As soon as Santa has left the building, we are already riding headlong into a new year full of brand new gadgets. And although, given the prevailing circumstances, many of the opening events of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas went online instead, the world’s biggest tech show didn’t disappoint.
From robo-routers to color-changing cars, massive monitors to, um, massive televisions – CES 2022 offered a hodgepodge of tempting things.
As difficult as it was to choose a top 10 – especially since we couldn’t go through the halls in person – we reduced the longlist in order to present you our most popular innovations from this year’s CES. Some are cool concepts, others will soon be on the shelves – and they all offer a glimpse into the near future. So without further ado, here are this year’s Stuff Most Wanted Award winners.
Samsung The Freestyle
Are you looking for projected entertainment that captivates on any wall? You could grab a flashlight and pull out your best shadow puppets. Or switch on for blockbuster beams the freestyle. Despite its compact proportions, the swivel projector from Samsung can project images up to 100 inches in size. The included mount should make positioning a breeze, with auto focus, auto keystone and auto leveling on hand to keep streams sharp and straight. Smart Calibration also takes colored backgrounds into account. A built-in speaker pumps soundtracks in 360 degrees, while the light bulb doubles as ambient light. Not near a wall socket? Draw power from a PD battery or, even more nifty, any replacement E26 lightbulb socket. Recording might be limited by the $ 899 price tag (UK cost is unconfirmed), but we’re all for avant-garde A / V gadgets.
TP-Link Archer AX200 Omni
Wi-Fi routers don’t usually top the list of CES shopping lists, but TP-Link’s self-adapting hub takes the prize science fiction style. Equipped with a quartet of antennas, the AXE200 Omni unfolds its signaling device like a stupid drone preparing for take-off. And the motorized masts don’t just intimidate relatives: they rotate automatically depending on the location of the connected devices. Stroll while you scroll? The antennas should respond to your position to optimize signal and connection strength. It can also deliver speeds up to 4.8GB / s thanks to Wi-Fi 6E connectivity – though you’ll likely be too intrigued by the robo-beacons to browse. The price is not confirmed, but TP-Link anticipates that Archer AX200 Omni will be sent this year.
Samsundg Odyssey Ark
From Galaxy smartphones to big screen TVs, Samsung was getting serious at CES this year. But of all the devices that the South Korean manufacturer unveiled in Vegas, this curved gaming monitor impressed us the most. Measure at a staggering 55 inches that Odyssey Ark has a Quantum Dot Mini LED display with a 4K resolution and an aspect ratio of 16: 9. Its arched design promises a better gaming experience, but the more nifty trick comes when you turn it: Vertically oriented, the Odyssey Ark’s multiview feature allows multiple apps to be displayed at the same time. So you can easily stream live and take photos at the same time. Or multitasking with Slack and Sheets when Twitch doesn’t pay the bills. Prices are unconfirmed, but expect to see a charge on your account balance.
Astell & Kern ACRO CA1000
Styled like the desktop cousin of a Tesla Cybertruck, this edgy accessory is a different kind of compressor. Instead of charging batteries, the premium pedestal amplifies sound signals from a variety of sources. Her arrest for £ 1999 ($ 2100) ACRO CA1000 supports optical, coaxial, wired USB-C and RCA inputs as well as Bluetooth 5.0 for 24-bit aptXTM HD and wireless LDAC audio. Translation? With cables or otherwise, your songs will sound sweeter than ever. 256GB of on-board storage means it can hold your high-resolution library too, with a 4.1-inch flip-up touchscreen for easy DJing. And although the milled jukebox isn’t the most portable, it has an 8400 mAh battery for up to 10.5 hours of playback – perfect for parade at audiophile parties.
Sony Master Series A95K
Samsung’s new QD OLED technology made headlines at CES 2022 – and for good reason. By combining the deep, immersive blacks of the best OLED panels with the breathtaking brightness of Quantum Dot displays, the clever combination could transform the home theater experience. First out of the gate with a QD OLED television? Not Samsung, but Sony – but with a Samsung panel. As the successor to one of our most popular 4K TVs, Sony’s latest TV looks set to take the top spot again. Available in 65 inches and 55 inches, the Master series A95K features an improved XR processor with fresh depth and color control tricks. Acoustic Surface Audio + is back too, while a new Bravia Cam on TV promises to tweak the picture and sound based on your seating position. Prices and release dates are still open, but it won’t be cheap.
Asus ROG Flow Z13
As powerful as the iPad Pro is, hardcore gamers will still make fun of the idea of playing on a tablet. That could change with the Asus ROG Flow Z13: Essentially a Windows gaming laptop squeezed into a slim slate, it’s compatible with XG Mobile – meaning gamers can plug in an external graphics card for a serious boost in performance . At 12mm slim and 1.1kg light, the Flow Z13 is really portable, with a built-in stand and detachable keyboard for useful flexibility. Available in a range of configurations, gamers who go anywhere can specify the 13.4-inch panel to be 4K resolution or drop it down to 1080p for 120 Hz refresh rates. Asus hasn’t announced any pricing, but the Flow Z13 is expected to launch in the first half of 2022.
Prototype of a solar powered loudspeaker from Exeger x Mayht
An infinite battery life bluetooth speaker might sound like some fanciful CES chuck that will never make it to market, but the key technology behind this solar powered sound box is already in action. The speaker prototype uses the same Powerfoyle material developed by Exeger and applied to the headband of Urbanista Los Angeles headphones so that they can be charged with light alone. The biggest stumbling block here is how to ditch party start beats without straining the cell too much. This is where Heartmotion comes into play: a compact and efficient dual-membrane driver that was developed by the transducer startup Mayht. The integration is still in progress, but it could soon come to a park near you.
Dell XPS 13 Plus
CES has always been a popular hunting ground for laptop buyers – and 2022 is no different. One of the most tempting of the new devices is Dell’s XPS 13 Plus. An optimized upgrade to the existing XPS 13, the Premium Plus maximizes minimalism. Above the keyboard is a touch-sensitive shortcut bar that is large for MacBook vibes, while there is no touchpad below. Not a marketing move to sell more mice, the user interface is actually a glass setup seamlessly integrated into the bezel, with clicks mimicked through haptic feedback. Hardly any edges around the display contribute to the reduced impression, with an OLED display option for vivid images being offered. Time will tell if the clicker starts, but the XPS 13 Plus has the look (and the hidden touch). Available everywhere this spring, prices for the Windows 11 machine have not yet been determined.
The search for accessible VR continues at this year’s CES – and apparently Panasonic believes steampunk styling is the way to seduce the masses into putting on their feather-light virtual reality glasses. Styled like something the Money Heist professor would wear in the Metaverse, the compact glasses weigh only 250g, but MicroOLED displays inside can deliver 5.2K 10-bit HDR video with refresh rates of up to 120 Hz. That is a super sharp resolution of 2.5K pixels per eye. Although they are much more portable than the Renault family car that shares their name, the MeganeX must be connected to a suitably powerful PC in order to run SteamVR games. Shiftall, the Panasonic division that develops the specs, says they’ll sell for “less than $ 900” when they hit shelves in the spring.
BMW iX Flow
Motor is noticed for the wrong reasons? A quick trip to 8ball’s garage should reduce the heat. Unfortunately, in real life, switching the whip lick isn’t as easy as GTA would like you to believe. Or is it? In the CES parking lot, BMW turned heads and showed a special edition of its electric SUV. Coated with millions of microcapsules, each one contained e-ink – the same material e-readers use to render text. The charged pigments react to the supply of electricity, ie the iX Flow can instantly change its hue from light to dark. It’s just a concept right now, with colors limited to black and white. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to drive around in the color change car now.
Honorable Mention: PlayStation VR2
The successor to Sony’s original PS VR was a long time coming, but it didn’t make it to CES 2022. But Sony has revealed a lot more about the new device. For starters, we now know his name: PlayStation VR2. We also know that it supports 4K HDR with a sharp resolution of 2000 × 2040 pixels per eye. As expected, PS VR2 will work with the Sense controllers introduced last year and track the peripherals with the help of integrated cameras – no external sensor required. Inside the headset itself, two IR cameras offer smart eye tracking for improved interactivity. Sony also announced that the first game in development for PS VR2 is an immersive new Horizon title: Call of the Mountain. With a likely summer launch, this headset got us hooked.