There are a lot of “maybes” and “hope tos” uttered at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), as many of the products demoed there take months or years to launch. And that’s if they even make it to market at all; prototypes, previews, and proofs of concept are running themes at the annual tech convention in Las Vegas. But fortunately for anyone eager to get their hands on the latest gadgets, there are a few exceptions every year.
The best of CES 2024
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of products from CES 2024 that are actually available for purchase or preorder immediately, including innovative wearables, stick-on TVs, and a physical manifestation of AI. Some of them blew us away, while others just weirded us out.
1. Clicks Creator Keyboard Founders Edition
The Y2K revival rages on. Featuring a physical backlit keyboard that supports standard shortcuts (like CMD + A for “Select All”), this unibody case evoking the Sidekicks and Blackberries of yore is Clicks Technology’s debut product. It’s available in “BumbleBee” (yellow) and “London Sky” (gray) for the iPhone 14 Pro, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max.
2. Garmin Lily 2
Garmin’s latest smartwatch is easily its most fashion-forward wearable to date, with a metal case and patterned lenses that act like stylish screensavers when the display is powered off. It comes with sleep monitoring and built-in sport apps, including a new dance fitness activity that can track different dance styles, and it lasts up to five days on a single charge. The standard Lily 2 comes in two colors with silicone bands, while the slightly pricier Lily 2 Classic (which adds support for Garmin Pay contactless payments) comes in four colors with nylon or leather bands.
Apollo Neuro says its new wellness wearable can improve your focus, help you sleep better, and ease your stress with the power of “good vibes” — i.e., by stimulating your vagus nerve (which regulates important bodily functions like heart rate and breathing). It didn’t live up to all of those claims when Mashable tech editor Kim Gedeon tried it for three weeks ahead of CES, though it did have a positive effect on her social anxiety: “It’s similar to how I feel when I’m listening to binaural beats or ASMR,” she wrote. At the time of publication, it was on sale for almost $70 off via Amazon and the Apollo Neuro website.
Starting at $279.99 at Amazon and apolloneuro.com (save $69.01)
4. EVOLVE MVMT
Evolve MVMT’s “first-of-its-kind” ankle wearable aims to make your gait more efficient and joint-friendly by tracking the quality (not quantity) of your steps — more specifically, the way your heel strikes the ground. If you’re a flat-footed person who’s “ever had to pay for expensive orthotics or special footwear, which then has to be replaced every few years, this might be a solid alternative,” wrote tech reporter Cecily Mauran.
In one of the less dystopian examples of “robots are taking over the world,” the Nimble is a new 12-inch manicure robot that uses scanning technology and AI to do your nails in about half an hour. “Since there was high demand to test out Nimble, I was only able to get one nail painted,” Mauran reported from CES. “But within minutes, I got polish and a topcoat, and my nail was fully dry. … Nimble is precise and on par with the pros.” Its polish capsules will be available in 30 colors, and new features — including pedicures — are supposedly in the works.
6. Displace Flex and Displace Mini
They’re not quite as exciting as LG’s new transparent TV, but Displace’s new lightweight, wireless 4K displays are still pretty cool in their own right (and certainly more practical): They have battery-powered suction that allows them to stick onto almost any wall or window — no mounting required. “It’s impossible to pull off unless you actually want to take it off,” said tech reporter Matt Binder, who took part in a demo at CES. Both the 55-inch Flex model and the 27-inch Mini variant are expected to ship out in late 2024.
7. Acer Swift Go 14
The new Acer Swift Go 14 looks like a very average laptop until you pull up YouTube, which triggers a set of light-up media controls on its touchpad — a neat feature for those who use a PC as their primary entertainment device. (Support for other platforms like Twitch and Spotify are expected to be added at launch in March.) The base configuration is powered by a 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, but you can upgrade to a newer Intel Core Ultra 5 CPU.
8. HP Spectre x360 14
HP’s newly refreshed convertible boasts next-gen specs (including an Intel Core Ultra processor with AI tools), a 14-inch OLED touchscreen, and a 9MP webcam. But the real star of the show is its clickety-clackety keyboard, which Gedeon called “the best thing I’ve ever tested.” “I actually contemplated chucking my MacBook Pro out the window for that sweet, sweet typing experience on this irresistible HP laptop,” she wrote.
9. Wacom Cintiq Pro tablets
Available in three sizes (17-, 22-, or 27-inch), Wacom’s stunning and spacious new drawing slates were the best tablets Mashable saw at CES. Each one sports a vivid 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate and customizable ExpressKeys for different settings and functions. They also come with the new Wacom Pro Pen 3, an ergonomic, pressure-sensitive stylus that “allowed me to use natural touch gestures, including rotating, zooming, and panning,” Gedeon said post-demo.
10. Wehead GPT Edition
The Wehead puts a literal (emotionless, disembodied) face to OpenAI’s large-language model GPT via two screens, and it’s as creepy as it sounds. But in its defense, “it gave some practical advice about surviving CES (stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes) so there might be some redeemable qualities — if you’re willing to spend $5,000,” wrote Gedeon and Mauran. If you don’t want to curse yourself to a lifetime with this thing, you’ve also got the option of renting it for $199 per month.
Honorable mention: Skyted Mask
Another CES gadget that toed the fine line between “wowing” and “weirding out,” the Skyted
Muzzle Mask has sound absorption technology that lets you make confidential voice calls when you’re out in public. “[We’re] sure some people who are serious about their privacy may find it to be a must-buy for their lifestyle,” said Gedeon and Mauran. “However, we can’t see ourselves using this product – it’s just too outlandish for our tastes.” Those who fall into the former category can save a serious chunk of cash by backing it on Kickstarter through early February.
Honorable mention: Stern ‘Jaws’ pinball machine
Stern’s faithful pinball adaptation of the 1975 classic includes that awesome John Williams score, some new voiceover lines from Richard Dreyfuss, and a playfield filled with movie references that’s “immensely fun to look at,” said tech and games reporter Alex Perry. Now, for the catch (of the day): It appears to be limited to commercial dealers and distributors, and it starts at a whopping $7,000; you can go all the way up to $13,000 for the limited-edition model with different cosmetics. Maybe just wait for it to show up at your local dive bar.