Best of CES 2024: 17 products that we’re excited about

Dell XPS 16 open on small circular table with a Laptop Best of CES banner overlayed in the upper-left corner
(Image credit: Future)

CES 2024 has been a whirlwind of activity. Officially, dubbed the year of AI, we’ve never been more excited as the year promises a steady deluge of laptops laden with Intel’s shiny new NPU chip that promises to bring all the wonders of artificial intelligence without overtaxing your CPU or GPU. Speaking of Intel, its new Meteor Lake and Raptor Lake Refresh processors promise to top its predecessors. Not to be outdone, Nvidia and AMD are also jumping headfirst into AI. 

But CES 2024 is more than AI, the show floor gave us our first glimpse at Thunderbolt 5 as well as Asus finally bringing OLED displays to its ROG-branded gaming laptops. Some companies unveiled cool redesigns, while others showed off innovative concept devices. One thing’s for sure, 2024 will be anything but boring in the world of laptops. But without further ado, here are our winners for Best of CES 2024.

Best overall: Acer Swift X 14

Acer Swift X 14

(Image credit: Acer)

The Acer Swift X 14 is coming to us during this wild year of AI, and while many manufacturers have relied on the power of Intel’s Meteor Lake processors in their notebooks, Acer has taken extra steps in this vision to realize the full potential of the technology. It can be built with up to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card with a MUX Switch, meaning it can be turned off when it’s not needed for intensive tasks, which is paramount in saving battery life.

The Swift X 14 is designed to take advantage of AI technology with both an RTX 4070 and Intel Ultra 7 processor working in coordination, with exclusive software like Nvidia Studio, which includes tools such as Omniverse, Canvas, and Broadcast, alongside AI-powered Ray Reconstruction. Best of all, the Swift X 14 goes above and beyond with its 2.8K OLED display at 120Hz refresh rate at 16:10 aspect ratio, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Effectively, the Acer Swift X 14 is shaping up to be the ultimate laptop to compliment the year of AI.

Momo Tabari

Best laptop: Dell XPS 16

Dell XPS 16

(Image credit: Dell)

Dell rarely disappoints, and the XPS 16 is the latest example of its winning ways. From its sleek design, responsive beautiful keyboard and FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz and 4K (3840 x 2400) display options, to its Intel Core Ultra CPU choices, the XPS 16 combined elite styling with elite productivity and performance. 

With GPU options ranging from Intel's integrated Arc graphics to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050-4070, the XPS is more flexible than an acrobat I saw at Circus Solei while in Vegas this CES. When you add the up to 4TB of SSD storage to the mix, we happily name the Dell XPS 16 our best laptop of CES 2024 and can't wait to get our hands on a review unit.

— Mark Anthony Ramirez

Best business: Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED

Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED business laptop

(Image credit: Asus)

Thin and light is the name of the game for a business laptop in the case of many users, so no surprise that the Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED grabbed our attention as the world’s lightest 14-inch OLED business laptop at 2.18 lbs. Despite that diminutive weight, it still meets  MIL-STD 810H durability, uses sustainable materials, and offers an expansive and comfortable keyboard.

Its other calling card is right in the name, that 16:10 WQXGA+ OLED display will make your content look fantastic and combined with the dual smart-cooling fans should also help keep the battery running all day for you. Support for up to an Intel Core 7 processor should deliver plenty of power for productivity and clever extras like the virtual number pad in the trackpad will help you get more work done faster. For business users that are frequently on the go the Asus ExpertBook B9 OLED looks like an easy choice in 2024.

— Sean Riley

Best 2-in-1: LG Gram Pro 2-in-1

Man typing on LG Gram Pro at a table

(Image credit: LG)

We’ve historically adored LG Gram laptops in the past, giving the LG Gram 17 from last year a 4.5, so the LG Gram Pro 2-in-1 has us especially excited. 

With its highest end model boasting a 16-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel resolution OLED panel, Intel Core Ultra 7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of M.2 SSD storage, its specs are undeniably impressive. Yet that’s not what makes the LG Gram Pro 2-in-1 the best of its category, as it received an innovation award at CES 2024 and also the Guiness World Record for being the lightest 16-inch 2-in-1 laptop at 3.08 pounds.

Momo Tabari

Best gaming: Alienware m18 R2

Alienware m18 R2

(Image credit: Dell)

The Alienware m18 brings powerful spec options to suit any gamer’s needs. 

From Intel 14th Gen Core i7 and i9 options to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060-4090 options, the M18 has you covered. Need a bright colorful and speedy display? The m18 arrives with an optional 165 Hz QHD (2560 x 1600) or the 480Hz FHD (1920 x 1080) display. With available RAM up to 64GB, the Alienware m18 has it all, including our trophy for best gaming laptop at CES 2024.

— Mark Anthony Ramirez

Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook CM30 Detachable

The Asus Chromebook CM30 Detachable for school use

(Image credit: Asus)

If you’ve ever wanted to use your Chromebook as a tablet without the inconveniences of a 2-in-1, the Asus Chromebook CM30 Detachable is a fully modular solution. 

The CM30 has a detachable stand, keyboard, and a stylus all on one 10.5-inch platform. It is the ultimate portable, customizable machine. It also has a built-in impact shield with military-grade durability so you won’t have to worry about handing it over to your kids. 

Madeline Ricchiuto

Best creator: Razer Blade 18

Razer Blade 18

(Image credit: Future)

When I’m waxing poetic about transforming a laptop into a badass battle station by way of ports, this is what I’m talking about.

I gleefully played Assassin’s Creed Mirage on the new Blade 18 as it pushed the screen to three 4K displays at 120Hz via its shiny new Thunderbolt 5 port. And if that wasn’t enough, it had a mouse and several other peripherals connected. But if you want to use the laptop on its own, you won’t suffer as the Blade 18 is rocking the world’s first 4K 165Hz 18-inch display. And with an Intel Raptor Lake Refresh Core i9-14900HX processor and an RTX 4090 GPU, the Blade 18 has power to spare, which gamers, creators and everyone in between can appreciate. 

Sherri L. Smith

Best design: MSI Titan 18 HX

MSI Titan

(Image credit: MSI)

Good things come to those who wait. And for the MSI Titan 18 HX, a two-year hiatus has done wonders for the company’s monstrous flagship. 

The 18-inch behemoth has gone on diet, dropping down to 7.7 pounds, which is still on the heavy side, but much more manageable than previous iterations. It’s also got a sexy, sophisticated redesign, going slate gray with elegant touches of sky blue and black. Hell, even the undercarriage got a redesign. And beneath all that pretty, you still have a beastly Intel Core i9 HX processor with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with a Cherry MX mechanical keyboard. And depending on your configuration, you can max out at 64GB RAM and 4TB of storage. It’s beauty and the beast personified.  

— Sherri L. Smith

Best tablet: Lenovo Tab M11

Lenovo Tab M11 tablet being held in front of a Lenovo backdrop at CES 2024

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

To borrow from a former favorite phone manufacturer of mine, the Lenovo Tab M11 is “quietly brilliant.” The $179 tablet is going to strike the sweet spot for a lot of tablet buyers with a solid 90Hz 11-inch display at half the price of even the so-called budget tablet options from other companies. 

On that solid hardware base, Lenovo builds a tower of solid hardware. The Tab M11 will launch on Android 13 and Lenovo promises software updates from 2028. Support for Lenovo’s excellent Tab Pen can unlock users productivity and creativity. For students apps like the included MyScript Calculator 2 which can solve equations and functions in real-time to help them on their learning journey. While the Lenovo Tab M11 may not replace your laptop, it’s a perfect fit for a wide-range of tablet buyers at a fantastic price.

— Sean Riley

Best monitor: ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDP


(Image credit: Asus)

The ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDP is a stunning 32-inch monitor to game with thanks to its 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution WOLED panel at a 240Hz refresh rate, advertised peak brightness of 1,300 nits (through HDR), and 800R curvature to envelop the player within its world. But what makes this display particularly special is that Asus is calling it the world’s first “dual-mode” OLED gaming monitor.

What does dual-mode mean? It refers to the monitor’s ability to seamlessly swap between 4K resolution at 240HZ and 1080p at 480Hz at the press of a button. The latter is currently being referred to as “frame boost,” and it’s this incredible marriage between high-fidelity gaming and the swiftness needed for competitive players. It magically offers the best of both worlds, so it easily takes our best monitor of CES 2024.

Momo Tabari

Best peripheral: HyperDrive Next Thunderbolt 5 Dock

HyperDrive Next Thunderbolt 5 Dock

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

The Hyper Thunderbolt 5 dock may just be the best docking station of 2025, that wasn’t a typo, that’s just how far ahead of the game Hyper is with this dock. The titular “Thunderbolt 5” is doing a lot of the heavy lifting there, while the spec is not technically finalized yet, much like many router companies did with Wi-Fi 7 last year, Hyper is skating where the puck is going.

From there Hyper is going full kitchen sink on this dock with every single option a creator could want. You have an NVMe SSD slot for built-in storage, a CFexpress Type B memory card slot, 3 Thunderbolt 5 ports, a 5Gbps Ethernet networking, and a 140W PD 3.1 passthrough charging port.

— Sean Riley

Best innovation: Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Functioning simultaneously as both an Android tablet and a Windows PC, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid is one of those solutions we didn’t expect to find as interesting as it is. 

The screen features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ processor running Android 14 while the chassis houses an Intel Core Ultra processor running Windows 11. Both systems are fully separate but feature a shared storage solution through the Hybrid Stream functionality. So you can use the Hybrid Tablet and Hybrid Base as two different systems, or put them together to create a proper Windows laptop. 

Madeline Ricchiuto

Best concept: Lenovo Magic Bay Studio

Lenovo Magic Bay

(Image credit: Future)

Modularity, thy name is Lenovo. Attached to the lid of both the ThinkBook 13X and ThinkBook 16P, the Magic Bay Studio is waiting for you to play with its attachments to its strong magnetic connectors. 

I couldn’t decide which one of the attachments I liked more, the 8-inch display, the aromatherapy kit, the mirror that doubles as a ring light or the robot companion that winks at you as work, encouraging you to keep working. And while Lenovo is on the fence about bringing many of these wild and wonderful attachments to market, one has successfully made the leap from concept to reality –– the 4K webcam. However, I’m really hoping that Lenovo will greenlight the majority of the attachments, especially the display as it can open a whole new world of modularity not seen since the Motorola Moto Z.  

Sherri L. Smith

Best phone: Asus ROG Phone 8

Asus ROG Phone 8

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Asus seems like it has finally delivered precisely what I wanted with the Asus ROG Phone 8. This line has always been my favorite gaming phone, but there were always a few issues that held me back from recommending it to a wider audience than hardcore mobile gamers. ROG Phone 8 looks like it will finally break that chain.

If you're worried that means it isn't still a gaming beast, far from it, The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, up to 24GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a 6.8-inch FHD+ 165Hz AMOLED panel with a preposterous 2,500 nits of peak brightness should put that notion to rest. But the updated design looks gorgeous with recognizable ROG badging without screaming gaming to such a degree that you'll feel self-conscious pulling it out at work. The cameras are the other crucial change with a new 50MP main lens, 13MP ultrawide, 32MP 3x telephoto, and finally a 32MP RGBW front-facing camera. The ROG Phone 8 looks like the total package this year and after my brief hands-on I can't wait to get it back and really put it through its paces.

— Sean Riley

Best VR/XR: XREAL Air 2 Ultra

XREAL Air 2 Ultra XR glasses held over a table at CES 2024

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

I had the opportunity to test out XREAL's Air 2 Ultra XR glasses at CES 2024 and I was blown away by the quality of the experience for a device this small and relatively affordable at $699. The XR glasses give you a 1080p microLED image to both eyes at up to 500 nits and at an excellent 120Hz refresh rate. You can either leave the glasses fully transparent to see your space with the overlay on it or trigger the electrochromatic dimming lenses to lock in for a more immersive experience.

The full wall of content visible in front of you looks outstanding with the demo showing a work environment with multiple windows and entertainment content like 3D movies. The XR component is the big innovation for these glasses versus the previous models, so you can reach out and the glasses recognize your hands to interact with the content in front of you. The virtual elements also lock in space to allow you to move around them. The Xreal Air 2 Ultra got me far more excited for the XR market in 2024 as there's great stuff coming that won't cost more than my first car.

— Sean Riley

Best earbuds: JBL Live 3 Earbuds

JBL CES 2024

(Image credit: JBL)

The JBL Live 3 series impressed us at CES 2024 with the extension of the Smart Charging Case first introduced on the JBL Tour Pro 2 last year. The case allows you to control virtually every feature on your earbuds without having to dig into an app on your phone.

Coupled with the addition of Bluetooth 5.3, longer battery life, ANC, support for Hi-Res Audio, JBL Spatial Sound, and IP55 waterproof and dustproof certification, the entire JBL Live 3 series sounds like a perfect option for listening to content on the go. Pick your favorite style with the Live Buds 3 offering a bud-style, Live Beam 3 a closed stick design, and Life Flex 3 giving you an open stick design. We can't wait to pop them in our ears again when they arrive in March.

— Sean Riley

Best router: MSI Roamii BE Pro Mesh System

MSI Roamii Wi-Fi 7 routers

(Image credit: MSI)

Wi-Fi 7 is finally arriving in force in 2024 and MSI is one of the biggest proponents of the speedy new wireless protocol. It's entire gaming laptop lineup supports Wi-Fi 7 in 2024, so if you've made the probably correct decision to hold off on a Wi-Fi 7 router, you're patience has been rewarded.

MSI's Roamii BE Pro Mesh System is one of a trio of new mesh options from MSI that delivers all the benefits of Wi-Fi 7 at a dramatically more affordable price point than we've seen previously. The base model Roamii BE Lite Mesh System is just $299 for a two-pack, while the upgraded Pro model adds 6Ghz and up to 11GBps in a two-pack for just $399. If you want to max it out the Roamii BE Max Mesh System bumps up to 23Gbps for only $499. This is half the cost of many of the standalone Wi-Fi 7 routers we've seen to date, let alone a mesh network. MSI is quickly positioning it as one of the most powerful forces in Wi-Fi 7.

— Sean Riley

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