CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), came alive in 2023. In 2021, it was all-digital, and in 2022 it was an unenthusiastic in-person show. In 2023, however, the convention floor in Las Vegas was buzzing from end to end. The halls were filled with a wide array of gadgets. Some are innovating for the future, while others are practical for the present. Some may never make it outside the research and development labs.
Lounge has reported on the best of televisions (including a fully wireless TV) from the convention floor, crazy dual-screen laptops and some of the more bizarre products showcased in Las Vegas this year.
It’s now time to bring you the best of the best (in no particular order, and not sorted by any category).
JBL Tour Pro 2 true wireless earbuds: Let me start with a product I haven’t mentioned before. Wireless earbuds haven’t had much innovation with respect to the charging case. JBL has finally thought out of the box. For months and years, we’ve had to pull out our smartphones to check just how much battery is left for each individual earbud and the case. With the JBL Tour Pro 2, that should be a thing of the past. There is a 1.45-inch case that allows you to not only check the charge or each earbud but also toggle active noise cancellation and ambient sound, along with a few other features. Otherwise, the headphone seem pretty high-end with IPX5 water resistance, eight hours of battery and six microphones for calls and noise cancelation.
Lenovo ThinkPhone: Lenovo may have bought Motorola a couple of years ago but their paths haven’t really intersected until 2023. The Lenovo ThinkPhone is a smart collaboration between the two brands. This smartphone is for the ThinkPad enthusiasts. The ThinkPhone complements the ThinkPad in many way. It’s got Gorilla Glass Victus, IP68 resistance, durable and lightweight aramid fiber and an aircraft-grade aluminium frame. There’s also a special red button. This RedKey lets you program direct access to any app or service with just a single press.
HTC Vive XR Elite: HTC has a new virtual reality (VR) headset out! The Vive XR Elite and will retail in February for $1,099. The size of the VR headset has shrunk and now is roughly the size of normal glasses. It is also less than half the weight of its competitors like the Quest Pro VR headset. Furthermore, if you wear glasses, then you don’t need to wear them while you use the Vive XR Elite. There’s a dial that can be adjusted according to the lens prescription.
In short, the Vive XR Elite is a modular design headset that can work standalone (battery-powered) or as a USB-C-tethered display. An affordable and accessible VR device is what the Metaverse badly needed.
Volkswagen ID.7: BMW may have made a car that can change colours but what Volkswagen has created really caught everyone’s attention. The Volkswagen ID.7 concept was one of the best real cars and is coming out next year. It’s Volkwagen’s first electric sedan and features a 15-inch dash screen, a heads up display, and uses augmented reality to show you the current speed and give you turn-by-turn navigation. What really captured everyone’s attention was on the outside. The car has been dressed up in a QR-code digital camouflage. There are 22 zones and 40 layers of electromagnetic colours that can each light up separately. The QR code pattern can be scanned, for those of you asking.
Samsung Display’s Flex Hybrid: Samsung may have the best foldable smartphones on the market but its vision for 2023 makes sure it remains one step ahead of the competition.The Flex Hybrid, as the company is calling it, combines both the foldable and slidable form factors. One can unfold it to have a tablet-style experience. If an even bigger screen is needed, then it can slide out from the side. Samsung hasn’t revealed any details of when this technology will be used in a product that is sold in the market, but a smartphone that can open like a book and roll out an extra screen extension is very exciting.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9: Samsung has not one, but two products, on this list, and deservedly so. Samsung’s curved monitor range has always stood out courtesy its huge curved design. Time and time again, Samsung has outdone themselves. For CES, Samsung’s lab has created a massive 57-inch, curved mini-LED display with a pixel-packed 7,680x2,160 resolution and a 32:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio. The company is describing it as the first dual-UHD gaming monitor for the best immersion of all-time. It also has a 240Hz refresh rate to boot.
Evie ring from Movano: Companies are pushing for smart rings even if consumers aren’t really buying into them. The Evie ring from Movano is one of the best-looking and most exciting smart rings to be announced in recent months. Evie is one of the first consumer wearables that is also a medical-grade device. It’ll help woman track their sleep quality and menstrual cycles through their perimenopause (charactersised by hot flashes and disturbed sleep) state. The ring costs $300 and will be out later this year. The Evie has a wireless earbuds-style case that comes in handy when the devices need a top-up.
L’Oréal Hapta: Another prototype but one that helps people with limited arm/hand mobility. Using smart gestures and a nifty magnetic attachment, the L’Oreal Hapta can rotate 360 degrees and bend 180 degrees. The first of the products focuses on lipsticks and helps those with disabilities to easily apply it. Hapta uses AI-enabled stabalisation that was first developed for Liftware. Liftware is a line of assistive eating utensils.
Now let’s move on to four products I just couldn’t help mentioning again.
Time to let go of the cords: The LG M3 and Displace TV are taking cord-cutting to the next level. Displace TV has come out with a 5-inch OLED TV that fastens to a wall or window with the help of suction cups. But it takes wireless to an extreme as it comes without a remote control and has four hot-swappable batteries to power it.
On the other hand, there is LG’s M3, a 97-inch wireless OLED TV (sans the power cable). How does this TV operate, you ask? Well, the M3 uses a Zero Connect Box, that is kept separately from the TV (up to 30 feet away) and wirelessly sends video up to 4K 120Hz to the screen. Messy cables no more!
Withings U-Scan: Another unique and exciting product set to hit the markets shortly is an in-toilet pee sensor. It collects and analyses your urine. The U-Scan tests your urine’s pH level and monitors daily ketones and vitamin C levels as well.
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i: The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, that released a couple months ago, already seems outdated, thanks to Lenovo. Let me introduce you to one of the best, if not the best product of CES: the Yoga Book 9i. It’s one of the most interesting laptops to come out in recent memory. It’s a one-of-a-kind laptop that comes with dual-OLED displays. It can function as a tablet, laptop, and much more.
There’s also a removable keyboard, kickstand and stylus. If you don’t want to use the removable keyboard then there is a haptic keyboard along with a haptic touchpad. The two displays can be stacked vertically, one on top of the other, or next to each other, shaped like a book.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist