From the slimmest laptop in the world to a self-propelling carry-on that will follow you around the airport like a puppy dog, there were many new innovations unveiled at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that are perfectly suited for business travelers. Below is a curated list of gadgets featured at the prominent technology trade show you’ll want to keep your eyes out for this year.
How thin can you go?
Acer claims its updated Swift 7 is the thinnest laptop in the world, measuring just .35 inches (8.98 millimeters) thick. But don’t judge this laptop by its size. With 8GB of RAM, a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, all-day battery life and a personal, trusted 4G LTE connection that can eliminate connectivity problems on the road, it packs a lot of power. It will be available in March 2018.
The smart laptop
Another lightweight and easy-to-transport choice: ASUS’s ZenBook. What makes this laptop, which should be coming out in the next few months, stand out is that it supports Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, allowing you to use your own voice to control the device.
Just be sure that if you’re staying in a smart hotel room where an Amazon Echo device is installed, disable one or the other. Otherwise, you’ll be hearing Alexa’s monotonic voice replying to your commands two times, which quickly can become irritating.
Binge-watching on the go
When CNET reviewed the first smartphone ever made by Razer in December 2017, it was impressed with how deep the screen’s blacks could go — ideal for nighttime reading on a plane. At CES, however, it discovered why the screen can get so dim: The Android device actually was designed to play Netflix in high dynamic range (HDR), the first phone to do so. It also has Dolby 5.1 surround sound, making it the perfect travel companion when killing time during your flight or at the airport.
Working double duty
Another interesting reveal from Razer: A prototype it calls Project Linda, an ultraportable laptop that is powered off of the Razer phone instead of a traditional Intel-based system.
The laptop half has a 3.3-inch (83.82 millimeters) Quad HD touchscreen screen, a backlit keyboard and a large, empty dock that is exactly the right size to drop in a Razer phone. When the phone is placed in the slot, it serves as an intelligent touchpad. Take a quick look here to see how it all works. Expected to make a September 2018 debut, this two-in-one solution is a great way for travelers to lighten their load.
Listen to this
Bang and Olufsen’s new Beoplay H9i and H8i noise-canceling headphones, which will be available to the public later this year, features 18 hours of playtime and a USB-C for charging. But what makes this an attractive purchase for travelers: The upgraded noise-canceling technology has been improved to specifically eliminate human voices and also includes a “transparency” mode that lets you amplify your surroundings, so you can hear what’s going on around you when you wish.
Translation: You can tune out the annoying conversation of your seatmates on the plane but will be able to hear just fine when the flight attendant is taking your drink order.
Headphones not required
Now if you aren’t the type who likes to rock the oversized headphone look and find earbuds uncomfortable, Samsung may have just the solution. Its portable S-Ray (short for Sound-Ray) neckband beams sound straight into your ears so you can listen to your devices without disturbing those around you.
The technology certainly is impressive, but according to reviews, right now the sound quality isn’t the best. Hopefully, that will be worked out if and when the prototype becomes available to the public.
Right at your heels
Travel is stressful enough without always having to keep an eye out on where your luggage is.
Enter CX-1, a self-driving suitcase from ForwardX with an unknown release date.
This hands-free, autonomous carry-on, which features smart navigation, anti-theft systems and facial navigation, can follow you at a max speed of 7 miles (11 kilometers) per hour.
With the aid of a built-in camera, the CX-1 tracks your movements and can keep up with you anywhere you go. If the camera somehow loses sight of you, the suitcase can find where you are through the accompanying smart wristband you’ll be wearing.
And the best part is? Because the built-in mobile charger is detachable and can be stowed in the carry-on, it complies with TSA and carrier regulations — unlike all those other smart suitcases with non-removable lithium-ion batteries that have been banned by some airlines.