We’re well into 2020 now (like three weeks, y’all) and the biggest electronics show of the year—CES—is over. That means we already have a great idea of all the cool stuff we’re going to see this year, and some of it is mad exciting.
We’ve been talking about this crap internally for a while, but figured why limit this excitement to just us—why not share it with you guys, too? It’s almost like it makes sense to talk about exciting tech on a site about exciting tech. What a concept.
Anyway, yeah. Here’s a look that each of us here at Review Geek is most excited about.
Cameron Summerson (Editor in Chief): Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, OnePlus 8 Pro, and PlayStation 5
This may not come as a shock since I said it was my favorite device from CES, but I’m most excited about the IdeaPad Duet from Lenovo. It’s honestly kind of weird how hyped I am for this thing because it’s literally just a 10-inch Chromebook/tablet/Surface Go clone thingy—but here we are.
When it comes down to it, this is the supplemental device I’ve been dreaming of for years. It runs Chrome OS, which is honestly my favorite OS out there, has iPad-level portability, and even comes with a keyboard/touchpad accessory that connects with magnets and communicates over pogo pins (so it’s not a wireless connection).
It’s a laptop, a tablet, and some other stuff all in one. And not only is it something I want, but it’s also going to be perfect for my seven-year-old. He can do school stuff on it like a laptop, use it the same way he does his aging Fire Tablet, watch videos, or play Minecraft. It’s going to be perfect for him.
Of course, I can’t have a list of things I’m excited about without mentioning the upcoming OnePlus 8 Pro. The 7 Pro was my smartphone of the year for 2019, and I think the 8 Pro will change the game yet again. OnePlus has already said that it will have a 120 Hz display, which is going to make it buttery smooth. I’m also hoping we’ll see wireless charging this go, which is the main thing I wanted on the 7 Pro. If it has that, there’s no doubt it’ll be my go-to phone for 2020. It won’t have the hiding camera trick of the Concept One the company showed off at CES, but still—I’m hyped.
But there’s also another product I’m stupid-excited for: the PlayStation 5. I’ve been a die-hard PS guy since the original console, with some of my favorite games of all time being exclusive titles (The Last of Us, anyone?). So yeah, it probably goes without saying, but I can’t wait for the holiday season of 2020, because I’m gifting myself a next-gen console. Bam, baby.
Michael Crider (Reviews Editor): Galaxy Chromebook and Thinkpad X1 Fold
With Chromebooks entering more mainstream, high-end niches, it’s about time someone gave Google’s Pixelbook line some competition. Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook does just that, copying that sleek 2-in-1 design and adding a gorgeous 4K AMOLED display panel and a striking red paint job. (You can get it in grey, too, if you really must.) Prices start at around $1,000, but you can max out the specs to 16GB of RAM and a terabyte of storage, the better to play those upcoming Steam games.
For something truly out of left field, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold appears to be the first full Intel-powered Windows machine with a folding screen. But it’s not just a party trick: with an integrated leather cover reminiscent of a Moleskine notebook and a tiny ThinkPad keyboard that can hide in the fold, it’s flexible and compact enough to actually work as a new form factor. Whether or not that will be worth the asking price—well north of $2,000—remains to be seen.
Justin Duino (Managing Editor): Google Pixel 4a/4a XL and Second-Gen Pixel Buds
After the dull introduction of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the tech world was blown away by the budget-friendly Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. These two mid-range handsets included every feature we loved about Google’s Pixel lineup (primarily its camera performance) while coming in at a price that didn’t break the bank and didn’t lag to the point of annoyance.
Much like 2018’s Google flagships, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL launched with its own problems. Now that we’re closer to the announcement of the Pixel 4a (and any other variations that might be released alongside it), I have to be hopeful that we will see another excellent mid-range handset that will have us throwing our wallets at Google.
Not much is known yet about Google’s upcoming handset(s), but leaked renders make us believe that the headphone jack isn’t going anywhere and the front bezel will be smaller than its flagship counterpart’s. The only thing I don’t like about the device is that it will likely ditch Google’s Face Unlock tech and revert to a fingerprint sensor placed on the back of the phone.
When Google introduced its first-gen Pixel Buds, it hyped up the Bluetooth headphone’s near-instant translation feature. Although the feature worked (for the most part), the tethered earbuds sold poorly and didn’t stand a chance against Apple’s AirPods.
But at the company’s Made By Google hardware event back in October 2019, the search giant showed off its second-gen Pixel Buds. Unlike its predecessor, the new buds are of a true wireless design and come in a case similar in size to the AirPods Pro. According to those who had the chance to try out the prototype at the event, the buds had a comfortable fit and had above-average sound quality.
Unfortunately, Google told us that we’d have to wait until this spring to get our hands on the new Pixel Buds. The accessory has made its way through the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which means it should be ready for consumers soon. The wireless earbuds will be available for $179 when they launch.
Josh Hendrickson (News Lead): C by GE Hub-Less Light Switches and Arcade1Up NBA Jam Cabinet
When it comes to the question of smart bulbs or smart light switches, I think switches are the best option. The problem is, most smart light switches require neutral wires for power, and most older homes (like mine) don’t have them.
I talked to an electrician about adding them, but that’d be $200 a light switch. No way. Now C by GE is promising a $40 smart light switch that doesn’t require a hub or neutral wires. Out of all the smart home gadgets I’ve seen promised, this is the one that excites me the most. Finally, my older home can have smart switches in every room. That’s the dream.
As for my other pick, well, I may have a problem. My living room currently houses four arcade machines, and I want one more. Arcade1Up’s upcoming NBA Jam machine looks amazing. The look and feel are faithful to the original arcade machine, and it comes with three versions of the game. The riser, lit marquee, and four players worth of joysticks are all great bonuses.
But the real the pièce de résistance of the whole thing is a new feature for Arcade1Up: Wi-Fi. With this machine, you’ll be able to go online, find other people in the world who also own the machine, and play against them. And that service is free. SIGN. ME. UP.
Andrew Heinzman (Staff Writer): Samsung T7 SSD
Samsung already sells our favorite portable SSD, the Samsung T5. But now, the company is pushing into the future with a fingerprint-protected SSD called the Samsung T7. It’s so futuristic that Samsung skipped the T6 and went right to T7.
My gut tells me that this T7 SSD will set the standard for the next few years. Not because it has a built-in fingerprint reader (which makes encryption less of a hassle), but because it utilizes the latest USB 3.2 Type-C standard to reach read speeds of 1050 Mbps and write speeds of 1000 Mbps. That’s nearly twice as fast as the Samsung T5 SSD, yet the T7 is just as portable as the T5 and sports a fairly reasonable price tag ($130 for 500 GB, $230 for 1 TB, and $400 for 2 TB).
Williams Pelegrin (News Writer): Surface Duo and Xbox Series X
I can’t help but feel giddy when I think about foldable phones. There’s no getting around the high price tags and relatively-fragile designs, but I feel as if foldable phones are the future. That’s why I’m extremely excited about Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Duo.
The Surface Duo isn’t like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr in that it has one small display on the outside and a larger folding display on the inside. Instead, opening the Surface Duo reveals two separate glass displays. That means I can watch YouTube on one display and browse Reddit on the other display. If I just want to use one display, the 360-degree hinge lets me fold the Surface Duo fully over as you do with many 2-in-1 laptops.
The Surface Duo a phone that gives me two displays when I want a tablet and one display when I just want a phone, all in a package about the size of my palm when closed. It’s this flexibility that will have me taking out my credit card once the Surface Duo goes on sale later this year.
However, there’s also another Microsoft product I’m very much looking forward to later this year: the Xbox Series X. The name is dumb, but the business idea behind it isn’t. The Xbox Series X isn’t something that’s meant to exist at just one point in time—it’s part of an evolving group of devices and services.
Think about it. Having the “series” in the name opens the door for a variety of products. Maybe there will be a Series Y that won’t be as powerful as the Series X, but come in at a lower price. Maybe there will be a Series Z only meant to exist as hardware for Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely excited about the Xbox Series X and the powerful specs it promises to have. However, I’m equally excited about what Microsoft does around the console as I am with what the company does with it.
Lowell Heddings (CEO/Founder): Taco Bell’s Nacho Party Pack
Technically this came out last year, but Lowell’s the boss so he gets to do what he wants. And he’s still pretty damn excited about Taco Bell’s Nacho Party Pack. Respect.
— Lowell Heddings (@lowellheddings) December 30, 2019