Gear Diary’s Best of CES 2018 Awards

With more than 4,000 companies exhibiting at CES, choosing the best of CES was a challenge. Even so, we want to recognize the products we saw that are truly innovative, take technology in new directions or, in one case, make something great accessible to every consumer.

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Take a look at our picks, and let us know what you think!

Best TV: Samsung The Wall

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

We all know that televisions have gotten bigger and better over the past few years but nothing could really prepare us for Samsung’s 146” monstrous “The Wall.” Featuring self-emitting MicroLED technology, and made of a series of modules that are each about 5” square, The Wall can be adjusted to a variety of sizes depending on your needs at the moment. The flexibility, subversive experience, and sharp picture make this a screen people will welcome into their homes when it is released – if they can afford it.

According to Jonghee Han, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics:

At Samsung, we are dedicated to providing consumers with a wide range of cutting-edge screen experiences. As the world’s first consumer modular MicroLED television, ‘The Wall’ represents another breakthrough. It can transform into any size and delivers incredible brightness, color gamut, color volume and black levels. We’re excited about this next step along our roadmap to the future of screen technology, and the remarkable viewing experience it offers to consumers.

Best Soundbar” TCL Roku Smart Soundbar

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

TCL has been doing a great job putting out Roku televisions for the past few years. Now they’ve taken their experience with Roku and brought it to soundbars.

Available late 2018, the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar is the first to leverage Roku Connect, Roku’s platform for tying entertainment tech, like TV streaming boxes, speakers, and other devices together. More than that, the soundbar has the Roku Entertainment Assistant built into it. That means the soundbar can be controlled by voice.

As Roku says,

The TCL Roku Smart Soundbar will be able to turn on a TCL Roku TV when asked to launch video content or stream audio even when the TV is turned off. Consumers will be able to use their voice to play, pause and resume music and audio without picking up a remote control or pushing a button.

Soundbars are great, but in a world with smart TV’s, we loved the fact that the audio systems connected to them are finally catching up.

Best Smartphone: Honor View10

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

If you want a smartphone that’s really smart, look no further than the Honor View10. Built on the Huawei Kirin 970 chipset, this phone is ready to deliver a super-fast, seamless experience. But that’s just the beginning. What makes the Honor View10 stand out, and the reason it wins our Best of CES 2018 award is that it offers the same NPU (neural-network processing unit.) technology you get from the Huawei Mate 10 for nearly half the price.

The NPU enables deep learning based on the user behavior. Said another way, the more you use it, the smarter it will get, and the better it will get to know you. As Honor puts it, the “Honor View10 truly understands you.”

Best Smarthome Product: Lenovo Smart Display

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Photo: Chloe Becquet/Gear Diary

Smart assistants were the big winners at CES 2018, and we think the best of the best is the New Lenovo Smart Display. It has Google Assistant built-in, but that’s just the beginning.

The Lenovo Smart Display is powered by the Qualcomm Home Hub Platform and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in. The Full HD display and 10-watt full-range speaker make it as good at watching YouTube videos as it does for making video calls. Plus, it is ready to be the hub for your connected smart home. The Smart Display will be available in both 8″ and 10″ models, and it can be used in either portrait or landscape. If you want video with your smart device, we really think this is the way to go.

Best VR Headset: Lenovo Mirage Solo

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Photo: Chloe Becquet/Gear Diary

Sure, smart assistants stole the show at CES 2018, but virtual reality made its presence known in a big way too. The Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is the first standalone Daydream VR headset that earns our Best of CES 2018 award. An all-in-one headset, there’s no need to be tethered to wires or connected to phones. That adds to the immersive experience you’ll get with the motion-tracking technology on Daydream’s virtual reality platform. Add in the Lenovo Mirage Camera and you can take things to the next level and capture your own VR video which you can then watch on the Lenovo Mirage Solo.

Best Laptop: Dell XPS 13

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Dell is known for their workplace computers but, with the latest Dell XPS 13, they have shown they can create powerful laptops that are fashion forward. It’s thinner and lighter than ever before, and it’s downright sexy. The new Dell XPS 13 has Dell Cinema for a unique experience and the InfinityEdge border is just 4mm wide. Combine that with the 4K Ultra HD resolution and you have a laptop you will love using for work and play. Starting at under 2.67 pounds and getting close to 20 hours per charge, this is a no-compromise laptop for the person on the go. And yeah… it is gorgeous.

Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Packing 8th generation quad-core Intel processors and Radeon RX Vega M Graphics, the HP Spectre x360 is a no-compromise 2-in-1. You can use it to edit 4K video or render 3D images. Need to edit photos? Its powerful enough to let you do pretty much anything you want or need to do. And, since it is a 2-in-1 it also lets you take notes with a fluid Inking experience. And did we mention battery life? The 15.6” model gets over 13 hours per charge while the 13.3” model gets almost 17 hours. The 4K Micro-Edge display has a gorgeous 3840 x 2160 resolution making it perfect for watching movies. And since sound is part of the movie experience, you will love the HP Quad speakers, HP audio best and tuning by Bang & Olufsen. And there’s more. The bezel is so thin that it makes using the touch display a seamless experience.

Best Robot: Sony Aibo

When Sony first introduced their robotic dog Aibo in 1999, it was a cute attempt at bringing mechanical “dogs” to life. Much has happened since then and technology has gotten smarter and more powerful. Their new release of the Aibo marries hardware and artificial intelligence into a robot-dog that is so cute and life-like, you’ll instantly fall in love with it just like a real puppy.

The new Aibo is also smarter than ever, thanks to advances since the first models, it will get even smarter over time.

Best Appliance: LG Instaview ThinQ Refrigerator with Alexa

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Smart devices were everywhere at CES 2018. Sometimes they made sense. At other times they seemed to be trying a bit too hard. The inclusion of Alexa Voice services in the LG Instaview ThinQ Refrigerator is one of those time when baking Alexa into an appliance makes sense. After all, the kitchen is often the household hub. Why wouldn’t you want Alexa there? As you are busy cooking in the kitchen you can ask what time it is, set a cooking timer or start your favorite music… all by simply using your voice. Yes, the LG Instaview ThinQ Refrigerator even has a Bluetooth speaker built into it. Best of all, thanks to its Door-in-Door view, 30 cubic feet of space, smudge-resistant doors, cold saver technology the LG Instaview ThinQ Refrigerator is a great refrigerator in its own right.

Best Health/Beauty Tech: Henkel SalonLab

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Photo: Chloe Becquet/Gear Diary

Henkel Beauty Care is bringing cutting-edge digital technology to hair care. Using everything from near-infrared hair diagnostics to augmented reality for a color consultation, SalonLab lets provides personalized on-demand hair care products.

Henkel SalonLab is a “digital ecosystem for quantifying and customizing the hair care experience, propelling hair salons into the digital age.” The SalonLab Analyzer, SalonLab Consultant App and SalonLab Customizer create an ecosystem that can measure hair condition and color and use the collected data to provide hyper-personalized products and services. It takes the guesswork to out stylists using trial and error to determine which products and services are best.

Best Wearable: Misfit Path

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

Wearables have been all the rage for the past few years but, most of the time, they looked like… wearables. Misfit is working to change that with their new Path. Coming this spring in Stainless Steel, Rose Tone, Gold Tone, and Stainless Steel with Gold Tone Accent and starting at $149.99, the Misfit Path is Hybrid Smartwatch that looks and feels like a traditional watch. As Misfit says,

Our newest advanced timepiece that seamlessly blends the sophisticated style of a classic analog watch with the powerful connectivity of a smartwatch.

The Path tracks activity, lets you set goals, monitors sleep and offers vibration notifications. There’s more. It also lets you create smart alarms and movement reminders and control other connected smart devices. And if you want to go really crazy, you can use it to tell time. The Path doesn’t require charging, has a battery that lasts up to 6 months, and is swim-proof up to 50 meters.

Best Headphones: Plantronics Backbeat Fit 500

GearDiary Gear Diary's Best of CES 2018 Awards

For under $100, you can get a pair of wireless headphones that sound good, get up to 18 hours of playback time per charge and, thanks to a special nano coating, are water and dust proof. You can wear the BackBeat FIT 500 to the gym and never have to worry about sweat damage. You can wear the BackBeat FIT 500 for your commute and then throw them int your briefcase without worrying they will be damaged. And you can wear them for a long-haul flight and never worry about battery life since, in the unlikely event that they run down, you can always use the included cable and wear them like a traditional pair of wired headphones.


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.