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Best CES 2021 laptops: Top notebooks, 2-in-1s and ultraportables



This year’s CES is completely virtual with no scheduled personal events, show floors to browse or after-hours parties in Las Vegas. Despite the sharp contrast of previous years, one thing has not changed: the flow of new portable messages.

To help you wade through it all, ZDNet brings together the best new notebooks, 2-in-1 computers and ultraportables from the annual consumer electronics show. We assemble premium rigs designed to get the job done. We may also include some gaming laptops as they are still powerful PCs that are perfect for business or intensive daily tasks such as video editing.

Launch in March 2021

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Acer’s Predator series of gaming laptops get an update with the new Predator Triton 300 SE.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has a 14-inch FHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It lasts for 10 hours charged, has a backlit RGB keyboard with three zones and supports connectivity options such as Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 and HDMI. It is powered by the H-Series from Intel’s 11th generation processors and can be configured up to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060, which helps it offer 10% better performance over its predecessor.

Also: Top gaming computers released at CES 2021 TechRepublic

The Predator Triton 300 SE also has fan blade tips and a wind control that increases air intake and redirects airflow. It is 0.7 inches thin and weighs 3.75 pounds.

$ 1,399 at Acer

Now available for pre-order

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Asus’ latest ROG machine is a multi-screen laptop, as are its Zenbook dual-screen rigs.

Called the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, it has a secondary screen between the keyboard and the main screen. The second screen is intended for multi-tasking or even players who want to stream or record gameplay. The company also works with developers to create interactive content for the secondary screen.

Also: 7 unique laptops from CES 2021 TechRepublic

Asus’ dual-screen laptop features an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics, a 15.6-inch screen with a 14-inch secondary screen, two-way AI noise reduction, and upgraded speakers.

$ 2,899 on Asus

Launch in January 2021

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This 13.3-inch business laptop is for those who work from home and are constantly on video calls.

It offers four wide-range microphones that use AI to optimize sound, plus it has a 5-megapixel camera rather than a 720p camera. It also has EyeSafe technology to reduce eye strain after continued use.

Also: HP Elite Dragonfly (2020) review

It is powered by 11th generation Intel processors and will be available in 4G or 5G.

Now look at HP

Launch in February 2021

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The HP Elite Folio uses a 2-in-1 design that allows you to switch between a laptop and a tablet depending on the task at hand. When in tablet mode, you can use the HP Elite Slim Active Pen to select documents. The pen fits in a built-in storage space above the keyboard, where it can also be charged when not in use.

This hybrid machine is powered by Qualcomm’s 8cx Gen 2 Arm processor, which HP claims the Elite Folio provides 24.5 hours of local media playback before the battery runs out of juice.

Also: CES 2021: HP Updates Home Office Setup

The 13.5-inch laptop supports Wi-Fi 6. It also has a 5G capability.

Now look at HP

Launch in January 2021

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Business notebooks were a major theme at CES, and the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is no exception.

Lenovo’s latest 2-in-1 has a 13.5-inch screen and is less than half an inch thick at 0.45 inches. It comes in a solid titanium finish, runs on Intel’s 11th generation processors and has four remote field microphones for video calling. It also has human presence detection to automatically lock your device when you walk away.

Also: Lenovo’s X1 Titanium Yoga is the thinnest ThinkPad ever

There are also 4G LTE and 5G connectivity options.

$ 1,899 at Lenovo

No price or release date announced

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The LG Gram 17 squeezes a 17-inch screen the size of a 15-inch laptop, though other LG Gram models were also announced at CES 2021, including the LG Gram 16, LG Gram 14 and convertible 2-in-1 designs for 16- and 14-inch models. LG equipped the entire lineup with a 16:10 format.

Also: CES 2021: LG updates the Gram laptop line

The LG Gram 17 is powered by Intel’s new 11th generation processors and weighs 2.98 pounds.

See now at LG

Now available for pre-order

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Razer brings lots of special enhancements to its 2021 series of Blade 15 and Pro 17 gaming laptops, including QHD monitors. You can even get a 1440p QHD monitor with a fast refresh rate.

In addition, they have built-in Nvidia’s G-Sync variable refresh rate technology. The advanced Blade laptops also come with Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 series graphics chips. Blade 15 Advanced – Razer’s name for the more powerful model – has the RTX 3070 and a QHD screen with G-Sync. It starts at $ 2,499.

Also: CES 2021: Razer shows ‘smart’ prototype mask

You can customize this model with up to a special variant of the RTX 3080 that has 16 GB of VRAM. There’s also a larger Blade Pro 17 that starts at $ 2,299 and has the RTX 3060.

$ 2,499 at Razer

Launch in the first quarter of 2021

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Samsung’s original Galaxy Chromebook has received an update and a cheaper price. Called the Galaxy Chromebook 2, it starts at $ 549.99 compared to the previous model’s $ 999.99 price.

Note that the latest model comes with a QLED touch screen compared to the 2020 version’s 4K AMOLED screen. The new Galaxy Chromebook also no longer comes with the Samsung S Pen. Elsewhere, it has a 13.3-inch screen and a convertible design and is available in the same red color as the original.

Also: Samsung’s new Galaxy Chromebook 2 is more affordable

It comes with an Intel Celeron or i3 processor with 4 GB / 8 GB RAM and 64 GB / 128 GB storage space.

$ 549 at Samsung


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