If CES is any indicator of the year to come, 2016 will be the year of the laptop. At this year's show, we saw more than three dozen new systems, many with innovative features such as eye-popping OLED displays or convenient USB Type-C power connections. We saw so many new systems that we decided to create separate award categories for business laptops, gaming systems and 2-in-1s.
We were also pleasantly surprised to see the emergence of external graphics amps — accessories that allow you to connect a full-fledged desktop graphics card to your laptop — as a major category. And one company blew us away by developing an extremely powerful mobile server that's small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. After scouring the press suites and show floors all week, we can declare with confidence that these products represent the best of CES 2016.
And just like that, Razer put other ultraportable laptop makers on notice. Starting at an aggressively priced $999, the Razer Blade Stealth is the thing that dreams are made of. The beautiful aluminum chassis measures 0.5-inches thick and weighs a light 2.75 pounds, and still manages to accommodate a 4K touch display and a Core i7 CPU. And if you're in the mood to go galvanizing in The Witcher 3, just plug in the optional Core graphical amplifier. The Blade Stealth has the makings of a great gaming laptop, as well as a superior Ultrabook.MORE: Razer Blade Stealth Is a Killer $999 Ultrabook
Boring design isn't acceptable, even for business systems. On its flagship enterprise ultraportable, the Latitude 13 7370, Dell combined the award-winning carbon-fiber design and infinity display of its XPS consumer line with the kind of durability and security that enterprise IT demands. At just 2.48 pounds and 0.56 inches thick, this is one of the lightest 13-inch laptops on the market. The new Latitude 13 7000 line starts at $1,299, and includes options for up to an Intel Core m7 chip with vPro, 16GB of memory and a 1TB SSD.MORE: Dell's Latitude 13 7370 Laptop Makes Business Beautiful
Tough enough for business but sexy enough to stand out in the coffee shop, Lenovo's $1,449 ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the first 2-in-1 to offer an optional OLED display that's as bright and colorful as the best smartphone screens. At just 0.66 inches thick and 2.6 pounds, Lenovo's high-end hybrid fits comfortably in even the smallest laptop bag while promising more than 9 hours of endurance. And like all Yoga laptops, the X1 bends back a full 360 degrees to morph into tablet, tent or stand modes.MORE: Stunning ThinkPad X1 Yoga Is First 2-in-1 with OLED Screen
Do you see what I see? The MSI GT72 Tobii does, thanks to its integrated eye-tracking technology. The first gaming laptop of its ilk, the Tobii tracks your eye movements and uses them to direct the camera when you're playing games like Assassin's Creed Syndicate and the upcoming Tom Clancy's The Division. It's a revolutionary union that has the potential to change the way you game.MORE: Peekaboo! MSI Gaming Laptop Tracks Your Eyes
Toshiba's versatile dynaPad is as light on your wallet as it is in your hand. This 12-inch, $569 Windows slate weighs a mere 1.28 pounds while packing in a host of goodies, including a 1080p display, an active stylus with 2,048 levels of pressure and a host of powerful note-taking software. A $99 optional keyboard dock offers deep key travel and a generously sized touchpad.MORE: Toshiba's 12-inch, 1.2-Pound dynaPad Tablet is Built for Doodling
A pulsing blood-red backlight makes the desktop GPU housed in the ROG XG Station 2 look like it's ablaze. Also, a Tesla coil in front hints that this is a science experiment gone oh so right. Hauntingly good looks aside, the graphics amplifier can turn any mild-mannered Asus laptop into a gaming superhero simply by plugging it into a USB-C port.MORE: Sexy Asus XG Station Turns Ultrabooks Into Gaming Beasts
A powerful wireless file, media and Web server, the Fasetto Link weighs just 4 ounces and fits comfortably in the palm of a child's hand. Despite being the size of a couple of Tic Tac boxes, the Link is packed with up to 2TB of speedy SSD storage, 4 x 4 802.11ac Wi-Fi and its own Linux operating system. A powerful application allows up to 20 laptops, tablets and phones to save or load data from the server, which is durable enough to run when submerged 45 feet underwater. Starting at $349 for the 256GB capacity, the Link should arrive sometime in late 2016.MORE: 4-Ounce Wireless Server Holds 2TB, Even Underwater