PC gaming takes center stage at CES 2022

The PC is hip again! Perhaps this is an exaggeration, but the personal computer has become an essential tool that has successfully navigated many people through the COVID-19 pandemic. And while iPad sales also increased in 2021, they are still lower than the peak sales of 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, shipments of PC units during 2021 reached 348.8 million units, up 14.8% from 2020, and surpassed 2012 shipments. , according to IDC.

Games led a large part of the PC revival. An indication of how important gaming is is the latest tech mega deal. On January 18, Microsoft said it would pay $69 billion in cash to video game developer Activision Blizzard. It’s the largest acquisition ever made in the video game industry and the largest ever by Microsoft, more than twice the size of the company’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. With 3.2 billion gamers in 2021 (Statista), gaming is a global market Huge and Microsoft wants more of it.

This year’s CES saw more than 100 new PC and gaming-related announcements including new PC processors and new GPUs from AMD, Intel and Nvidia.

Here are some gaming and non-gaming PCs that I found most interesting at CES 2022.

The most interesting laptops from CES 2022

The Dell XPS 13 is one of the most perennial favorites for powerful and portable laptops. This year’s edition, called the XPS 13 Plus, didn’t disappoint with a more radical and elegant design that looked like it came from Apple. It has an edge-to-edge keyboard and a hidden touch surface under the keyboard for the trackpad. In a classic Apple design move, Dell has removed the headphone jack to keep the body slimmer.

Every major laptop maker has embraced gaming laptops, often with discrete graphics options. In addition to the Envy brand, HP has also added a compact gaming PC called the Victus 15L Desktop for the entry-level market. Last year, HP, Inc. HyperX gaming peripheral manufacturer to expand its gaming offerings. My personal gaming keyboard is HyperX (even before HP bought the brand).

This year LG entered the gaming world with a slim design that features a 17-inch screen. The LG UltraGear 17G90Q (the name only hardware sellers love) offers a 17.3-inch screen with a 1ms response time, an amazing 300Hz refresh rate and a two-way speaker system with directional location and sound for more immersive gaming without headphones.

Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus line has offered secondary screens in the past, but the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 takes a different and perhaps more useful approach: an 8-inch touchscreen next to the keyboard.

Lenovo envisions a second monitor that will come in handy for a variety of use cases from being a simple app launcher to a handy calculator. It’s also useful for taking notes with the included Lenovo Pen. ThinkBook Plus has a large 17-inch, 16:10 display with a wider base.

This year we’ve seen computers with foldable screens, following Microsoft’s concepts, and foldable phones from Samsung, Oppo and Huawei.

Asus is best known for its line of Duo laptops with a variety of dual-screen setups, and now with the latest ZenBook 17 Fold OLED, the company is building a laptop that’s just one big screen! ZenBook Fold has a 17.3-inch Dolby Vision-compatible OLED display that when folded offers a more traditional 12.5-inch 3:2 (1920 x 1,280) display. It supports touch input, but Asus will also include a full-size keyboard and trackpad extension. The ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard can be placed at the bottom of the screen or used separately as a wireless keyboard. The Zenbook 17 Fold will come with 12th generation Intel Core i7 U-Series processors and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

Extreme concepts come to CES

There are two major trade fairs for computers – CES and Computex. Computex is held during the hot, humid summer in Taipei, Taiwan, close to most PC ecosystems, including OEMs, ODMs, and suppliers. Computex is a more practical trade fair where you can see what can be built. At CES, vendors often show what can be built. Thus, you often see computers with an interesting concept in this show. In 2020, Dell showed a concept for a computer that could become a portable game console. Dell never built the project, but others have drawn inspiration from such ideas, such as the Valve Steam Deck.

One of the more interesting concepts this year was from Razer called Project Sophia – a glass-topped desk with a built-in gaming PC and a massive screen that pairs well with a desk. No self-respecting player would use a glass keyboard due to the lack of tactile feedback. It’s all powered by a dedicated system board with the latest Intel processor and Nvidia GPU to support performance-intensive tasks. To maximize desk space, all computer components are housed in a thin chassis that magnetically attaches under the glass table top. It can be easily detached to install new upgrades.

I’ve seen glass-covered desks at Computex incorporated into water-cooled gaming PCs. But the Razer concept takes the idea a step further with modular construction, under-glass displays, and a matching full-length screen.

Most of the products announced at CES will ship sometime in the first or second quarter of 2022. PC gaming has never been better off from a hardware technology perspective. There is still an ongoing shortage of products, especially in graphics cards, which has led to some price gouging. We hope that the new products holding the newer process will help alleviate the shortage.

Tirias Research tracks and consults companies across the electronics ecosystem from semiconductors to systems and sensors to the cloud. Members of the Teriyas research team have consulted with AMD, Dell, HP, Intel, Nvidia, and other companies across their PC ecosystems.