Asus has the most radical laptop design at CES 2019 with the transforming Mothership; it's built like a detachable with a foldable keyboard. The system section stands up, which allows for the improved airflow that 's necessary for all the high-end components like an overclockable Core i9-8950HK, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and more.
The brand-new Area-51m is as close as a laptop version of Alienware's desktop Area-51 can get. You can upgrade both the CPU and the GPU, and it's packed with all the top-end mobile components available at the moment: up to an overclockable Core i9-9900HK, GeForce RTX 2080 and 2.5Gb Wi-Fi, among other things.
Dell expands its Nvidia Max-Q slim Alienware line from a solo 15-inch model, the m15, to to a 17-inch model. This one can pack all the latest features, too, including a 4K display, up to Intel Core i9-8950HK and GeForce RTX 2080 GPU.
MSI delivered unto us a 17-inch version of its stunning and obscenely thin GS65 Stealth Max-Q gaming laptop. With the exception of the RTX GPUs inside (2060, 2070 Max-Q or 2080 Max-Q) the specs are pretty run-of-the mill: 144Hz 1080p display, up to an Intel Core i7. No price or availability on this one, yet.
HP's upgradable gaming laptop is getting a refresh in February with updated mobile processor and Nvidia RTX Max-Q graphics technology options, plus it's slated for another update in July, adding configurations with a 240Hz 1080p screen and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) or Gigabit Wi-Fi.
Razer is taking its excellent 15-inch Blade and adding Nvidia RTX graphics to its Max-Q design, up to the RTX 2080. Razer also added an IR webcam so that you can use it with Windows Hello face-recognition.
The competition for slimmest everything still seems to be raging on. This year, Acer reduced the screen bezels to less than 3mm, making the laptop's footprint smaller and allowing for a screen-to-body ratio of 92 percent. The 1.9-pound (0.9 kg) laptop gained a hair of thickness in exchange, going from 9mm to 10mm. It's got a processor upgrade as well, from a seventh-gen CPU to the eighth-gen Intel Core i7-8500Y, similar to what you'd find in a new MacBook Air. It's coming to the US in May, starting at $1,700.
Another slimmer-than-though contender, this 14-inch Zenbook (UX392) further shrinks its bezels for a market-leading 97 percent screen-to-body ratio. It still manages to squeeze in GeForce MX150 discrete graphics, though. We don't yet know pricing or availability.
The ZenBook 14 (model UX431) is a little bigger and heavier than the S13 at a little more than 3 pounds and packs in higher-end components, but shares the same spun aluminum aesthetic. It starts at $750 and will ship in March or April.
Oddly, Asus is positioning this 17-inch mobile workstation as a laptop for creatives -- I guess you go where the money is. Asus' twist over the competition is its thin and light, narrow-bezel aesthetic, something that HP's and Dell's models have only brought to their 15-inch models thus far; the 17-inch models still tend to be the power-packing workhorses. It comes with an Nvidia Quadro P3200 workstation GPU and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) wireless. and you can configure it with up to an Intel Xeon E-2176M or Core i7-8750H, up to 64GB ECC memory and more. Asus claims the 8-bit HD display covers 97 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut with color accuracy below 2 Delta E, though it doesn't seem to support hardware calibration profiles. We don't know price or availability yet.
Samsung distinguishes its Notebook Flash over the highly commoditized competition with an edgier design -- a fabric-textured chassis and rounded chiclet keycaps. It starts at $350 (roughly £275 , AU$490), runs on a low-end Intel Celeron N4000 and incorporates 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Those are the components you'd find in a similarly priced Chromebook, but this is running Windows 10 Home.
For the new model of its flagship laptop, Samsung conducted a US-specific design study that influenced its choices on bezel design, profile taper and corner radii, a spokesman told CNET. The result is a very different design from its previous models. The new look sports sharp edges and contrasting keys, adds a premium feel to the already excellent Pro. Plus, it comes with the full-grown Active Pen rather than the mobile-size S-Pen. It will be available in early 2019; no pricing is available yet, but it's likely upward of $1,000.
The updated Notebook 9 Pen two-in-one laptop for creatives is redesigned for 2019 with narrower bezels and a new, brighter 500-nit screen. Plus, its new pen has improved latency and comes with three different tips for a more customizable feel. Exact pricing isn't available yet, but it will come in 13.3- and 15-inch versions when it arrives next year. Other than screen size, the biggest difference between the two models will be the availability of entry-level discrete graphics on the 15-inch version. Samsung is promising up to 15 hours of battery life and fast-charging capabilities for each.
The updated ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a refreshed body that's thinner and lighter than the previous model, but of course retaining the carbon-fiber finish from which it gets its name. it will ship in June, with prices starting at $1,710.
Available in both 15- and 17-inch sizes, the Legion Y740 will offer up to GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, while the 15-inch Y530 will have only the GeForce RTX 2060. The higher-end Y730 will come with a 144Hz full HD with G-Sync, but you'll be able to configure it with a Dolby Vision HDR 400 500-nit display. The Y540 gets a more typical 60Hz full HD display with the option for a 144Hz version with Dolby Vision HDR. The Y740 will ship in Feburary, starting at $1,750 for the 15-inch and $1,950 for the 17-inch; the 15-inch Y540 arrives later in May starting at $930.
In addition to updating the processor and graphics options for the new year, Dell tweaked the design of some of our favorite budget gaming laptops, making them thinner and sporting thinner display bezels. Plus, there's now a sporty new option for the G5 15, a white Special Edition with a clear panel on the bottom so you can see the blue fans a-spinning.
Black is back, at least for this Dell convertible laptop. In addition to the new dark attitude, Dell built a little garage for its pen that let you dock it inside the laptop so you don't lose it. Narrower bezels around the displays shrank the overall footprint of the 15-inch model, but a 13.3-inch version will also be available. A silver model without a pen garage will also be on sale when it ships in May.
The new ultraportable Yoga has a display that goes nearly edge to edge thanks to some seriously slim bezels. On top of that, the glass curves around those bezels and disappears into the lid -- the world's first laptop with this curved glass. You'll be able to configure it with a 4K DisplayHDR 400 screen or or a 400-nit FHD (1,920 by 1,080-pixel) Dolby Vision panel.
If you connect the S940 to an external display -- it has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports -- you'll be able to use its Glance by Mirametrix attention-sensing AI, which detects whether you're looking at the laptop's display or the attached one, and will move open windows accordingly. It will ship in May.
In addition to garnering the latest components, including an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (though it tops out at a Core i7), Samsung ditched it's radical but questionable design from last year and gave its Odyssey gaming notebook into a more conventional design. We don't know the price and only that it's expected to ship in "early 2019."