It was a strange CES in 2021. The Consumer Electronics Show was confined entirely to an online experience of technology showcases and reveals. The opportunity to demo products and get more hands-on with coverage was lost, but CES 2021 wasn’t a total drag. There were a lot of great products to see, especially for gaming. From COVID safety to new GPU-utilizing gaming rigs and so much more, we gathered together some of the best of the best from CES 2021. Have a look.
Best of CES 2021 - Products and innovation
Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU
Nvidia’s thunder was slightly stolen by a SKU leak in 2020, but it didn’t stop us from being excited about what they had in store this CES. The RTX 3060 is an incredible-sounding budget option coming to the RTX 30 series line-up. This GPU is said to pack just as much of a punch as the previous generation RTX 2080 but at a fraction of the cost. It carries a mere $329 standard price tag for the power it brings to the table. Now if Nvidia could just somehow ensure that people will actually be able to get these cards without being at the mercy of the aftermarket bots and re-sellers, that would be nice. We’ll see what happens when they launch in February 2021.
Razer Blade 15 & 17 Pro with NVIDIA RTX 30 Series GPUs
If you’ve been holding off on getting a new pre-built rig or laptop because of the new technology coming down the pipeline, then CES 2021 had the reveals you’ve been waiting for. Razer was one of several companies to come right out of the gate with laptops utilizing Nvidia’s exciting new Series 30 GPU technology. The Blade 15 and 17 Pro are staying much the same as they were last year. Razer is proud of the design of these current devices, but under the hood, they’re getting Nvidia RTX 30 Series GPUs in 2021 and that’s absolutely something that makes new editions of the Razer 15 and 17 Pro worth it on their own. With the confirmation of the RTX 3060, there are even a few slightly more economic editions available when they launch later this January 2021.
Arcade1Up X-Men 4-player co-op cabinet
Arcade1Up has been continually impressive the various styles of cabinets it keeps putting out year to year. We’ve seen four-player cabs, lightgun cabs, and even driving cabs come out of the 3/4 scale arcade retailer’s line-up, but it wasn’t so much the innovation as the quality of the new cabinets announced for its CES 2021 line-up. They revealed an Arcade1Up edition of Konami’s X-Men in 4-player co-op. And not only can you play it with your local friends, but you can also connect to other X-Men cabinet players online through the game’s built-in Live WIFI. Arcade1Up also had Killer Instinct, Dragon’s Lair, and PONG flat-top pub cabinets to show this time out, making for a stellar start to its early 2021 catalog.
Hisense TriChroma Laser TV short-throw projector
Projector screen setups have long been a very technical hassle when it comes to setting them up, requiring special screen installation, a ton of wiring, and a clear path from the projector to the screen space. Hisense is set to change that in a big way in 202 with its TriChroma Laser TV short-throw projector. Simply put, this device is made to offer the same excellent offerings of a projector screen, but from very short distances, removing the need for complicated riggings or clear lanes from the projector to screen space. Hisense also claims the devices are capable of very high-quality outputs, including BT.2020 color standard, which has yet to be offered in consumer electronics. It will be highly interesting to see if the TriChroma Laser TV can deliver on its promises when it launches.
TCL 6-Series 4K and 8K TVs featuring OD Zero technology
TCL has continued to work tirelessly on making affordable solutions to high-resolution panels and monitors, and that work continued with its reveals at CES 2021. In particular, TCL talked up the new OD Zero technology being offered in its upcoming 6-Series TVs, which is said to feature a near-zero gap between the TV’s mini-LEDs and the LCD display layer, making for a supposed massive boost in quality to brightness and contrast. The big ringer though is that even as TCL continues to push its technology, it also aims to keep its TVs highly affordable, touting an “8K for all” rhetoric with its 6-Series 4K and 8K TVs featuring the new tech in 2021.
LG introduces OLED Evo TVs
As highly impressive as new OLED technology can be in color, brightness, and contrast, one of the ongoing issues with it is that it doesn’t do well in well-lit rooms. LG aims to address this issue with its new line of OLED Evo TVs in 2021, which included several sizes ranging in 55, 65, and 77-inch editions. These devices will likely come at a premium price if they do what they say they’re going to do when they launch in 2021, but if LG’s OLED Evo truly can be watched in light or dark conditions without issue, it’s going to be a gamechanger in high-quality TV visual technology.
Stern Pinball Led Zeppelin Game
For the uninitiated, if there was ever a license that’s nearly impossible to get one’s hands-on, it’s that of Led Zeppelin. The rock legends are notoriously stingy about who can use their coveted music for anything. So color us shocked when Stern Pinball announced a Led Zeppelin pinball machine and showed the machine in action during CES 2021. This is incredible, to say the least, despite the hefty price tag of any of the three editions of the table ($6,199 USD for the standard Pro version), but the machine is a work of art featuring 10 full-length Led Zeppelin songs, tons of iconography from the band’s artwork and music videos on the board, its mechanicals, and the full-color screen on the back of the game, and built-in RGB lighting in the wood panel that strobes along to the music as you play. The sheer existence of this pinball machine is a miracle, but to see all of it in action is dang near euphoric.
Razer Project Hazel smart mask
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on the gaming and technology industry as a whole. Heck, CES 2021 is online, and it’s just the latest of many major events to have to make that pivot. Throughout the whole ordeal, though, Razer has been genuinely involved in various efforts to help, such as when it shifted production to surgical masks for frontline workers the world around. At CES 2021, Razer made its efforts in COVID-19 prevention and health consideration a little more gamified. They revealed the concept of Project Hazel, an RGB smart mask with a powered (and rechargeable) ventilator and filters. We almost want to say it’s ridiculous, but we have to admit, COVID-19 precautions have really never looked so cool and functional at the same time. Kudos, Razer.
Razer Project Brooklyn gaming chair
The cool mask wasn’t Razer’s only sweet reveal. Gaming chairs aren’t any new thing, but the second concept Razer showed off was pretty off-the-wall, even for the most off-the-wall gaming chair we’ve seen. The Project Brooklyn gaming chair is meant to be an all-in-one gaming solution, offering players a curved screen on a mount that comes down on a hinge over the sitting player's head, all while the arms of the chair extend to offer a roll out gaming platform for keyboard and mouse. Of course, the whole thing is also kitted up in delicious RGB lighting and features smart cable solutions to reduce clutter. Razer is still working out the feasibility of this design, but if it truly comes together, players might have everything they need for a complete gaming experience in one chair.
Otterbox gets into gaming accessories
Having you ever broken a gamepad? This is a safe space. We won’t judge you if you’ve ever flung your Xbox One controller in a heated fit of inarticulate rage. In fact, there might even be solutions to keep your pads safe in the foreseeable future! You see, if anyone knows how to protect a product, it’s Otterbox. The company has been creating protective cases for smartphones and tablets for years upon years, and at CES 2021, it announced it is entering the game accessory market. The concepts started with covers for Xbox One and Series X gamepads, but a start is a start. We get the feeling if you’ve ever crushed a controller to smithereens, it might be in your best interest to keep an eye on Otterbox’s new protective gaming accessories.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro
So pretty late last year as one of Apple’s One More Thing presentations included the reveal of the AirPods Max: some pretty atrocious-looking over-ear headphones with a pretty atrocious $549 price tag to match. Almost as if to spit in Apple’s eye, Samsung came to the table at CES 2021 with what appears to be the antithesis of the AirPods Max: The Galaxy Buds Pro. Don’t get us wrong, these still sound pretty pricey at $199, but they have a lot of things going on that make them sound far superior to what Apple presented. A 1mm woofer and a 6.5mm tweeter, an ambient sound amplifier that can reach up to 20 decibels, and incredibly discerning noise cancellation and listen-through technology make these things sound fantastic. Add that to the fact that they look sleek and low-profile and it kind of looks like Samsung came to eat Apple’s lunch in the audio market this CES 2021.
And that covers our favorites of the technology shown at CES 2021. It’s looking like some exciting things are over the horizon. What did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Shacknews Best of CES 2021 - Products and innovation