CES Editors' Choice Awards: The best and coolest tech to expect in 2019
These are the products we think you'll be buying this year
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CES is the biggest technology show of the year, and every year Reviewed’s crack team of product experts spend days sorting through the thousands of new releases that debut in Las Vegas. Our goal? To weed out the pretenders and highlight only the things we think will actually make a splash in 2019.
We call them our CES Editors’ Choice winners, and once again we’ve found some truly exceptional products. Though there are plenty of flashy products making big promises, we focus on the stuff you’re actually going to buy this year.
All 40 of our winners strike a balance in our four key criteria: innovation, technology, design, and value. Congratulations to all of our winners and be sure to check back as we update this page with coverage of all of our winners as CES 2019 continues.
TVs & Audio
LG R9 rollable OLED TV
A roll-up TV? Will wonders never cease? Okay, while a “roll-up” OLED TV did debut last year, the LG R9—technically, the OLED65R9PUA—is a real, flesh-and-blood product. What appears to be a wide, silver soundbar base, or maybe a fancy TV stand, is the TV. Power up the R9 and its razor-thin 65-inch screen rises with Kubrick-like gravitas from the base, unrolling into a really good-looking display. The total package is one of the best-looking TVs you can buy, and it elegantly stows away in a 100-watt speaker base. While LG is actually bringing this marvelous product to market for the second half of 2019, the company has yet to confirm a price. But let’s be real, you can’t afford it.
Samsung microLED TV
Samsung’s modular screen technology is as difficult to explain as it is impressive to behold, but when we saw it at CES 2019 this year, we definitely believed it. Samsung delivered a 75-inch 4K microLED TV, alongside a massive 150+ inch “wall” of micro LED blocks and smaller, modular “windows.” In reality, it’s all one TV: a super-bright, tightly packed cluster of teeny tiny light-emitting diodes that create their own light and color. The pixel-level diodes can be combined into rectangular sections that fit together to make a screen of almost any size or resolution—move over, Lego. While this technology might be way out of the price range of most people, it's the first big step forward for displays in the last decade.
Sony A9G OLED TV
What happens when you deliver one of the most fancifully conceived and high-performance TVs of the year and take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach? The Sony A9G OLED TV. Available in 65- and 77-inch sizes, the A9G, a king amongst Sony’s boastfully named “Master Series” TVs, gently improves upon the small drawbacks of the A9F from last year. It’s thinner, stands straighter (no more oddball leaning back), has improved Acoustic Surface speaker design (the speakers are in the screen—like we said, fancy), and it’s an ultra-premium OLED TV, so, enough said. Like most TVs at CES 2019, pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but with a moniker like Master Series, you know what to expect.
LG C9 OLED TV
For the last two years, LG’s “C” series OLED TVs have taken our #1 ranking for being the most valuable performers you can buy, so it makes sense that the 2019 C9 OLED would take a CES Editors' Choice award this year. While it’s not the fanciest OLED in LG’s 2019 line, that’s what makes the C9 such an excellent value: You’re getting the same perfect black levels, high color peaks, integrated AI functionality, and HDR format compatibility as the pricier models. As LG’s most affordable 2019 OLED, the C9 is the best bet for the most people to enjoy OLED technology’s stunning picture quality.
TCL 6 Series TV
When it first arrived in 2017, TCL’s mega-value 6 Series TVs blew reviewers and consumers away. The 2019 6 Series aims to continue that trend by offering impressive 4K/HDR TV performance, a built-in version of the beloved Roku smart platform, and more flexibility than ever—the 2019 6 Series is available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes this year. While final pricing details haven’t been announced for the whole lineup, the 75-inch 6 Series is already available for $1,800. The feature-packed 4K/HDR 6 Series should be on the radar of anyone looking to get a great HDR TV for hundreds less than the competition.
Vizio M-Series TV
Vizio’s M-Series has long been a value champion, bringing the fanciest of TV tech to buyers at very friendly prices. The M-Series is outdoing itself in 2019: the full range of TVs, which start as small as 43 inches and are available in sizes up to 65 inches, have quantum dot technology. This newer technology vastly improves the color saturation a TV is capable of and has previously only been available in pricy models. Now, you’re getting quantum dots in the always smartly priced M-Series, which will continue to deliver its staples of 4K resolution, HDR compatibility, full-array local dimming, and smart features. Vizio hasn’t confirmed pricing yet, but this is one to keep an eye on in 2019.
JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker
Portable Bluetooth speakers have blown up in recent years, and there are now hundreds of different models on the market. The JBL Flip line has consistently been among the top performers in our testing, and the newest Flip looks like the best yet. The design is similar to previous iterations with simple controls, USB-C charging, and a waterproof body, but with supposedly improved battery life with an MSPR of just $100.
Jabra Elite 85h headphones
Though Bose dominated the category for years, the noise-canceling headphone competition is heating up. Jabra’s latest entry is the wireless Elite 85h, a set of top-notch over-ear headphones that feature 30+ hours of battery life, AI-driven noise cancellation, compatibility with Siri, Alexa, and Google, and a very comfortable fit for just $300. They sounded great in our short time with them, and they’re sure to compete with the Bose QuietComfort and Sony ANC headphones when they ship this April.
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC500BT headphones
There are a truckload of headphones at CES, but most are vying to be the biggest, boldest, and most innovative headphones on the market. Audio-Technica’s ANC500BT don’t have such grand ambitions, but they’re good-sounding wireless over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation and supposedly 20 hours of battery life. Oh, and they’re just $100, shattering our notions of what you can expect from a pair of affordable over-ear headphones.
Laptops & Mobile
Asus ZenBook S (2019)
There are dozens of laptops that debut every year at CES, but the new Asus ZenBook S is one of the most stunning I’ve seen in some time. It’s simply beautiful, with a CNC milled aluminum body that is unlike any other laptop I’ve seen lately. While there are plenty of thin, lightweight, premium laptops on the market with aluminum shells, the little things add up here to a laptop that truly stands out from the crowd.
Dell XPS 13 (2019)
Dell’s XPS 13 has been locked in at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to the best Windows laptops, but it’s always had an annoying flaw: a webcam that lives under the screen, making for awkward video chatting. The new model finally fixes this, but retains the edge-to-edge display that made the XPS such a stunner in the first place. It’s a small thing, but when the best Windows laptop finally fixes the glaring hole in its resume, it just leaves the competition further behind.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
If you’re not a student or don’t have kids, you might be surprised just how popular Chromebooks are—and how much they can do these days. The previous Asus Chromebook Flip is one of the best examples of the genre, and the new version is the best yet. It’s responsive, lightweight, has a narrow bezel display, and features an all-metal body that truly stands up to the premium Windows and Mac laptops from the competition. If you are considering a Chromebook in 2019, the Asus Flip C434 should be your first stop.
Razer Blade Advanced Gaming Laptop (2019)
The Razer Blade gaming laptops have been among the best in the business for some time, but this year’s model takes it to a new level. The new Blade includes Nvidia’s new mobile RTX class of GPUs, which promise near-desktop-level performance. While plenty of gaming laptops are rocking these new GPUs, the Blade does so in a relatively slim and trim package that belies just how powerful they truly are.
LG Gram 17
Yes, 17-inch laptops still exist! While our obsession with thinner, lighter, more portable laptops has consigned most 17-inchers to the dustbin, the LG Gram is keeping the dream alive. It has a bit of flex in the body and materials are only so-so, but when you get a 17-inch laptop that weighs the same as 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar, it’s hard to complain.
Dell Latitude 14-inch 7400 2-in-1
Business laptops seem like they’ve been the same forever, but Dell is truly shattering the mold with the new Latitude 7400. It has the same premium materials and design as the top-of-the-line Dell XPS 13, but it has a full complement of ports, security features, and supposedly up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. In short, it’s easily the most beautiful business laptop ever created. One look and your boring black laptop is sure to see some “accidental” coffee spills soon enough.
Otterbox Otter + Pop iPhone Case
PopSockets are some of the most popular phone accessories in the world, but the bulky add-ons always look like they were glued onto the back of your phone. The new Otter + Pop cases fix that. They give you an OtterBox iPhone case with an integrated space for attaching special “PopTops” that can be swapped out as often as you like. The result is all the style and functionality that makes PopSockets so popular without the awkward appendage hanging off your phone.
Anker Wakey Alarm Clock
If your nightstand is like mine, it’s a mess of cables running to my phone, charger, and anything else I need charged for the next day. Anker’s cute Wakey alarm clock solves all that. It’s an all-in-one device that does quadruple duty as a Bluetooth speaker, clock, wireless charging pad, and a USB hub for charging multiple gadgets. Is it the coolest gadget at CES? Probably not, but it’s insanely functional and something I could see just about everyone making use of.
Ring Door View Cam
An unexpected knock at the door might make you feel joy or panic—depending on your personality—but you never need to feel uncertain when you have a video doorbell. We loved Ring’s doorbells already, but their new product, the Door View Cam, makes it possible for even renters to “install” a video doorbell since it doesn’t require any modification to the dwelling. Just unscrew the glass from your door’s peephole and install the Door View Cam over the hole. Now just about anyone can have the confidence of knowing who’s on the other side of the door before they open it.
Arlo Ultra connected security camera
Security footage is only as good as its video quality. If your camera can’t give you a clear picture—day or night—of the goings-on around your property, it won’t do you much good when you need to identify a face or make out a license plate number. We loved Arlo’s previous outdoor security camera, but the Arlo Ultra has even more going for it, namely 4K Ultra HD resolution and color night vision. The Ultra also packs a spotlight, dual microphones, and a magnetic mount that makes for hassle-free battery changes. The Arlo Ultra will be available for purchase at Best Buy and Amazon later this month, priced at $399 for one Arlo Ultra plus the accompanying SmartHub.
Lenovo Smart Tab P10
With the Echo Spot and the Echo Show, Amazon proved that Alexa can be even more useful with a screen involved. Lenovo’s P10 Smart Tab follows in those footsteps with what is essentially an Android tablet that docks into a Bluetooth speaker and runs a “Show Mode” app. When docked, you’ve basically got a big Echo Show (without some of Amazon’s video calling features—for now), but you can undock it and use it as a regular Android tablet or Bluetooth speaker whenever you want.
Caseta by Lutron Fan Speed Control
Having to drag yourself out of your cozy bed in the middle of the night to turn down the ceiling fan is super unpleasant. Lucky for us, Caseta by Lutron (makers of our favorite in-wall smart dimmer) will be releasing a smart fan switch called Fan Speed Control. Even if your fan operates on a pull chain, the Fan Speed Control can switch your fan’s speed between four different settings and designate one speed as a favorite.
Fan Speed Control should go on sale in March and it’s expected to retail for about $80.
Yale Assure Lever Lock
There are already some really great smart locks on the market that can automatically lock your doors that have deadbolts, but what about that side door that only has a lock on the knob? The Yale Assure Lever Lock has those single-hole doors covered. The Lever Lock can be used alone as a beautiful touch screen keypad lock, or with the addition of a Connected by August module, it can function as a smart lock. Its smart lock capabilities allow for integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. The Assure Lever Lock is an elegant way to make sure all the doors on your property are secure.
Appliances & Cleaning
Samsung Family Hub
When the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator first debuted in 2015, we were a little more than skeptical about a fridge that connected to the internet. However, the current generation of Samsung Family Hub brings a lot of useful tools to the kitchen table. It’s Bixby compatible, meaning you can order an Uber or browse the internet with the power of your voice. Plus, the new Family Board feature lets you put pictures, notes, and artwork on the fridge for the family to share. In this paperless age, where everyone wants things digitally, it’s a huge plus.
Samsung Bixby-Enabled Laundry Pair
What’s the best way to clean mustard stains out of a hemp shirt? With Samsung’s new Bixby-enabled washers, you won’t have to guess. The AI-driven system can give suggestions on how to treat stains and what cycles to use. If you’re pressed for time, you can ask Bixby to schedule a cycle so that it ends when you’re free. To help even more, the Auto Link feature sends a signal to your dryer to select the best cycle to get your laundry into a wearable state without fraying the fibers.
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 960
For as long as robot vacuums have been on the market, the little bots have had a titanic struggle with the endless horde of random stuff on the floor. Whether it was power cords or dog poop, you’ve always had to pre-clean before your robot vacuum could do its job. Finally, the Deebot Ozmo 960 has a solution: a front-facing camera that’s powered by AIVI (Artificial Intelligence and Visual Interpretation). The 960 scans its surroundings, recognizing ordinary household objects, intelligently avoiding them, and freeing us from the drudgery of rescuing our robot vacuums.
In the past when you wanted to grow herbs indoors you had two options: windowsill planters or grow lamps. Planters put you at the whim of the sun and grow lamps tend to be ugly as sin. That’s where the Miracle-Gro Twelve comes in. The standard model comes as stackable frames where the plant goes underneath and the top serves as an end table. To further blend in with your decor, the grow light is trimodal, so you can set it to look less conspicuous when guests come over. We also like the fact that this model has a set-it-and-forget-it mentality: a two-gallon reservoir automatically waters the plants so you don’t have to. The initial kit will come with nutrients for a month, pH balancers, and Bluetooth-enabled sensors to inform you about water needs.
While robot vacuums have made great strides in recent years, robot mops have fallen a bit by the wayside. That’s why we like the A9s. It’s a robot vacuum with a mop attachment that has a vibrating water tank. Typically, a robot mop doesn’t have enough mass to scrub a floor—so the A9s makes up for it in speed, using small, rapid vibrations to polish things clean. While this robot vacuum might not have fancy smart features, it gravitates into substantial value territory for only $299.
Kitchen & Cooking
WLabs Smart Countertop Oven
Brands like June and Brava have made smart countertop convection ovens (AKA fancy toaster ovens) for a couple of years now, but Whirlpool’s first foray into the category with their incubator WLabs aims to stand out via some innovative features: algorithms that recognize whether food is frozen or thawed, tip-top temperature precision, and an internal camera that lets you check up on your meal, to name a few. This countertop oven is also beautifully designed, with a sleek, minimalist, and almost microwave-like appearance that’s a refreshing take on this category. From a giant like Whirlpool (and for a price like $800), this thing has potential.
KitchenAid Cook Processor Connect
America’s favorite stand mixer just got more complicated. At its first-ever CES, KitchenAid introduced a smart multitasking appliance called the Cook Processor Connect that can boil, fry, steam, stew, knead, weigh, chop, mince, puree, mix, emulsify, whip, and stir. Yes, that is all. The device is clearly KitchenAid’s challenge to the Thermomix, a European multicooker that achieves a similar number of feats (and goes for the identically steep price of $1,500). While KitchenAid might not be creating a new essential tool with the Cook Processor Connect, the company’s high manufacturing standards make us confident that this device will give the luxury market a run for its money. Plus, it comes in a gorgeous candy apple red color.
GE Kitchen Hub
At first glance, the GE Kitchen Hub looks like an over-the-hood range with a 27-inch tablet attached to it. However, if you delve just a little deeper, you’ll find a way to make cooking more enjoyable. What differentiates the Hub from the average tablet is that it has U+ Connect: a platform with a downward-facing camera that can stream what you’re cooking with loved ones, or even an instructor. You can also stream Netflix, play Spotify, interact with other smart devices, and enjoy our favorite feature: a low-powered vent that prevents oily smoke from touching the pristine screen.
Heath, Beauty & Fitness
There is no shortage of fitness trackers, but there’s something uniquely refreshing about the approach that Withings has always pursued. The company, which was acquired by Nokia and then purchased back by its original co-founder, has managed to design trackers that walk a fine line between high tech and traditional watch aesthetic.
The new Withings Move tracks all the activities that most of its competitors do: walking, running, sleeping, swimming, etc. But the novelty is its decidedly analog watch face. Without a screen to power, the Move’s battery lasts an astonishing 18 months. Plus, it’s sharp-looking as hell and only $69.95.
Almost every woman has, at some point in her life, been told she’s wearing the wrong bra size. While companies like ThirdLove have tried to make finding the right sizes simpler with online quizzes, intimates brand Soma is going to achieve much greater accuracy with the Innofit, a bra equipped with sensors that give an instant reading on key measurements needed to get the perfect fit. The technology was originally developed by Like A Glove to help women find jeans that fit them across brands, and its application in bras is an exciting next step.
The Soma Innofit cuts out the inaccuracies of traditional tape measuring (it can measure breast volume in a way tape can’t) and the invariably awkward bra fitting process, while also guiding women towards the bras that would suit their measurements best. It connects to a proprietary app via Bluetooth, and will soon be available to purchase online for just $25 or use in Soma stores.
Opté Precision Skincare
Procter & Gamble’s startup studio P&G Ventures has launched a dual skincare-beauty solution unlike anything we’ve seen before. While traditional cover-up applicators and dark spot correctors target wide swathes of the face, Opté Precision Skincare combines an LED scanner, camera, minicomputer, and micro-printer in one device that’s incredibly precise. If this sounds complicated and expensive, that’s because it is—but the results are stunning, particularly for a non-surgical, laser-free skincare treatment. Dark spots appear to vanish under the applicator, but there isn’t a trace of makeup or off coloring on any of the surrounding skin, and the serums work to improve skin tone over time. Opté should be on the market by the end of the year, so get ready to dive into the no-makeup look.
At a CES filled with smart gym equipment, nothing was quite as simple and versatile as the KettlebellConnect from JaxJox. What looks like a single sleek kettlebell is actually a unit housing six different stackable weights, ranging from 12 to 42 pounds, that can be added and removed at will. The KettlebellConnect is also equipped with sensors that can track when and how you work out, help you improve your performance, and keep you motivated over time. Oh, and the app is loaded with workout videos. If you can spare $350 (about a fifth the price of a Peloton) for home fitness, keep an eye out for this release later this year.
Airthings Wave Mini
Smart air quality monitoring devices have been proliferating recently, with varying degrees of efficacy. Many can track temperature, CO2, and VOCs, but the Airthings Wave managed to stand out by adding radon detection to the list. The new Airthings Wave Mini is a smaller, cheaper version of the Airthings Wave Plus, costing only $79. It has three internal sensors (versus the six sensors in the larger version), but with the same set of features. That’s a good price for peace of mind.
BlueAir Cabin Air
For all the talk about the air quality in your home, it’s easy to forget the fact that Americans spend about 290 hours per year in their cars, according to AAA. And that air is far more polluted than the air in your home.
That’s why BlueAir created the Cabin Air, an in-vehicle air purifier. It straps to the back of a headrest (it’s about the same size as a headrest, in fact) and plugs into the car’s DC power outlet. Cheaper in-car ionizers just trap particulates and sink them into your car’s surface. The Cabin Air actively filters out carbon and fine particulates, including VOCs and odors. It's expected to cost $250-$300 and the filters will have to be replaced every 3-6 months, but for heavy commuters in dense traffic areas, the health benefits could outweigh the dent in their wallet.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music with LTE
Garmin’s first LTE-enabled smartwatch means that runners can leave their phones at home while enjoying music, text alerts, and GPS. Garmin also added some great safety features that take advantage of the new data capabilities. If a runner is feeling unsafe, they can push on the watch button for five seconds and an alert (with realtime GPS data) is sent to their emergency contacts. There’s also an automatic “incident detection” that sends those same alerts if an impact or fall is detected.
The LTE service will only be available through Verizon. Current customers can add the watch as a new device to their plan, and new customers can create accounts just for the watch. Garmin and Verizon are still hashing out the final price, but the watch itself is expected to sell for $299.
Parenting & Kids' Tech
Nanit Breathing Wear
Nanit already makes a reliable and well-received smart baby monitor, the Nanit Plus, that does all the things you’d expect in 2019: a bird’s-eye perspective on the crib, two-way audio, and ambient sounds and soft lighting, as well as cool features like sleep tracking and a time-lapse video of your baby’s night.
New for 2019, are two simple but effective clothing accessories called Breathing Wear: a swaddle and a band, each with a black and white pattern on them. The Nanit Plus monitor uses the pattern on the clothing to determine whether your baby is breathing. It’s really just peace of mind for parents, but it prevents you from having to open the door and check—a real make-or-break moment at any nap time.
When the first Willow smart breast pump debuted two years ago, it garnered a Reviewed CES Editors’ choice award for finally untethering the process of pumping. With a little time on the market to gather user feedback, they’re back with the new and improved Pump 2.0. The biggest change is that part of the pump is now transparent so it’s easier to simply look down and make sure it’s fitted correctly before you start pumping. For $499 you get two pumps and 72 bags.
The Elvie Pump was a close runner-up, as it’s lighter, smaller, and has a larger capacity than the Willow. Elvie’s biggest tout is its use of a plastic reservoir rather than disposable bags to store milk, but we found that at least amongst the Reviewed staff, disposable bags are actually pretty well regarded.
Tracking how much milk or formula your baby is drinking is a significant preoccupation for parents of infants. If you were to apply some technology to the problem, your first thought might be a smart bottle. But as any parent will tell you, babies tend to have strong brand preferences when it comes to bottles and you may have to try three or four before you find success.
We appreciated the simplicity of BlueSmart’s approach. Rather than making a smart bottle, they created a sleeve that attaches to the bottom of the bottle you already own. The sleeve tracks milk consumption, feeding duration, and angle. It also lights up at the bottom to tell you if the contents are too hot, too cold, or just right.
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