Every year in Las Vegas, the annual CES event gives the world a glimpse at the future of consumer electronics, from devices that are near launch to futuristic prototypes. After spending a week on the show floor and getting a firsthand look at all the coolest tech, we have prepared a shortlist of some of the coolest products and innovations shown off by vendors at CES 2020. Everything from new televisions, to laptops and firetrucks, made the cut this year. It was truly an event that had something for everyone.
Best of CES 2020 - products and innovation
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch for Nintendo Switch
What else can we say about the Nintendo Switch as a travel companion that we haven't already said? But if you're an early adopter, it's safe to say that your Nintendo Switch's battery power probably stinks. So it's nice to see that HyperX has alleviated this problem with its ChargePlay Clutch. This doubles as a grip for the Switch and also as a battery solution, one that's able to wirelessly charge the Switch up at least one full cycle.
That by itself is enough to make this product a winner, but the ChargePlay Clutch also features detachable Joy-Con grips. It's possible to attach the Switch's Joy-Cons to the device's grip while using the Clutch's kickstand to lay the Switch upright. There are some great accessories that enhance the Switch's Handheld Mode, but the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch stands to be among the best.
LG UltraGear gaming monitors
LG has spent the last couple of CES shows introducing increasingly improved versions of its curved PC gaming monitor. The 21:9 UltraGear 34GK950F and 38GL950G monitors represent LG's most advanced models to date. These monitors are the first to offer a 1ms response time, leading to sharper picture quality. With a 144Hz (175Hz Overclock) refresh rate, it's also an optimal selection when playing some of the best games on the market. Take advantage of that 21:9 aspect ratio, the crisp and accurate colors, and the heightened refresh rates that come from NVIDIA's G-SYNC tech for a better gaming experience.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced with Optical Keyboard
We write a lot on our laptops at Shacknews, and having a keyboard that is actually pleasing to the touch is quite rare in laptops these days. Apple is still trying to figure out how to convince users that the Touchbar isn’t trash, and a lot of other OEMs are shifting their keyboards to the bottom of the laptop, removing the chin. Razer has done an amazing job with the optical keyboard in their latest Blade 15 Advanced laptop. The computer packs a punch with great specs, but it was definitely our favorite laptop keyboard of the show.
LG OLED AI ThinQ gaming TVs
NVIDIA and LG joined forces late last year to start bringing out G-SYNC compatible televisions. CES 2020 saw LG bring out a dozen new OLED flat-panel TVs, all utilizing NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology. Models like the 48CX and 65CX take advantage of LG's a9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K, Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos audio, and conversational voice recognition to deliver more than a trophy living room television. The visual quality comes across as crisp and colorful when running games like F1 2019 and NVIDIA's G-Sync tech offers a faster refresh rate and a smoother picture experience. On top of that, it's a razor-thin panel.
Arcade1Up isn't content sticking to the gaming cabinet business. They're branching out into several different products beyond its line of arcade cabinets. CES saw the company bring out plug-and-play products, person-sized joysticks, and refinements of some of their current products. The most intriguing addition to the Arcade1Up library, however, is pinball machines. Created in conjunction with pinball wizards Zen Studios, Arcade1Up's3/4 scale cabinets can fit in almost any home and house virtual pinball titles from top franchises like Star Wars. It brings the PinballFX experience that Zen Studios has perfected and delivers it in a more traditional package. Best of all, it looks to be fairly affordable, sporting a $399 price tag.
Arcade1Up NBA Jam
Arcade1Up has continually stepped up its cabinet game over the past couple of years. One would think that with the games that have filled its machines, the company wouldn't have any more room for ascension. At CES, Arcade1Up outdid itself again. A four-player NBA Jam cabinet (also containing NBA Jam: Tournament Edition and NBA Hangtime) is a strong entry to its growing library. But what makes the NBA Jam cabinet such a standout is the addition of free online multiplayer. Yes, it's possible to jump on this arcade machine solo, set up an account, and jump online by pushing the "Live" button on the center of the console. It opens the door for more online titles in the future and is a game-changer for Arcade1Up and its user base going forward.
Elgato 4K60 S+
Capture kits have become increasingly common in the gaming space, some of which have worked via an HDMI passthrough. They're not perfect, but they do the job. Elgato is now looking to put together the best of these capture kits yet with the reveal of the Elgato 4K60 S+. This is a portable device, which works via HDMI passthrough with any console, including the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, and is capable of recording 4K gameplay with the simple push of a button. Footage can be recorded straight to an SD card, with a special codec outputting an optimized MP4 file. The hard outer shell also makes this ideal for travel, which will prove to be valuable for streamers and gamers on-the-go.
This isn't for the budget-minded, as the Elgato 4K60 S+ is set at a $399 price point. But in terms of performance, this looks to be a top-of-the-line product.
Mad Catz EGO Arcade Stick
It was a sad day when Mad Catz declared bankruptcy, especially for the fighting game community that had grown to love the company's line of arcade fighting sticks. A few years ago, the company returned under new ownership but was in the business of making PC peripherals. The time for arcade sticks had not come.
Now that time is here and the EGO feels like Mad Catz never left. The EGO fight stick offers the intuitive Mad Catz design and the very best elements of its most recent arcade sticks, like the accessory compartment along the back. There are also some cool new features, including a turbo button that allows players to perform eight quick inputs by holding down a single button and a button lock that prevents accidental presses of the Home button. The most interesting addition is the use of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller as a bridge, which makes the EGO mostly platform agnostic.
The EGO will be ready for release in March, just in time for the 2020 Capcom Pro Tour season.
Unis OnPoint AirSoft Arcade System
On our last day at CES 2020, we came across an interesting arcade technology demonstration featuring an airsoft gun that fires actual pellets. The technology can sense when players are not aimed at the screen to prevent anyone from being hurt by a reckless shooter. The game grades you on accuracy and features a high score list to create some serious replay value. I don’t really like actual guns, but this product can certainly lead to a rootin', tootin' good time.
The mClassic is the first add-on graphics processor for consoles. While PC gamers are able to upgrade their rigs with ease with the latest GPU, console gamers are frequently left with some antiquated graphics. This is especially true in some Nintendo Switch ports like The Witcher 3. Marseille's mClassic device drastically improves the image that is displayed on the TV. The folks from Marseille had a side-by-side comparison of The Witcher 3 running on Switch docked with and without the graphics processor. It's a small form factor device, but it packs a punch in the performance department. The mClassic costs $100 and is for sale now.
Legends Ultimate Connected Arcade Cabinet
The Legends Ultimate Connected Arcade Cabinet from AtGames boasts a ton of licensed games but takes things a step further with the ability to play PC games. The cabinet also features USB and HDMI inputs allowing for players to plug in just about anything from MAME emulator software to keyboard and mouse, or a Nintendo Switch. The product is built with quality controller parts and features every kind of input device from the old school arcade days. We were floored by our demo at Showstoppers this week and look forward to seeing how their product and service platform evolves.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
The ThinkPad X1 Fold features a bendable display with an impressive hinge design. The biggest deal about the product was that the crease and the bend were not noticeable visually or to the touch. The X1 Fold is definitely a first for the tablet/laptop form factor, and while some of its specs might not be too impressive, it is hard to not be wowed by its brand new form factor and cool design.
Tropos Motors Compact Electric Fire Truck
Firetrucks are very cool, but not always practical for every situation. The people at Tropos Motors and Panasonic have teamed up to offer a different take on the classic utility vehicle with the Connected Right-Sized Emergency Firetruck concept. It is much smaller than a normal firetruck, allowing it access to areas where a bigger vehicle cannot go, such as underground parking garages. It also comes with a price tag that is bite-sized compared to its full-grown cousins. The micro first responder vehicle also comes loaded with the latest technology, including a Panasonic Toughbook tablet. Hopefully, they saved enough room for the Dalmatian.
ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz
Esports is a serious business. NVIDIA and ASUS understand this and have collaborated on a new monitor to help push the limits of performance. Sporting a native refresh rate of 360Hz this new ASUS ROG Swift monitor is the smoothest display available to consumers, offering an additional 120Hz of headroom over the already impressive 240Hz monitors of the last few years. When paired with GPU hardware capable of driving such high framerates, this display offers users a major advantage over the competition.
Origin PC: The Big O
The folks over at Origin PC have years of experience building high-performance gaming PCs. After deciding that offering cool gaming PCs was not enough, the company has created its own Frankenstein's monster in the form of The Big O. Housing a full-fledged gaming PC along with either a PS4 Pro or Xbox One S Digital, this monster can play just about anything. Featuring custom loop liquid cooling inside a Corsair 280X chassis, The Big O keeps your PC hardware and console cool and quiet, which is a big deal for anyone who has had to suffer from the jet-engine woosh of having the standard versions of these consoles on their desk. Buyers also have the option to add in an Elgato 4K60 Pro capture card to make console capture for streaming or VODs a breeze.
AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs
After a very successful 2019 for AMD and its Ryzen series of consumer desktop CPUs and chipsets, the company made some headlines during CES 2020 with the announcement of the Ryzen 4000 mobile processors. While these super-efficient chips sport a 4000 in their name, they are actually based on last year's Ryzen 3000 architecture and paired up with integrated graphics based on the Vega design. AMD is promising unmatched performance from the 8-core/16-thread CPUs and hopes to wrestle market share away from Intel, who has long dominated the consumer laptop market.
For more coverage of CES 2020, including new product announcements, hands-on impressions, and more, keep your browser locked to Shacknews.
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Shacknews Best of CES 2020 - products and innovation
Really curious to see how the mClassic does. It's a super smart device but I imagine support for it will be slow in coming.
Also the foldable screen is still as "why would I want this" as ever.