Our Favorite Products From CES 2017
Hey, Alexa, what are the most innovative new gadgets of 2017? Amazon’s AI assistant was everywhere at this year’s CES, from phones and cars to robots and refrigerators. But that wasn’t the only big theme at the world’s biggest tech trade show.
The team at Tom’s Guide met with more than 200 companies to arrive at this list of the best and most exciting new products. Our picks include a TV that’s so thin you can almost floss with it, a breakthrough that charges your phone across the room, an AI-powered concept car and a 4K streaming box that puts Apple TV to shame. And it has Google Assistant inside. Take that, Alexa.
Best of Show: LG Signature OLED TV W
There’s a reason LG nicknamed this TV “wallpaper.” At just about a tenth of an inch thick, the gorgeous W7 OLED set blends so seamlessly into its surroundings, you wonder how it works at all. Available in 65- and 77-inches, we were also blown away by the W7’s stunning picture quality, as well as the audio from its equally impressive Dolby Atmos soundbar, whose upfiring speakers raise and lower with the push of a button on the remote. Because why not!
MORE: LG W7 Hands-on
Best Virtual Reality: Project Alloy
Intel’s Project Alloy is a VR experience unlike any other. The standalone headset uses four RealSense cameras to scan a room and implement its furniture and walls into the game you’re playing. It also includes an entire computer in the headset, including CPU and battery, which lets you play without being tethered to a computer. The result is an interactive experience that had us ducking behind a table as we waged war with robot enemies. We can’t wait to see what happens when Intel’s partners include the technology in headsets that should appear later this year.
MORE: Project Alloy Hands-On
Best Innovation: Ossia Cota Tile
Forget about all the so-called "wireless charging" technologies you've seen before. A game-changing breakthrough, Ossia's Cota Tile lives in the ceiling and sends electricity through the air to your device just like a router sends out a Wi-Fi signal. Your phone can charge all day while it sits in your pocket and your smart home devices can get juiced constantly, even if they're nowhere near an outlet.
MORE: Ossia Cota Tile Hands-on
Editor's Choice: Lego Boost
To succeed in the 21st century job market, today's kids need to learn how to code when they're young. The Lego Boost kit teaches basic programming concepts to children as young as seven as they build any of five really cute robots and control them with a tablet app. Since this is Lego, you can customize these robots with standard bricks too.
MORE: Lego Boost Hands-on
Best Car Tech: Toyota Concept-i
It will greet you with a wink when you walk up to it, play calming tunes to soothe your mind in difficult times, and it will even let you drive when you want. Toyota's Concept-i isn't just a self-driving car, it's a friend on wheels. Oh, and it looks amazing, too. With the way the Concept-i implements AI, Toyota has elevated what a car can be, and if this is a vision of the kind of tech that's coming down the road, it can't get here soon enough.
Best Robot: Ubtech Lynx
The Lynx from Ubtech is a robot like no other. That’s because it’s the first humanoid with Alexa inside. Ask Lynx a question or give it a command, and it will turn it’s head towards you. Don’t be creeped out, because this is a robot with a heart. And a lot of dexterity. The Lynx can execute crazy Yoga poses, dance and even hug your child while you’re on a video call with him from half-way around the world.
MORE: Ubtech Lynx Hands-on
Best Phone: Asus ZenFone AR
The Asus ZenFone AR is a phone that stands out. It’s the first Android handset to run both the Google Tango augmented reality platform and Daydream VR, and it doesn’t skimp on specs, either. The ZenFone AR is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU, 6GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU. It also packs a 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display that will look great when using apps or the Google Daydream VR headset.MORE: Asus ZenFone AR Hands-On
Best Budget Phone: Honor 6X
The Honor 6X is the kind of phone that makes you wonder why you pay several hundred bucks for a flagship device. This $249 device packs a dual-lens rear camera (for achieving the iPhone 7 Plus’ portrait mode effect on the cheap) and a fingerprint sensor while boasting all-day battery life. Actually, make that two days, at least when you’re not using it heavily. The 6X is proof that you don’t need to bust your budget just to enjoy some of the finer features smartphones have to offer.
MORE: Honor 6X Hands-on
Best Smart Home Product: LG Instaview Refrigerator
This Alexa-enabled fridge has a 29-inch touchscreen that runs not just Windows 10, but webOS, too. Among other things, you can check the weather, play music, and leave notes for your family. Cameras inside the LG Instaview refrigerator send photos to your smartphone to let you see if you’re running low on eggs, or you can simply tap the display, and it will turn clear. This lets you look inside without ever having to open the door.
MORE: LG Instaview Hands-on
Best Design: Dell Canvas 27
It has a screen that folds down, a pen, and a dial that you can use to select tools and change colors on the fly. No, it’s not the Surface Studio. Dell’s Canvas 27 gives creative professionals a fantastically versatile workspace for a fraction of the price. This display plugs into any existing Windows 10 PC and offers a new interface (in partnership with Stardock) that will make you feel Minority Report-powerful.
MORE: Dell Canvas 27 Hands-on
Best Laptop: Acer Predator 21X
The Predator 21X is what happens when you throw caution (and budgets) to the wind. This head-turning beast of a gaming laptop sports a curved 21-inch display, which is a first for any laptop. There’s also a mechanical keyboard on board, dual Nvidia 1080 graphics cards and a very nifty magnetic touchpad that you can flip over that turns into a number pad. Sure, this brute costs $9,000, but if you have the means, why the hell not?
Best PC: Dell XPS 27
Plenty of all-in-one PCs look stunning, but the Dell XPS 27 is one of the few that sounds great as well. That's because this desktop packs a whopping 10-speaker soundbar right below its display, allowing you to hear your music, movies and shows the way they were meant to sound. Factor in a 27-inch 4K touch display that can be laid flat, and you've got a spectacular all-in-one for artists, musicians or simply anyone who wants their content to both look and sound fantastic.
MORE: Dell XPS 27 Hands-On
Best TV: Sony Bravia XBR-A1E
Sony insists on both great picture and great sound for its TVs, but that’s hard to accomplish when sets are becoming thinner and thinner. With the Bravia XBR-A1E, Sony devised a novel solution: turn the screen itself into a speaker. The Bravia XBR-A1E boasts a gorgeous 4K HDR OLED screen, but what really sets it apart is that the screen itself vibrates to produce sound. Not only are there no speakers required, but its novel Acoustic Surface technology should sound even better than most tiny flat screen TV speakers.
Best Streaming Box: Nvidia Shield
The first Nvidia Shield was a respectable streaming box/game console hybrid; the new Nvidia Shield has the potential to be the centerpiece of your house. With an integrated games store that draws from three robust sources, full support for 4K and HDR games streamed through Steam and built-in Google Assistant with smart home commands, the Nvidia Shield could be one of the most powerful and versatile streaming players to ever hit the market. It’s also the only Android TV system with access to Amazon Video.
MORE: Nvidia Shield Hands-on
Best Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor
Dell's 32-inch UltraSharp 8K monitor is the kind of product that you truly need to see to believe. This droolworthy screen can display over one billion colors and close to 33 billion pixels, which makes photos look incredibly true to life while allowing you to see every fine detail of a map or schematic. The UP3218K's $5,000 price tag means that it's not for everyone, but it's stunning sharpness makes it the ultimate display for creative professionals.
MORE: Dell UP3218K Hands-On
Best Gaming PC: CyberPower Luxe
CyberPower manages to out-crazy itself every CES, making its new Luxe PC an easy pick for our favorite gaming desktop of the show. The CyberPower Luxe looks like it rolled out of a monster truck show in the best way possible, with a stunning, cage-like chassis that you can easily lift open to access the rainbow of backlit components waiting inside. With support for multiple graphics cards, the highest-end processors and a variety of custom cooling options, the Luxe is just as much a geeky work of art as it is a beastly gaming desktop.
MORE: CyberPower Luxe Hands-On
Best Security: Bitdefender Box
Most smart home tech doesn’t have very good security. You have three choices: don’t use it, leave yourself open to cybercrime or invest in hardware to protect yourself. The new Bitdefender Box is a router add-on (although you can also use it as a standalone router) that monitors not only the security of your PC and mobile devices, but your IoT gadgets as well. Users can block unauthorized devices attempting to the network, or prevent existing devices from accessing malicious sites. Over time, the Bitdefender Box will learn new smart home vulnerabilities, and defend against them, too.
MORE: Bitdefender Box Hands-On
Best Health Tech: LeEco Smart Bike
The ultimate bike for the quantified cyclist, LeEco’s Smart Bike (available in both mountain and road configurations) features GPS, 4G connectivity, a heart rate monitor, and a mess of other sensors so you can make the most of your rides. A 4-inch touchscreen lets you map your routes, and a hydraulic lock ensures that no one makes off with your ride. The bike even boasts lasers, which beam onto the road to show motorists where you’re riding.
Best Router: Norton Core
The Internet can be a scary place. The Norton Core router promises to remove some of those worries with parental control features that keep your kids away from online harm along with security measures that will do likewise for your connected devices. Just as important, Core makes those features easy to manage, if you never wanted “network administrator” to be one of your household chore. All of this is housed in an eye-catching geodisic design that will fit right in to almost any home.
MORE: Norton Core Hands-on
Best Gaming Concept: Razer Project Ariana
What do you get when you cross some smart light bulbs, a video projector and Razer's Chroma technology? It's Razer's latest concept, dubbed Project Ariana, which takes your favorite video game and projects it onto your world creating a colorful, semi-immersive experience from the comfort of your living room. Trust us, Project Ariana has to be seen to be believed.
Best Gaming Hardware: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
There are lots of gaming monitors with 4K resolution and Nvidia G-Sync, but for some reason, not many systems have embraced the vibrant color technology of high dynamic range (HDR). The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ combines all three features, along with a blindingly fast 144-Hz refresh rate, to give gamers the best-looking experience possible. At 27 inches, the PG27UQ is small enough to fit into a desktop gaming setup, and its striking, angular design means it’ll turn heads even when powered off.
Best Audio: Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Surround Earphones
Most earphones let you listen to music, answer calls and summon your digital assistant. But, the Ambeo Smart Surrounds aren't most earphones. Sennheiser's stylish in-ear cans can record 3D audio for a more immersive listening experience, which goes hand-in-hand with the growing popularity of augmented, merged and virtual reality. Best of all, all you need to start recording are the earphones and a compatible iPhone.
Best Cord Cutting: Mohu Airwave
An HD antenna is a great way to save money, but it does mean that your local channels are all tethered to one TV, and a long, unsightly cord will have to snake its way from the window to your television. The Mohu Airwave eliminates that hassle by acting as a totally wireless system. Simply put the Airwave near a window, connect it to a Wi-Fi network and access dozens of local channels with a streaming app for Roku, Apple TV or similar players. Now, every TV in the house can access broadcast networks.
MORE: Mohu Airwave Hands-on