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CES 2021 preview: Straitlaced business laptops will be the hot status symbol


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CES 2021 shall be nothing like CES 2020.


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This story is a part of CES, the place our editors will deliver you the newest information and the most well liked devices of the solely digital CES 2021.

CES 2021 goes to look quite a bit totally different in 2021, going solely digital for the primary time. Many people radically modified the way in which we work in 2020 too, leaving the workplace behind and working primarily from dwelling. The thought of getting a piece pc on the workplace and a private pc at dwelling additionally went out the window, and now we’re on the lookout for our units to do extra and serve in a number of roles, additional blurring the road between shopper and enterprise computer systems.

However due to the lengthy growth cycle of latest laptops, desktops and tablets, no PC maker may realistically take these colossal shifts and engineer them into new merchandise in time for CES 2021. What they’ll do is shift the narrative and emphasize new or up to date merchandise which might be extra applicable for the present actuality. 

Put one other approach, count on to see lots of enterprise laptops at CES 2021. 

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One in every of 2020’s greatest, the Dell Latitude 9510. 


Josh Goldman/CNET

All work, no play

One 12 months in the past, at CES 2020, we noticed lots of prototypes, experimental designs and new gaming PCs — many merchandise with a enjoyable shopper focus. This 12 months, it will be a bit extra dour. 

As an alternative of first-gen folding screens and colourful gaming rigs, a lot of the eye shall be on laptops with higher webcams, higher microphones, higher safety features. Principally the issues your organization IT division could be on the lookout for in a brand new work laptop computer. That will not be as flashy, but it surely’s what lots of people want proper now. 

For instance, if we discovered something in 2020, it was that almost all laptops have actually dangerous webcams. Spend sufficient hours a day in Zoom conferences and that begins to turn out to be essential. Fashions with both improved {hardware}, or at the very least improved software program to digitally polish the digicam picture, shall be given a giant advertising push. Bodily webcam shutters will proceed to develop in reputation. 

Not a lot for 5G, which was simply beginning to filter into laptop computer bulletins this time final 12 months. With at-home Wi-Fi changing many employees’ want for dependable journey connections, I doubt we’ll see 5G antennas shoehorned into each laptop computer; as an alternative it will simply be an possibility on a handful of higher-end enterprise programs.

A really Chromebook 12 months

The opposite massive factor we discovered in 2020 was that Chromebooks can clear up most of our laptop computer issues. Want a low-cost, high-reliability laptop computer for a child doing distant studying? Chromebook! Want a pc for folks or grandparents that you simply will not should troubleshoot? Chromebook! 

Particularly with so many households needing a separate gadget for every family member, particularly one per pupil, Chromebooks saved the day in 2020. 

Chromebooks have been a part of the combo at each latest CES, however this 12 months, I believe we’ll see them pushed to the forefront, particularly given the uncertainty about COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and the shifting goal for any type of return to “regular.” 

Each PC maker desires to get out of the cut price basement $250 Chromebook enterprise, so search for barely upgraded fashions. Frankly, a $500 Chromebook can provide a way more premium-feeling expertise in design, supplies and efficiency, than a $500 Home windows laptop computer, in order that’s my ChromeOS candy spot proper now. 

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No updates are anticipated on final 12 months’s Alienware handheld gaming PC idea. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

For PC gaming, a rebuilding 12 months

We’re in the midst of a giant, new period in video video games. Sadly for PC gaming {hardware} followers, all that pleasure is wrapped across the next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Sequence X

This new cycle, which comes round each seven years or so, places sealed lounge containers on the prime of the gaming heap, for now. In any case, $500 (or $300 for the smaller Xbox Sequence S) will get you ray tracing, HDR lighting and different high-end GPU methods, beforehand accessible solely in rather more costly gaming PCs. 

However the clock is already ticking on the PS5 and Xbox. The {hardware} inside is frozen in amber, slowly growing older and doomed to fall additional behind PC gaming {hardware} yearly. That mentioned, I would not count on an excessive amount of extra, and the official CES subject web page for gaming seems fairly unhappy proper now. 

There may be at the very least one massive leap anticipated. At the very least in keeping with knowledgeable hypothesis, we’ll see laptop-ready variations of Nvidia’s 3000-series graphics playing cards. That is going to make for extra highly effective gaming laptops — perhaps even some that may make Cyberpunk 2077 look good…



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