The best of CES 2024

Hello and happy new year! Once again, team Engadget has set up shop in Las Vegas for CES, living out of suitcases so that we can scour the massive show floor and occasionally injure ourselves in the process. For CES 2024, we expected to see AI everywhere, and we were not disappointed.

We saw more than a few laptops with AI-powered chips inside, not to mention multiple references to Microsoft’s Copilot assistant. Volkswagen built ChatGPT into its in-car system, while BMW teamed up with Amazon to improve its own in-car assistant. Qualcomm announced an AI Snapdragon chip. Walmart came to CES for the first time to announce its building generative AI into its online shopping experience. Even SAG-AFTRA struck a deal for AI and voice acting at CES (not that the actors themselves consider it a good deal).

Meanwhile, The Rabbit R1, a device co-designed by Teenage Engineering, was the surprise hit at this year’s show — so hot we haven’t been able to see it in person ourselves as of this writing. And then there were the oddballs: a grill that uses AI to help cook a steak in 90 seconds, and a cat door that automatically locks when it knows your pet is about to drag in a mouse.

Then there were not one, but two transparent TVs: one from Samsung and one from LG. Remember when rollable TVs were the thing? Oh, and GE kindly fed us beef tenderloin cooked with an indoor smoker. It was delicious.

Notably, too, there was a lot less pee on the show floor this year. (But we did find some.)

Today is our team’s last day on the ground, which means it’s also time for us to announce our annual Best of CES award winners. You may notice an obvious difference this year, which is that we’ve gotten rid of categories. From our point of view, we still attempted to see as broad a range of products as possible: laptops, mobile devices, gaming gear, smart home stuff, cars and items meant for people with disabilities. When it came to choosing winners, though, we saved time not having to debate amongst ourselves whether something was a laptop or a gaming device, a wearable or an accessibility device. A good product is just a good product.

Without further ado, we present our winners for CES 2024. But don’t mistake this for the last of our coverage: We have other stories, recaps and roundups in the pipeline for you to read over the coming days. Keep following along. — Dana Wollman, Editor-in-Chief

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Engadget

Not only is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 powerful enough to run the latest blockbuster video games, but it’s also incredibly sleek. The ROG Zephyrus G14 has an aluminum chassis with clean lines, crisp edges and a thinner, lighter design than previous models. A simple LED slash runs across the lid and can be programmed to glow in gray or white, rather than the garish rainbow favored by other gaming laptops. The ROG Zephyrus G14 looks sophisticated, and it can also run any title on the market, thanks to its AMD Ryzen 8000 series processors and optional NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU at the high end. Top-of-the-line specs and a minimalist design make the latest ASUS line stand out in a sea of other game-focused devices at CES. This is what gaming laptops look like when they’re all grown up. — Jessica Conditt, senior reporter

Samsung Music Frame

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Samsung Music Frame, a several-inch-thick square frame structure on a small stand against a grey gradient background.

Samsung

Samsung’s line of Frame TVs, first introduced back in 2017, do a great job of disguising a large-screen TV as a piece of art. The Samsung Music Frame does the same thing, but for wireless speakers. Instead of a screen, there’s a place to display art or album covers that you swap pretty easily.

This wouldn’t be noteworthy if the Music Frame didn’t sound good — but in our demo, it did. The Music Frame includes two woofers, two tweeters and two mid-range drivers and supports Dolby Atmos. It’s also quite the flexible speaker, working on its own, in a stereo pair or connected to a TV as part of a bigger home theater setup. It’s even wall-mountable. We have no price or release date, but given Samsung’s success with the Frame TVs, we imagine they won’t wait long to get the Music Frame on the market. — Nathan Ingraham, deputy editor

LG Signature OLED T

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: LG Signature OLED T in a high-rise apartment building with floor-to-ceiling windows with the transparent display showing what appears to be a Kandinsky painting.

LG

OLED TVs are great. An OLED TV you can see through — well, that’s just wild. The LG Signature OLED T isn’t the first transparent display we’ve seen at CES, but it is the first that will actually be sold to consumers (unlike Samsung’s similar transparent MicroLED concept).

This is a 77-inch set with an retractable contrast screen. Keep the filter up, and it looks like one of LGs standard, excellent OLED sets. Bring it down, and the image almost looks like it’s floating in mid-air. Like Samsung’s Frame TVs, the Signature OLED T is designed for ambience — when you’re not watching a show or movie, it can display little animations (a digital fish tank, for instance). To help it feel less obtrusive, the TV also uses LG’s wireless Zero Connect tech, which relegates most of the set’s I/O (and thus cables) to a separate box that can be tucked away elsewhere.

The TV does lack the microlens array tech found in LG’s absolute best OLED TVs and LG isn’t sure if it will come with the furniture you see in the image above. The company says it will ship sometime in 2024, though there’s no firm release date yet. But whenever it does arrive, it will almost certainly be prohibitively expensive for most people. — Jeff Dunn, senior commerce writer

TCL NXTPAPER 14 Pro

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: TCL NXTPAPER 14 Pro tablet-like device with two models overlapped. One tablet shows its display and the rear version showing off the back side of the device.

TCL

With its third-generation NXTPAPER display, TCL’s latest 14-inch tablet combines the best things about LCD displays and e-readers. You get a sharp 2.8K-resolution panel with bright colors plus a special nano-coating that not only reduces glare, but also cuts down excess blue light while providing a lovely matte texture. And for those who prefer a more traditional newspaper-like reading experience, there’s a monochrome mode that makes the NXTPAPER 14 Pro look like it has an e-ink screen. So while its specs aren’t all that impressive (MediaTek Dimensity 8020, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage), TCL’s new tablet is one of those rare gadgets that appeals to both hardcore tech nerds and traditionalists that still remember a time before everything went digital. — Sam Rutherford, senior reporter

ASUS ZenBook Duo

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: ASUS ZenBook Duo laptop with a dual monitor on top of the normal laptop version on a white display table at the event.

Engadget

ASUS has been chasing the dream of dual-screen notebooks for a while, but this year’s ZenBook Duo appears to be its best attempt yet. It consists of two separate components: a dual-screen display unit and a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. You can use the ZenBook Duo in a typical clamshell mode, with the keyboard in front of one of its displays. But when you have more room, you can open up the display to have two screens sitting on top of each other (balanced on a built-in kickstand).

The ZenBook Duo also feels incredibly polished, and it has high-end hardware like Intel’s Core Ultra chips and gorgeous OLED screens. It also starts at a reasonable $1,500, making it a dual-screen laptop for the masses. — Devindra Hardawar, senior reporter

Withings BeamO

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Withings BeamO device which is similar in shape to a TV remote control standing on its end against a beige background.

Withings

There’s never a shortage of health and fitness tech at CES. This year Withings stood out with its $250 BeamO “multiscope.” It combines a body temperature sensor, an electrocardiogram, an oximeter and a digital stethoscope into one surprisingly light consumer device that promises to make it easier to collect basic health metrics at home. The company’s Health Mate app collects all of that data, which can then be sent to doctors with a few taps. Withings is also seeking FDA approvals for the BeamO to be able to detect atrial fibrillation.

BeamO impressed us not only with its versatility and fairly affordable price, but also for the potential impact it could have on telemedicine. Providing your doctor with key metrics ahead of a call or visit could make it easier for them to give you sound medical advice. And those with chronic conditions could use BeamO to keep track of health data over the long term. — Valentina Palladino, senior commerce editor

EcoFlow Delta Ultra

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: EcoFlow Delta Ultra displayed in a home environment against a wall with a living room on the left side of the split image.

EcoFlow

A whole-home battery and inverter system is far from the funkiest bit of hardware we saw at CES, but it’s likely one of the more useful. The EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra can take in and store power from your rooftop solar panels then use the stored energy to power your home. The DELTA Pro Ultra can even suck up juice from the grid when it’s cheaper, and feed it back when energy prices surge.

A base configuration goes for $5,800 and includes one 6kWh battery and inverter, but you can stack up to five batteries per inverter and chain up to three inverter-and-battery stacks, amounting to a 90kWh capacity. That’s a beastly amount of power that could keep a McMansion humming at full tilt for a few days — or run essential appliances in a more moderately sized home for a month or longer.

The DELTA Pro Ultra can also hook into an existing transfer switch if you have one, but for deeper integration with your home’s power system, the subpanel-like Smart Home Panel 2 gives you features like app control, weather and power grid monitoring, and instant switchover to backup when the power goes out. As more solar panels are installed on rooftops, a sleek and powerful all-in-one battery solution like this can give people more control over how their power is used. If you’re intrigued, you don’t have to wait — it’s one of many CES 2024 gadgets already on the market. — Amy Skorheim, commerce writer

GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker on a crowded kitchen island surrounded by stacks of bristket and burger buns.

GE

When it comes to smoking meat at home, your options are usually limited to outdoor grills that burn charcoal, pellets or wood. If you live at a place where your landlord doesn’t allow open flames, like apartments, then you’re pretty much out of luck. The GE Profile Smoker ditches the flames for electric heating elements and brings low-and-slow smoking indoors.

The GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker is no gimmick either. It’s capable of infusing significant smoke flavor via wood pellets as we experienced first hand this week. There won’t be any smoke wafting around your kitchen as the unit captures all of that with its filtration system. If you need to cook while you’re away, a unique feature does that and then holds your food at a safe temperature until you’re ready to serve. Toss in Wi-Fi for remote cooking and monitoring, cooking profiles and guidance, plus the Clear Smoke tool for when you need to open the door, and the GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker has a lot to offer a range of skill levels. — Billy Steele, senior reporter

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 earbuds which are both loose next to their fabric-covered charging case.

Sennheiser

Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless series has consistently earned the accolade of the best-sounding earbuds in our best of list for a while now. However, the company never really had the complete package to knock Sony’s 1000X series off the top spot. At CES this year, Sennheiser debuted the fourth-gen version of its flagship earbuds, which bring a host of upgrades. They still sound excellent, ANC and transparency mode are also improved.

The Momentum True Wireless 4 did a great job blocking out the noisy Las Vegas suite, allowing us to focus on the selection of jazz we used to demo the earbuds. Transparency mode also sounded more natural, which will be a big help for calls and tuning into your surroundings. What’s more, Sennheiser figured out a way for active noise cancellation to not drain the battery nearly as much as it typically does; the ANC here only cuts listening time by half an hour. — B.S.

Gyrogear GyroGlove

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Gyrogear GyroGlove being worn on the right forearm and wrist by Engadget editor Cherlynn Low who has her hand extended.

Engadget

The number of accessibility and aging-related products that were good enough for us to consider for awards at CES 2024 was encouragingly high. We saw a tongue-operated touchpad, a hearing aid-like system that can isolate individual speakers in a noisy crowd and an audio display for gamers with hearing loss. But GyroGlove stood out for a few reasons.

The device uses a sophisticated gyroscope to help those with hand tremors (say, Parkinson’s patients) stabilize their movement, but one of the deciding factors in picking it as a winner is the fact that it’s actually available. The company said it’s already in talks with the chief medical officers of several insurance providers in the US, and has registered the GyroGlove as a medical device with the FDA and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. It’s certified by various international standards organizations, to boot. — Cherlynn Low, deputy editor

Kia Platform Beyond Vehicles (PBV)

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Kia Platform Beyond Vehicles as a lineup of four van-style vehicles in a large paved outdoor area with large-scale modern architecture behind them.

KIA

Kia’s PBV, or Platform Beyond Vehicles, concept is the rare car concept (or concepts, plural) that seems like it might actually be a real thing in the relatively near future. The PV5 is likely to be the first to make the leap. It’s a small modular van that can be equipped with a taller roof for extra headroom, or turned into a pickup by swapping out the back two-thirds. It can also be turned into a taxi with extra seating for passengers.

One of the more interesting things is how the members of the PBV family, including the larger PV7 and the smaller PV1 are expected to work together. For instance, Kia imagines a rail system that can connect a PV7 directly to a PV1, transferring cargo to the smaller vehicle for last mile deliveries.

Most importantly, PBV isn’t some fantastical dream vehicle that will never be heard from again: Kia is already building a dedicated factory in Korea that’s expected to be ready to pump out 150,000 vehicles in 2025. — Terrence O’Brien, managing editor

Samsung Ballie

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Samsung Ballie robot, a rolling yellow sphere, which projects a wildlife scene on the ground between it and a golden retriever who's watching the video.

Samsung

CES was a little light on notable robots this year, but Samsung revived one we loved when we first saw it way back in 2020. Ballie is an adorable, bowling ball-sized robot that rolls around your home, following you around like a robotic pet that’s eager to please. Ballie is a lot bigger than it was when we saw it in 2020, and it now has a built-in 1080p projector so it can both show you things and speak to you when you ask it for help. Think of it like a Nest Hub on wheels.

We only got to see Ballie in a tightly-plotted demo at Samsung’s booth, but it was simply delightful to watch Ballie roll around projecting workout routines, calendar updates and recipe videos on the walls. As with most smart home gadgets, there’s a little bit of “solution searching for a problem” here. But it feels like Samsung nailed the form factor judging by how smoothly Ballie navigated its way around the demo area. And while many companies show off products like this that have no chance of actually reaching people in the real world, Samsung says Ballie will go on sale this year. — N.I.

Micron LPCAMM2 laptop RAM modules

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: Micron LPCAMM2 laptop RAM, which is a small circuit board add-on seen against a black background.

Micron

If you’ve ever been annoyed that you couldn’t upgrade your RAM in an ultraportable laptop, Micron has a potential solution: LPCAMM2 memory. It’s a new form factor that’s 64 percent smaller than standard SODIMM RAM sticks, and it’s also potentially far faster and more efficient. Best of all is that it’s a self-contained unit that can easily be removed and upgraded down the line.

LPCAMM2 RAM won’t get as much hype as AI PCs, but it’s something that could transform what’s possible with future laptop designs. And if it means laptop makers stop soldering RAM directly onto motherboards, we’ll call it a win. — D.H.

Best in show: GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker

An image with a badge for Engadget Best of CES 2024 showing the product: GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker on a crowded kitchen island surrounded by stacks of bristket and burger buns.

GE

CES 2024 is often described as a TV show or car show, but sometimes it’s more niche products that capture our imagination. GE Profile’s Smart Indoor Smoker is a countertop device that makes proper barbecue in your kitchen without filling your home with smoke. It’s designed to move air around the food to impart maximum smokiness inside, without letting airflow out. When your brisket, chicken or whatever is done, a filtration and catalyst system draws the smoke down, eventually expelling it as warm air.

Typically smoking food requires constant adjustments and vigilance, but the Smart Indoor Smoker has six preset cooking modes, while you’re able to adjust the degree of smokiness between five different levels. The wood pellets’ only function is to add flavor and not fuel the actual cooking process, so only a handful are needed per smoke session.

GE included a smart probe with the Smart Indoor Smoker too, so you can monitor the cooking process from a companion app and its Smoke and Hold feature can cook and smoke foods and keep them at food-safe temperatures for up to 24 hours. It’s not small (it’s around the size of a mini fridge), but it’s stylish and simple to use, with a low barrier to entry for anyone tempted to try smoking their own foods. The device was also able to impart an impressive level of smokiness in only a few hours — we can’t wait to see what low-and-slow smoking could do. — Mat Smith, UK bureau chief

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

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