Best of Laptops at CES 2019: CES Showcase

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Best of Laptops at CES 2019

Every year the world’s biggest technology companies unveil their new products at the world’s biggest technology show. Here’s what to expect from 2019.

CES isn’t just the world’s biggest technology show, it’s the world’s craziest technology show. Almost 200,000 people descend upon Las Vegas for the chance to see what’s going to be released, and it’s a truly motley collection of people: the exhibitors, the “buyers” for companies such as Dixons Group, plus thousands of journalists to spread the word.

 

LAPTOPS

We look at the compact, beautiful, heavyweight and flexible laptops that were on show in Las Vegas this year – and pick out three award winners

 

LENOVO THINK PAD X1 YOGA GEN4

The big change to the X1 Yoga in this fourth incarnation is its all-aluminium chassis, which helped Lenovo to reduce its footprint by 17%compared to its predecessor – and it’s lighter, too, at 1.39kg.

That’s quite an achievement for a convertible with a 14in screen. While wearen’t besotted by its slate-grey looks, the overall effect is of a sleek convertible that will be a joy to travel with.

  • Note that Lenovo still finds a home within the chassis to stow the Think Pad Pen Pro, solving one of our problems with the otherwise excellent Toshiba Portégé X30T-E (seep48).

With the promise ofup to 15 hours battery life, two Thunder bolt 3 ports and a privacy cover for the camera, this looks set to be the convertible to beat in 2019… when it eventually arrives.

 

HUAWEI MATE BOOK 13

The MateBook 13 demonstrates why Dell’s XPS 13may no longer have things its own way.

Huawei is releasing two models: one for $999 that includes a Core i5 processor, 256GBPCIe SSD and integrated graphics; and another for $1,299 with a Core i7 chip, 512GBSSDandGeForceMX150graphics.

We’re most interested in the latter, as it not only offers genuine gaming performance (something the XPS 13 lacks), but also offers a better spec for a lower price.

Even from our “play” on the CESs how floor, it’s obvious that this is a well-built system with a great 13in screen. Huawei claims a ten-hour battery life, too.

 

ASUS ZENBOOK S13 UX392

We reviewed the original ZenBook S13 three months ago (see issue 291, p62), andtheUX392 looks to improve on its intriguing design.

Despite weighing 1.1kg, it includes a GeForceMX150graphics chip and either a Core i5-8265UorCore i7-8565Uprocessor.

But what really lifts it away from most competition is its compact footprint: at 195mmdeep, it’s much shorter than most 13in laptops – and really this a 14inmachine, as the screen measures 13.9in across.

It looks nice too, with a ultra-slim bezel and Asus’ swirling metal design.

 

ALIENWARE AREA – 51M

Alienware describes the Area 51-mas the “world’s most powerful laptop”, which isn’t a surprise when you consider what’s inside – essentially the same core components as the Yoyotech Warbird X2 on p52.

Its specs go all the way to a desktop Core i9-9900Kprocessor and a desktop GeForceRTX2080chip, with up to 64GBofRAM. With a 17.3in, Full HD144Hz screen, it’s amazing that it weighs less than 4kg.

It was hard to tell from the show floor, but we suspect the fans in this striking system will need to go full pelt to keep everything quiet, so battery life won’t be great, but it comes with the added plus that the CPU and GPU are both upgradeable.

 

LENOVO THINK PAD X1 CARBON GEN7

We’ve been fans of the X1 Carbon since its first iteration, with its hallmarks of slimline carbon fibre design, superb keyboard and powerful components.

This latest version is a little slimmer and a little faster, with eighth-gen “Whiskey Lake” Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. It supports up to 16GB of RAM and canpack in a2TB PCIe SSD, all in a 1.11kg frame.

But it’s the much-improved speakers and500cd/m2HDRscreen that will make aday-to-day difference.

 

ASUS ROG MOTHERSHIP

Until we saw the Area 51-m, wethought the Asus ROG Mothership was the craziest design yet.

Taking inspiration from Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets, it uses a kickstand to support the 17.3in screen, which is a 144Hz Full HD affair. Its main party trick is the detachable keyboard, which you can either keep attached via US Bor Bluetooth.

Its gaming power isn’t quite up there with the Alienware, but the Core i9-8950HKprocessor andRTX980Max-Q graphics will keep games flowing nicely at a Full HD resolution, with the option of ray tracing when that finally lands in the mainstream. We like it.

 

DELL XPS13 (2019)

The Dell XPS13 has been our A-List laptop for years, but it’s always had a problem: the webcam placement. Until now.

The new XPS13 has a 2.25mm webcam, meaning it can still fit into the ultra-slim 4mm bezel.

Dell is keen to emphasise that the screen is brighter and better than before, despite an anti-reflective coating, while packing levels of performance that its rivals can’t seem to match.

That’s due to the exceptional cooling system, which means Intel’s 8thGenIntel Core chips can be pushed to their limits.

 

HP SPECTRE X360 15 WITH AMOLED

One thing made the HP Spectre x360 15 stand out: its gorgeous AMOLED screen.

Images and videos looked so vivid it’s difficult to go back to a normal display afterwards. As the x360part of its name also gives a way, it’s a convertible so can slip seamlessly between laptop, “tent” and tablet modes.

HP has also tweaked the design of the Spectre x360range, with diagonal cut-outs at the rear edges that contain a USB-Cport on one side and a power button on the other.

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