T3's Best of CES Awards 2020: the top new tech that blew us away

CES 2020 has been taking place this week and these are the products worthy of a T3 Best of CES Award

CES 2020
(Image credit: CTA)

CES 2020 has been a great show, with a smorgasbord of hot new technology shown off. Innovative and game-changing, the consumer technology shown off here will go on to spark joy in people's lives throughout the next year, with top new phones, TVs, laptops, wearables, appliances, vehicles and much more transforming how people live.

Naturally, T3 has spent the past week reporting live from CES 2020 in Las Vegas, trawling the labyrinthine tradeshow halls to find the absolute best new technology on display. And, what follow, are the six pieces of new technology that we considered out favourites.

And, the winners of this year's T3 CES 2020 awards are ... 

CES 2020 Samsung Note 10 Lite

(Image credit: Future)

Best phone: Samsung Note10 Lite

The most recent Samsung Note phones have really stood out as leading the way on making phones a flexible productivity device: the S Pen stylus isn't needed all the time, but when you want to sketch, annotate or make notes, or even clip out portions of web pages to share and save, you realise that having these particular phones can save you a lot of time, and there's nothing more valuable than that.

But you have to pay to get that value: the Note phones are flagship quality, with high-end prices to match. But not this one – this brings all the usefulness of the Note range in a price everyone can afford, but it doesn't feel cut back at all.

The 6.7-inch OLED screen is gorgeous, and gives you lots of space to work (or play). The triple-camera system takes fantastic shots, with a flexible range of lenses. The giant battery keeps it going to ages. The thin and light build feels great in the hand. And, of course, it still has the stylus tucked away in the bottom.

We can't wait to get our hands on it for a full review, but in the meantime, this could become the go-to mid-range phone.

CES 2020 MSI Creator 17

(Image credit: Future)

Best laptop: MSI Creator 17

It's one thing for a laptop to have world-first, cutting-edge image quality. It's another thing entirely for a laptop to have that technology before it even comes to TVs. MSI's Creator 17 has a 17-inch 4K display that's lit with a mini-LED direct backlight, which is an ultra-thin lighting tech that's still just in the conceptual phase for TVs from the likes of LG, yet here you can get it in a laptop, and it looks just astounding.

This is high-end TV-quality visuals on a device you can carry around with you. It's rated for HDR1000, which means it can peak at 1,000 nits of brightness, which is what quality TVs aim for. You get deep, inky blacks immediately next to booming bright highlights. The wide P3 colour gamut is also cinema-quality. It is the best laptop display we've clapped eyes on.

Oh, and it's also an incredibly powerful creative laptop, in case you want to use all that screen quality for making your own movies (including, of course, the ability to accurately see what HDR footage will look like) or edit photos. Or to play games with incredible realism.

The powerful latest-get innards from Intel and Nvidia absolutely pack it with power, while MSI's cooling tech makes sure that being in a laptop form factor doesn't hold them back.

Being the world's first is cool, but what wins it this award is that it looks like it could also be the world's best.

CES 2020 Omron Complete

(Image credit: Future)

Best Health & Fitness device: Omron Complete

The last few years of connected wearables and health devices have ushered in a whole new era of understanding our bodies, and how aspects of our health such as heart rate and blood pressure can be affected by other things in our life – or even using that data to spot disease before it causes major problems.

The Omron Complete is a combined ECG and blood pressure monitor, with Bluetooth connectivity to an app on your phone, which records the results whenever you use it. This data can then be shared with apps such as Apple Health, where you can cross-reference it with other information, such as how often you've been exercising.

For people with heart problems, ranging from hypertension to atrial fibrillation, this is such a powerful tool. Making it easy to not only check these reading, but also to record them for reviewing later, can be a game changer. The understanding you can have of how things like sleep (or coffee intake, or work stress, or any number of other factors) can affect your heart means you can make better decisions, and see how the decisions you've already made are affecting you over time.

And for $169 (with a likely £169 price in the UK), getting this kind of insight is really affordable – for millions of people, this will change lives.

CES 2020 Focal Chora 826-D

(Image credit: Future)

Best audio: Focal Chora 826-D

French company Focal tends to be best known for its supremely high-end hi-fi gear, but this speaker wins our award for keeping that quality and heritage, but at a really reasonable price (even though they're made in France).

These are big, powerful floor-standing three-way speakers, but with Dolby Atmos upfiring speakers built into the top, so they're intended for home cinema (and will be sold in handy complete sets with central, rear and subwoofer speakers). But Focal's unique patented way of implementing the upfiring speakers gives them an edge – the sound is focused and shaped so that when it reflects from the ceiling, it comes back aimed right at your head, rather than loosely spread around the room. It sounds much more like you'd installed speakers in the ceiling, but without the mess and expense.

And they're made for giving amazing surround in a normal room, not a celebrity level home theatre. We heard them connected to an Xbox and a budget AV receiver, not an elite system, and we were still blown away by the 3D sound.

We think these will be a staple for people looking for a well-priced, easy to drive system that gives their new TV a great cinematic upgrade, and that earned them our award. 

LG 48-inch CX OLED 4K TV CES 2020

(Image credit: Future)

Best TV: LG 48-inch CX OLED 4K TV

This was a close one this year! Samsung's gorgeous new bezel-less 8K TV was a close runner-up here, but the award goes to LG's 48-inch OLED TV because we think it's the TV that's going to have the biggest impact for most people in 2020.

Until now if you wanted an OLED 4K TV, you had to go 55-inch or bigger – and for a large number of people that's just too large. No matter how big a TV you'd like, if it won't fit in your living room, it's no good to you.

Now, this new smaller (and slightly less expensive) OLED will help bring beautiful image quality to the masses. It packs in LG's latest panel tech, plus cutting-edge processing – nothing gets lost in the smaller size. Stunning HDR support, variable refresh rates that are ready for next-gen consoles, and even Nvidia G-Sync support for using it with gaming PCs mean this is maybe the ultimate TV for entertainment… but one that you can actually fit in the corner.

CES 2020 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

(Image credit: Future)

Innovation award: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

CES is full of clever ideas in almost every conceivable product you can think of, but this was the one we're most excited to try, and that could cause the largest shake-up in its category.

At first glance, this is a 13-inch tablet. Then you fold it down the centre into a tiny little folio, no bigger than a paper notebook (and it has a lovely leather outside, just to drive home that comparison).

The potential here is great: you can can fold it open like a laptop and type on the bottom screen, with your email window or browser open up top. And then just fold it fully open if you want to look at photos or get a bigger view. A clever keyboard accessory makes it easy to still type and work at full speed when you've got the screen at full-size, so you're sacrificing nothing.

Will it work as a finished product? That may depend on how well (and how quickly) Windows implements its planned support for dual-screen machines, as well as how well the screen works when we've got it in our hands testing it day in and day out… but we're really excited to find out.

And even if this first-generation product doesn't turn out to be perfect, we still think this is the future of laptops and tablets, and that this will be looked back on as a pioneer. And what's more deserving of an Innovation Award than that?

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.