It feels like 4K is just barely getting started and 8K is already one-upping it. At the all-virtual version of CES this year, most of the biggest names in TV manufacturing like Sony and LG trotted out their upcoming wares. While the majority of the TVs shown maxed out at 4K resolution (which is still gorgeous and is supported by more movies and video games than 8K), there were a few sets that went above and beyond. Companies like Samsung and TCL proved that 8K is real and it's here -- just in time go to along with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, both of which will support it as soon as 8K games start existing. If you're unfamiliar with the distinction between 4K and 8K, you can brush up with our explainer, but the main thing you need to know is that it has 16 times the number of pixels as a 1080p display. If that sounds appealing to you, here are some of the coolest 8K TVs shown off at CES this year.
Even though CES 2021 was fully virtual, we still saw tons of new devices, including laptops, drones, TVs, wearables, smart home gadgets, and more. But this was also the year we saw a lot of product concepts. You see, the "beauty" of shows like CES is the ability write about our hands-on experiences with products. But since we couldn't roam the halls of CES in person this year, it was the perfect time for brands to announce gadgets that weren't ready for store shelves. And, it turns out these concepts were actually the best tech of CES, too.
With virtual booths and digital portals taking the place of convention center halls and showcases, CES in the time of coronavirus looked different. So did some of the tech. COVID-oriented tech products stood out at this year's CES. Some brands debuted new products made for the pandemic, others found that items they'd been working on all along now have newfound applications and relevance. But is "COVID tech" really necessary? After all, the best way to slow the spread of the virus is to practice social distancing and wear a face mask, which can be as simple as a bandana or a repurposed old T-shirt -- fundamentally low-tech strategies.
Shortly after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week, the hunt was on to find those who participated. It wasn't that difficult, as these insurrectionists refused to wear masks in the middle of a pandemic, even if it meant being filmed breaking the law (or being livestreamed by one of their own). While the FBI seemingly failed to see the Capitol riot coming, they have set up a tip line for anyone who had information about participants. This led to people scouring the internet in attempt to identity these domestic terrorists. On January 7, the day after the riot, Foreign Policy for America NextGen Initiative Co-Chair Alia Awadallah noticed an uptick of MAGA-lovers on dating apps.
The upcoming Cadillac Lyriq SUV is the first electric car for the Cadillac car brand, but it's the reimagined dashboard display spanning 33 inches across that attracts the most attention. Mercedes-Benz also has a massive 56-inch Hyperscreen that will be available soon in its first EV. These car screens and others introduced at the annual tech show CES feature a new user interface that looks more like a well-rendered video game than an infotainment display to turn up the heat or play a podcast. Past CES shows used to wow with announcements about bigger and bigger dashboard screens, but now it's about what's on them. The Lyriq's 33-inch LED display stands out on its own, but its graphics feel almost too sharp for a screen stuck in a car.
PC gaming is said by many to be the best way to play video games. In a lot of ways, that's true -- high-end gaming computers pack more graphical and processing power than any home console does, and they offer a level of freedom in terms of customisation and game choice that you're just not going to find anywhere else. But when it comes down to it, starting your foray into PC gaming can be extremely complicated, especially when you're new to all of this. Unlike consoles that you can just pick up and play, gaming computers require an intense amount of research into each and every component. GPUs, CPUs, monitors, keyboards -- it's a lot to take in, and it'll normally cost you a lot of money.
These are the best deals on Eufy robot vacuums as of Jan. 13: OUR TOP PICK: Eufy by Anker, RoboVac G30, Robot Vacuum with Smart Dynamic Navigation 2.0 -- save $90 One of the things we had enough of in 2020 was cleaning (among other things). Staying at home all day every day means that things tend to get messy, and time spent cleaning the house also seems to skyrocket. Give yourself a little free time and outsource the floor-cleaning to a robot vacuum. These Eufy models will save you time, energy and -- since they're all on sale -- money. The smartest robot vacuum on this list, the RoboVac G30 will integrate seamlessly into any smart home.
General Motors shared some futuristic concept vehicles, including a sleek Cadillac passenger drone, on Tuesday in a classic CES move. As part of its Cadillac Halo portfolio, a shiny, silver and black self-driving shuttle, and a matching passenger drone were introduced. Both are just ideas with no production plans -- yet. The VTOL flying car (that's the term used for vertical take-off and landing vehicles or passenger drones) is GM's first design in aerial mobility. It's an idea for personal air travel that doesn't require a trip to the airport.
Amazon's Echo Studio high-fidelity smart speaker is on sale for only $169.99 as of Jan. 12 -- that's a 15% savings. Up until a few years ago, audio quality always took a backseat to the "smart" part of smart speakers. You didn't buy such a device because you wanted to feel like you were lounging amongst the quaint woodsiness of Long Pond Studio while listening to folklore; you bought it because you wanted a friendly AI to check the weather and order more toilet paper for you. For Amazon's popular Echo lineup, that all changed with 2019's introduction of the Echo Studio, an Alexa-enabled smart speaker geared toward audiophiles. Not only does it support Dolby Atmos for clear, immersive audio, but much like other high-end speakers made by brands like Sonos and Apple, it comes with a "3D sound" feature that automatically adjusts its output based on the acoustics of a room.
During its keynote at CES 2021, Sony gave us a glimpse at its very first drone: Airpeak. And, since Sony is essentially synonymous with sharp and cinematic image quality, it makes sense that Airpeak will first cater to professional photographers and videographers when it launches this Spring. The drone project was initially announced back in November via press release, but Sony clearly wanted to wait for a special occasion like CES to debut it in all its glory. Details are still scarce, but Sony did reveal that the Airpeak is the smallest drone yet for mounting and flying a DSLR or mirrorless camera (specifically its own lineup of Alpha mirrorless cameras). With Sony's drone, content creators can use more heavy-duty cameras to capture aerial footage rather than having to rely on built-in cameras that come equipped with most drones.