CNET's favorite products of CES 2021
CES 2021 was like no other, a massive virtual conference where around 2,000 companies showed off their most innovative new products. After hours of listening to pitches on Zoom and evaluating these new technologies, we've chosen some of our favorites from this year's show. This list is skewed toward products that actually have a release date or that the companies at least intend to bring to consumers, and away from concepts and experiments.
LG Rollable phone
Samsung JetBot 90 AI
Samsung's new JetBot 90 AI robot vacuum cleaner uses object recognition technology to identify and classify objects in your home, and find the best cleaning path while avoiding cables and small objects. It also empties its own trash bin at its charging station, so you don't have to. JetBot's camera also lets it double as a home security device when paired with Samsung's SmartThings app.
JetBot 90 AI will be available in the US in the first half of 2021, though pricing has not yet been set.
LG InstaView refrigerator
LG showed off an upgrade to its InstaView refrigerator line at CES 2021: A new fridge with a glass door that opens via voice command, and a water dispenser that uses UV light to sanitize your drink.
The newest InstaView refrigerators will arrive in 2021, but pricing has not yet been announced.
Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell
Alarm.com's Touchless Video Doorbell is designed for the coronavirus age -- instead of pushing a button, the doorbell uses video analytics to detect when someone has arrived at your doorstep, letting you talk to them through an app with the built-in camera and microphone.
Alarm.com didn't share pricing or availability specifics, but said it will cost under $200.
Samsung solar-powered TV remote
Samsung's 2021 Neo QLED TVs will include a remote control with a solar cell on the back, letting the battery recharge using the indoor lights in your house (it also has a standard USB-C charging port if needed). Samsung estimates that moving to rechargeable batteries will save 20 million single-use, AAA batteries from ending up in the garbage -- the equivalent of 200 tons of waste.
LG G1 OLED TV
Debuting at CES, the G1 is LG's brightest OLED TV yet. The G series (which stands for Gallery, as the TV has a slim design introduced last year) is the only one to include Evo, LG's latest, brightest panel, which provides more color purity and a better viewing experience.
Arcade1Up Infinity Game Table
Arcade1Up's Infinity Game Table digitizes all of your favorite board games on a large touchscreen table, to play with members of your own household or with others online. Originally launched on Kickstarter, the first sets are expected to ship in March, and start at $600.
Kohler Touchless Toilet
Kohler unveiled two new touchless toilets that use sensors in the flush lever to flush with a wave of your hand -- again, perfect for the COVID-19 era. A built-in LED light can be customized through the Kohler app as well.
The two new touchless toilets will go on sale in March, and will cost $600 and $800.
Asus ZenBook Duo
Asus unveiled its second-generation ZenBook Duo dual-screen laptops, which are redesigned to be smaller, lighter, run cooler and have faster performance with new Nvidia GPUs and 11th-gen Intel processors. The dual-display tech also make these machines ideal for home office setups.
The ZenBook two will come in two versions: a Duo 14 and a Pro Duo 15 OLED. The Duo 14 is now available for preorder starting at $1,000. The Duo 15 OLED is expected to be available in North America starting in April, but no pricing was announced.
Brondell Pro Sanitizing Air Purifier
CES featured lots of air purifiers this year, but Brondell's new Pro Sanitizing Air Purifier stands out from the crowd because of how much it can do. It includes HEPA filtration, a disinfecting UV lamp, a nanocrystalline filter and a plasma generator, plus a prefilter, covering most airborne irritants and contagions you'd find in your house. The company says that it has been certified to capture and eliminate more than 99.9% of airborne coronavirus particles within 15 minutes.
The Pro Air Purifier will soon be available for $650.
Samsung Smart Trainer
Samsung's Smart Trainer debuted at CES 2021. Part of the Samsung Health app, the Smart Trainer feature allows you to connect a webcam and app on your TV screen to track your workouts and offer guided personal training at home.
Nobi fall-sensing lamp
The Nobi is a ceiling lamp packed with sensors meant to help older adults live independently for longer. It can detect falls and send out alerts to get help quickly, but also tries to prevent falls by monitoring activity and providing reminders.
The Nobi will be available in Europe in March, first for professional installations in places like nursing homes, for a subscription cost of $119 a month including hardware. Eventually you'll be able to buy a Nobi for a home for $2,499 with a $19-a-month subscription, though costs may vary depending on the size of your house.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i
The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i is another updated dual-display work laptop, which features an E Ink touchscreen display embedded in the lid, so you can check on your work without actually opening the laptop.
The 12-inch E Ink display lets you quickly check your calendar and notifications and run work apps, as well as take notes with the included active pen. The laptop weighs less than 3 pounds, and runs Intel's 11th-gen Core processors, which add Thunderbolt 4 ports and Wi-Fi 6. It also works with Lenovo's ThinkBook Charging Mat, so you can keep it charged on your desk without plugging it in.
The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i is expected to be available sometime in the first quarter of 2021, starting at $1,549.
ColdSnap ice cream maker
A Keurig-like machine that makes soft-serve ice cream, smoothies and frozen cocktails? Sign us up. The ColdSnap is a countertop device expected to hit the market in 2022, and will cost between $500 and $1,000.
HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The new HP Elite Dragonfly Max is a stylish and powerful laptop with four wide-range microphones, a 5-megapixel webcam and an IR camera for better audio and video quality than average laptops offer. Perfect if you find yourself on an endless stream of video conferences while working from home.
The Dragonfly Max is expected to be available later this month, but pricing was not yet announced.
Razer Project Hazel N95 mask
Razer's Project Hazel is a concept N95 mask that uses tech to help prevent COVID-19 infection. It has active ventilation and a UV sterilizer, with a case for wireless charging. The mask also uses replaceable filters and rechargeable ventilators on its pods, intended to make it more sustainable. LED lights on the pods indicate charge status, and others make your mouth visible at night. The pods also have audio-processing algorithms built in to make your voice sound clearer and more natural through the mask.
Project Hazel remains a concept for now, and we aren't sure if it'll ever actually be available to buy. But it does demonstrate how tech can be used to find innovative solutions for the moment we find ourselves in now.
Cadillac eVTOL air taxi
At CES, General Motor's revealed renderings and animations of a Cadillac-branded personal air taxi powered by batteries. The electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft would be GM's entrance into aerial mobility, and the company says the four-rotor aircraft is powered by a 90-kWh EV motor at speeds of up to 56 mph.
While the air taxi remains in its conceptual phase, it shows that GM is getting into the burgeoning eVTOL business.