There’s no place like Vegas during CES, as for one week of the year the temporary influx of technophiles rubs shoulders with the high rollers in the city that never sleeps (and with so much tech to see in just a few short days, sleep was certainly in short supply for the TechRadar team).
At the event itself the excitement and anticipation are palpable, and the show floors are packed with wonderful – and sometimes weird – gadgets that are set to change the way we live, work and play.
With some many amazing products on show it's hard to pick favorites – but pick we have, and here's our list of the very best tech we've seen at CES 2019; the products that stole our hearts, and will possibly steal our wallets sometime down the road.
While our selections represent just a fraction of the gadgets to be found on the 2.75 million square feet of exhibit space, this is the tech that our editors adored, and that our readers were most excited about.
So without further ado, and listed in alphabetical order, here are the winners of TechRadar's 2019 CES Awards!
Asus ROG Mothership GZ700
This is one of the most interesting takes on the desktop replacement gaming laptop we've ever seen. Essentially a gaming laptop and desktop combined, this beast can kick out its stand, detach its keyboard and work as an all-in-one gaming PC as well. Asus has taken the term 'desktop replacement' in an incredibly interesting direction that we can't wait to see pan out.
Creative SXFI Air
In a few short years, headphone holography will be the biggest thing in audio. Dolby’s working on it, Audeze has dabbled in it, and Creative… well, Creative has already taken it to the next level. Creative’s SXFI Air can replicate the soundstage of a full surround system in a pair of over-ear headphones that cost under $200 (£150, AU$275). It’s a bold step for the future of audio, and we got to see it for the first time at CES.
8K TVs were in plentiful supply at CES 2019. Samsung, Sony, TCL, LG and a half-dozen others all showed up to Vegas with Ultra-HD screens – but without HDMI 2.1, 8K would be dead in the water. The latest iteration of the display standard allows for the transmission of 8K60 – and 4K120 – video, plus Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode. No HDMI 2.1, no future for 8K TVs.
Honor View 20
While we're still waiting for the 'official' launch of the Honor View 20, we finally got a chance to go hands-on with it at CES 2019 – and it was well worth the wait. The combination of the world's first 48MP camera, the wider-screen display with punch-hole camera, and the visually arresting back make it a strong phone that could shake up the flagship rankings this year.
HTC Vive Cosmos
While we're still left with a few questions about this headset, the Vive Cosmos promises to bring the best parts of HTC's VR experience in a more portable, distilled way, and brings us that little bit closer to the tipping point where virtual reality becomes affordable and attractive to all.
Huawei MateBook 13
The next anti-MacBook Air is here, and it's managed to one-up not only Apple's latest model but a bevy of other competitors in terms of style, substance and value. What's most notable about this laptop is that it brings full-power mobile Intel processors to a form factor that's dominated by lower-power Intel chips. This is bound to be a laptop to beat in 2019, and the absolute best we've seen from the show.
Lenovo Smart Clock
Google Assistant is coming to your nightstand in a screen-equipped smart speaker. Its 6W speaker plays music, and the 4-inch display shows the time and alarms. When you wake up to shut off the alarm, it automatically gives a daily rundown: weather, estimated commute time, appointments overview, and the news. The Lenovo Smart Clock the 21st century version of a bedroom alarm clock.
LG 8K OLED TV (OLED88Z9)
The LG 8K OLED (OLED88Z9) TV is peak CES. It combines two future-facing technologies to create a product that's both revolutionary in its engineering and awe-inspiring to behold… which makes it all the more unfortunate that LG has yet to confirm pricing. You can bet your already-outdated 4K Blu-ray collection that it’s going to cost way more than many of us will be able to dream of affording, but it’s as cutting-edge a TV as we’re going to see in 2019.
LG Signature Series OLED TV R (OLED65R9)
At one time, seeing a TV appear out of thin air would have been something straight out of a magic act. But LG’s new rollable Signature Series OLED TV R isn’t magic – it’s engineering and display technology taken to the nth degree. While some other 2019 TVs can do 8K and sit flush on the wall, only the 65R9 harnesses OLED’s natural flexibility to roll up on itself when you’re done watching it. Star Trek eat your heart out.
Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV
Just like the Las Vegas strip itself, the TVs of CES 2019 have been all about the glitz. Whether it's 8K resolutions or rollable displays, the 'wow' factor may have been upped, but there's a sense that it's been a game of spec-chasing and headline-baiting. The Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED, on the other hand, is a pure movie-lover's dream – there are no gimmicks here, just a commitment to the best possible picture quality.
Panasonic S1R Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
We're really excited to get our hands on Panasonic's first full-frame mirrorless camera when it officially launches in March. The brand has always been a pathfinder in the field of video, and looks set to continue this by being the first manufacturer to offer 4K video recording at 60p on a full-frame camera. With a tough and rugged build promised, along with a mouthwatering spec aimed at pros, it looks like the S1R will be the camera to beat in 2019.
Royole FlexPai Foldable Phone
The Royole FlexPai is seriously cool, and it's one of the hottest products at CES 2019. Its flexible, folding 7.8-inch display allows you to go from tablet to phone and back again with a simple bend of the screen. It's not perfect – the software is slow and buggy – but it's the innovation in the screen technology that has us truly excited. The future of smartphones starts here.
Withings Move ECG
Apple may have had the honor of debuting an ECG monitor on a smartwatch, but Withings is the company that's bringing the tech to the masses in an affordable device that works with both iPhone and Android. The Withings Move ECG is also a good-looking hybrid watch that features step and sleep tracking, making for an attractive blend of style and health features.
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.