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  • (gentle music)

  • - CES 2021 is over.

  • CES 2020 was also virtual.

  • Now, a virtual thing is not technically real.

  • So if it was never real in the first place,

  • can it actually be over?

  • Yes, CES 2021 is over.

  • And because it was virtual,

  • we were expecting it to be a pretty slow show

  • but it turns out there were some really interesting trends

  • and things that happened this year.

  • Now, CES is not a show where you should expect

  • there to be huge flagship announcements,

  • of products that you can go out and buy right away.

  • That's just not what the show is.

  • It's a show about the parts of gadgets

  • like the screens and the processors.

  • It's a lot of promises basically.

  • And that doesn't mean that it's vaporware,

  • but it does mean that what you learn from CES

  • is about the trends and things that are going to happen

  • a little bit later,

  • not things that you can go out and buy right now.

  • But that said, I do think that some of those trends

  • are really interesting.

  • And so I wanna talk about a few of those promises.

  • The first big trend of CES is the same trend as every CES,

  • and that there are a lot of concept devices.

  • These are things that might not necessarily get made

  • but that doesn't mean that they're vaporware.

  • It means that some companies have produced some things

  • that are really interesting

  • and that might turn into products

  • or might tell you what a future product

  • is going to look like.

  • And the concept that ran away with the show

  • was Razor's Project Hazel.

  • It has an N95 rating or at least it's supposed to,

  • if it ever gets certified.

  • It uses little gaskets to breathe

  • but there will be filters on them.

  • It's clear so that people can see you speaking,

  • which is really interesting.

  • It has a silicon thing over your nose

  • so hopefully it won't fog up glasses.

  • It also has a microphone

  • and a speaker that razor says it's working with THX to tune

  • so that your voice doesn't sound muffled when

  • you're wearing the mask.

  • That it sounds natural.

  • Of course it's rechargeable.

  • Of course it comes in a case

  • with a UV light to disinfect it or whatever.

  • And of course, because it's Razor,

  • it's gonna have RGB lights that you can set

  • to do all sorts of fancy color things.

  • This is a cool idea.

  • I don't know if they're actually gonna make it.

  • And it's part of another trend

  • that I just wanna mention on the side,

  • which is there were a lot of COVID gadgets this year

  • and I was very, very nervous going into CES

  • that what we were going to see is,

  • we'll call it COVID profiteering,

  • a bunch of gadgets that don't actually help anybody,

  • that are very scientifically unsound,

  • that are just taking advantage

  • of people's fear of this pandemic.

  • Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I thought.

  • We have seen a few things

  • like thermometers built into doorbells

  • that I don't think are very useful because the science,

  • external thermometers like that, isn't very good.

  • We also saw a bunch of UV gadgets to disinfect stuff

  • and that's fine, but overall, companies were relatively good

  • about not taking advantage of people's fear of the pandemic.

  • I don't think Razor did either but I will tell you

  • that the problem that we have with the pandemic right now,

  • isn't enough smart tech.

  • The problem is that people aren't being smart themselves.

  • They're not wearing masks,

  • they're not social distancing, not as much as we need.

  • So please do that.

  • And Razor as cool as this Project Hazel thing is,

  • I am more impressed with the fact

  • that you switched one of your factories over to making masks

  • for healthcare workers

  • and that you gave away a million of them.

  • Thank you for doing that.

  • And if you decide you actually wanna produce

  • this Project Hazel smart mask,

  • yeah, I'll take some flaky lights on my face, why not?

  • We saw a bunch of other regular kind of CES concepts.

  • Of course we saw concept cars

  • and we also saw a bunch of concept screens.

  • Like for example, LG has a semi-transparent screen

  • which is a very good idea.

  • They're showing it off again

  • that's even more transparent than before,

  • but for some reason they think you're gonna wanna put it

  • at the foot of your bed and have it rise up on a motor.

  • Sure, why not?

  • The main thing that we see with concept screens

  • is that they bend and fold.

  • And so TCL, which is trying really hard to prove

  • that it's a big deal now,

  • showed off a bunch of different bendy screens

  • that showed up off thing that was like literally a scroll.

  • Maybe someday, I don't know.

  • The rolly screen that I'm most impressed with

  • is LG's rollable phone.

  • It's a phone where it sort of rolls out

  • to become a tablet-size thing

  • or rolls back into the regular form factor that you expect.

  • It is just a concept but LG says

  • they are going to sell one this year.

  • LG also makes the Wing though

  • so they're probably not gonna sell that many of them

  • but just getting one out the door will be interesting.

  • I want a phone that turns into a tablet

  • and a foldable is one way to do it

  • and a rollable is a really interesting, different way.

  • (gentle music)

  • The next big thing that happened at CES

  • has to do with processors and laptops.

  • So let's talk about processors and laptops.

  • We had keynote presentations from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia.

  • And you put all them together,

  • what I think you're going to get are gaming laptops in 2021

  • that are very, very interesting and very good, I hope.

  • So Intel, it has a bunch of new core chips

  • and you probably know by now

  • that Intel has had a rough go of it lately.

  • They had to sell off their modem business to Apple.

  • They're competing with Apple, with Apple's new M1 chip

  • which is very good in terms of performance per watt

  • and Intel is having a hard time getting down

  • to the 10 and seven nanometer process for making its chips

  • which we know are more power efficient

  • or more powerful per watt.

  • Anyway, Intel, they're doing their best

  • with kind of what they got.

  • They do have some interesting things coming

  • but we will have to see

  • if they are like significantly better

  • or if we're still playing the waiting game with them.

  • Then there's AMD, which has another generation

  • of its Ryzen processors

  • running on the seven nanometer process,

  • which means that they can be very powerful

  • without completely destroying your battery.

  • I'm very interested to see what these are like

  • and I'm also kind of hoping

  • that they're actually easier to find

  • 'cause they weren't in a ton of laptops last year

  • but the ones that they were in were very, very good.

  • Finally, there is Nvidia, which is bringing down some GPU's

  • to gaming laptops that are actually more powerful

  • than I would have guessed as early as they're coming.

  • I want to figure out to take it a little bit longer

  • for this much power to come to gaming laptops.

  • And by this much power what I mean is,

  • proper 1440P resolutions running at 90 frames per second.

  • That seems like it's completely a doable thing

  • on gaming laptops this year in form factors

  • that aren't like three inches thick and weigh eight pounds.

  • Now, after all these announcements were made,

  • there were a ton of laptop announcements

  • because all those parts were public

  • and so all the companies are making laptop talks

  • about all of those parts.

  • We're interested in a bunch of them

  • but the one that I'm most interested in

  • is the successor to this guy right here,

  • the Republic of Gamers, Zephyrus G14 or whatever.

  • If there's a G15, that's gonna use this design

  • and it's gonna have, I hope really, really good performance.

  • And I think it's gonna be

  • one of our favorite laptops of 2021 if it pans out

  • because this guy right here

  • was one of our favorite laptops of 2020.

  • Now, if you're not interested in gaming laptops,

  • what is all this chip and gaming laptop stuff

  • actually mean to you?

  • Well, watch Intel.

  • See, on the one front they're fighting Apple,

  • which has its ARM chips on its laptops,

  • Qualcomm is trying to make a thing with ARM and Windows,

  • we'll see how that goes,

  • and AMD is hard-charging on the x86 side,

  • Intel sort of stuck in the middle, trying to make it work.

  • And they have a new chip that's called Alder Lake

  • that sort of takes some of the ideas from ARM

  • in terms of a big powerful processor

  • and a little high efficient cores

  • to improve battery life and just sort of improve

  • overall performance on a laptop.

  • And that is gonna be their big chance to try and take on

  • the M1 chip with head-to-head performance.

  • We shall see, but that is the best bet

  • that they've got for 2021

  • and I'll be very, very interested to see

  • what ultra-light laptops with that chip look like.

  • And if they can be competitive

  • with what's coming from Apple.

  • (gentle music)

  • If you know anything about CES,

  • you know that what it really is deep down in its heart

  • and its soul, what it truly wants to be is a TV show.

  • And so of course, we got a bunch of TV announcements.

  • We got TV announcements before CES

  • even technically began because it was trying

  • to get out ahead of it.

  • And this year, the thing for you to remember

  • if you're not buying a high-end TV,

  • if you're just buying a TV is make sure you get one

  • with HTMI 2.1.

  • It's pretty much everywhere

  • but it's pretty much the best way for you to be sure

  • that you're gonna be at least a little bit future-proof.

  • Now, you're gonna have to check a whole bunch of specs

  • to make sure it can support all of the stuff

  • that you might want from a PS5 or an Xbox Series X

  • if you're getting one of those

  • or if you're lucky to have already bought one,

  • but at the very least, HDMI 2.1 is a start.

  • Now, in terms of high-end TV technology,

  • the big story here is mini-LED versus OLED.

  • You might know that OLED TVs are really good

  • because they can have truly black blacks

  • and then bright whites.

  • You get a high contrast ratio.

  • They look amazing and LG is the king of making OLED TVs.

  • But there's a competing technology.

  • It is mini-LED and what it tries to do is have the light

  • that shines behind the pixels be ever, ever smaller

  • so there's more dimming zones

  • so that it can get true black as well.

  • The advantage to mini-LED is that it's not organic

  • which means that it should last longer

  • and there's fewer banning concerns.

  • The disadvantage is they have to do a lot of work

  • to get those mini-LEDs more and more mini

  • so that they can get closer to the true black

  • that you can get from OLED.

  • Samsung thinks it's really getting there,

  • it's pushing it hard.

  • And another company, TCL, is also pushing