Gear Diary’s Best of CES 2021 Awards

Gear Diary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.

This year’s CES may have been completely virtual and quite different from what we are used to, but it still served as an excellent introduction to the new tech that we can all look forward to in the coming year as we carry on with pandemic life. After going through the avalanche of the products that were introduced at CES, we have culled out the ones that we found most innovative and intriguing. So in alphabetical order, we present you with Gear Diary’s Best of CES 2021 Awards!

Gear Diary Best of CES 2021 Award

Amazfit GTR 2e

Amazfit GTR 2e

At $139.99, the Amazfit GTR 2e is an affordable fitness tracking watch with up to 45 days of battery life; it is as stylish as it is smart. Not only will the GTR 2e track your steps and activity with 90 pre-programmed sports modes, but it also gives detailed sleep tracking, monitors your heart rate, SP02, stress levels, and it will remind you to get up and move when you’ve been stationary for too long.

The Amazfit GTR 2e is waterproof to 50 meters, so it is safe to wear even when swimming. And yes, there is haptic vibration to notify you of incoming calls and messages. You can personalize the GTR 2e with one of the 50 watch faces in the Zepp app or customize your watch’s 1.39? HD AMOLED display with your own images.

Priced as low as some fitness tracking bands that aren’t nearly as fashionable, the Amazfit GTR 2e has a beautiful aluminum alloy body with a borderless design and a curved glass display that is scratch- and wear-resistant; it is a watch that you will be proud to wear that also happens to be a fitness tracker.

Arlo Touchless Video Doorbell

Arlo Touchless Video Doorbell

Giving us one less thing to worry about in this age of hand sanitizing and masks, the Arlo Touchless Video Doorbell uses proximity sensing technology, zeroing-in on visitors as they approach your door. Once the video doorbell has detected them, your visitor will hear a chime, and they’ll see a light, signaling that the doorbell has been activated as you are alerted — all without them having to touch your doorbell.

The Arlo Touchless Doorbell will provide a vertical field of view for full front porch coverage. You’ll be able to see visitors from head-to-toe along with any packages on your doorstep due to the video doorbell’s 180º viewing angle, optimized 1:1 aspect ratio, and full HD video quality. “Direct-to-mobile SIP calls, clear, two-way audio and pre-recorded, quick-reply messages enable convenient, in-the-moment communication with visitors.” The Touchless Video Doorbell connects directly to WiFi, and it is hardwired for power.

Pricing and availability haven’t yet been announced, but keep an eye on the Arlo site in the coming months.

Dell Latitude 5420

Dell Latitude 5420

While it’s on the budget end of the Latitude line, the Dell Latitude 5420 enjoys special bragging rights for a very specific reason: it’s made from bioplastic, a byproduct of oil created during paper production. Dell says by using this in the Latitude 5420, they are reducing a carbon footprint equivalent to 24.2 million miles of driving, powering 5,564 homes, or filling 226 Olympic-size pools. Dell has committed to making half their product line out of recycled and renewable materials by 2030, so the Latitude is just the first of many to be stylish, powerful, AND environmentally friendly.

We love this eco-conscious move, and if you do too, you’ll be able to pick up a Dell Latitude 5420 starting at $1,049 in January.

Earin A-3

Earin A-3

The tiny Earin A-3 earpieces don’t have a dedicated right or left earbud. Instead, their patented technology will automatically assign each earbud as right or left when either bud is placed in the user’s ear. You can even share an earbud with a friend for a mono listening experience together. The Earin A-3 uses an open design (which means there are no silicone or foam tips that have to be jammed into your ear canal), so they sit comfortably and ergonomically in the user’s outer ear allowing for natural ambient sound awareness.

Earin A-3 true wireless earbuds have an IP52 rating, so they are sweat-, water-, and dust-resistant. Each earpiece has an intuitive touch interface so that you can have a seamless experience answering calls, playing music, and skipping to the next song. They also use voice recognition technology to connect you to your favorite virtual assistant, whether it be Google, Alexa, or Siri.

The Earin A-3 in-ear wireless headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 with a Qualcomm QCC5121 MCU. Depending upon the environment, they can receive a Bluetooth signal from up to 75 meters (246?!) away from your streaming device. The included aluminum charging case will hold and charge the Earin A-3 earbuds when they aren’t in use. The Earin A-3’s get up to five hours of music and calls on their own, and the charging case gives them up to 30 hours of playtime.

Earin A-3 will be available in black and silver models for $199 in the first quarter of 2021; you’ll be able to find them on the Earin site and Amazon.

Fluo Labs Flo

Fluo Labs Flo

Fluo Labs Flo is a particularly intriguing concept if you suffer from seasonal allergies; they use handheld light therapy to reduce the nasal inflammation caused by Allergic Rhinitis. Using photobiomodulation, the idea that light at a specific spectrum can reduce inflammation, Fluo Labs Flo works by beaming safe red and NIR (Near Infrared) light into your nose. According to Fluo Labs, 10 seconds in each nostril 1-2 times a day can reduce allergy-related inflammation; their first clinical trial yielded a 31% improvement for allergy sufferers.

Fluo Labs Flo is projected to come in under $100, and it will be coming in late 2021; you can sign up for their waitlist here.

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

As JBL begins its celebration of 75 years of audio innovation, they’ve rolled out some amazing new audio products. The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam promises to be an amazing upgrade to any home theater without the need for additional satellite speakers or an independent sub. Despite its small size and simple setup, the technology packed inside the Bar 5.0 delivers full, immersive sound.

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam has four passive radiators for “deep and punchy bass. ” Thanks to JBL 3D Surround Sound, consumers don’t need a separate subwoofer to get deep, booming sound. The Bar 5.0 has HARMAN’s MultiBeam technology. It “enables users to hear and feel surround sound without needing additional surround speakers, generating an immersive listening experience. Virtual Dolby Atmos allows the Bar 5.0 to reproduce the audio height dimensions from a movie or TV show, turning any living space into a 3D personal theater.”

The Bar 5.0 isn’t just for your television, though. It is an all-in-one design that was built with today’s streaming music services in mind. That not only means it has Bluetooth but that it also includes compatibility with Alexa, Apple Airplay 2, and Chromecast built-in. Of course, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is compatible with all iOS and Android devices.

The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam will sell for $399.95, and it will be available this spring.

John Deere Agricultural Technology

John Deere Agricultural Technology

When you think about farmers and the tremendous challenges and opportunities that they have — including the fact that they’re going to have to provide a greater than 50% uptake in food production to keep up with the projected nearly 9 billion people the world will have in the next 25 years or so — you have to take a moment to appreciate the enormous task ahead for farmers around the globe.

John Deere is actively searching for and creating ways to help them take some of the guesswork out of today’s important decisions as well as the ones they will need to make in five, ten, or even twenty years. Through their use of technology, IoT, electrification, and singulation with John Deere’s overall platform with agriculture and sustainability, they are helping farmers everywhere meet the challenges they face to maximize their yields while feeding and clothing the world’s population.

Kensington StudioDock

Kensington StudioDock

We haven’t seen an iPad accessory that intrigued us as much as the Kensington StuidioDock since Apple released its absurdly-priced Magic Keyboard. The StudioDock uses magnets to hold the iPad at eye level while also allowing you to rotate the tablet between landscape and portrait. The flat surface is a Qi wireless charging station capable of charging an iPhone and AirPods simultaneously. An optional adapter for also charging your Apple Watch will arrive mid-2021.

But there’s even more. The StudioDock also offers a range of methods for connecting peripherals to your iPad. It has USB-A and USB-C, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, a 3.5mm audio input, and an SD card reader. In other words, StudioDock is ready to take your iPad to the next level of productivity.

Pricing and availability haven’t yet been announced for the Kensington StudioDock, but you can sign up for updates here.

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

If you need ultraportability, you’re going to love the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable. It’s a 12.3? tablet with a Corning Gorilla Glas display that can be used with either a Lenovo Precision Pen or a Digital Pen if you choose. It has a detachable backlit folio keyboard so that you can use it as a tablet or as a laptop. Lenovo will also offer ThinkPad Thunderbolt and USB-C Smart Docks with Microsoft Azure Sphere to make the docks are smart enough to update themselves and remotely monitor devices.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable will start at $1,1149 this month.

Lenovo ThinkReality A3

Lenovo ThinkReality A3

Sadly, the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 augmented reality glasses are enterprise-only so that you won’t be tethering your glasses to your smartphone anytime soon. If you do work in a commercial setting, these may be in your future. The Lenovo ThinkReality A3 glasses’ virtual monitors are compatible and made to work with Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops and their Intel and AMD Ryzen processor-powered mobile workstations to provide up to 5 virtual displays and an 8-megapixel RGB camera that can stream 1080p for remote expert use cases. There are dual fish-eye cameras to provide room-scale tracking.

The ThinkReality A3 Industrial Edition will tether to select Motorola smartphones for hands-free, AR-supported tasks in complex work environments.

Lenovo sees mixed reality glasses like the ThinkReality A3 as the future of hospitality, industrials, warehouses, and any other areas where being able to quickly scan and work can make things run more smoothly and efficiently. It may not be the future for all of us to have heads-up displays strapped to our faces, but you might just find yourself using the ThinkReality A3 at work.

Samsung Neo QLED

Samsung Neo QLED

Samsung’s new Neo QLED employs a brand new LED technology that lets the television be thinner than ever, and the image it produces crisper than ever. The thin bezels allow for the most immersive experience ever. Of course, it’s a smartTV, so there will be no limit to the content you can enjoy. Right now, that’s an especially good thing! Samsung Neo QLED display technology can be found in their new flagship 8K (QN900A) and 4K (QN90A) television models.

Stern Pinball Led Zeppelin Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball has been known for making high-quality pinball machines in a tremendous number of varieties-whatever your fandom; they have at least one pinball machine that brings it to a frenetic, ball flinging life. They’ve combined that with some of Led Zeppelin’s biggest hits to make a Zed Zeppelin pinball machine decorated with the legendary band’s artwork and imagery from their albums for a rocking pinball experience!

Start scouring your couch for change because the awesomeness of Led Zeppelin Pinball does not come cheap. The Pro version is $6,199, while the Premium edition with an Electric Magnet Toy that pops out of the field is $7,799. A Limited Edition includes an autographed arch, exclusive art, a shaker motor, and a sequential plaque will be $9,199 (and only 500 of these will be made!) But really, can you put a price on playing pinball to “Immigrant Song”? Your game room will never be the same!

Smart Sanitizer

Smart Sanitizer

Even after we’re past the initial public health crisis of Covid-19, it’s likely many of the lessons regarding sanitizing and being aware of how germ-filled our world truly is. Smart Sanitizer Wellness Center is a new concept being introduced at CES, but it wouldn’t shock me if we see them all over the place very soon!

The idea is that Smart Sanitizer Wellness Centers would replace the hasty sanitizer dispensers every business threw up in a hurry in 2020 and/or the temperature station at doctor’s offices and some businesses. The wellness center kiosk has a space to sanitize your hands, the ability to take your temperature via the palm of your hand, and a slot for you to UV sanitize your phone, keys, and other small items.

The plan is that businesses can monetize these kiosks by advertising services on the screen while someone’s busy sanitizing.

TCL 2021 6-Series Televisions

TCL 2021 6-Series Televisions

8K televisions were first introduced a few years ago when many of us were still upgrading our TVs to 4K. It landed firmly in the “I don’t really need it, nor do I want to pay for it” category for me, but it might be time to rethink that stance, as all TCL 6-Series Roku TVs released later this year will feature 8K resolution.

While the new 6-Series 8K TCL Roku TVs won’t roll out until later this year, and we won’t have pricing information until then, I don’t doubt that we can expect to see accessible prices on these gorgeous televisions.

TROVA HOME

TROVA HOME

TROVA HOME is a biometric protected smart safe that measure 14.5” long by 7.5? wide by 4.25” deep without its stand. It’s not for keeping your important papers safe; rather, it’s a way to help you have privacy and safety for your daily use items, whatever they might be. Made to hide things in plain sight, the TROVA HOME will look beautiful wherever it is placed.

Working in conjunction with the TROVA app, the TROVA HOME can keep curious children and snoopy friends out of the things you don’t want them messing with — whether it be your medicine, jewelry, or other items you need to keep handy yet secure. You can even bolt TROVA HOME to any surface to add extra security.

The TROVA HOME will sell for $549, and it will be available soon.

Vaonis Vespera

Vaonis Vespera CES 2021

Vespera, conceived as the perfect combination of a telescope and a camera, aims to make astronomy and astrophotography accessible to everyone. Telescopes can be heavy, cumbersome, and difficult to use; Vespera removes the telescope’s eyepiece and uses your mobile device as the viewfinder, in conjunction with their app. With the app, you can capture photos of galaxies, planets, nebulae, and more.

Vespera is equipped with a state-of-the-art quadruplet apochromatic refractor, a powerful and accurate design with zero distortion. Using a Sony IMX462 sensor with Starvis technology made for low light, you’ll capture images that will blow your mind. Vespera invites you to be part of space exploration history and to write the next chapters together. Somewhere in the vast darkness of space, a new journey awaits.

The Vaonis Vespera will sell for $1499, and you can preorder one here; delivery will be in spring 2022.

V-Moda M-200 ANC Headphones

V-Moda M-200 ANC Headphones

We’ve long been fans of V-MODA’s headphones and have been holding out hope the company would eventually jump into the world of Active Noise Cancellation. With the M-200 ANC, that’s exactly what they’ve done. With great battery life, a time-tested design, and V-MODA’s commitment to amazing sound, the only downside we can see is the price.

The V-MODA M-200 ANC will have an MSRP of just under $500 when they start shipping this spring.

Western Digital 4TB My Passport SSD

Western Digital 4TB My Passport SSD

A few years ago, having a portable SSD with up to 4TB available sounded like science fiction, but it’s finally here! The Western Digital 4TB My Passport SSD has a bold metal design that’s not only durable but looks really sleek. The My passport has built-in shock and vibration resistance for up to 6.5 feet.  With it, you can get read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s, with the usual disclaimer that your performance may vary depending upon the host device, usage conditions, drive capacity, and other factors.

The My Passport SSD is great for content creators who need to save important files and have them ready. You’ll be able to keep your data safe with password-enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption and included backup software. The WD My Passport SSD is compatible with Mac and PC systems, and it is available in gray, blue, red, gold, and silver.

The WD My Passport SSD sells for $679.99, and it will be available later this quarter.

Want More? Follow Us Here!

Please be aware that when appropriate, we sometimes place affiliate links in our posts. If you make any purchases through those affiliate links, you will be supporting Gear Diary with a small percentage of your sale. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

For more info on Reviews & Disclosure, click here.


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.