76-inch MicroLED will be made available “in the future,” the company said the 99-inch and 110-inch versions of the TV will become available closer to April. (It’ll sell an 88-inch version of the TV as well, and that size is slated to launch in fall.) Samsung previously announced sizes beyond the rather limiting 110-inch version of its MicroLED technology-powered TV during CES earlier this year.

In exciting news for folks eyeing the Frame, Samsung’s most popular TV, the TV will get a big storage boost in its 2021 models with an increase from 500MB of storage to 6GB (which Samsung says supports storage for around 1,200 UHD images). The company will also introduce a new Frame accessory later this year for its 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch frame sizes called My Shelf. It’ll ship in beige, white, brown, and black and is meant to help Samsung’s technology blend more seamlessly into your decor. Think of it as a kind of display board for showing off your TV alongside other art or items.

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Illustration for article titled Samsung Is Making MicroLED TV Sizes That Are More Practical for Us Commoners

Image: Samsung

But that’s not all the TV news Samsung dumped on us today. Samsung is also releasing a new full-sun version of its Terrace television in a 75-inch size closer to summer. Meanwhile, the Frame and all Samsung’s Q70A 4K TVs and up will offer AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for console and PC games, a plus for serious gamers.

And speaking of gaming, the company’s Odyssey gaming monitor this year will come equipped with Quantum MiniLED enhancements and the company’s Quantum Matrix technology. Additionally, Samsung said its QLED is the official TV of the Xbox Series X in Canada and the U.S., as was the case with Xbox One X in the past. The company’s 2021 Neo QLED 8K, Neo QLED 4K, and QLED 4K TVs are now available either for purchase or pre-order.

Lastly, AirPlay 2 is headed to Samsung’s funky rotating Sero TV, support that in practice sounds eerily familiar to a certain recently deceased streaming service. Per Samsung, iOS devices can be paired to the Sero to “automatically rotate the TV screen based on the phone’s landscape or portrait orientation.” It’s as if even in death, Quibi still manages to find a way. Apple Quibi+ will be supported “soon,” according to the company.

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The Best Projectors, According To Our Readers

Our readers know what’s up. Whenever we ask a question like “What’s the best projector?”, we know we’ll always get a good mix of thoughtful responses and great product recommendations. As expected, we received both this time around, making for a well-rounded and perfect overview of projector life. The most interesting piece of advice was to stick with 1080p for now until 4K reaches its full potential.

Until there’s a proper, native 4K projector released with a full 32GBps HDMI 2.1 port – I wouldn’t consider upgrading from my current 1080P system.

Even at the recent trade shows, no new projectors have been announced that even meet the full HDMI 2.1 spec. This is especially a problem if you just got that new PS5, Xbox, or PC GPU and want to get that 4K @ 120Hz output. ImALeafOnTheWind

That’s a good tip to consider for anyone who wants to shell out thousands of dollars for a 4K projectors right now. That said, some of our users made an equally compelling case for going 4K, so it all comes down to what you want to use it for. If you aren’t trying to get the most out of next-gen systems and just want to watch movies at high quality, then there are plenty of good options for you out there. Here’s what our readers had to say.

Illustration for article titled The Best Projectors, According To Our Readers

Image: Amazon

I’m new to the projector game, but I’m a big fan of my Epson 3200. I felt like it hit the sweet spot of cost for performance. It’s pretty much an entry level 4K (albeit pixelshift 4K) projector. It’s 3LCD so you’re not going to have any chance of the rainbow effect that a small subset of DLP users notice. And the input lag is acceptably low for gaming (I play a decent amount of Warzone without issue). The room I use it in is mostly light controlled (only one window with a nearly black out curtain), but it’s a multi use bonus room, so a lot of times we’re watching stuff with lights on. – ItsDeke

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Illustration for article titled The Best Projectors, According To Our Readers

Image: Amazon

Epson’s EF-12 FTW! Instant on/off and excellent color reproduction and fairly bright for the relatively low lumens it has—also HDR, and good speakers are my main reasons. Also auto focus and a fairly short throw distance are nice. This is a projector that you’d put on a coffee table, in front of you rather than behind you. dt100

Illustration for article titled The Best Projectors, According To Our Readers

Image: Amazon

My projector, purchased back in 2013, it still running strong (have replace a few lamps along the way, a cost of ownership). In my setup (120″ screen in a dedicated room) the picture is still great (I also own an LG 65″ 4K, and I remain happy with the 1080p projector). Yeah, probably will upgrade to 4K when the prices drop, but if I were to recommend a projector today, it’d be a 1080p. medhat1

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Illustration for article titled The Best Projectors, According To Our Readers

Image: Amazon

I’ve got the Optoma HD39HDR. My projector setup is my main setup. I’ve got no regular TV. We use this projector for everything. What I really liked about it are the brightness and response time. I play video games on it, so a quick response time was a must and pretty much why I pulled the trigger on this one. I don’t have a blacked out living area where this is located, and can still watch during the day (although it is obviously much better at night). DetFanChiGuy

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Canon’s Excellent EOS R5 Has One Huge Flaw

Illustration for article titled Canon's Excellent EOS R5 Has One Huge Flaw

Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

There once was a badass Greek warrior. Indeed, he was the badassiest of them all. He was the perfect killing machine, except for one little thing which took someone who was otherwise invincible and made him…vincible. Now, Achilles isn’t a perfect metaphor for the EOS R5, which I think is the best camera Canon has ever made, but it does have a weak spot—a vulnerable heel, if you will. Many won’t even notice the issue. For others, it will be a fatal flaw.

Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R, came out in 2018, and I really wanted to like it, but I couldn’t. It felt a bit thrown together, as if Canon knew it was last to the full-frame mirrorless game, and had to just get something out there, even if it was missing a lot of stuff. I am happy to report that the EOS R5 corrects virtually every one of those issues, and then some. It shoots 45-megapixel uncompressed RAW stills at a very respectable 12fps clip with the mechanical shutter engaged (or 20fps compressed RAW with the electronic shutter), with excellent image stabilization and autofocus tracking. Generally speaking, these photos look phenomenal.

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But let’s dive into the hardware. The EOS R5 has some serious heft to it. There’s a big, beefy grip that DSLR shooters will generally love. The EOS R had a capacitive touch-bar as one of its control mechanisms, and it was pretty terrible. It’s gone now! Yay! Instead, the R5 has a standard joystick which is much easier to use—though it does depress a little easily which would lead to accidental clicks when I was just trying to scroll. The R5 also adds a lower thumb wheel on the back, which I love, but I prefer Sony’s implementation, in which it doubles as a four-way D-pad. All of the other buttons and wheels have a good amount of click and enough separation that I was able to adjust settings even when wearing heavy winter gloves. I mostly shot with Canon’s workhorse 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom and its incredible 50mm f/1.2 prime. Both lenses are heavy and chonky, but they are so good I genuinely didn’t care (especially that 50mm).

Illustration for article titled Canon's Excellent EOS R5 Has One Huge Flaw

Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

The R5 has an electronic viewfinder with 5.76 million dots of resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz, so things look smooth and very sharp, but it’s still a ways behind from the Sony A7S iii’s EVF with a bananas 9.44 million dots. The R5 now has two memory card slots: one SD UHS-II, and the other for a CF Express Type B. CF Express is newer and more expensive, but it’s also a hell of a lot faster, and you’ll need it for some of the higher-end video modes, which can’t be shot to the SD card. I made the mistake of buying a 128GB Hoodman Steel CF Express card for this review and I kept getting an error saying: “Movie recording has been stopped automatically. Slow card write speed.” On paper the card should be fast enough, but I later read other reviews saying they had this same issue with this camera and this card, so spend the extra $20 or so for a Sony card if you would like to avoid this headache.

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Illustration for article titled Canon's Excellent EOS R5 Has One Huge Flaw

Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

The EOS R5 is the first camera to get Canon’s new autofocus system, dubbed Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, and it somehow covers 100% of the image sensor. It is absurdly good. Its Eye-AF was incredibly accurate, nailing the retinas of subjects, both human and animal. It’s now at least as good as Sony’s Eye-AF, but then it goes one better: When it can’t find an eye, it diverts to subject tracking automatically. It does this in still and video mode, and you can adjust how sensitive you want it to be and how smoothly you want it to shift focus. It also works at up to six stops below optimal exposure (-6Ev) if you’re shooting with a f/1.2 aperture lens, meaning it can focus in the dark better than a lot of humans. In busy scenes with more than one potential subject, it was prone to getting confused about which was the important thing to you, but that was easy to fix with a quick tap on the back of the screen.

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1/8 sec at f/1.2, ISO 12,800

1/8 sec at f/1.2, ISO 12,800
Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

The original EOS R didn’t have any in-body stabilization, and that was not so great. The R5 has five-axis stabilization that’s as good as any I’ve used. It has a maximum compensation of between 6.5 and 8 stops, depending on what lens you’re using. I wasn’t able to measure that metric scientifically, but I can tell you that I was able to take handheld photos that I had no business taking. The shot above, with the focus on the icy needles at the top of the tree and the stars in the background, was shot with a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second. My hand is not that steady! I typically try to keep things above 1/60.

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Generally speaking, photos look excellent. When the lighting was good, many photos I took needed almost no tweaking at all. They looked sharp and vibrant, and while they came off as realistic, they also have a film-like quality that I love. The only way that it doesn’t measure up to my current go-to camera (still the Sony A7R iii) is in dynamic range (meaning the difference between the lightest thing and the darkest thing within a photo where both are still usable). It isn’t quite as good at recovering blown-out highlights, but even more importantly, the shadows aren’t nearly as flexible. When attempting to push shadows back up to recover detail, noise becomes a real problem, and it frequently has a purple-ish hue. I had to lean on the Noise Reduction panel in Lightroom way harder than I would like to, which can’t hide all sins and sacrifices sharpness, too. Dynamic range on the EOS R5 is good, but it isn’t great.

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“OK, OK,” you say. “This all sounds quite good! Where’s the damned Achilles heel you teased?” Well, if you’re strictly a photographer, there isn’t one. And if you’re almost exclusively a photographer who just takes a tiny bit of video here and there, then you’re probably OK, too! But if video is important to you, well, here comes the poison arrow.

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The EOS R5 is capable of shooting 8K RAW video at 30fps, something even the mighty Sony A7S iii can’t do. Most of us don’t really need 8K yet, but the camera has a neat trick where it can take that whole 8K frame and compress it into a super high-quality 4K image (HQ mode) at up to 30fps. Best of all, the massive 1.7x crop from the EOS R is gone, so you’re able to really use all of that Canon glass as it was intended. If you’re shooting in Canon Log (a flat color profile) you can shoot 10-bit 4:2:2 video in camera, which gives the footage a lot of flexibility for color correction and applying cinematic looks. That is all great news. The 4K HQ C-Log mode is truly gorgeous and is what I would recommend using all the time…except you can’t, because the EOS R5’s overheating issues are mind-bogglingly bad.

Let me qualify this. If you’re out in the field, mostly shooting photos, and occasionally shooting short 4K HQ videos, you’re probably going to be just fine. If you want to shoot longer videos, though, it’s a non-starter. I found that the camera overheated after just 24 minutes of shooting in HQ mode. That’s bad, but what’s worse is how long it takes to recover from overheating. We’re talking upwards of an hour until it’s fully back to normal and you can shoot more than a minute or two of video again. If you are shooting for a client, or at a wedding, that will get you fired on the spot. I shoot interviews and documentary-type stuff, and here, again, this camera would be useless. Same for vloggers.

Now, it does have a regular 4K mode, and that mode doesn’t suffer from overheating problems. It looks…fine, until you compare it to the HQ footage and then you realize how much detail you’re missing. It’s significant. The regular 4K mode looks downright mushy by comparison. There are other drawbacks that indicate that video was really an afterthought for Canon, despite the fact that the company hyped 8K and HQ 4K at launch. Changing from stills mode to video mode is kind of a pain. You can hit the record button in stills mode and snap a quick video, but instead of defaulting to your last-used video settings, it shoots 1080p30 for some stupid reason (if there is a way to change this, I haven’t figured it out, and Canon didn’t respond when I asked). It has a high-frame rate mode that shoots 4K at 120fps, but then it slows it down in the camera to 30fps, which is annoying if the rest of your project is 24fps. Changing between video modes (HQ, high-speed, C-Log, etc.) is unintuitive and takes way more clicks than it should.

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This is all tremendously frustrating. This was poised to be the camera that would bring me back to the Canon ecosystem with all its tasty glass, and on paper it really looked like it would. I consider myself a hybrid-shooter, though, meaning I shoot a lot of photo and a lot of video. More and more that’s becoming the rule, not the exception, for content creators. This camera simply cannot keep up with those demands, and ultimately, I don’t think it should have launched until it could. Sony took forever to come out with the A7S iii, but when it launched you could shoot 10-bit 4K120 until the cows came home in slow-motion and the thing wouldn’t overheat. It just feels like Canon fumbled and face-planted on the one-yard line, and that really sucks.

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Again, if you really only care about shooting stills and just want to shoot a bit of video here and there, I recommend this camera without hesitation, especially if you already have Canon lenses. I loved shooting with this camera and the photos it produces are beautiful. For everybody else, I’m sorry—this camera is just a massive tease. It showed what it’s capable on the video side, with truly beautiful 8K and HQ 4K footage, but it can’t be relied on to produce enough of it, at least not for those of us who want to capture high-quality 8K video on a regular basis. Canon has received a massive amount of criticism for the overheating issues, and I’d bet good money that its engineers are working hard on solving it for the Mark II version. I think that camera would eat everybody else’s lunch (as this one could have done), but we’ll just have to wait and see.

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README

  • Gorgeous 45MP RAW photos at up to 12fps uncompressed (20fps compressed)
  • Best eye and face focus-tracking I’ve used
  • Optical image stabilization is excellent for stills
  • 8K and HQ 4K video looks stunning, but camera suffers from debilitating overheating issues

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Sony’s New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

For a while it seemed like Sony’s high-end digital filmmaking cameras were on a collision course with its Alpha mirrorless cameras as those shooters became more capable at capturing video. Today the inevitable was confirmed: Sony officially revealed its FX3 with features from both the company’s digital cinema and Alpha lines, giving creators a more affordable way to capture Hollywood-caliber content.

An image of the FX3 leaked a few weeks ago led to speculation that Sony’s compact cinematography tool would be able capture video at 8K resolutions, but the full-frame, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor the camera is using is limited to resolutions of up to 4K, or 16:9 QFHD at up to 120 frames per second. Although even with a cooling fan and a vent design that encourages natural heat dissipation, the FX3 can only record uninterrupted at 4K, 60P. Higher frame rate shooting is limited so the camera doesn’t overheat. Skipping 8K is a choice Sony made to either keep the FX3’s price tag down, or to ensure it doesn’t compete with the company’s pricier digital cinema cameras—or both.

When shooting video, the FX3’s ISO settings can be pushed to an impressive 409,600 which might come in handy the next time you find yourself filming on the dark side of the moon and can’t see the sun. The camera’s 627-point autofocus system includes features like AF Transition Speed, which ensures that automatic focus changes happen smoothly so as not to be jarring to audiences, and Touch Tracking, which allows operators to simply tap an object on the FX3’s flip-out touchscreen display to tell the camera what it should keep focused in frame, even as the subject is moving around.

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Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

With the battery and memory cards installed (both dual CFexpress Type A and SDXC cards are supported), the FX3 weighs just 1.58 pounds and includes a hot shoe mounted grip, making it easier to hold, operate, and maneuver the camera at low angles. Keeping a lightweight camera steady while shooting handheld is a real challenge, so the FX3 employs five-axis in-body image stabilization for smooth videos even while filming with a lens lacking any stabilization of its own. The applied stabilization is also captured as metadata while filming, allowing it to be tweaked during post-production.

Most filmmakers will want to keep the optional grip attached, because it not only offers quick access to several controls, including ISO, iris, white balance, and zoom, it also features 15 custom buttons that can be programmed as shortcuts to 140 different functions normally buried in a software menu. The grip also has a mount for a microphone, a pair of balanced XLR/TRS audio inputs, and a 3.5-millimeter stereo two-channel jack while the camera can capture four-channel 24-bit audio when multiple mics are attached.

Illustration for article titled Sony's New FX3 Puts a Cinema-Quality Camera in Your Pocket

Image: Sony

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The FX3 will officially be available starting sometime in March with a price tag of around $3,900. That isn’t pocket change, but it’s also $2,600 cheaper than the new $6,500 Sony Alpha 1, which many people will be considering as their next video shooter. It is, however, $1,400 more expensive than the recently announced $2,500 Blackmagic Design BMPCC 6K Pro, which offers 6K shooting and an HDR rear display, although 120 fps high-speed recording is limited to 2K. But for video content creators who already have a bag full of Sony E-mount lenses, or already have a workflow involving Sony’s higher-end digital cinema cameras, the FX3 sounds like an easy choice.

Leaked Sony FX3 Could Pose Big Threat to Canon and Black Magic

Sony’s camera division has been on a warpath lately with the recently announced Alpha 1 serving as a direct response to Canon’s EOS R5. But now info has leaked about a new Sony cinema cam that could pose a serious threat to both Canon and Black Magic.

Based on a tweet from respected leaker Nokishita, the new Sony FX3 has a few interesting things going on. That’s because even though it carries the FX tag like Sony’s high-end cinema cams, it also sports Alpha branding from Sony’s consumer mirrorless camera segment, which suggests that Sony may position the FX3 as an option for both pros and more advanced home users.

And while there aren’t any detailed specs available for the FX3 just yet, MirrorlessRumors.com claims people are speculating that the FX3 could support video capture at 8K, UHD 8K, oversampled DCI 4K, and high frame rate UHD 4K. If true, that would land it right in the sweet spot for a lot of experienced content creators looking for a powerful but still relatively portable dedicated video cam.

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Additionally, the positioning of what looks like an AF joystick on the top side of the camera (instead of in the back where it would usually be), suggests that the FX3 might have a huge built-in screen to better monitor footage, similar to what you get on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema cam. Elsewhere, the inclusion of multiple mounting threads should make the FX3 easy to slip into a cage, giving users extra flexibility for tacking on additional components and accessories.

Either way, the big picture is that with the FX3, it looks like Sony is specifically targeting competing video cameras like Canon’s EOS C70 and the Black Magic’s range of dedicated cinecams, as it looks to gobble up even more of the mirrorless camera market share.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing just yet, but current rumors say Sony is expected to officially announce the FX3 prior to the CP+ show, which is slated to take place virtually starting on Feb. 24.

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The Best TVs for Watching the Super Bowl

Illustration for article titled The Best TVs for Watching the Super Bowl

Image: LG

Fine, fine! A TV in the sub-$20,000 category you say? Reader, the TV for you is the LG CX OLED. For shoppers looking to upgrade their TVs in 2020, this was the OLED to buy. Gizmodo’s senior reporter Sam Rutherford actually has the LG GX, which has a gallery design, and here’s what he says: “Even though it was pricey, my TV has quickly become the best home tech upgrade I’ve ever made. It’s got gorgeous colors and a beautiful design, and honestly, it makes me question my love for traditional movie theaters.”

Price: Currently, the 77-inch version is on sale at Best Buy for $3,300, but Costco shaves about $50 off that price and includes Hulu and Allstate protection credits in the amount of $100 each.

A 10-Billion-Pixel Scan of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ Captures More Detail Than Your Eyes Ever Could

Visit the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, The Netherlands, and you’ll have a chance to see Johannes Vermeer’s painting, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ from maybe a few feet away—depending on the crowds around the famous piece. Or you can explore this website that provides access to a massive 10-billion-pixel scan of the painting with more detail than the human eye could ever see in person.

The scan was created last year by Hirox Europe (a company that makes digital microscopes) at a resolution of 93,205 x 108,565 pixels, which amounts to 10,118,800,825 microscopic snapshots of the painting each covering an area of just 4.4 microns in size. As with most gigapixel images, the digital copy of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was created by assembling a collection of shots all focusing on different areas of the painting, which in this case amounted to 91,000 individual photographs snapped throughout a single night. Using custom software developed by Hirox, assembling all those shots into one image was an automated process.

The specular highlight on the girl’s eye at full resolution.

The specular highlight on the girl’s eye at full resolution.
Screenshot: Hirox Europe

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The scan provides an unprecedented look at the painting in more detail than any art fan would care about. But more importantly, it gives art historians and preservationists a better look at the condition of the painting’s surface as well as the state of previous restorations, which will help inform and guide future restoration and preservation attempts.

Hirox’s digital microscope wasn’t pushed to its maximum capabilities, however. In addition to scanning the entire painting, the team created even higher resolution scans of 10 specific areas where every pixel represented just a 1.1 micron speck of the entire piece. Not only were high-res snippets of the painting created during this additional scanning process, but also a 3D representation of its surface revealing how small paint chips have warped and curled at the edges over time.

It might sound obsessive, but understanding what happens to famous artworks like ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ over time (the painting is now 355 years old at this point) at a near-microscopic level is a crucial part of ensuring that in another 355 years, future generations will be able to enjoy the original as well. But if they can’t, at least there’s now a flawless digital copy.

The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

The weirdest CES ever staged is now over. But no one will be striking booths in Las Vegas or hustling out of $1,000 a night hotel rooms today with all the cool gadgets they’ve shown off all week. That’s because there wasn’t that much new tech shown off. Much of CES was a rehash of the preceding weeks—and even months—of announcements. It made the all-digital affair even weirder! But there was still some cool stuff that left us pumped for 2021 and some absolutely wild stuff that had us by turns laughing, cringing, and just scratching our heads at the audacity.

We’re only going to see more stuff as the year goes by too. Countless companies have hinted at big news in the coming weeks, and with major competing shows like IFA and Computex likely still happening later in 2021, plenty of companies could be holding their niftiest gadgets for consumer electronics shows people can actually attend in person.

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The Best Gadgets of CES 2021

Lenovo X1 Titanium Yoga

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Lenovo

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While Lenovo didn’t try to reinvent the 2-in-1, by combining an even sleeker design with a new titanium-clad body to create its thinnest ThinkPad ever, the new ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga just feels a bit more special. And as someone who appreciates a good multi-tasker, not only does the X1 Titanium Yoga feature a convertible 360-degree chassis, it also comes with full stylus support for drawing and notetaking, and updated specs including 11th-gen Intel chips, Thunderbolt 4, and a tall 3:2 display perfect for all sort of productivity. The ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is simply a premium laptop made beautiful. — Sam Rutherford

All the Wi-Fi 6E Routers

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Netgear

Last year the Wi-Fi 6 standard promised to improve wifi speeds and performance on a crowded network by using clever engineering tricks to increase the bandwidth of each wireless channel so that more devices could operate simultaneously with less cross-channel interference. But it was more of a band-aid solution to an ever-growing problem. Wi-Fi 6E promises to future-proof wifi for a while by introducing a new 6 GHz band to wifi’s existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The 6 GHz band offers 59 separate non-overlapping channels so that multiple devices can operate at higher bandwidths at the same time. (Think 8K smart TVs streaming 8K content.) The best part is that older legacy devices won’t be able to access the 6GHz band, only newer devices (which should be arriving later this year) which should ensure the new band doesn’t immediately fill up with traffic. — Andrew Liszewski

Mudra Apple Watch Band

The Mudra Band is a strap for the Apple Watch that gives you the ability to control it one-handed. There are sensors that read electrochemical signals to interpret your various hand gestures. For instance, you can tap your index finger and thumb to dismiss a call, or close your thumb to skip a music track. There’s a ton of potential for this type of device, in terms of both accessibility, but also hands-free convenience. And, it’s not vaporware. The band is $180 and is expected to ship in March. — Victoria Song

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Asus ROG Flex X13

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Asus

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It’s a 2-in-1 gaming laptop. Yes, a true 2-in-1 with 360-degree hinges. The included GPU could pack a better punch (it’s just a GTX 1650), but the rest of the specs are pretty solid: a new AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS mobile processor, liquid metal instead of regular ol’ thermal paste, and a choice between a 120 Hz or UltraHD 4K display covered with Corning Gorilla Glass. For anyone who wants the option of a better GPU, the Flow X13 pairs with Asus’ XG Mobile, a compact eGPU that supports up to an RTX 3080. Pricing the two together is expensive—$3,000—but I’m hoping Asus sells the Flow X13 separately or at least makes the XG Mobile available with other GPUs soon. — Joanna Nelius

Samsung Bespoke 4-Door Flex

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Samsung

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I know it might be weird to be this excited about a fridge just because it makes a new kind of ice, but innovation in the fridge space has been pretty scant the last few years. Everything has seemed to revolve around screens or windows in doors and that’s just not a thing most people need or want. Good ice is a thing everyone can appreciate, and while the Bespoke is likely to be way too pricey for the average person its ability to produce good, or pebble, ice means this technology is finally coming to fridges. If this means a fridge four years from now can help me make a drink as satisfying as a Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper at Sonic I’m all in. — Alex Cranz

TCL XL Collection

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: TCL

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For TV shoppers on the hunt for the largest possible display on the tightest budget, I’ve got some great news: TCL is going big in 2021. The company’s new XL Collection will feature three 85-inch display models, including a 4K QLED powered by Roku TV, a 4-Series with Roku TV, and a mini-LED 8K TV that uses QLED wide color technology. Options! We don’t know just yet how much TCL will be charging for two of those three, but we do know the 4-Series (85R435) will retail for $1,600, which is a ridiculously good deal for a display this size (and if you can wait a while, that price will likely go down closer to the holidays). Everybody’s debuting monster screens this year, but TCL’s XL displays will likely be a tough deal to beat. — Catie Keck


The Weirdest Gadgets of CES 2021

Razer’s Project Brooklyn and Project Hazel

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Razer

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Weird doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and in the case of Razer’s two concept gadgets for CES 2021, Razer is presenting different methods for dealing with some of the everyday troubles people might be facing this year. One one hand Project Brooklyn represents the ultimate evolution of a gaming chair, and even with its over-the-top 60-inch rollable OLED display and RGB lighting, it’s something that practically any gamer would love to have at home. Meanwhile, Project Hazel is an innovative take on a standard reusable mask, offering the kind of protection people need from airborne viruses while addressing a lot of the problems people have with traditional cloth or paper face coverings. Honestly, the main thing keeping these concepts in the weird territory instead of hopping over to our best list is that both are closer to fiction than something you can actually buy. — Sam Rutherford

ColdSnap

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Sigman Phase Corp.

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Keurig dominates the pod-based food space, while others like Juicero have spectacularly failed to try and muscle their way in. While the machines promise the experience is all about convenience, there are some big trade-offs to the approach. Pods need to be manufactured and recycled, and the per pod cost usually means if you’re not using the device multiple times a day, it’s just not worth it. The ColdSnap also looks like a beast of a machine, and seems like it would take up a LOT of space on your counter for the convenience of soft-serve ice cream in just 90 seconds. You can buy ice cream makers for less than $100 that take longer, but you also get to use all your own ingredients. — Andrew Liszewski

Panasonic nanoe Hair Dryer

The Panasonic nanoe Hair Dryer (EH-NA67-W) actually gets its name from a feature where the hair dryer draws moisture from the air around it (which is presumably very humid after a bath or shower) and then blasts your locks with “tiny, moisture-rich particles” that Panasonic claims are “1,000 times more moisture-packed” than the charged ion particles that other hair dryers employ to achieve the same hydrating effect. It also features a unique oscillating quick-dry nozzle that quickly moves back and forth in an attempt to dry hair quicker and with less effort. At $150 it falls somewhere between a cheap department store hairdryer and Dyson’s premium offerings and it could be neat if that very weird-sounding tech actually works. — Andrew Liszewski

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AMD and Nvidia’s Keynotes

Both AMD and Nvidia had some nice mobile-related news at CES 2021, but new news doesn’t mean exciting news, and a massive shortage in the GPU space meant both companies seemed to have refrained from making the much bigger announcements fans expect. We’ll get the Radeon 6700 and the RTX 3070 Super someday, but not at CES. — Joanna Nelius

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Harman Personal Audio Headrest Platform

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Harman

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Speakers built into the headrest of your car seat that pop down to pipe the music into your ears is a very awesome idea, but I’m not sure its necessarily a practical one. Speakers on either side of your head seem like a good way to do some damage to your noggin in the case of an accident, and it will be absolutely annoying if you’re driving along with a friend and they abruptly deploy their speakers. There’s also the way it kind of kills the in-car sing-a-long that’s practically required if you have two or more people in a car and someone is being a kickass with the AUX cable. I don’t hate Harman’s Personal Audio Headrest platform, but it definitely seems like a weird solution to a problem few people have. — Alex Cranz

Samsung Eco Remote Control

Illustration for article titled The Best Gadgets of CES 2021, and the Weirdest Ones Too

Image: Samsung

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I’m thrilled to see a TV maker moving away from single-use AA or AAA batteries that will likely wind up in the trash. If Samsung is to be believed, its new Eco Remote Control—which will ship with all of its new 2021 QLED 4K and 8K TVs—can charge via light as well as through a USB-C port, and Samsung says the remote can last up to two years on a single charge. That’s not too bad if you’re buying a TV you hope to have for the next 10 years or longer. I’m cautiously optimistic about this remote, but I’d like to see it in action before I get too pumped about the future of TV wands. It certainly seems like a step in the right direction, though. — Catie Keck

Morari Patch

It’s a taint…bandaid…that zappies the no-man’s-land between the scrotum and anus to stop premature ejaculation. Do I really need to elaborate? — Victoria Song

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