The Best and Biggest Gadgets of January 2022
The year 2022 is here with a splash as CES kicked things off with a slew of new releases. Here are all the best gadgets and announcements that dropped in the tech world this month, from CES and beyond.
Samsung Odyssey Ark
Samsung announced a host of new monitors at CES 2022, but the Odyssey Ark is definitely the standout. It’s a 55-inch curved 4K monitor — which is the largest curved monitor out there — with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the kicker is that it has a special stand that allows the display to be rotated and viewed either horizontally or vertically. Not a lot of other information has been released about the Odyssey Ark (including its price or release date), but if it actually becomes available it looks to be a hella-cool monitor for gaming and just general multitasking.
LG 2022 OLED TVs
LG announced its latest and greatest OLED TVs at CES. The new models boast a new of improvements in brightness, processing power and other smart technologies to improve overall picture quality. However, the most notable thing about its 2022 line might be sizes. The 2022 C2 series (flagship) and G2 series (gallery) will both have 42-inch models, which is the smallest that each has ever been available in before. And the G2 series will include a 97-inch model, which is absolutely huge. Pricing and availability will be announced later in the spring.
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 and Alva ST
Cambridge Audio released the Alva TT turntable in 2019 and, at the time, it was the first turntable that supported wireless aptX HD audio, meaning it could stream high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/48kHz) wirelessly to an amp, speaker or headphone. At this year’s CES, the British hi-fi maker announced two spinoffs of that original Alva. The Alva TT V2 ($1,999) is the second-generation version that has a few key upgrades, including an improved tonearm with a detachable headshell (in case you want to upgrade later on), a switchable phono stage and Bluetooth support. Then there’s the Alva ST ($999), which is a more affordable turntable that still looks beautiful and supports aptX HD wireless hi-res streaming. Both turntables will be available this spring.
Jabra Elite 4 Active
The Jabra Elite 4 Active is the company’s new pair of workout-focused wireless earbuds. They feature active noise-cancellation and have a IP57 water-resistance rating, so they’re perfectly suited for workouts in noisy environments. They also are compatible with Jabra’s app so you can adjust the EQ of your music. They cost $120 and are available right now.
Shure Aonic 40
Shure announced new wireless noise-canceling headphones, the Aonic 40 ($249), which are essentially a slightly smaller and more affordable (by $50) version of the its existing Aonic 50. The new models lack the same hi-fi support as the Aonic 50 (up to 32-bit audio with LDAC support), but boast superior battery life, a new fast-charging ability and they have a more packable/collapsible design.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (S21 FE 5G)
Samsung announced a more affordable version (by $100) of its Galaxy S21 smartphone called the S21 FE (“Fan Edition”). It packs many of the same flagship features, including the same processor and fast-charging ability. Its display is very similar, too. The main tradeoff is that it lacks a shiny finish (it’s matte instead) and it’s pro-grade camera system isn’t quite as great; the most notable difference is that the S21 FE’s telephoto lens has a 8MP sensor instead of the 64MP sensor on the S21. On the plus side, the S21 FE actually has a bigger battery. It will be available for purchase on January 11th for $699.
Astell&Kern ACRO CA1000
The ACRO CA1000 is Astell&Kern’s first “carryable” headphone amplifier that, according to the company, combines the functionality of a high-performance headphone amp and the portability of a digital audio player. It has four built-in DACs (ES9068AS) and is capable of playing high fidelity audio (32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD512). It also has a built-in 8,400mAh battery and support for USB-C fast charging. If you’re somebody who takes hi-if super seriously, the ACRO CA1000 will be available late January or early February 2022. Price is TBD.
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar
Anker announced a neat new webcam for your work-from-home setup. The B600 Video Bar is unique because it has an integrated light bar and built-in speakers. It also packs a 2K sensor (capable of up to 30fps) and number of AI smart technologies (such as zoom, autofocus and adjustable field-of-view) to make sure your face looks its shiny best. The webcam will cost $220 and it’ll be available later this month.
Satechi 2-in-1 Headphone Stand with Wireless Charger
Satechi announced a headphone stand that’s specifically designed for Apple’s AirPods Max (but it can really be used with any headphones). The stand is made of aluminum and has a space gray base, so it should match well with your other Apple devices, and there’s an integrated USB-C charging port as well as a Qi-wireless charger at the base of the stand; this allows you to charger your AirPods Max as they hand while also charging your smartphone. There’s also an integrated cable management hook so you can conceal your charging cable. It’s available for preorder for $80.
LG UltraGear 17G90Q
The LG UltraGear 17G90Q is the company’s first-ever gaming laptop. It’s a 17-inch laptop that has a slim aluminum design, RGB backlit keys and a supposedly killer speaker system capable of 3D audio. Inside it packs an Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake processor and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics card. And it’s 1080p display has a 300Hz refresh rate. Pricing of this high-performing machine has yet to be released yet.
Samsung 2022 Neo QLED TVs
Samsung revealed its newest line of high-end Neo QLED TVs, which are its 4K and 8K smart TVs that you might actually buy (not the super expensive MicroLED TVs that cost more than most cars). The 2022 Neo QLED TVs combine the company’s Quantum Mini LED display technology with its Neo Quantum processor so that they deliver excellent picture quality, but Samsung has given them new technologies (like a new “Shape Adaptive Light” technology to automatically adjust brightness depending on what’s on the screen) and more gaming-specific features (like a built-in gaming hub that’ll let you access cloud-based games from Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now with no extra hardware). Release date and pricing information is TBD.
Samsung 2022 Eco Remote
Samsung’s newest environmental TV remote, the Eco Remote, has a solar back panel so it can stay charged by light (indoor or outdoor) — but the 2021-version of the Eco Remote also had this capability. What’s new with the 2022 version is that it has been integrated with radio frequency (RF) harvesting technology so it can also use the energy from your home’s Wi-Fi router as well. Basically, you’ll never have to worry about charging it. Also, it’s available in black or white so it can match your Samsung TV.
Sony 2022 OLED TVs
Sony announced its 2022 lineup of OLED TVs and Mini LED TVs, which have historically been some of the best TVs that money can buy. The upgrades to the new models mostly have to do with improved picture (mostly brightness) and sound quality (such as support for Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology), as well new smart technologies that allow the TVs to adjust itself so that that sounds and looks the best for the rooms they are in.
Fluance is well known for its excellent and budget-friendly turntables, and this week it announced a new high-end turntable. The RT85N is exactly the same as the company’s RT85, which is its most expensive and reference-quality turntable, but the new “N” model adds a Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge (which goes for about $170 by itself) for improved and more balanced sound. The RT85N costs $500 and is available now.
Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector
Anker announced a new Nebula portable projector that’s neat because it’s the company’s first to produce a true 4K picture. Like previous Nebulas, the new model has a built-in Android 10 operating system, so it doesn’t need to be connected to a laptop, smartphone or streaming stick to play content from apps like of Netflix or Disney+. It also has a pair of integrated speakers so it should sound pretty decent out of the box, too. At $2,199, it is quite a bit more expensive than most 4K TVs, but it also promises to produce a significantly larger picture. (Anker has specified screen size, but most other Nebulas produce an image size of up to 100 inches.)
The Nebula Cosmos will launch as a Kickstarter on January 11 and is expected to be available for purchase sometime in mid-March.
The LG S95QR is the company’s new flagship soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos. It’s a 9.1.5 system that comes complete with a wireless sub and two wireless surround sound speakers. However, the real unique thing about the S95QR is that it has an upward-firing center channel (an industry first, according to LG), so it’s capable of creating an even more immersive sound.
LG UltraFine Pro Monitor
LG has announced updated versions of the UltraFine Pro, its pro-level OLED monitors, that it released last year. They have a few new features, including support for LG’s DisplayHDR 400 True Black technology for even better contrast while photo/video editing, but the big news is that there will be a new 27-inch model for people who don’t necessarily need a 32-inch model (or fork over the $4,000 for it). There’s no word on pricing for the upcoming 27-inch model just yet.
TCL Book 14 Go
Best known for their affordable-yet-great 4K TVs, TCL is now getting in the computer business. The Book 14 Go is the company’s first laptop and, starting at $349, it’s aimed at the entry-level market. It has a 14.1-inch display, runs Windows 11 and has an older Snapdragon processing chip (to keep the price low). It does also boast a 12-hour battery life. It will be available sometime this spring.
Razer 2022 Blade Gaming Laptops
Razer announced its new line of Blade gaming laptops for 2022. The new 14-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models aren’t night-and-day upgrades over their predecessors, but Razer did give each improved internals (Intel’s 12-gen processors, faster RAM and support for Nvidia’s newest RTX graphic cards). As for the hardware, Razer did increase the size of the keyboards and gave each laptop better speakers. Each new model will be available for preorder in late January or early/mid February.
The Linestand is a neat take on the traditional multi-device wireless charger. It’s a 3-in-1 wireless charger — designed to simultaneously charge your iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch — but it also has an integrated VESA mount on its back, meaning you can hang it on a monitor arm or even your wall (VESA mounts are commonly used for TVs). It will be available to purchase next week (January 14).
Shure SRH840A and SRH440A (2nd-Gen)
Shure has announced second-generation models of two of its wired over-ear closed-back headphones that are designed for audio professionals. Both the company’s SRH840A and SRH440A have been given revamped designs (new earcups, headband and cable) to which are meant to look and feel great, as well as upgraded drivers and internals for improved sound. And both are priced affordably. The SRH840A are the slightly higher-end of the two, aimed for more audio enthusiasts, while the SRH440A are a little more affordable and more targeted for people working from home.
Price: $99 — $150
Speck Presidio Pro Folio for MagSafe
Announced last week at CES, the Presidio Pro Folio is a foldable charging stand that works with Apple’s MagSafe charger. The neat thing is that it has an integrated cable management feature so that you can easily wrap up excess cord when charging your iPhone, but it doubles as a travel case for your MagSafe charger.
Symfonisk Bookshelf Speakers (2nd-Gen)
Ikea and Sonos quietly rolled out the second-generation of their Symfonisk bookshelf speaker. The design is almost exactly same as its predecessor, which is unique because you can stand it upright or mount horizontally (the latter of which gives it the functionality of a floating shelf that can support the weight of several actual books. The only design differences are that it comes with a longer power cable and the volume buttons on the front panel are more visible. Internally, the new speaker has been given a new processor and more memory. Like before, at just $99, it’s the cheapest Sonos speaker you can buy.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (S21 FE 5G)
Last week at CES 2022, Samsung announced the Galaxy S21 FE (“Fan Edition”), which is a more affordable version of its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone — and become officially available this week. It packs many of the same flagship features, including the same processor and fast-charging ability, as well as a similar display. The big tradeoff is that it has a matte finish instead of shiny, and its rear camera system isn’t quite as great; the most notable difference is that the S21 FE’s telephoto lens has a 8MP sensor instead of the 64MP sensor on the S21. On the plus side, the S21 FE actually has a bigger battery.
Logitech Signature M650 Mouse
Logitech announced a new wireless mouse that’s affordable and designed for anybody. The Signature M650 costs just $40, has an ergonomic design and works with any computer (Mac, Windows or Chromebook) — just plug in its USB-A wireless receiver or connect via Bluetooth. The Signature M650 comes in righty or lefty models and is available right now in three different colors: white, black or rose (pink).
Logitech Litra Glow
The Litra Glow is a new streaming light by Logitech that’s designed for YouTubers, Twitch streamers or just people who want to look good on their next video call. It’s designed to sit on top of your monitor, right next to your webcam, and it connects to your computer via USB-C. You can easily adjust the brightness or color via controls on the back (or via software controls), or just turn it off. And at just $60, it’s one of the more affordable options out there.
Canon EOS R5C
Canon’s 2020 EOS R5 is a beast of a stills camera, and one of the best tech products that came out that year. But while it could also take 8K video, it struggled with overheating issues that made the R5 impractical as a real video workhorse. Enter the EOS R5C. This newly announced shooter comes with a dedicated cooling system (and some additional bulk) to help realize the full 8K HDR potential of Canon’s full-frame 45MP sensor. The catch? It’s $600 more expensive and doesn’t have in-body image stabilization, which means that as a stills camera, it a big step back from the R5’s 8 stops of IBIS. Looks like the R5 can be wickedly capable for video or stills, but maybe not both at the same time.
Price: $4,499 (body only)
Suunto 5 Peak
The Suunto 5 Peak is the company’s latest GPS smartwatch designed primarily outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a new-and-improved version of the Suunto 5 GPS, with a considerably slimmed-down and lighter design — in fact, it’s one of the company’s thinnest smartwatches ever. It also has an incredibly battery life that can go up to 100 hours between charges. Maybe most crucially, the Suunto 5 Peak is actually more affordable. It costs $329 and will start shipping February 1st.
Audio-Technica ATH-GL3 and ATH-GDL3
Audio-Technica announced two new high-fidelity gaming headsets, the ATH-GL3 and ATH-GDL3, both of which have extremely lightweight designs; the ATH-GL3 weighs 230 grams and the ATH-GDL3 weighs just 220 grams. The only big difference between the two headsets is that the ATH-GL3 has a closed-back design, so it’s better at keeping out ambient noises (in case you play games in noisy room), while the ATH-GDL3 has an open-back design and delivers a wider soundstage. Additionally, both have detachable boom mics, are fully compatible with the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and are available in either white or black finishes.
Price: $99 — $129
Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger
Mophie’s latest MagSafe charger is essentially a souped-up version of the MagSafe Duo ($129), Apple’s portable charger for the iPhone 12/13 and Apple Watch. It has a similar foldable design, but it’s actually a 3-in-1 wireless charger (rather than 2-in-1) that supports MagSafe; in addition to spots for charging iPhone and Apple Watch, it has a dedicated spot for charging your AirPods or AirPods Pro (must have wireless charging case). It also comes with USB-C wall adapter (which the MagSafe Duo does not) and fabric carrying case. It’s available for pre-order now on Apple’s website.
Belkin Boost Charge Pro
Belkin announced a new MagSafe accessory for iPhone 12/13 that looks (and works) like a full-fledged MagSafe charger — it supports 15-watt fast charging — but it has a a neat integrated kickstand. This way you can stand your iPhone up will you charge it. The Boost Charge Pro is available right now for $60. It does not come with a USB-C wall adapter.
Alienware x15 R2
Alienware debuted two new X-Series gaming laptops, the x15 R2 (pictured) and x17 R2, at CES 2022 just a few weeks ago — and both became available this week. The defining features of each laptop is their power and thinness. Both pack Intel’s latest 12th-generation processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series graphics, while being just 0.64- and 0.84-inches thick, respectively. (For reference, Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is 0.66-inches thick.) You can order of these laptops now from Dell’s website.
Price: $2,200+ — $2,450+
The Sony HT-S400 is a new budget-friendly soundbar-and-subwoofer combo that’s designed to deliver an immersive audio experience. It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos unfortunately, but instead uses Sony’s special technology — S-Force PRO Front Surround technology, specifically — to creates virtual height channels from the soundbar’s two-channels. It’s designed to wireless connect to Sony’s Bravia TVs, so that’s one less wire you have to worry about hiding. The Sony HT-S400 will be available to purchase in April.
Logitech G G413 SE and G413 TKL SE
Logitech announced two mechanical keyboards for gaming that designed to be both affordable and bespoke. The G G413 SE ($80) and the G413 TKL SE ($70) are identical in every way, save for the more expensive G G413 SE having a full keyboard with a number keypad. Both models have an all-black, aluminum alloy design and come white backlighting — no RGB. And the keycaps are made with PBT (a heat- and wear-resistant thermoplastic engineering polymer), so they’ll last for longer. They’re available for preorder now.
Price: $70 — $80
Audioengine A6 Subwoofer
Audioengine announced a new compact subwoofer designed to add bass to your desktop’s audio setup. The all-new A6 packs a 6-inch front-firing woofer and a built-in 210-watt amplifier, so it promises to add some serious bump despite its small package. It also has a number of analog connections (USB-A, AUX, RCA) so it can be integrated into a variety of existing systems (although Audioengine probably prefers you to add to AJ as a compliment to its HD6 or A5 powered speakers).
Elgato Stream Deck Pedal
The Stream Deck Pedal is a new footpad designed for content creators and streamers that’s poised to work just Elgato’s Stream Deck — helping them control their apps, toggle cameras and apply certain effects — but giving them a way to do just that hands-free. It’s available right now.
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