Now that the dust has settled on CES 2016, it’s time to remind yourself of the many eye-popping computing highlights from the show floor. From build-it-yourself monitors to powerful graphics cards docks and beautiful laptop displays, Las Vegas managed to impress and surprise in equal measure. Click on to peruse our picks of the lot.
1. Razer Blade Stealth
The Razer Blade Stealth quite rightly stole the gaming laptops limelight at CES 2016. Essentially an impressively thin ultrabook offered at a surprisingly acceptable price, the Stealth doubles up as a fully-fledged gaming PC by connecting up to an external GPU enclosure called the Razer Core. Using a Thunderbolt 3.0 connection to connect to the Stealth, the Core can support a full-sized desktop graphics card all the way up to Nvidia’s Titan X. Not only does it let you get hold of a massive amount of graphical grunt instantly, it allows you to swap out and upgrade the GPU whenever you need more power.
2. Maingear Alpha 34
The Maingear Alpha 34 represents a new breed of muscle-bound all-in-one gaming machines that were unveiled at CES 2016 - and it’s a beast. Rocking a 3,440 x 1,440 pixel-resolution monitor, its cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio and massive resolution should make games look stunning. The Alpha 34 can be configured with plenty of power under the hood thanks to a choice of AMD’s Radeon R9 390X or Nvidia’s beastly Titan X CPU. Oh, and did we mention that its chassis is painted by people who used to coat Porsche sports cars and BMWs for a living?
3. MSI Gaming 27XT
Think of the MSI Gaming 27XT as a combination of the previous two gadgets. It’s an all-in-one like the Maingear Alpha, but it also sports an external GPU enclosure similar to the Razer Core. The 27-inch 27XT lets you insert a graphics card into its rear-mounted trailer, which can be kitted out with anything up to Nvidia’s beefy Titan X. With the choice of a 144Hz 2,560 x 1,440 or 60Hz 4K pixel-resolution display, you can configure it to suit your wallet. Inside it houses Intel’s oct-core I7-5960X processor, which isn’t the latest Skylake chip but will more than do the latest and greatest games justice.
4. Asus MB169C+
USB Type-C has been viewed as something of a nuisance so far - especially by owners of Apple’s 12-inch MacBook. However, it seems that the so-called "port of the future" is beginning to come into its own if accessories like the Asus MB169C+ are anything to go by. The portable monitor totes a USB 3.0-supported USB-C connection, which provides faster connectivity than the old USB 2.0 standard that was used by yesteryear’s (not that great) portable monitors. it should mean that the new Asus model is one of the slickest portable monitors yet, and at 800 grams, it won't weight you down.
5. Lenovo Yoga 900S
Lenovo’s Yoga 900S raced out the traps as a thinner and lighter version of the Yoga 900 which only debuted at the end of 2015. It bears a similar resemblance to the Yoga 3 Pro thanks to its watchband-styled hinge, and like that model it also sports an Intel Core M processor. That chip means it should run for a good 10 hours, according to its maker, making it a potentially stylish and capable option for image-conscious road warriors.
6. Lenovo ThinkVision modular monitor
Lenovo’s Modular ThinkVision monitor is one of the first modular monitors we’ve seen, and it aims to impress. The 23.8-inch Full HD IPS panel's party trick is its modular bay, which lets you attach new hardware to its rear. It means the ThinkVision can be upgraded with the latest and greatest kit without having to tear the whole thing apart, or replace it completely. It can be initially configured with a WiGig bar for connecting up wireless peripherals, or an Intel RealSense camera that can be used to scan 3D objects and log into Windows 10 with your face.
7. Dell UP3017Q
Unlike Lenovo’s ThinkVision modular monitor, the Dell UP3017Q is a plain ol’ non-modular panel - but don’t let that put you off. The massive 30-inch beast has the same stunning InfinityEdge bezel found on Dell’s impressive XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops, which lends it the impression that the screen's contents are floating. More importantly, the UP3017Q is an OLED monitor, so expect it to provide stunning contrast ratios, wide viewing angles and deep blacks compared to your everyday LCD displays.
8. Oculus Rift
OK - so the Oculus Rift was already a thing before CES 2016, but we found out a lot about the upcoming virtual reality headset in Las Vegas. Not only do we know that it’ll launch at a wallet-intimidating £500 (which we think is a fair price), we also learnt that you'll be able to pick one up at a cheaper price if you buy one of Dell’s Alienware X51 or XPS 800 gaming towers. While it’s not particularly good news that you’ll have to spend more to get a cheaper Rift, it softens the blow if you need to get yourself a new rig to power one.
9. Asus ROG XG Station 2
You’ve probably gathered that external graphics cards docks were a trend at CES 2016, something that Asus helped fuel with its ROG XG Station 2. The original XG Station was the first external GPU dock when it launched in 2009, and it’s fair to say that it was ahead of its time. Its successor is a looker, featuring a see-through glass case that lets you peer inside at the graphics card inserted into it. The XG Station 2 then connects up to your laptop using a Thunderbolt 3.0 connection to give it the graphical capabilities of a full-sized desktop PC.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Business notebooks used to be boring, something that is no longer the case judging by Lenovo’s gorgeous ThinkPad X1 Yoga. Built with an optional OLED QHD display - a rarity on smartphones and tablets, never mind laptops - it promises to offer stunning view angles, deep blacks and a level of clarity you just don’t usually get. Being a Yoga, expect it to feature one of the most comfortable keyboards you can use on a laptop - and it’ll flip around into the usual gamut of positions too.
11. Aorus Fusion keyboard
Aorus has launched some impressive laptops in recent years including the X3 Plus v4, which is one of the smallest gaming laptops to pack the same power as larger models. The company has now revealed some of the most exciting machines in the series yet. Arriving with a new Fusion keyboard, the new X5 v5, X5S and v5 models have per-key backlighting - a first for laptops. That snazzy lighting lets you customise the keyboard by illuminating individual keys, which could be great for MOBA and first person shooter titles.
12. SanDisk 1TB X400
Laptops look set for a storage boost following the unveiling of SanDisk’s capacious 1TB X400, a large-capacity SSD that has enough storage to keep a whopping 2 million 500K-sized photos. It’s being made available directly to laptop makers who are planning to integrate the drive into future models, ushering in a new generation of media-friendly machines.