CES 2022—this year’s edition of the annual Consumer Electronics Show—is winding down in Las Vegas. Most of the major computer industry players were there, showing off the latest and greatest in the PC world. While there was innovation on display in many different ways, several themes were running through many of the announcements. Among those were recognition that hybrid work and learning is here to stay, meaning webcams have been getting some extra attention. The continued growth in PC gaming popularity was also reflected in the new computer tech on display.
Here’s a rundown of the CES 2022 computer products that I found especially interesting, including a number that were recognized by CES with Innovation awards.
New processors and GPUs
One of the key drivers of innovation is advances in the chips that power the devices. CES 2022 saw some big announcements on this front.
Intel showed off new 12th generation Core processors featuring hybrid architecture including the first series of 12th gen laptop CPUs, and 22 new 12th gen desktop processors. These new processors are being heralded as the most significant shift in x86 architecture in a decade, and it’s paying off with big performance upgrades including the “fastest mobile chip ever.”
AMD was also at CES 2022, with new Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPUs, Ryzen 6000 mobile chips (featuring Zen 3+ architecture), and new Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards. Those Ryzen 6000 chips were CES 2022 Innovation award winners.
In addition to AMD’s Radeon graphics cards, gamers and creators were also treated to new NVIDIA RTX 30 series cards. These included new mobile GPUs, a new flagship RTX 3090i, and a new affordable option in the GeForce RTX 3050.
One of the things I look forward to every year are the laptops. CES is not just where you first see what will become the hot new laptops for the year, it’s also the event where you’ll find the laptops where manufacturers are really pushing the boundaries.
A great example of the boundary pushing at CES 2022 was the Innovation award-winning Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3. This is a 17.3-inch ultra widescreen laptop, with a second 8-inch secondary screen (essentially a tablet with its own stylus) embedded beside its keyboard.
That laptop may seem radical, but it pales in comparison to the new ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, which also made its debut. This is essentially a computer built into a 17-inch foldable OLED (FOLED) display with a magnetically detachable keyboard and the option to ditch that keyboard altogether and just use its virtual keyboard.
There were also the laptops that you can expect to be mainstream and in high demand this year. Among these, the Dell XPS 13 Plus stood out with its minimalist design, a seamless glass touchpad, and capacitive touch function row.
I was also impressed by HP’s ultralight Dragonfly G3 laptop. You can read more about that one here, but besides being a powerful, premium ultralight, it embodies that new focus on hybrid work. It’s equipped with a 5MP webcam that actively tracks your face to keep it centered, and has AI-powered microphones with auto voice-levelling and noise filtering to improve speech—even when wearing a mask. The Chromebook version gets a 360-degree hinge, an included stylus, and a trackpad with haptic feedback.
Acer deserves a nod for its new Aspire Vero National Geographic laptop. Besides decent specs and an attractive paint job, this laptop’s green credentials include a chassis made of 30% post-consumer recycled plastic, packaging made from 85% recycled paper, and an included laptop sleeve made of 100% industrial recycled plastic.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo—a dual screen gaming laptop—first made its debut at CES 2020. A new version was shown off this year and despite lacking the shock value of the original, it’s still a pretty stunning machine. It’s also another CES 2022 Innovation award winner.
While the laptop physically shrinks slightly compared to the original, it gets a larger, 16-inch display with a fast refresh rate (120Hz to 240Hz depending on which panel you choose). It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX processor and an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. The star of the show remains the second display, which slides up to seamlessly meet the main panel when the laptop is opened.
Gaming laptop makers like Alienware, MSI, Razer, HP, and Lenovo all brought compelling options featuring the latest processors, mobile graphics cards, and fast refresh displays. Some of those were award-winners. However, I wanted to spike out a more affordable option in the Acer Nitro 5.
This series has helped bring PC gaming to a wider audience thanks to its value proposition. The new generation models shown off at CES 2022 continue that tradition. They feature the latest 12th gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen-6000 series processors along with NVIDIA RTX 30 series mobile GPUs. Available in 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch sizes, you get a choice between 1080p at 144Hz or QHD at 165Hz. For 2022, Acer has redesigned the Nitro 5 to make the laptop look less chunky and more refined. This gaming laptop continues to be a great value, and now it looks better than ever.
HP’s massive Omen 45L (a CES 2022 Innovation award winner) stood out among this year’s crop of desktop gaming PCs. From its case (tempered glass with four RGB lighting zones and a separate “Cyro Chamber” liquid cooler) to the next-gen specs for every component, this is a gaming behemoth.
Monitors and Accessories
The latest in Samsung’s Odyssey series, the Neo G8 gaming monitor brings new levels of immersion to PC gaming.
This is a 32-inch, 4K curved display with a 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. The display is packed with Quantum mini LEDs for deep contrast, eye-popping HDR, and a stunning 2000-nit peak brightness. It even has CoreSync lighting that detects onscreen colours then projects them around the system. I don’t have the space for this monitor, I game on my Xbox much more than on a PC, but I still want this monitor … Naturally, it won an CES Innovation award.
If you want to really make an impression, Samsung also showed off the Odyssey ARK at CES 2022. It’s a 55-inch widescreen OLED gaming monitor that can rotate into portrait mode. This one also took home a CES Innovation award.
On the more practical side, many companies were bringing monitors to CES that reflect the shift to hybrid working. HP had a number of these on display, but the one that would really stand out (assuming your home office has the space) is the HP Z40c G3. This is a massive, 40-inch curved display with 5K resolution. You could be very productive with that much screen real estate. Video conferencing is enhanced by its built-in, tilt-able, 4K webcam plus dual microphones and stereo speakers.
I have to mention the CES 2022 Innovation award-winning Archer AXE200 Omni router from TP-Link. The Wi-Fi 6E router features four external antennas that are motorized and actively move to optimize signal reception for connected devices.
There was a lot more to CES 2022 than computers
While my focus has been on covering the big news in computers and accessories at CES 2022, the Las Vegas event covers far more ground than that. Check out the blog’s coverage of everything from wearables, to smart home gear, to gaming announcements to ensure you don’t miss anything.