Hi everyone, we're back with our live coverage of CES 2020.
Coming to you live from the CNET stage located in the sands Expo.
Otherwise known as tech West.
I'm Dan Ackerman and with me is Jason Heiner, who is in charge of reviews and advice here at CNET and we're here with What we think are some of the best laptops of CES 2020.
And I'll tell you why we're talking about these particular guys, because we spent a lot of time earlier this week talking about a lot of the concept pieces and prototypes of holding laptops and things with double screens and things that pop off.
We decided for this show, which we do every year to focus on Real workhorse laptops that are actually going to come out in stores and you'll be able to buy and do practical laptop II things.
Yeah, you know, the cool thing is, there's self driving cars and huggable robots and all kinds of stuff here, but this is it.
The thing you're gonna be spending your day on getting your actual stuff done, right?
So it still matters a lot.
And you'll say, okay I got myself something cool and new I guess.
It's not a robot, but I can shop online with it.
[LAUGH] That's right.
The first one I want to talk about with you is the latest version of Well, I call a very good iterative laptop and that it gets a little bit better every year and they've done that for so many years.
It's almost the platonic ideal of a 13 inch laptop and that is the XPS 13.
I've got the latest version right here.
And it's a A pretty darn good, very light 13 inch laptop and over the years they've shaved the bezel around the screen.
It's looking really good.
This thing is really thin and light.
I remember when the last iteration of this one came out you saying you know because you've been.
Reviewing these four years, you saying I've run out of things to ask for that they keep, you know, the things that we say it still needs.
They keep adding and keep adding and it's gotten to the point where this is just a really functional really, really usable laptop.
The big problem always was because the screen bezel is so narrow, they put the webcam down below.
And there's the old no shot and they moved it back up to the top.
So I thought.
Okay, what more could I possibly ask for?
Well, now they've managed to make make it an IR camera so you can use that Windows facial recognition login.
And I may be the one guy who actually uses that.
I think it's great.
Yeah, it's great.
And people have gotten used to it.
A lot of the phones that obviously the iPhones been using it for a few years Google Pixel now as well as Samsung, so It's, it's getting to where people are getting used to that and they know how to use it.
There are some quirks with it that you have to know you know your face and how far away you need to be and all of that.
But once you get it down it can be just super, super convenient
and the other, the other interesting new addition for this year is a 13.3 inch screen.
Now 13.4 inch screen
That one tenth of an inch
But it's something it's a big screen so you got to give him credit for that and that I continue to love the XPS 13
Tell me about this next guy here.
So this is the Samsung, I want to get it so you can see the cool red color on this thing.
This is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook.
They've put the galaxy which is of course super popular and phones, they've brought it to laptops.
And this thing I was not expecting to like as much as I did.
Obviously, a Chromebook is a Chromebook.
In many cases, they're aimed at low cost.
You and I both recommend a lot of Chromebooks to people.
Especially people who are gonna be calling us for tech support.
They're hard to **** up.
And every time you reboot it, it boots really fast and it's sort of a new deal.
But what they've told us, what we've learned is, and looking at the market stats is, more and more people are buying these things.
Not just in education where they have 60% market share.
But to use as their own laptop.
So people are wondering if you're using a Chromebook, you want something that has a little bit of oomph to it and some pizzazz because still a lot of the local processing still happens on this machine.
You want a nice screen.
You want a nice keyboard experience, your flatirons we can see that the keyboard is so great.
And just the contrast there between the different shades of red.
Now Of course a lot of Chromebooks are $200 $300 maybe $100.
We both recommend the Samsung plus or pro the barrier to mid range Chromebooks to a lot of people.
They have a stylist built in there very nice.
They're about $400 or $500.
How much is the Galaxy Chromebook?
This one is $999.
There's the->> There's the rub.
$1000 Chromebook question.
Companies are trying to solve that for years.
It's true, this is like the spiritual successor to the orginal Google Pixel.
That was a nice Chromebook Really really great build.
This is half as thin as that.
And half as heavy.
I like this one a lot better.
This I would say I could see this as a thousand dollar chromebook.
The old pixel Book I couldn't realize.
It has a card slot and SD card slot.
It's got USBC, it also has a stylist so you can pull it out for those who are fans of the note the galaxy.
No, it has that same functionality.
So if you want a Chromebook, this is one of the best ones you're going to be able to buy.
If you're a worker, a consumer, and you really want a nice one this one is, is the top of the line.
Yeah, I feel like everyone who's seen this this week has come away very impressed.
I mean, it's one of the-
This has been one of the kinda of like, more desirable new laptops here.
From a design standpoint-
That's exactly it, that counts for so much.
One of the best designed laptops in any category that we've seen this year-
I mean, laptops-
All generally all do the same things, and for ProBooks that goes even moreso, so good design counts for a heckuva lot.
All right, so next HP Elitebook.
Yes, this is the Dragonfly.
It's one of their business laptops.
And it adds a couple of new features, I think are pretty interesting.
First of all, it's got this Shoreview technology.
They've had this in some products in the past, but this is a slightly newer version.
So I hit the screen like this and if you're looking at it from an off yet, you can't see what's on the screen.
And then boom, there you go.
So that stops the old airport, somebody peeking over your over your shoulder and stealing your password or reading whatever you're writing.
That's always a big deal, so as number one.
That feature I feel like this is one of those things like how did we not think about this before?
Because there are things I'm there's times when I'm on a plane and I'm looking at documents and pulling stuff up.
Kind of like, gosh, I really hope that there's nobody next to me that you know, could read some of these.
Guy, I say the perfect solution for Open Office problems.
Yeah and open office is, that's a good point too because there are times when you have to deal with whatever confidential information.
You know in our case as journalists we're dealing with stuff that's under embargo and we're looking at that's why I'm thinking [UNKNOWN] planes.
I was thinking more shopping and job hunting and beating off but yes, that too.
So yeah, so if you're very excited about your SureView laptop that you get so excited that you runoff to tell somebody and you leave it behind, you don't know where it is, guess what?
This is the first laptop with, you ever see those little tile trackers?
That you put on your keys so you don't lose your keys?
This has tile technology built in from that company.
So this is a tile trackable Laptop, and I would love to see that, frankly, and every laptop because I'm always losing stuff left and right.
That's another one of those things of like, why didn't we think of this before?
It's a pretty small chip.
It's technology that's easily integrated into a device of this size.
And so what a terrific idea I think their design HPS design on these is also really solid.
We've given them good marks for a number of their laptops in recent years.
So this is laptop.
This is pretty slick looking.
For a business laptop, very thin, very light.
And I think it also has a very sort of almost like pinstripe sort of look to business kind of very buttoned down.
Yeah, so and of course this guy at some point in 2020, I don't know exactly when he's going to get 5g option x. So that is a big key word we're going to be hearing a lot about this year.
So I think business laptops could be one of the first places you start to see that.
Some nice innovations in that one.
So way to go dragon fly.
Something a little bit more fun here.
Yeah big time.
And this is from Acer and it's part of their line called the concept D line and it's really meant for designers and creative types.
In a very professional sense, this is a concept D7 Easel Pro and it's called the Easel and this is a hinge they've had on a few products in the past.
A while ago really but I haven't seen it lately.
So the screen goes like this.
I'm going to do a little Click right here.
Bring it forward.
And there you go.
You could go all the way down here like this.
Fold down into kind of like a tablet, but I just like putting it like right by the keyboard there.
And then you can pull out the little stylus, aren't you?
And you can draw on the screen here and I gotcha.
There we go.
Very, very original.
CES of 2020.
I'm gonna do my little, everytime I try a stylus thing I can't draw.
So I just draw the same little cartoon guy.
I've been doing since like the 90s.
Give a bow tie today.
And flippy hair.
So these are these are really aimed at high end design professionals.
It's got an Intel Xeon processor which you do not see very often outside of-
It's hefty for a laptop.
And it's got Nvidia Quadro RDX graphics not the regular consumer level and of course it's it's one of those it's a 4k screen yes they have the Pantone certification but a lot of laptops out there yeah it's very marketing term kind of thing but I it's hard to tell on the video but the screen on this and looks really nice.
It's really very High Definition.
It looks very easy.
It's easy on the eyes.
It's not super bright.
It's just the colors are, are really well saturated.
It just a really nice level.
So I love it.
It has an Ethernet port.
I know that's not very 2020 but there are times especially if you're doing work like this on a big laptop You're probably dealing with big files and you're gonna love to have a gigabit ethernet or 10G ethernet to be able to plug into it.
It also has a hardwire on the side, the HDMI port and display port still.
So This really is aimed at high end designers, engineers, artists, photographers.
This is a really nice, if you're-
Nice with the shape and the form and design things.
I mean that's what we saw with all of the folding laptops and dual screen laptops.
Reimagining the shape and form of a computer and this does a lot of the same thing by having this screen pop out and be able to reposition itself.
If you're doing a lot of pen work, where you're drawing or a lot of photographers do that where they take the pen and they edit their photos with the pen.
This is a nice option.
It reminds me to of like with Apple with the new feature that they have where you can have your iPad side, right?
And you can use that.
It is kind of nice to have it directly on the screen though and not necessarily have to do it on a second screen or have a second device.
Be able to do it.
So it's good idea
And almost every PC company is definitely targeting creatives now
So it's so it's nice to see cool new designs that take advantage to that.
They buy big laptops, expensive laptop,
They do.>>They release them fairly often
Try to get the company to pay for it.
There's a big budget out there.
This is one of the cool new gaming laptop designs.
They were not a super tonne of new gaming laptops here.
There are a lot of good gaming hardware, a lot of good gaming innovation, but individual laptops, not that many that really caught my eye.
This is one that did.
And I specifically sought this out to bring this here.
This is the asou rG is Republic of Gamers it's their gaming line.
This is the zephyrus are 14, so it's a 14 inch gaming laptop and you don't see that very often but usually bigger right?
15 inch, 17 inch So to squeeze that down into a 14 inch screen size, and this is pretty compact for gaming laptop.
It's actually pretty light also, feel that.
One of the things I liked which is sort of strange is, I sort of like the bigger spacebar.
It's easy to find.
Almost mechanical style keys.
They also did a nice thing for us, if we can see the front.
I had this cool feature on the back where it has all these little micro spots there.
You can put a custom message up there.
You know your gamer tag.
Or just a pattern of lights and stuff like that.
Here, I'll try to catch a little bit of this shadow so you can.
So they can see it.
A nice ROG CNET on there.
So you can program that to put whatever message you want on the back in these little micro lights.
Kind of fun.
Reason why they're able to get it down this small, is they've got a new version of the Andy rising CPU and here that new announcements here at CES this is one of the flagship laptops with it.
You can get up to RT x 2060 graphics card in here, which is perfectly fine.
I wouldn't want that in my super high end.
17 inch gaming laptop.
But for a 14 inch laptop, even a 15 inch that's perfectly fine and I play a lot of games on 2060 laptops So in terms of something different in gaming laptop design where everything kind of looks and feels the same.
I like this guy a lot.
It's the compactness is really interesting because, there are times, if you're a gamer, even, you're not gonna carry that fit those big laptops, they get those big gaming laptops.
They're super heavy, not easy on your back when you're throwing it in a backpack.
So, like that a lot, also, again, built in HDMI, built in USB-C.
So this is a solid rig.
Yeah, gamers are some of the last people who really need all those ports and connections and still want them.
So they're helping keep it alive for the rest of us.
Good stuff, all right?
And then finally, let's talk today about a laptop that really brings into focus a lot of the important trendsetting things that are going on.
This is a yoga from Lenovo.
It's a story product line.
That means it's got.
Got the 360 degree hinge that goes like this, and we've seen these for years.
I love the way that they've hinge is I think a lot better.
I remember the-
It's evolved a lot over the years.
Everyone else makes a 360 laptop now, but these are the first guys.
I really went mainstream with it, and what this version has is number one it's one of the only is one of a handful of Qualcomm power laptops, so not intel-based, [CROSSTALK] Some real advantages, they run really long, low power consumption.
You know, always they're really they're really built for always on connectivity.
And that's why it's important that this is a 5g laptop.
It's probably going to be the first 5g laptop, you can go out and buy.
And it's the only one so far that combines the Qualcomm, the arm platform.
Form and 5G.
So put those two things that we've been talking about together in one product.
And it's also a great example of that form.
Yeah, and obviously we haven't tested this yet, but I was impressed that you put it on the list because you've been skeptical of our laptops over the years, especially.
When the last running Windows>> And [UNKNOWN] and may be 5G will be the combination that it needs to really be universally useful for people>> Yeah, very good at this is a classic friend like the yoga brand has done a lot of service the influence laptops as you mentioned [INAUDIBLE] So, it really is good to see.
This is another one, the design is really solid.
It's another one.
It's a little bit heavier than some of the other ones we looked at but, you still have to feel really good when you look at the design of this one.
It has got a lot [INAUDIBLE] for it.
So You're going to be pretty happy for this into tablet mode.
It's also one of the ones that I feel like where the, the finish of it is I can hold this and and like read a web page or read something, especially in either Portrait or landscape mode.
And have a good handle on it.
That's the hard thing about some of these when they fold over.
I don't always feel like I have a good place to put my hands.
And because they've been doing this longer I feel like they have a good sense of making these so that the places that you're gonna grab have some nice tactileness to it and get a good grip.
It's a subtle thing but it's it's something that that shows that they've been doing this for a while and are the leaders in that.
And I like they put it in the mainstream consumer yoga line and not just shunted off the 5g stuff in the Qualcomm stuff.
The business only laptops, which which are not always as cool looking and it's nice.
They just put it in the product that really anybody might like.
It's true and the one other interesting things about 5G to watch is 5G or LTE even today in laptops is a lot more common in Europe and in Asia because they don't necessarily make you buy like $10 a month plan-
That's the thing, yes.
To your carrier.
You can buy a SIM and that SIM gives you a certain amount of data, let's say it gives you five gigs of data That might last you four or five months and that's perfectly fine and a lot of people are more comfortable doing that then adding on another fixed costs or bumping up the price of their already really expensive
iPad and getting your Apple watch on the plan and everything.>>Yes,
The big question to mark about about this 5g laptop, the other one any of them is What's the 5g server is gonna cost you per month because you're adding an ongoing cost to that and if we had a way to do it,
yeah,>> just buy a SIM card and that would probably make a lot more sense to people.
Yeah,>> that's why I think everyone just tethers to their phone instead of instead of getting an LTE or 5g connected laptop I'm always in the cab with my phone in one hand flicking the the sharing often on trying to get my laptop to recognize it also I can, you know, use that phone data.
It's a pain because that was one of the things we talked about the original Google Pixel which is now been you know, six or seven years ago.
That was the best thing about that product.
It was heavy and it was expensive, but it had LTE built in and the fact that it could easily and it would automatically move between is like, you don't have a very good Wi Fi connection right now we're going to.
Move you over, yeah.
And it was really effective in doing that.
And so along those lines and we have a story coming out about this, you know, one of the potential disruptors when we get to 5G LTE laptop, this could be Google Fi cuz remember they've done some interesting things with data plans.
And so they could have an interesting say on some of this in 2020.
We'll see how that goes but look for an article on On CNET about that coming up here as we finish up CES.
Cool, well, we got a great collection here, thanks to all the companies who bring these laptops files to show us.
And that's it for the best laptops of CES 2020.
You can find all of my laptop coverage for CES and the year ahead at cnet.com of course.
I'm Dan Ackerman with Jason Heiner.
Thanks for watching.
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