Right here at Evaluate Geek, we’re able to say goodbye to 2020 and by no means look again. We’re much more excited to consider 2021 and the entire fantastic devices and technological advances it undoubtedly has in retailer for us. In actual fact, we bought the crew collectively this week to debate the upcoming tech we’re hoping to see subsequent 12 months.
A few of us have excessive hopes for particular merchandise and types and can be thrilled to see a brand new, extra highly effective model of a product we already know and love. Others are extra centered on extra normal elements of know-how and are hoping to see what else may very well be performed with a specific thought or gadget.
Both method, we’re excited to see what 2021 has in retailer for us. Let’s dig in and see the upcoming tech that’s on everybody’s minds.
Cam Summerson, Editor in Chief: Nothing (and All the pieces)
After we began speaking about penning this piece, I struggled to give you one thing that I’m enthusiastic about for 2021. Over per week later, and I’m nonetheless kind of at a loss.
However that’s not as a result of there’s nothing to be enthusiastic about—it’s that I feel we’re at a extremely good place with know-how proper now. Good residence tech has gotten extra accessible and extra highly effective. Smartphones are higher than ever. In only one brief 12 months, I’ve seen the true wi-fi earbud market fully remodel—there are actually nice choices on the market at each value level. Subsequent gen console gaming is now. M1 Macs are already obtainable. Regardless of being a principally not nice 12 months in most methods, 2020 has been 12 months for tech.
In order that places me in a precarious place. Certain, I’m enthusiastic about new tech for 2021—there’s all the time one thing to be enthusiastic about, in any case—however I can’t consider something particularly. I joined my colleague Michael in a name for a Chromebook Duet 2 as a result of that was my favorite product of 2020. I’m trying ahead to seeing what Jabra does with the Elite line as a result of the 85t are the perfect wi-fi earbuds available on the market proper now. However these are each merchandise that I’d be fully advantageous with in the event that they didn’t have successors in 2021 (which is unlikely, particularly for Jabra).
So what am I excited for? Nothing particularly, and all the things basically.
Josh Hendrickson, Information Lead: Floor Duo 2 (Plus Plugs and Pinball)
Because the Information Lead at Evaluate Geek, I’m all the time scouring for the subsequent massive tech factor to write down up. And Cam’s proper; in some methods, there’s not lots coming simply this minute. We’ll see extra at CES, however for proper now, my listing is small. There are a couple of certainties.
I’m trying ahead to the Wyze Outdoor Plug as a result of it’s an extremely inexpensive out of doors sensible plug from a widely known firm. I can’t await Arcade1Up’s pinball machine either, which is able to come sometime in some unspecified time in the future.
However one factor tops all the remaining, and I do know completely nothing about it—the Floor Duo 2. I don’t even know if that’s the title. For a sizzling minute, I owned the $1,300 Surface Duo. I spent my chilly onerous money as a result of I believed within the imaginative and prescient. And yeah, I knew there would be compromises, however I accepted them. After I lastly bought the Duo in my hand and turned it on, it made a terrible first impression. Nevertheless it gained me over. Right here’s the factor: it’s not an incredible cellphone. It’s a fantastic desktop in my pocket. I bought extra work performed due to its twin screens, and scouring the information on the go was simpler than ever.
Then the USB-C port broke. Or somewhat, the plastic housing round it snapped off. It wasn’t fairly, and it wasn’t acceptable for a $1,300 cellphone. It simply looks as if Microsoft tried to go too skinny. And that need for a slim profile led to too many compromises: no NFC, no wi-fi charging, no water resistance, a horrible digicam. However the straw that broke the camel’s again was the literal plastic case breaking into items from simply plugging my cellphone in to cost. So I returned my Floor Duo.
Regardless of these issues, I miss it on a regular basis. I nonetheless imagine in Microsoft’s imaginative and prescient for a pocketable multitasking powerhouse. I don’t know that Microsoft will give you a second Floor Duo this 12 months. However that’s how the corporate normally works. And I’m already saving as much as give it a second go-’spherical after I can.
Michael Crider, Evaluations Editor: A 2nd-Gen Lenovo Chromebook Duet
In 2021, I’d wish to see a second-generation Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The Duet from final 12 months is nice, a near-perfect little pill laptop. However there are a couple of tweaks I’d made to vary it into a good higher one, albeit with a barely larger finances. Initially: lengthen it to a 4:3 or 3:2 side ratio, extra just like the Floor Go, to make it extra comfy as a pill when utilizing it and not using a keyboard.
And talking of the keyboard, make that a bit higher, too—the floppy board on the unique is its low level. One thing nearer to the magnetic keyboard seen on the ThinkPad Fold or the outdated Pixel C pill can be best. I’d add a fingerprint unlock (since Chrome OS doesn’t have face scanning but), and perhaps bump up the display screen measurement only a tad.
Lastly, I’d repair no matter drawback stored the monitor output on the USB-C port locked to 1440×900—any fashionable machine wants at the least 1080p assist. And I’d wish to match below a $400 price ticket, giving Lenovo sufficient additional finances to bump up these supplies and inner elements.
Andrew Heinzman, Employees Author: Cheap Wi-fi Headphones and Earbuds
Whereas there aren’t any particular merchandise that I wish to see in 2021, I’m enthusiastic about the way forward for low-cost wi-fi headphones and earbuds. A few of the headphones I’ve examined in 2020, just like the TaoTronics TT-BH085 headphones and the Aukey EP-N5 earbuds (which I’m writing a overview for now) handle pack first rate audio high quality, efficient ANC, and incredible battery life all for below $100. It’s good to know that the typical particular person can get a “premium” pair of headphones with out breaking the financial institution, and it makes Christmas procuring a bit simpler too.
That mentioned, I don’t count on producers to enhance the audio high quality of their low-cost wi-fi headphones and earbuds. We’ll see enhancements in ANC and battery life, that are the quality-of-life options that common folks care about, however individuals who wish to get the perfect sound for his or her greenback are higher off shopping for bare-bones wired headphones.
Suzanne Humphries, Freelance Author: The Chipset Wars
So far as I can inform, probably the most thrilling factor in 2021 would be the chipset wars which can be coming. Apple has already proven off the spectacular potential of first-party chipsets with their M1 MacBooks. And judging by the development of mentioned MacBooks, there’s solely extra hidden potential positive to come back, with the potential for higher cooling, RAM, and optimized software program.
AMD has additionally been persistently placing Intel to disgrace just lately, and 2021 appears to be a 12 months we see competitors throughout the gaming laptop computer market explode, powered by AMDs Zen 3 CPUs and the NVIDIA 3000 sequence GPUs. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 confirmed what was potential with these AMD CPUs within the driver’s seat, and constructing on that basis guarantees to deliver a few new stage of transportable powerhouse laptops.
On the cellular aspect, Samsung is predicted to point out off a brand new Exynos system on a chip (SoC) in January. This might transfer the Galaxy line away from Qualcomm chips and probably pave the way in which for extra highly effective foldable units that Samsung appears to be closely investing in as the way forward for cellular.
In the meantime, Google is rumored to be engaged on a primary occasion chip to energy their Pixel line, and I for one am crossing my fingers that the rumors are true. I’ve solely owned Pixel smartphones since they had been first launched, so it’s thrilling to suppose that 2021 will seemingly be the 12 months we see Google actually begin to compete as a flagship cellphone maker.
Lastly, Intel and Qualcomm have been comfortably dominant because the go-to chip makers for years, and even when solely half of the rumors and guarantees are true, it nonetheless signifies that the giants have severe competitors and that solely spells luck for the buyer. Cheers to the 12 months of latest chips!
Eric Schoon, Freelance Author: Upgrading to the GMMK Professional
The GMMK Pro is a keyboard that’s first of its sort, because it brings most of the premium options the mechanical keyboard group has been used to for years now to a bigger market. You see, most high-end mechanical keyboards are bought by way of group buys—a crowdfunding system that works equally to one thing like Kickstarter. The inventory is all the time restricted, and with how a lot the group is rising, that’s solely turning into a bigger drawback. However the GMMK Professional goes to be stored in inventory constantly, so selecting it up as soon as it’s totally launched gained’t be a problem.
And on high of that, the GMMK Professional is nearly my best keyboard; the 75% format is compact but purposeful, it’s produced from high quality supplies, the software program appears good, and, most significantly to me, it’s hotswappable, so no soldering required in the case of changing switches. I’ve been searching for a keyboard with that particular mixture of options since I bought into mechanical keyboards, and the GMMK Professional appears to be the answer I’ve been searching for. I’m positively planning on upgrading to it subsequent 12 months.
Not solely does the GMMK Professional appear to be an incredible keyboard itself, however its mere existence is a optimistic signal for the market of mechanical keyboards. Because the pastime turns into increasingly standard, market-available choices just like the GMMK Professional are a necessity. And whereas the Professional is the primary of its sort, I’ve a tough time believing it is going to be the final. I feel by the tip of the 12 months, we can have seen extra firms supply related keyboards, which might solely be factor for shoppers.
Peter Cao, Freelance Author: Apple Silicon and Excessive-Finish Wi-fi Headphones
As a longtime Mac consumer, the most important factor I’m trying ahead to in 2021 is extra Mac computer systems switching to Apple Silicon. We’ve already seen what the corporate can do with its M1 chips on the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and the 13-inch MacBook Professional. All three merchandise have insane efficiency with out sipping a ton of battery. Personally, I simply need a near-silent 16-inch MacBook Professional with insane battery life and related efficiency to the M1 chip.
Reverse from my colleague Andrew, I’m excited to see extra high-end wi-fi headphones and earbuds come to market. Headphones such because the Drop + THX Panda show you could present nice high-end wi-fi headphones with out compromising on sound high quality.
On the opposite finish of the spectrum, I’m hoping that lively noise-canceling (ANC) headphones and earbuds proceed to push technological boundaries. Earbuds such because the Jabra Elite 85t and headphones such because the just-announced AirPods Max present hope you could have glorious ANC with actually nice sound.
That mentioned, I’m hoping that nice headphones and earbuds proceed to come back down in value. As an audiophile, I need extra folks to expertise higher sound with out having to interrupt the financial institution.
A Remaining Phrase…
Effectively there you may have it. From premium headphones and chipsets to pinball machines and foldable cellular units, we’ve all bought tons of devices and goodies to look ahead to in 2021. Hopefully, there’s some tech you’re trying ahead to seeing subsequent 12 months, as properly.