CES 2021: Tech and gadgets gamers might be interested in

CES just happened, and while the show was much smaller in scope due to COVID, there were still quite a few interesting tech announcements. We saw universal recyclers, telehealth blood screeners, electronic dog doors, and a Keurig-style single-shot ice-cream maker. But we know what you are here for. You want to know about all the gaming announcements.

Well, there weren’t many, but we did a bit of reaching to find some tech that you would be interested in. Let’s take a look.

All the new PC tech

You know the deal. Every year CES comes around and we get more powerful gaming PCs and Laptops with sharper monitors. Most of these are just the same products you know and love with some increased specs so let’s lightning round a few of them off:

  • Asus announced three new gaming monitors, the Asus ROG Swift XG43UQ with two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort, the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ, the first 32-inch gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 to take advantage of its 4K IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate (it also has two HDMI and one DisplayPort), and the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A, a 28-inch 4K gaming monitor with an IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, and blindingly fast 1ms response time.
  • Acer announced the Nitro XV282K KV, a 28" 4K gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 support.
  • Nvidia announced the RTX 3060, a mid-range graphics card with a small profile available in late February for $329.
  • Nvidia also unveiled a new line of mobile processors: the Ampere RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060.
  • AMD, of course, also revealed a new line of processors: The Ryzen 7 5800U, Ryzen 9 5900HX, and Ryzen 9 5980HX.
  • As did Intel with the Intel Core i7-11375H Special Edition, the Intel Core i7-11370H, and the Intel Core i5-11300H.
  • MSI announced the 15M Laptop, an ultra-thin, ultra-portable 15-inch gaming laptop with an 11th gen Intel Tiger Lake H35 processor and an Nvidia RTX 3060.
  • The Razer Blade 15 Laptop basically has higher specs than its previous model and a 1440p screen option.
  • The Asus Rog Flow X13 is an interesting thin and light gaming laptop that connects to an external graphics card, allowing you to switch between high powered gaming mode and low powered work mode whenever you like.
  • Lenovo announced the Legion 7 and Slim 7, a beefy and portable gaming laptop respectively running AMD Ryzen 5000 processors and RTX graphics cards.

LaVie Mini Laptop

One piece of tech that requires its own look is Lenovo’s new LaVie Mini Laptop. It features an 8-inch touch-screen with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1180G7 CPU and Intel Iris Xe graphics and it is small enough to fit in your pocket… a big pocket but still. It’s basically no bigger than a Nintendo Switch, and it works a lot like one. You can attach controllers to the sides to create a gaming experience, and it has a keyboard that folds out to create a workstation. It only weighs a little over a pound, so this is absolutely the pinnacle of portable PC technology. The date and pricing for the unit have not yet been announced.

Wearable display glasses

Remember that cool ‘80s cyberpunk trend where someone had a full monitor in their sunglasses? Well, now it’s real. TCL has announced their wearable display aptly named the Wearable Display, which crams a 1080p OLED display into a pair of sunglasses. They aren’t fully portable, as they need to be attached to the device they are pulling video from via USB-C, though this could be a Phone, making them portable enough.

The thing is, the virtual display is reportedly giant, offering a 140-degree field of view, comparable to a theater experience glued directly to your face! And yes, they are compatible with game consoles and PCs too. Best part? When you are done using them as a display they are just… normal sunglasses. So you don’t have to blind yourself in order to take advantage of them.

There was a lot of other wearable tech on show at CES but none with this much power. Vuzix will basically act as a secondary display for your smartphone (similar to a smartwatch) using a see-through 3D microLED display. They will come with a mic and touchpad to allow control via voice and gesture controls.

There were also the JLab frames which clip speakers and a mic to your existing glasses, and the Voy adjustable glasses which can alter your prescription via a focus wheel on the frames.

Transparent and Rollable TVs

There were plenty of TVs that were shown off at CES boasting more pixels and faster processors and we all know the deal there. Look for the ones with higher numbers and lower latency and that’s the one you are going to hook up to your next-generation console.

The truly interesting TVs are looking to change the way we think about TVs. For example, LG revealed a transparent 55-inch TV that looks just like a normal TV when in use but looks like a window when not in use. Sure, it’s a bit of a gimmick, but it will certainly do a lot for saving and reclaiming wall space.

And speaking of saving and reclaiming wall space, another major innovation shown off this year is the rollable TV, a piece of tech that we have seen in years (as early as 2018) before but that seems to have been further perfected this year. LG once again led the charge here, showing off its fully rollable OLED models that went on sale late last year. Basically, all the electronics of the TV are kept in a small rectangular base that the TV extends from. LG showed off a new rollable phone as well.

Immersive gaming chair

This is one of the big and weird ones. Razer unveiled Project Brooklyn, a new concept for an all-in-one immersive gaming chair. The chair itself would have built-in speakers and haptic feedback. In front of it would be a small desk that wraps around you allowing you to put the keyboard, mice, and controllers on. Up top, there would be a retractable, wraparound, curved 60-inch rollable OLED display that fully retracts when the chair is not in use, making use of that rollable TV technology we mentioned before. The armrests and desk can retract too if you are more comfortable playing with a bad in your lap.

It is worth noting that this is just a concept right now. There’s no telling if this will ever hit the market.

Razer also showed off another concept project which is appropriate for these times, a smart face mask. It’s a full face mask with N95 medical-grade respirator technology built-in, that can go transparent so people can see your face, and which has a built-in amplifier and microphone to make you easier to hear. Also, it comes with RGB lighting because… gamer mask.

Otterbox gaming accessories

Otterbox, known for its hard protective cellphone cases, is teaming up with Microsoft to create a line of gaming accessories. The first is a controller shell, giving your Xbox controllers extra grip and protection from drops. The next is a controller clip that will hold your smartphone while you are gaming. Other products announced include a heat dissipating phone case and a screen protector which doubles as a privacy shield, only allowing you to see your screen from head-on. All of these products will be available for pre-order on January 25th and will begin shipping in mid-February.

Arcade 1-Up’s cabinets

Finally, we have my favorite announcement of the show, new revivals from Arcade 1-Up. For anyone unaware, Arcade 1-Up creates reproduction cabinets for classic arcade games. This year, they had four new cabinets to show.

  • A Pong machine in the form of a class 4-play pub table that actually includes 8 Atari games including Pong, Pong Doubles, Quadra Pong, Pong Sports, Warlords, Circus Atari, Tempest, and Super Breakout. It can currently be pre-ordered from Best Buy.
  • A Dragon’s Lair machine featuring HD ports of Dragon’s Lair, Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, and Space Ace.
  • An X-Men The Original Arcade Game cabinet with enabled Wi-Fi allowing you to play online in addition to locally, which also comes with Captain America and The Avengers and The Avengers in Galactic Storm.
  • A Killer Instinct cabinet that comes with Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 2, and Battletoads Arcade that also features Wi-Fi.

What CES announcements are you most excited about? Let us know in