Weird laptops were everywhere at CES 2022
We found all the weird and wonderful laptops so you don’t have to.
CES 2022 isn’t back to the capacity crowds of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not chock-full of weird and wonderful laptops. Among all of the glut of pedestrian, business-focused laptops updated with the latest AMD, Intel, and Nvidia hardware are some truly amazing devices.
We’re talking foldables, additional screens, portable watercooling, and more. Some of these are consumer-ready, so they’ll be on shelves at some point this year. The rest are a glimpse of where the market could go, with the right encouragement.
Join us on a short trip around the world of the truly weird and wonderful, from CES 2022’s laptop selection.
ASUS ZenBook Fold 17 OLED
Foldable phones are gaining mainstream traction, so maybe it’s time for larger devices. Enter Asus’ ZenBook Fold 17 OLED, which folds out into a 17.3-inch OLED tablet, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Fold it in half to make a 12.5-inch laptop, with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard.
Powered by Intel’s 12th-gen processors, it’ll be coming “mid-year” in 2022, according to Asus. Expect an eye-wateringly high price tag.
Dell Concept Luna
From foldables, we move onto sustainables. Yes, I just made that word up. Go me. Go Dell also, with this concept of what could be in the future. Concept Luna started with one question: “What if we could push reuse to the limit and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of our products?”
Designed from the smallest to the largest part to be sustainable and easy to repair; Luna doesn’t need screwdrivers or glue removal to repair the usual components. The keyboard can just pop off for replacement, as can the screen. Parts are smaller overall, with a shrunken-down motherboard that doesn’t need a fan to stay cool.
Sure, the repairability only lasts as long as the type of componentry used is supported, but it’s a vision of what could be. Laptops that last generations, with motherboard replacements for more power, and occasional replacements of screens and other components as they wear out.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
The second screen has an 800 x 1280 resolution and fits to the right of the keyboard. Imagine duct-taping an iPad to the right of your laptop and you’re mostly there. It’s covered in glass, has a stylus, and is for showing secondary apps like Outlook or Edge, while you get your work done on the top one.
To accommodate the added bottom, Lenovo used an unusual main screen that’s 17.3-inches, but with a resolution of 3072 x 1440 pixels. That’s a 32:15 aspect ratio, somewhere between a normal ultrawide and the gigantic Samsung G9. Whew.
It’ll be available in May 2022, with a starting price of $1,399.
Alienware Concept Polaris
One of the cool things that Thunderbolt ports enable is the ability to add an external graphics card to a laptop, to make it even more capable for things like rendering or gaming. Those external graphics cards still get hot though, and when they’re in a shoebox-sized space, they can get warmer than you’d want.
Alienware’s Concept Polaris takes that external graphics card and watercools it, using a 240mm radiator to wick away heat. The other thing is that even the most power-hungry cards can be used, with a dual 425W AC adapter option to give up to 850W of dedicated power.
Tracer VI Edge Pro liquid cool series from CyberPowerPC
Why not cool the whole laptop, instead of just an external graphics card? This 12th-gen Intel i9-12900HK powered beast comes with a 3000-series GeForce RTX graphics card, and externally-cooled watercooling.
To keep the laptop still portable, the external watercooling tower is optional, and presumably, detachable. Inside is a 120mm radiator and fan, and a small reservoir that holds about 160ml of coolant. That’ll help the usual heatpipes and fans inside the laptop from overheating while under heavy loads, which is pretty cool.
Expect it to cost from $2,699 when it’s available later this year.
ASUS ROG Flow Z13
Not to be outdone with external graphics card options, Asus launched the ROG Flow Z13. It’s a gaming tablet powered by Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs and an Nvidia RTX 3050Ti graphics card. That’s an insane amount of gaming power for a 12mm-thick tablet, but it gets better.
The ROG Flow Z13 can also connect to Asus’ proprietary XG Mobile eGPU kit. That adds either an Nvidia RTX 3080 or AMD’s Radeon RX 6850M XT into the mix; with a PCIe 3.0 connection with eight lanes for a huge amount of bandwidth.
Expect the combination to cost upwards of $3,000 when it’s available later this year.
That’s it for the weird and wonderful laptops from CES 2022. If you’re after normal-looking laptops, dozens of those were released as well, in AMD-, Intel-, Nvidia-, and Qualcomm-powered flavors.
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