CES 2024: The 5 most innovative pieces of tech we've seen so far

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid
(Image credit: Lenovo)

CES 2024 is an imaginarium for tech, showcasing some incredible efforts by manufacturers to push the boundaries to new and exciting places. The results can be mixed, sometimes astonishing, often times bemusing, and occasionally so genuinely terrifying you'd assume they could only be harvested from the mind of an Eldritch horror.

However, as much as you want to hear about the latter (don't act like you don't, you do), today we're focusing on our favorite pieces of innovative tech from this year's showcase. Whether its though AI augmentation, a unique spin on design, or bold push to bring new tech to the front lines, these are our favorite pieces of innovative tech from the CES 2024 show floor so far.

We're on the scene in Las Vegas to check out the latest tech at this year's CES 2024 showcase. Be sure to tag along on our CES 2024 journey by following Laptop Mag on TikTok, Twitter/X, Instagram, Flipboard, and Facebook for the most up to date hands-on impressions and news coming from the convention floor.

1. Rabbit r1

Rabbit r1 LAM AI companion device

(Image credit: Rabbit.tech)

Popular LLMs like Copilot, Bing, and Google Bard can certainly talk the talk, but when it comes to action it's Rabbit's r1 that can walk the walk. This all-new pocket AI assistant uses a custom operating system to convert natural language into actual actions that can be used to navigate your favorite apps and services.

Want to order a pizza from your favorite delivery app? Just press the Push To Talk button on the side and say so. The r1's Large Action Model will then guide its "rabbit" agents through the process of finding the restaurant, filling the order, setting the delivery, and reaching checkout before finally asking you to confirm your order. All from a single prompt.

This hand-held device is the first of its kind, beating the Humane AI Pin and OpenAI's supposed "iPhone of AI" to the punch. While it's not marketed as a smartphone replacement, it's hard to look at this device and not view it as anything but the dawn of the post-iPhone era.

Learn more about the Rabbit r1.

2. Asus Zenbook Duo (UX8406)

Asus Zenbook Duo UX8406

(Image credit: Asus)

Asus' Zenbooks are known for touting some beautiful OLED displays. The Zenbook Duo models have even flaunted a secondary display on-deck to give you even more of the brand's signature visual goodness. However, the latest Zenbook Duo goes whole hog and does away with the laptop deck entirely to provide twin 14-inch, 2880 x 1800, ultra-smooth 120Hz displays instead.

This new form factor allows the device to flaunt its potential in entirely new ways across various orientations, though the included detachable keyboard can still allow it to function in a more traditional manner.

Better still, the Zenbook Duo isn't just a dual-screen gimmick as it features Intel's latest Core Ultra 9 185G processor with up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage.

Learn more about the Asus Zenbook Duo (UX8406).

3. Solos AirGo 3

Solos AirGo3 Smart Glasses

(Image credit: Solos)

Solos put the smart in smart glasses thanks to the AirGo 3's tight-knit integration with the internet's most popular AI, ChatGPT. With a simple tap to the temple, wearers can interact with OpenAI's LLM through voice prompts and receive rapid replies through the AirGo 3's open-ear speakers. It's a hands-free way of quickly accessing the chatbot for advice or information and can come in handy when your hands full with other things: be it driving, writing, drawing, or crafting.

However, the already impressive AirGo 3s received an upgrade through CES 2024 that sees them harness the power of ChatGPT to provide live translation through a new feature called SolosTranslate. This new feature allows the glasses to act like a universal translator, or personal interpreter, as it converts languages in real-time through text or audio to shatter the language barrier.

The new feature can even be used as part of a group, allowing others to join into translation sessions with a QR code and read or listen along in a language of their own choosing.

Learn more about the Solos AirGo 3.

4. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid tablet-laptop

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Detachables are hardly a new and novel concept, but Lenovo's ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid does things a little differently compared to most. Typically, a detachable is little more than a tablet with a removable keyboard. The "brains" of the device will almost always be the tablet itself, with the keyboard little more than an accessory to improve the device's functionality. That's not the case here, though.

The ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 is a dual-system solution that offers the best of both worlds. On its own, the ThinkBook's tablet display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1-powered touchscreen Android device with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. However, connect it to the keyboard deck and suddenly you're working on a fully-fledged laptop with an Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU with Intel Arc graphics, 32GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage.

We've bandied the term 2-in-1 around for long and weary when we talk about convertible laptops, but this time? This time we mean it.

5. XREAL Air 2 Ultra

XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR smart glasses

(Image credit: XREAL)

2024 is set to be a big year for VR/AR with the Meta Quest 3 gaining traction with consumers and Apple's Vision Pro headset just weeks away from release. It's also a year that's seeing increased interest in wearable tech like the Ray Ban Meta smart glasses.

The XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR smart glasses are a blend of each of those devices, offering a 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) AR experience within a set of smart glasses barely bigger than the chunky frames of Zuckerberg's Warfarer shades. The Air 2 Ultra is a big step up from the standard Air 2 model, with hand/head tracking and plane recognition all available to recreate the full AR experience from the get go from the smart glasses' new dual 3D environment sensors.

It's the most compact version of an AR headset we've seen at its $700 price point, and the surprising sharpness and clarity of its 1080P per eye Micro OLED pictures are astounding feats of technology.

Learn more about the XREAL Air 2 Ultra.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.