A folding device that looks convincing, a funny dual screen, a bow to its bow, a big cold one and a duel of champions: here are the five PCs that caught our attention at CES.
CES may be the home of many announcements, but it’s not the show of choice for PCs. Sure, the semiconductor champions put on a show, from Intel to AMD to Nvidia or Qualcomm, but the seasonality of the computer market is more focused on Computex and IFA, which are much richer in computer announcements.
Fortunately for geeks, the announcements of Intel and AMD offers a ball of machines, with sometimes even, concepts a little strange. In an almost dematerialized show, this CES 2022 is more down to earth. Even better: some concepts that were once crazy, and whose first realizations didn’t really give satisfaction, are coming back to the forefront in a much more mature way.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3: two screens or nothing
Remember the Zenbook Duo from Asus? Lenovo was inspired by its competitor to integrate a second color screen on its machine. But where Asus integrated a widescreen panel under the main screen and above the keyboard, Lenovo has a companion screen approach. Located on the right side of the casing, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3’s display takes the form of an 8-inch tablet vertically.
A second screen that can fulfill several missions: extension of the main screen for shortcuts, for a calculator (touch screen) or even mirror your smartphone to control it while keeping it in your pocket. Even better: managing the stylus, it can also be used as a graphic palette (for troubleshooting). Powered by the Intel Core 12th Gen, it has no gaming or creative vocation, as it does not have a dedicated GPU, which makes it more suitable for enhanced office use. And we should be comfortable working with such a machine since the main screen is already a comfortable 17.3 inches (3072×1440) in 21/10th format with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a brightness of 400cd/m². Comfortable, we tell you.
Asus Zenbook 17 FOLD OLED: finally a convincing folding PC?
If it is not the first folding PC, the Asus Zenbook Fold 17 OLED has, on paper, several arguments to become the first of this technology to be really interesting. The first has nothing to do with the screen: according to the Asus datasheet, the chip will be a 12th generation Core i7 U (EVO certified platform). A much more powerful chip than the one that powered Lenovo’s horrible machine.
This second argument is the screen: a slab that goes from 12.5 useful inches (1920×1280, ratio 3/2) when folded to 17 inches (2560×1920, ratio 4/3) when deployed. As for Lenovo, the keyboard is an accessory that is placed on the screen in compact mode and separates from the screen in panoramic mode. The advantage is to be able to move from a compact format (travel, airplane tablet, etc.) to a more comfortable format for media consumption as for work.
Well, that’s if you accept the first two flaws: on the one hand, the device weighs 2 kg – very heavy for a 12.5″ or very light for a 17″!
HP PC OMEN 45L, the “refrigerated” tower
Here is a monster: the HP tower is above all a big gamer machine of death. In its maximum configuration, this large tower can carry a Core i9-12900K, a GeForce RTX 3090, two 2TB NVMe SSDs and 64GB of RAM. While it’s easy to pack so many components into a tower if you have the money, cooling them all is another story.
That’s why it includes a “cryo chamber”. No liquid nitrogen here, but a trick. The water cooling system (watercooling) does not draw air from inside the main space of the case. Placed in an isolated area on top of the case, it recovers the cooler outside air, which would (according to HP), lower the temperature of key components (CPU and GPU) by 6°C.
Acer Swift X16: the first with Intel Arc GPU
This 16-inch laptop with a QHD+ IPS panel (2560×1600) is the first laptop officially announced with Intel’s first batch of dedicated graphics cards, called Arc.
Intel withheld some of the information, so we heard rumors about the potential specifications of the graphics chip: it would be called Intel Arc “A370”, would have 128 EU (execution units) and would be supported by 6 GB of RAM (GDDR6?).
Given the price and range announced (no mention of Predator but Swift, and a price starting at 1200 euros), it is more of an advanced creation and gaming light machine than a gaming PC, but the presence of a modern and – hopefully! – GPU seems to make this EVO platform a good “middle of the road” PC.