Some of the best products on show at CES 2017 Some of the best products on show at CES 2017
The Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Las Vegas earlier this month, where big-name IT vendors from around the world got to showcase some... Some of the best products on show at CES 2017

The Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Las Vegas earlier this month, where big-name IT vendors from around the world got to showcase some of their latest and greatest products. Some were still in development, others have an imminent arrival at retail, but all were pretty impressive.

Naturally, some products earned themselves more attention than others, so without further ado, here’s a quick list of some of the more impressive ones.

Best Display – Dell Canvas

Dell Canvas

Curves, massive resolutions and 3D are no longer the things that excite journalists about display technology, apparently, as Dell’s Canvas 27-inch horizontal QHD touch screen scooped Best Display at CES according to several online publications.

And to Dell’s credit, the Canvas has a lot of appeal. It’s a 27-inch touchscreen that lies flat, allowing digital artists to treat it as, well, a canvas on which to create.

It also features 2048 points of pressure sensitivity, allowing the screen’s surface to respond as if it were a physical piece of paper that reflects just how hard the artist is pressing with their brush/pencil.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Canvas’s product manager said at CES that it’s not meant to replace existing monitors, and is instead meant to work alongside them to give artists the flexibility they require to work as comfortably as possible.

Dell says they will start shipping them in March, to be available at US retail in April, with a recommended retail price of $1700.

Best Desktop – HP Sprout Pro

HP Sprout Pro

HP has been doing the Sprout for a few years now. It’s a full-blown all-in-one PC with all kinds of hardware baked in that you wouldn’t expect to see in the average AiO, all with the intention of letting people do cool things that benefit making, education and builders of digital content.

Naturally, the newest version – the Sprout Pro G2 – was on display at CES, and it wowed the public and tech journalists alike.

One of the coolest things you can do with the updated model is use the built-in scanner and projector to scan physical objects and convert them into 3D files, ready for 3D printing, in the time it takes you to get a coffee from your local Starbucks. All you have to do is hold the object up to the camera and turn it, and the Sprout Pro does the rest. This new model even comes with professional-level software to allow people to do more with their newly-created 3D objects.

All the Sprout Pro G2 lacks is a built-in 3D printer and it would be an end-to-end 3D printing creation station. US availability is apparently March of this year, but there’s no RRP as yet.

Best AR/VR Headset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Augmented and Virtual Reality headsets are all the rage these days, but the ones you can buy today must be connected to a PC via cables to work.

Not so with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 headset – everything you need to run VR/AR content is built into the headset itself, including motion sensors so it knows where you’re looking and if you’re moving – so it needs no cables at all.

This frees wearers to walk around as they like without running the risk of tripping, something that could well encourage greater appreciation of VR content than is the norm right now.

The only potential downside is that the headset was little more than a tech demo. It lacks the power of a full gaming PC to produce the kind of experiences offered by full gaming PCs, and content is thin on the ground right now.

But by all accounts, as a concept it worked very well. There’s also plenty of hope over at Qualcomm that the 835 will have more momentum than the company’s older Snapdragon 820-based VR headset of last year.

Best Convertible Hybrid Laptop – HP EliteBook x360

HP EliteBook x360

HP has had a winner on its hands with its EliteBook x360 laptop, and its latest incarnation as seen at CES features the same award-winning style and performance but with a new 360-degree hinge thrown in, along with a few tweaks.

That’s right, the x360’s screen now bends all the way back so it can be flattened into a tablet, or left a little open so it can stand on its own like a teepee.

And now it also has a new USB-type C port in addition to the usual USB-A, along with a full-sized HDMI port that you don’t often see on thin and light laptops anymore.

Sure, it’s not the thinnest or lightest laptop out there, but the combination of attractive looks, rock-solid performance, port options not present on other notebooks in the same category and now of course the 360-degree hinge put it head and shoulders above other hybrid convertibles at CES.

Good job, HP.

Best Notebook – ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe

ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe

In the ultra-thin yet incredibly powerful notebook category, heavyweights like Dell, Apple and HP are putting out some brilliant designs. So when the ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe turned more heads than any of those companies’ offerings, it’s clear that it has something really special to offer.

For starters, ASUS has packed a 14-inch display into a 13-inch chassis by reducing the size of the notebook’s bezel, and it looks beautiful. Bezel-less (or as close to as possible ) screens are all the rage these days, and this one is particularly nice to look at.

But then there’s also a beautifully-machined chassis that’s “50% stronger” than the industry standard requires, support for seventh-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (up to Intel’s Core i7-7500U), support for a maximum of 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to a whole terabyte of SSD storage. That’s not even mentioning the high-fidelity Harmon Kardon sound system, or the gorgeous new keyboard with its 1.5mm key travel.

It would seem that the combination of strength, good looks and excellent quality and performance are what tech journos are looking for, earning the ZenBook 3 Deluxe many “Best Laptop of the Show” awards.

Best Networking Product – Linksys Velop

Linksys Velop

Making home networking simple while still ensuring excellent WiFi performance is the focus of LinkSys and its Velop home networking solution. Its simplicity and good looks turned a lot of heads at CES, and for good reason.

Velop consists of powerful AC-class WiFi routers that can be easily set up with the help of the LinkSys app, forming a mesh topology that ensures fast WiFi signal no matter where you are in your home.

The problem Velop eliminates is the speed issue of a traditional repeaters, which use a portion of the WiFi bandwidth to communicate with the primary router which in turn halves their maximum throughput. By using a dedicated channel for communication, Velop’s routers don’t have the same problem, and can operate at their full speed of 2200MB/s.

The simplicity of the setup and the effectiveness of using up to three routers (or “nodes” as Linksys calls them) to create a reliable home WiFi network earned the Velop a 2017 CES Innovation Award Honoree, and helped it become one of the eleven finalists for the 2017 CES Last Gadget Standing.

Best Concept – Razer’s Project Valerie

Ah, Razer and its quest to come up with the Next Big Thing in gaming. It’s produced some mixed results in the past – blame Razer for everyone and his dog adding bright lights to keyboards, mice, graphics cards and motherboards for the spate of neon-coloured PC decoration currently assaulting hardware shoppers’ eyeballs – but it has occasionally managed to impress.

This year’s big effort is what the company calls “Project Valerie”, a gaming laptop with three 4K screens hidden inside. Yes, that’s right, three screens lurk behind the lid of this monster laptop, giving gamers an unprecedented 12K resolution – 11520 x 2160 – in a portable form factor.

Naturally, to drive that number of pixels at a decent frame rate requires a similarly powerful graphics setup, which Project Valerie has by way of a single GeForce GTX1080 8GB graphics card.

The result? A portable gaming setup so impressive that not only did it turn heads and win awards, but two Project Valerie prototypes were stolen right out of Razer’s CES booth.

If you see anything that resembles this fantastic machine on Gumtree, notify Razer – they’re offering a $25 000 reward for information on the theft.

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