January 8, 2019
The Consumer Electronics Show 2019 is in full swing. It's the biggest event of the year for every major consumer tech company, and they're all trying to top each other in every category. Everyone needs a laptop, and the devices debuting to the public for the first time this week are at the top of the line.
As laptops continue to evolve in 2019, their consumer appeal can be largely segmented into a few big groups: The gamers, who prioritize processing power and HD displays; the casual users, who need a lightweight and inexpensive option, and the white collar workers out for an overall high-functioning device.
CES 2019 had something for all of them.
Here are the most interesting laptops debuted at CES 2019: The very big, the very light, and the ones with the extra artificial intelligence you never knew you needed.
Asus ROG Mothership
One for the gamers out there, Taiwanese tech company Asus has outdone itself with a 17.3-inch 1080p screen laptop, the ROG Mothership. Specs included in this gaming behemoth:
- 144 Hz refresh rate
- As much as 64GB of Ram
- Three 512GB solid state drives
- Intel Core i9
- NVIDIA GeForce 20-series GPUs
Its design is a little unusual, which you might not be able to tell from the photo above, but Tech.co's Tom Fogden has the scoop on the reasoning behind that, as well as a look at the rest of CES 2019's gamer-centric products and news, which includes a raft of more readily recognizable gaming laptops from Asus.
Asus Zenbook S13
If you really hate bezels, Asus is your company. Their new Zenbook model comes with a tasty 97 percent screen-to-body ratio. Also on the table:
- 13.9-inch screen
- 12.9mm width
- Weighs: 2.43 pounds
- GeForce MX150 graphics
- Aluminum chassis
- Core i5-8265U processor
- Up to 8GB of RAM
- Up to 256GB storage
The Zenbook S13 isn't for gamers, but should be a great choice for anyone in need of a laptop for typical daily use, given its solid connectivity options, reasonable battery power, and cost. It'll be starting at $850, though there's no word yet on when it'll be available.
Acer Chromebook 315
Chromebooks aren't known for their huge fanbase, but that could change with Acer's newest model, which (together with HP’s new Chromebook 14) is the first to use the powerful AMD chip. The Chromebook 315 comes with:
- 7th Generation AMD A6-9220C or A4-9120C processors
- 10 hours of battery charge
- 15.6-inch Full HD display
- Up to 8GB of RAM
- Up to 32GB of eMMC storage
- Weighs: 3.79 pounds
While most of those specs are nothing new for Acer Chromebooks (the screen size, speakers, design and battery life are about the same), the extra processor power makes a meaningful difference in the lightweight world of Chromebook devotees. At less than four pounds, it'll be pretty easy to transport, and could be a smart contender for a tweenager's first laptop, thanks to the Chrome OS's invulnerability to viruses.
You won't have long to wait: The Acer Chromebook 315 will be available next month in either touch or non-touch screen displays. It'll be sold in North America in February, and it starts at just $279.99, which should perk up bargain hunters' ears.
LG Gram 17
LG's lightweight laptop offerings were unveiled at CES 2019 as promised. Specs to expect from the Gram 17:
- 17-inch display
- Weighs: 2.95 pounds
- 19.5-hour battery life
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
- Up to 16GB of memory
- Up to 512GB storage
- Fingerprint reader
- Backlight keyboard
Another LG model, the LG Gram 2-in-1, was also debuted, with a 14-inch screen on a 360-degree swivel that means the device can function as a tablet as well as a laptop. It's sold alongside a Wacom AES 2.0 Pen to help along with that tablet-side functionality.
The LG Gram beats the new Acer Chromebook at everything that makes a lighter laptop worth using: Weight, RAM, and twice the battery life. Granted, all those considerations are secondary to the one big caveat that comes into play when ranking laptops against Chromebooks, which is the cost.
The LG Gram 17 will be sold at a $1,699.99 price point. While the date at which preorders will be available hasn't been released quite yet, it's likely sooner rather than later, as Best Buy was already listing it as early as last month, using the “Sold Out” designation as a placeholder for the real date it'll be available.
Lenovo Yoga S940
Lenovo's new laptop, the Yoga S940, has a 13.9-inch screen that comes with either 4K or 1080p models. It's the first laptop built with Contour Glass that wraps around its bezels to further streamline the design and highlight that impressive resolution. Other specs include:
- Core i7 processor
- Up to 16GB of RAM
- Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
It also packs built-in AI features, which are intended to offer a few low-key enhancements such as filtering out ambient noises or blurring the background during video chats. While they are a big part of Lenovo's pitch for the laptop's use by digital nomads or the remote work crowd, the AI features can also be turned off by anyone who might find them a little creepy.
Cutting edge AI, great display, inexpensive: Pick any two. While the Lenovo Yoga S940 isn't as spendy as it could be, it still costs a chunk of change, starting at $1,499.99. It will available by May 2019.
Samsung Notebook Odyssey
Samsung's gaming laptop is one of their buzziest products at CES (though you can check out Samsung's other CES 2019 offerings as well). The Notebook Odyssey boasts a “new penta-pipe cooling system” aimed at the biggest problem to plague laptop gamers, the fact that they play so long their devices inevitably overheat. More specs include:
- Intel 8th gen i7 processor
- 16 GB of RAM
- 144Hz display
- 15.6 inch display
- Up to 1 TB of storage
- Weighs 5.2 pounds
- Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
The processor and graphics card should satisfy any gamer, assuming they're already on board with the notebook's appearance. The device will be available in the U.S. in early 2019, though no price has been released yet.
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