Laptop makers were in full force at CES 2022, releasing dozens of new models, updates, and more.
In the best new laptops from Dell, HP, Lenovo and Asus, we looked at some key trends that are going to impact laptops throughout 2022 and beyond.
Haptic trackpads are here to stay
For many years, haptic feedback trackpads were Apple’s domain. Haptic feedback means that instead of a physical click mechanism, the trackpad uses motorized haptics to simulate the feeling of a click without actual buttons. After years of keeping the technology only on MacBooks, we finally saw the adoption of some high-end Windows laptops in 2021, such as the Surface Laptop Studio.
But at CES 2022, it seems like an absolute trend. The Dell XPS 13 Plus was the first laptop we saw using it, with a haptic feedback trackpad built across the palm into a single pane of glass. And then it popped up in the ThinkPad Z13 as well, another new laptop from CES that impressed us.
The most surprising haptic trackpad, however, was found on the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook—that’s right, a Chromebook. Now, this is no ordinary Chromebook – it just might be the most premium-looking Chrome OS device ever made. However, the inclusion of a haptic trackpad here is still a sign that this technology is spreading like wildfire.
720p webcams are no longer acceptable
Webcams were everywhere you saw CES this year, and for good reason. It took more than two years, but laptop makers eventually turned the slow gear of supply chains to respond to the proliferation of remote work. Finally, nearly every new laptop announced at CES this year had at least a 1080p webcam. HP even made it a point to include a 5-megapixel camera in every business PC.
Even most of the monitors that launched at CES had built-in webcams. Newer high-end releases like the Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ or HP Z34c also came out on top with 4K cameras for crystal-clear video calls.
Chances are, if you’re buying a new tech product in 2021, it’s likely to have a better webcam than it was in previous years. what a relief!
OLED, Mini-LED Everywhere You Look
For so long, the traditional LED was the only option for laptop displays. But at CES 2022, it became clear that new display technologies were finally making their way to a large number of laptops. At CES, OLED and mini-LED were everywhere, including on large monitors, gaming laptops, and standard ultrabooks.
Heck, we saw the brand new QD-OLED panel make its debut in a gaming monitor, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED, just like it’s hitting the first wave of Samsung televisions. That’s impressive, and it shows that manufacturers are finally taking display technology seriously.
new graphics options
Of course, Nvidia holds the crown for laptop graphics. But Intel and AMD showed determination at CES 2022 to provide a valid alternative. AMD stuffed its Radeon 6000 series with eight new mobile GPUs, including options for thinner and lighter gaming laptops to compete with Nvidia’s Max-Q technology. The company also demonstrated some of the impressive capabilities of its integrated APU graphics in its new Ryzen 6000 chips.
Meanwhile, Intel announced the soft launch of its first Arc Graphics. These are Intel’s first discrete GPUs for demanding gaming and creative applications. While there are a lot of question marks surrounding the Intel Arc, apparently more than 50 PCs will launch with the new graphics, including both desktops and laptops. It’s a good start for a new player in the discrete GPU space.
But whether the laptop you buy goes for one of the underdogs or the safe bet of Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti, there are more graphics options than ever.