At CES 2017 last January, Razer's triple-screen laptop won the internet. (We have the numbers to prove it.) But then, nothing -- we've barely heard a peep about Razer's so-called Project Valerie since its debut.
That got us thinking: What happened to all the coolest, zaniest and most interesting products of CES after their splashy debut last January? Which ones were vapor, and which real? Which got delayed? Are any of them actually worth your money?
Here are the answers. (We'll tell you what we know about Razer's three-screen laptop, too.)
When we first laid eyes on LG's crazy-thin W7 OLED television -- so thin it looks like a poster on the wall -- we were pretty surprised to learn it wasn't just a concept. LG planned to ship the wall-mount TV in 2017.
And ship it did: You can buy the 65-inch model for $7,000 (roughly £5,150 or AU$8,900), or a 77-inch version for $15,000 (roughly £11,000 or AU$19,000) if you can find it. So yeah, it's expensive -- but real.
Designed to let mothers produce milk for their children totally hands-free, the Willow was one of the most-talked about products of the show.
But a year later, it's still in beta -- an invite-only beta which charges moms $480 (roughly £350, AU$610) for the privilege of testing the product early. The company tells CNET it's because there's a limited supply of the pumps, and it hopes to catch up with demand this year.
We've seen a few early reviews from moms who've opted for the beta, and they're not all positive. The primary complaints seem to be noise along with the relatively small size and high price of Willow's disposable milk bags.
Remember when Lenovo announced its own version of the Amazon Echo smart speaker, but with better sound quality? (The original Echo didn't sound terribly brilliant.)
Well, Lenovo actually did release the so-called Lenovo Smart Assistant with Amazon Alexa -- in October, instead of the May launch it had originally promised. By October, it was too late to make a splash, given that a new-and-improved Amazon Echo, Sonos One and Google Home Max were on the way.
Today, there are plenty of solid speakers with built-in voice assistants.
Two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs. 64GB of memory. Up to five storage drives. Two power supplies, five system fans and eight heatpipes. Four speakers, two subwoofers, a built-in mechnical keyboard, a trackpad that turns into a number pad, and the first curved screen on a laptop -- measuring 21 inches diagonally.
We called Acer's Predator 21 X a "magic box of stupid," but the 19-pound laptop wasn't vaporware; Acer tells us it actually shipped a limited production run of 300 units, which all actually sold, to both hardcore gamers and some commercial customers.
"We proved that selling a $9K notebook was not crazy – or impossible," said an Acer spokesperson.
Speaking of gadgets with built-in voice assistants -- if you liked the idea of one that would answer your children's questions, automatically order diapers and sooth babies back to sleep, I've got some bad news.
It probably didn't help that shortly after CES, several toys that took voice recordings or photos of children turned out to be dreadfully insecure, causing a bit of a backlash against the entire category of internet-connected toys for kids.
The Kerastase Hair Coach
-- a collaboration between Nokia's Withings and L'Oreal that uses a microphone, load sensors and inertial sensors to give you feedback on how you're brushing your hair, yes you read that right -- was supposed to ship mid-2017.
Currently, placeholder websites for the product say it'll be available "Fall 2017," and there's been no word from the companies involved since CES.
We're starting to think the world's "first smart hairbrush" is vaporware.
Hope you weren't waiting for Retro-bit's Super Retro Boy to hit shelves. There's a reason this Nintendo Game Boy remake didn't hit its August release date: The product's been put on hold indefinitely for legal reasons.
"We would like to be as compliant as possible, so we put this product on hold until we find a workaround that does not infringe on this patent. We do not have a release date to announce yet," said a Retro-bit representative.
We never expected this Sony concept to actually ship -- but it finally did last October! If you've got $1,700 burning a hole in your pocket (roughly £1,250 or AU$2,150) you can use the Sony Xperia Touch Projector to beam a virtual Android touchscreen onto practically any surface.
No, it's not a Bane mask -- don't you remember the Hushme, a muzzle for office workers who want to carry on private telephone conversations?
Following its CES debut, the company raised funds for the product on Kickstarter with a promised December 2017 ship date, which has now slipped to the first quarter of 2018.
"Q1 is absolutely realistic time when we launch production and start first deliveries," the company's CEO tells CNET, but we're a bit skeptical.
As of December, the company was still working on the electronics, the app, redesigning the housing, designing a "hygenic replaceable insert," and had just finished redesigning the frame. That's a lot of balls in the air.
It's easy to dismiss all-in-one computers, because they're generally not that great -- they're underpowered and overpriced compared to a simple laptop or desktop PC.
The HP Envy Curved AIO 34 from CES 2017, though? It turned out surprisingly good. Excellent design, a good screen, great speakers and a game-capable graphics chip round out a pretty compelling package.
Monster Cable announced these ridiculously gaudy, completely wireless earbuds at CES 2017, with a new proprietary wireless technology it claimed would eliminate dropped connections.
They were supposed to ship in April 2017... but CES was the last time Monster so much as mentioned them publicly. (There isn't even a page for them on Monster's website.)
That said, a representative for Monster says they haven't been canceled -- they'll be back at CES this year and ship this February. We're skeptical, but after all the other failed attempts at wireless earbuds, it's probably best that Monster take its time.
Speaking of competitors for LG's OLED TVs... We'd hoped Samsung's QLED TVs might be the ones to take them on, thanks to quantum dot technology. That's what we wrote at CES last year -- but when we actually tested Samsung's latest Q7 QLED set, we found the picture quality was good, not great.
It wasn't even on par with top LCD-based sets like the Vizio P series, to say nothing of LG's superlative OLED screens.
We've gotta hand it to Doppler Labs -- it managed to ship the incredibly ambitious, completely wireless Here One noise-canceling, voice-augmenting earbuds. They were a real product and they mostly worked as promised.
But they weren't good enough or inexpensive enough to keep the company from shutting down late last year.
Who needs a smart toaster? Nobody. And it looks like nobody will get one, either: Though Griffin Technology promised it would offer this Bluetooth-enabled toaster -- and a similar coffee maker -- in Q2 2017, the company hasn't breathed a word about them since CES.
Griffin also doesn't have any product pages for these items, and the company hasn't responded to our request for comment. Vaporware much?
"We heard you like washing clothes, so we put a washer in your washer." Crazy, right? But the Samsung FlexWash actually makes sense -- my colleague Megan Wollerton called it the washer of her dreams -- and you can actually buy it.
Unfortunately, the $5,000 monitor (roughly £3,700, AU$6,360) came with some growing pains -- ones that aren't necessarily Dell's fault. Both The Verge and Ars Technica reported that the monitor is ahead of its time, since even powerful PCs don't necessarily have the horsepower for 8K gaming. Both reviewers also had a variety of software issues because programs weren't optimized for the 8K resolution.
But Dell argues the monitor was supposed to be cutting-edge. A Dell rep says the company succeed in letting pros experiment with 8K content creation and driving software partners to make the optimizations necessary for 8K computing, too. Plus, that $5K monitor now costs just $3,700 (roughly £2,725, AU$4,705).
Over-the-air TV streamed straight to a phone or set-top-box app? That's what the Mohu AirWave promised at CES 2017 -- but apparently, things didn't go according to plan.
The product quietly launched as a Best Buy exclusive, only to be unceremoniously pulled after receiving dismal customer reviews -- some of them citing worse reception than other indoor antennas, app incompatibilities and issues pairing with Roku devices.
When we asked Mohu, a rep said the company will relaunch the AirWave in 2018 with at least one major change: you'll be able to plug in an additional antenna as well.
But it seems that LG's launch has merely been delayed. When the company launched the vacuum in its native South Korea in June, it promised it was still planning a global launch and LG's YouTube page already has instructional videos in English.
An LG rep tells CNET the firm's committed to bringing it to the US and UK in 2018.
The Nvidia Spot was supposed to turn the Nvidia Shield set-top-box into an always-listening voice assisted smart home hub -- just plug a Spot or two into your power outlets, and then you can ask the Google Assistant to do things from anywhere in your home.
Only the Spot never shipped, and we wonder if it ever will. Nvidia tells CNET it's still in the works: "We're still in development and working diligently to create a product SHIELD owners will love."
But realistically, Nvidia's a bit late to the party. It's understandable that it wouldn't want to ship the Spot until the Shield added Google Assistant and maybe the Samsung SmartThings Link last fall.
But now, Google offers the $50 (£50, AU$80) Google Home Mini, which might make the Spot obsolete.
One of the most promising alternatives to Apple's AirPods, the Earin M-2 missed its planned March ship date by... well, a lot.
But Earin tells CNET it's shipping its first earbuds this month (January) and needed the extra time to make them shine.
"Since our aim was to make a high quality product with the smallest, best sounding and looking earbuds there were a great number of technical difficulties we had to solve. We are a small team of engineers here in Sweden. Programing of the CSR-chip, setting up the production line to receive perfect quality and testing has taken a lot of time."
A modern Polaroid product you'd actually want? The Polaroid Pop is a cute camera with a built-in instant photo printer -- and it shipped in time for holiday 2017, just as promised. Here it is on Amazon.
We're not surprised if you forgot it existed, since CES 2017 was a whole year ago.
The Kuri robot is basically a cute roaming security camera with a personality -- not one that will hand you things or chop up vegetables. (It doesn't have arms.) But it still looks pretty cool, it's had a bit of a redesign, and Mayfield Robotics told us it was on track to meet its December ship date when we spoke to a rep last month.
That said, it's not just shipping to just anyone -- if you check the website, it's still up for preorder. We'll let you know what we think when we have one to test.
We see a lot of flimsy add-on tablet keyboards, and feared that this might be one. But the Brydge
, which turns the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Pro 3 into a clamshell-style laptop, didn't just impress us in a brief CES 2017 demo; ZDNet was pretty happy with the final version as well.
It's not particularly affordable at $10,000 (roughly £7,370 and AU$12,720), and it's not technically a TV -- but how else are you going to get a 100-inch HDR screen? The Hisense 100L8D uses a 3,000-lumen short-throw laser projector to beam its image up onto the included projection screen, and it costs $3,000 less than originally projected at CES last year.
You may note the model name has changed; we confirmed with a Hisense rep that it's the same product, but with a revised design that places four Harman Kardon speakers inside the projector instead of free-standing speakers. It still comes with a wireless subwoofer.
It's too soon to call the Faraday Future FF91 vaporware... but we've been skeptical all along. At CES 2016, the company only had a non-functioning prototype
, and our report about the first working car -- at CES 2017 -- prominently included mentions of the company's ongoing financial troubles.
One year later, we're just as skeptical. In the months since CES, the company has scrapped its planned Nevada plant, distanced itself from its primary investor LeEco (which has financial troubles of its own) and told CNET it needs to find $1 billion in new funding in order to bring the FF91 to market. Many of its executives have resigned.
After a failed attempt to buy TV giant Vizio for $2 billion, the company cut 70 percent of its US workforce
. Founder Jia Yueting stayed, however he stayed in California -- despite a government order to return to China to settle his personal debt. (A Chinese court has seized his assets.)
He resigned as CEO and chairman of the company in July, and now appears to be focused on electric car startup Faraday Future, of which he (and LeEco) were major investors.
OK, so you're still wondering about Razer's three-screen laptop, yes?
Sadly, when we contacted Razer to ask, a rep told us that the Project Valerie was never slated for release and never intended to become a product in the near future. "We simply thought it was cool to show the world how a three-screen Blade system might look," they said.
And yet, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan did hint to us in a tweet that his company hasn't abandoned the design either. "Maybe CES 2019. Still working on the hinge," he said.
It's true that Razer announces quite a few things that don't make it to market, and the Valerie was clearly labeled as a "project" and "concept" from the very start. But it feels more plausible than Acer's crazy Predator 21 X that really did release (see earlier in this gallery).