CES Best Laptops make their debut at CES each year. Every manufacturer shows up to CES 2022 with what will be the biggest releases of 2022, many of which are flagship models that set the trends for laptops for 2022 and beyond.
But which have impressed us most at the show so far? These devices push the boundaries of laptop design in some fundamental way, and they provide a preview of laptop releases in 2022.
See Also: How to Reset iPhones Without a PC
Dell XPS 13 Plus
Here’s one that came out of left field. The XPS 13 Plus is a brand new laptop from Dell that is both more powerful than the standard XPS 13 and decidedly more experimental in its design. Aside from the screen, every other element of the device has been revamped from the standard XPS 13. Notably, the traditional touchpad has been replaced by a borderless haptic feedback trackpad. And the function row of the keyboard? Gone, swapped in with capacitive touch buttons.
If those weren’t controversial enough, the XPS 13 Plus also does away with the headphone jack, leaving you with only two USB-C ports and wireless connectivity. To say this laptop is taking a lot of risks is to put it lightly.
Still, I have to admit I admire the brashness of the design. It feels like the future of laptops, even if all the kinks haven’t been worked out just yet.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 / Z16
Just when you think the ThinkPad brand couldn’t expand any further, Lenovo has announced yet another, the Z-series. If the X1 Carbon ThinkPads represented a modernization of the ThinkPad ethos, the ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 take it even a step further. While the TrackPoint nub remains, the left- and right-click buttons have been replaced by haptic feedback “ForcePad.”
But this is, of course, a business laptop first and foremost. That’s where the “Communications Bar” comes into play, which hosts a 1080p camera with a larger sensor, an electronic e-Shutter for privacy and dual-array microphones. Laptops of the past hid these features as much as possible — but the ThinkPad Z13/16 emphasizes it. And for good reason.
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
Yup, that’s right. A Chromebook. But the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is no ordinary Chromebook. From what I’ve seen, it’s the most premium Chromebook ever made. The standard version of the Elite Dragonfly, recently announced to be in its third generation, is already one of the best business laptops you can buy, and bringing that amount of premium goodness to a Chromebook is a first.
The devil’s in the details, though. It’s the 5-megapixel webcam, the quad speakers, and even a Gorilla Glass haptic trackpad. But more than that, it offers an incredibly sharp 2256 x 1504 resolution, up to 32GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Most of these specs are unheard of in a Chromebook.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook has the kind of polish we’ve simply never seen in a Chromebook, which makes it an obvious standout from CES so far.
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is an updated version of the Acer Predator Triton 500 we reviewed almost two years ago, and now it’s configurable with up to a 12th gen Intel Core i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU and 32GB of RAM. This is easily one of the most powerful gaming laptops unveiled at CES 2022.
We’re excited to see how the latest games look on the laptop’s 16-inch 16:10 (2,560 x 1,660 pixels) display, which can achieve a 240Hz refresh rate with as little as a 3 ms response time. Plus, the laptop has a triple-fan system to keep things cool, and Acer’s Vortex Flow technology should help redirect the airflow those fans generate to critical components. Strategically-placed thermal foam, liquid-metal thermal grease on the CPU and four heat pipes also improve cooling, and we can’t wait to get one in for ourselves so we can see how cool it stays under pressure.
Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition
Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition The Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen is no slouch when it comes to delivering raw power. It’s clear that Alienware went all out with this 17-inch gaming machine, and the fact that you can configure it with the latest AMD CPUs and either an AMD Radeon RX 6000-series or Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU makes this one of the beefiest gaming laptops yet unveiled at CES 2022.
In our Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition hands-on we were especially impressed by the m17 R5’s eye-catching design and large 17.3-inch screen, though since it weighs over 7 pounds it seems like a gaming laptop best kept firmly planted on a desk.
While the Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition is all about power and performance, the Alienware x14 focuses on portability as its the thinnest Alienware ever. Sure, a starting price of $1,799 still stings, but it’s not wildly expensive for a 14-inch gaming laptop.
Given its slick design, crisp 14-inch display, 12th Gen Intel CPUs and RTX 30-series GPUs, this is an ideal rig for folks looking to get into laptop gaming or who want a machine that won’t completely obliterate their bank accounts. In our Alienware x14 hands-on review we were impressed by its slick design and vibrant screen, though we’ll have to wait until after CES 2022 to get one in for testing and perform an in-depth review.
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13
The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is one of the first laptops in Lenovo’s new Z-series of ThinkPads, and it sports a slick redesign that gives it a striking new look. The bezels around the 13.3-inch screen have been thinned (Lenovo claims the Z13 has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.6%) to help the display pop, and it should look pretty great if you’re willing to spring for the upgrade to OLED. There’s also new Communications Bar embedded in the center of the top bezel extends out beyond the top edge of the laptop, housing the IR webcam and giving the Z13 an idiosyncratic style.
But the most striking aspect of the Z13’s design is its optional black vegan leather trim, which Lenovo pairs with a Bronze chassis hue. It’s a real love-it-or-hate-it feature, and we’re looking forward to checking one out for ourselves in greater detail.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3
The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 looks like it could be the perfect laptop for those who want to be more productive in the brave new hybrid work world we now live in. With the latest 12th Gen Intel CPUs it should have plenty of power to tackle your to-do- list, and its 13.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with a 3:2 aspect ratio should be more than good enough to get you through reading emails and knocking out spreadsheets. If you want something nicer, you can upgrade the Dragonfly G3 to an OLED touchscreen display for better image quality.
Other standout features include Dynamic Voice Leveling that optimizes voice clarity, AI-based background noise reduction, Auto Frame face tracking that keeps you in-frame and AI-driven power management. For these reasons and more the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 may be the ultimate hybrid work laptop, one we’re excited to check out for ourselves.
Dell XPS 13 Plus, Lenovo ThinkPad Z13, HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, Acer Predator Triton 500 SE, Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition, HP Elite Dragonfly G3
SN247 Team is always available for questions on any of our updates. Please use the comment section below.