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

This year’s CES is completely virtual, with no in-person events scheduled, show floors to peruse, or after-hour parties in Las Vegas. Despite that stark contrast from previous years, one thing hasn’t changed: The deluge of new laptop announcements.

To help you wade through it all, ZDNet is rounding up the best new notebooks, 2-in-1s, and ultraportables from the annual consumer electronics show. We’re gathering premium rigs designed to get work done. We might include some gaming laptops, too, as they’re still high-powered PCs perfect for business or intensive daily tasks such as video editing.


Launching in March 2021

Acer’s Predator line of gaming laptops is getting an update, with the new Predator Triton 300 SE.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE features a 14-inch FHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. It lasts for 10 hours on a charge, has a backlit RGB keyboard with three zones, and supports connectivity options like Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2, and HDMI. It’s powered by the H-series of Intel’s 11th-generation processors and is configurable up to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060, helping it to offer 10% better performance over its predecessor.

Also: Top gaming computers released at CES 2021 TechRepublic

The Predator Triton 300 SE also has fan wingtips and a wind guide to increase air intake and redirect airflow It’s 0.7 inches thin overall and weighs 3.75 pounds.


$1,399 at Acer


Now available to pre-order

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Asus’ latest ROG machine is a multi-screened laptop, much like its Zenbook dual-screened rigs.

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

Also: 7 unique laptops from CES 2021 TechRepublic

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


$2,899 at Asus


Launching in January 2021

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This 13.3-inch business laptop is for those working from home and constantly in video calls.

It offers four wide-range microphones that use AI to optimize audio, 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’s powered by 11th-generation Intel processors and will be available in 4G or 5G.


View Now at HP


Launching in February 2021

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The HP Elite Folio uses a 2-in-1 design that lets you shift between a laptop and tablet depending on the task. When in tablet mode, you can use HP’s Elite Slim Active Pen for marking up documents. The pen fits into a built-in storage slot above the keyboard, where it can also charge when it’s not in use.

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

Also: CES 2021: HP updates home office line-up

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


View Now at HP


Launching in January 2021

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Business notebooks were a big 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-looking titanium finish, runs on Intel’s 11th-generation processors, and features four far-field microphones for video calls. It also has human presence detection to automatically lock your device when you walk away.

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

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


$1,899 at Lenovo


No pricing or release date announced

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

Also: CES 2021: LG refreshes Gram laptop line

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


View Now at LG


Now available to pre-order

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Razer is bringing a ton of spec improvements to its 2021 lineup of Blade 15 and Pro 17 gaming laptops, including QHD screens. You can even get a 1440p QHD display with a fast refresh rate.

Plus, they have Nvidia’s G-Sync variable refresh rate tech built in. The higher-end Blade laptops also come with Nvidia’s new RTX 3000-series graphics chips. The Blade 15 Advanced — Razer’s name for the more powerful model — features RTX 3070 and a QHD screen with G-Sync. It will start at $2,499.

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

You’ll be able to customize this model with up to a special variant of the RTX 3080 that has 16GB of VRAM. There’s also a bigger Blade Pro 17 that will start at $2,299 and features the RTX 3060.


$2,499 at Razer


Launching in the first quarter of 2021

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

Note that the latest model comes with a QLED touch screen compared to the 2020 version’s 4K AMOLED display. The new Galaxy Chromebook also no longer comes with Samsung’s S Pen. Elsewhere, it features 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 4GB/8GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of storage.


$549 at Samsung

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