Speaker 1: It’s time to talk about the best laptops at CES 2022. We’ve got gaming laptops. We’ve got business laptops. We’ve got new chips from Intel and AMD, but largely I think it’s a story about how laptops and tablets and computers in general are evolving to meet our needs. As remote workers, hybrid workers work from ’em. Sometimes workers. There’s something for everybody out there.
Speaker 1: There are some big themes that [00:00:30] cut across a lot of the laptops and tablets and computers that we’re seeing here at CES 2022. I think the primary thing is we’re finally getting systems that are designed around what we’re doing now, which is, is hybrid work and remote work, going to the office sometimes and hotel desking. And that includes things like having a full HD 10 80 resolution webcam as a default, which we really have not had in a lot of systems up until now, even though we’re doing these web meetings and video meetings all the time, we’re also seeing a lot of gaming laptops with AMD [00:01:00] chips, a lot of new stuff there, which seeing a lot of laptops and tablets that have GPS, whether it’s Invidia or AMD or the new Intel arc that don’t really look and feel like gaming laptops that hardware’s getting into a wider range of systems.
Speaker 1: And another interesting theme is secondary screens are getting another turn it bat for years now. We’ve occasionally seen PC makers try to put a second screen into a laptop, either inside like next to the keyboard or on the back of the lid. They’ve never really taken off. I would’ve thought [00:01:30] everyone would’ve given up on that by now, but we’ve seen several laptops this year that have that secondary screen. Again, ironically, this video was a lot easier to do last year for CES 2021, because we all knew the show was gonna be remote and PC makers could send their products to me and my team to look at the checkout to get hands on with this year for CES 2022. I think the decision was made by a lot of companies and a lot of us not to go to Las Vegas in person kind of late in the game.
Speaker 1: So our impressions of a lot of these laptops come from [00:02:00] the spec sheets from seeing the companies post their own videos about them and talking to them about them. However, there are some that we did get a chance to go see in person and check out, and that definitely helped us form our opinions. One of the laptops I did get a chance to go see in person was the Dell XPS 13 plus. Now the PS line has always been one of my favorites. It gets a little bit better every year. The 13 inch model is a really MacBook air alternative, but this year Dell decided to make a more premium version. They’re calling the plus. Well, what [00:02:30] makes it, plus there are a bunch of design differences. There are some component differences. I think the first thing you’re gonna notice is the fact that there’s no touch pad per se.
Speaker 1: It’s just a big, long piece of glass covering the entire front lip of the laptop. Now that’s not all touch pad. The actual touch sensitive part goes from kind of the alt key on this side to the alt key on this side, you have to develop some muscle memory, I think over time to figure that out. But I like the look and the function key row on top has been replaced with a capacitive touch strip that does the function keys, and then flips. And does the media keys, [00:03:00] you might say it’s a little bit like the touch bar on MacBook pros that has been discontinued. Now. I think that’s a legitimate criticism. I think this is a little bit easier to use because there’s only two sets of buttons and you don’t have to try to figure out what’s happening contextually every time that said, I think they took these out so they could fit higher power component inside.
Speaker 1: This can support more powerful CPUs than a regular X PS 13 can. And also to keep it thin, they’ve taken the top layer, the protective layer of glass off the screen basically reduced [00:03:30] one of the layers in kind of the sandwich that makes up the display. Dell says that’s not going to affect the ruggedness of it. We’re gonna have to wait and see, but overall it’s a really nice looking package. This one weird little caveat about it. It’s one of the first laptops I’ve seen that completely eliminates the headphones Jack, which we thought was really scandals when it happened in phones many years ago, but we got used to it. So maybe we’ll get used to it in laptops. Also, one of HP’s more premium lines is the elite drag and fly. They’ve had windows versions of that for a couple of years, and it’s [00:04:00] a really nice system.
Speaker 1: And the gen three, they had at CES 2022, also very nice. You can get a big, uh, 3000 by 2000 resolution OED screen on it, but I was more interested in the HP elite dragonfly Chromebook because it’s a very rare premium business Chromebook. And it’s the first Chromebook I that supports Intel’s vPro, which is a platform that, uh, basically lets your it department, a remotely manager system and not having that is a real deal breaker for a lot of big companies. If they wanna [00:04:30] get Chromebooks in people’s hands, which may make a lot of sense, but if the Chromebooks don’t support their business needs and their it needs, then you can do it. So I think this system will help businesses get more used to using books, which frankly remote schooling has taught us are frankly really good for a lot of things. It’s also interesting to note the windows version of the new dragonfly is a clamps sale laptop.
Speaker 1: The Chromebook version is actually a two in what one thing I’m seeing a lot of at CES this year is that the really premium gaming laptops are going AMD and rise in versus [00:05:00] Invidia and Intel. A great example of this is a new alien where M 15 R five rise edition. And that has got the latest parts from AMD inside. And of course it’s a big 17 inch screen, which we always like in gaming laptops. So inside you can get the rise 9 69, 80 HX CPU and the RX 68 50 M X T GPU. And if you don’t know what those mean, those are just AMD’s latest parts. And frankly, they promise me very power efficient. So this [00:05:30] could be one of the first 17 inch gaming laptops that actually gets okay, battery life. But it’s not only big screen laptops that are doing interesting things in gaming.
Speaker 1: We’re seeing some more unconventional forms. We’ve got the Asus flow Z 13, and that is a gaming tablet. A very rare thing. I remember seeing some gaming tablets years and years ago. They didn’t really work out this time inside this tablet. You can get up to an Invidia 30, 50 ti GPU, which is frankly pretty good, especially considering it’s all packed into that slate form, [00:06:00] but you could also add an external GPU box and ause makes one of those also that’s where you put a desktop CPU in like the separate box with its own power supply, and then you plug it into your device to get that extra GPU power. And then you just unplug it and just take the slate part with you when you don’t want are the whole thing. A wrap Lenovo always has a lot of interesting things for CES. I’m gonna be a little bit of a contrarian here and say that our pick for the best thing is not, um, a fancy consumer system or a gaming system.
Speaker 1: [00:06:30] It’s actually the ThinkPad Z series. That’ve got the Z 13 and the Z 16, 13 inch and 16 inch models that are really the evolved business laptops. The things that really stood out about this, that we liked were you can get 16 by 10 O lead displays. Number one O led is cool. And number two 16 by 10, I think is more useful for remote and hybrid work because you get a little bit more, uh, vertical space there, especially when you’re viewing documents and doing a lot of paperwork online. That means a lot. And the we’ve also got those full HD webcams. I talk about [00:07:00] that are really important to have these days. They’ve got IR facial recognition and they’ve even got haptic touch pads, which gives you a little kind of, you know, force feedback based on how you’re using the touch pad. That’s something else we’re seeing show up in a few systems this year.
Speaker 1: And I think it’s really cool. Another really interesting gaming laptop we saw was the Asus is du oh 16. Now that is one of those laptops. That’s adding a secondary screen. That’s why it’s called the duo, I guess, cuz it’s got the 16 inch main screen. It’s got a long kind of strip screen below that that’s 14 [00:07:30] inches diagonally 4k resolution. It’s a touch screen. And when you open the lid that that secondary screen moves up into position underneath it. And I guess in games you could like maps or inventory things onto it. If you’re doing productivity things, uh, you can move certain menus or, or rough text, uh, that you wanna copy and paste from down there. There’s a bunch of different ways to use it as a secondary display. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this or even the first time we’ve seen this from a sous, uh, but this year’s model with updated components and a really nice big screen size and a really secondary screen size.
Speaker 1: [00:08:00] I think that’s really impressive. Those are probably the overall favorites among my team. We did have some honorable mentions though. I’m definitely gonna give a nod to the alien wear X 14, which is a really thin gaming laptop for mailing wear a new screen size on them that used to make 13 inch gaming laptops that I always thought were really cool. They don’t make those anymore. Not the, they got a 14 inch, which is kind of the same thing. It’s main selling point is that it’s 14.5 inches thick, which is, you know, pretty thin it’s a little bit heavy about four pounds and you can fit up to an Invidia [00:08:30] RTX 30, 60 inside. I’m also gonna give an honor roll mention nod to the ause Zen book, 17 fold. We’ve seen laptops and tablets with folding blades before a couple of years ago, they were all the range.
Speaker 1: Everybody had a prototype, nothing really came of most of those. This is an ambitious new version of that where it’s a 17 inch display, but it’s that flexible type of screen kind of like a, uh, galaxy fold phone has. So you can fold it over. You can either leave it set up as a big 17 inch screen and put a [00:09:00] wireless keyboard in front of it. Kinda like a little all in one system or you can fold it over and have an onscreen keyboard on the lower half and a screen on the upper half. It’s about a 12 and a half inch size laptop. If you do it that way, is it gonna be practical? Who knows? I think we haven’t worked out a, all the kinks of folding screens, but the ones I’ve seen I’ve liked. And I like the idea of having a really big one.
Speaker 1: I’m also gonna give a nod to two other Lenovo systems, the yoga nine eye, which is really the flagship of the yoga line. It’s got a redesign hinge with its 360 degree soundbar in it. It’s [00:09:30] got some new function keys along the side, so you don’t have to do the function and hold down a function, uh, the FN button and hold down a function key to do something, uh, and also the seven eye, the yoga seven eye, which frankly is not as fancy, but we think is spec for spec, the best bang for your buck in this product line right now. And I’m also gonna give an honorable mention nod to the ACE or swift X is a new 16 inch size. The swift X has always been, you know, a very thin, very attractive laptop line. I’d like that. This is one of the first laptops we’re seeing maybe [00:10:00] even the first with Intel’s new arc graphics, which is Intel’s latest, not quite a discreet GPU, but not integrated graphics, something that’s supposed to be a step up.
Speaker 1: I have not had a chance to test any arc systems in person yet. I’m really looking forward to it. And having that in a nice 16 inch could make this a good laptop. That’s, you know, an everyday multimedia and work laptop, but could also do some gaming. We’re gonna have to wait and see, but I am excited to check it out. So these were some of the most impressive laptops we saw some based on in-person [00:10:30] impression, some based on reading the specs and looking at videos of them that we saw at CES 2022. I think we’re gonna continue to see laptops evolve as we go through this year and we figure out are we all going back to the office? Are we all gonna work from home all the time? Are we gonna do kind of half and half? And how do we come up with devices and machines that are going to accommodate those needs and evolve along with us? All right, that’s it for the best laptops of CES 2022.