Right here at Overview Geek, we’re able to say goodbye to 2020 and by no means look again. We’re much more excited to consider 2021 and all the fantastic devices and technological advances it undoubtedly has in retailer for us. In actual fact, we obtained the crew collectively this week to debate the upcoming tech we’re hoping to see subsequent yr.
A few of us have excessive hopes for particular merchandise and types and could 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 features of expertise and are hoping to see what else could possibly be performed with a specific concept or gadget.
Both manner, 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 The whole lot)
After we began speaking about scripting this piece, I struggled to give you one thing that I’m enthusiastic about for 2021. Over every 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 believe we’re at a extremely good place with expertise proper now. Good house tech has gotten extra accessible and extra highly effective. Smartphones are higher than ever. In only one brief yr, I’ve seen the true wi-fi earbud market utterly remodel—there are really nice choices on the market at each value level. Subsequent gen console gaming is now. M1 Macs are already accessible. Regardless of being a principally not nice yr in most methods, 2020 has been a great yr for tech.
In order that places me in a precarious place. Certain, I’m enthusiastic about new tech for 2021—there’s at all times 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 one of the best wi-fi earbuds in the marketplace proper now. However these are each merchandise that I’d be utterly fantastic 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 every little thing generally.
Josh Hendrickson, Information Lead: Floor Duo 2 (Plus Plugs and Pinball)
Because the Information Lead at Overview Geek, I’m at all times scouring for the following 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 checklist is small. There are just a few 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 well known firm. I can’t anticipate 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 arduous money as a result of I believed within the imaginative and prescient. And yeah, I knew there would be compromises, however I accepted them. Once I lastly obtained the Duo in my hand and turned it on, it made a terrible first impression. But it surely received me over. Right here’s the factor: it’s not an ideal cellphone. It’s a fantastic desktop in my pocket. I obtained 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 like 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 digital camera. 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 yr. 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, Critiques Editor: A 2nd-Gen Lenovo Chromebook Duet
In 2021, I’d wish to see a second-generation Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The Duet from final yr is nice, a near-perfect little pill pc. However there are just a few tweaks I’d made to alter it into a good higher one, albeit with a barely greater price range. To begin with: 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 with out a keyboard.
And talking of the keyboard, make that slightly 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 could be very best. I’d add a fingerprint unlock (since Chrome OS doesn’t have face scanning but), and perhaps bump up the display measurement only a tad.
Lastly, I’d repair no matter downside stored the monitor output on the USB-C port locked to 1440×900—any trendy machine wants at the least 1080p assist. And I’d need to match underneath a $400 price ticket, giving Lenovo sufficient further price range to bump up these supplies and inside elements.
Andrew Heinzman, Workers Author: Cheap Wi-fi Headphones and Earbuds
Whereas there aren’t any particular merchandise that I need to see in 2021, I’m enthusiastic about the way forward for low cost wi-fi headphones and earbuds. Among 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 assessment for now) handle pack first rate audio high quality, efficient ANC, and implausible battery life all for underneath $100. It’s good to know that the common particular person can get a “premium” pair of headphones with out breaking the financial institution, and it makes Christmas procuring slightly simpler too.
That stated, I don’t anticipate 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 need to get one of the best 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, essentially 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 stated MacBooks, there’s solely extra hidden potential certain to come back, with the opportunity of higher cooling, RAM, and optimized software program.
AMD has additionally been constantly placing Intel to disgrace not too long ago, and 2021 seems to be to be a yr 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 doable with these AMD CPUs within the driver’s seat, and constructing on that basis guarantees to convey a few new degree of moveable powerhouse laptops.
On the cellular facet, Samsung is predicted to indicate off a brand new Exynos system on a chip (SoC) in January. This might transfer the Galaxy line away from Qualcomm chips and doubtlessly pave the way in which for extra highly effective foldable gadgets 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 celebration 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 have been first launched, so it’s thrilling to suppose that 2021 will seemingly be the yr we see Google really 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 critical competitors and that solely spells luck for the buyer. Cheers to the yr of latest chips!
Eric Schoon, Freelance Author: Upgrading to the GMMK Professional
The GMMK Pro is a keyboard that’s first of its type, because it brings most of the premium options the mechanical keyboard neighborhood has been used to for years now to a bigger market. You see, most high-end mechanical keyboards are offered via group buys—a crowdfunding system that works equally to one thing like Kickstarter. The inventory is at all times restricted, and with how a lot the neighborhood is rising, that’s solely changing into a bigger downside. However the GMMK Professional goes to be stored in inventory constantly, so selecting it up as soon as it’s totally launched received’t be a problem.
And on prime of that, the GMMK Professional is nearly my very best keyboard; the 75% format is compact but purposeful, it’s created from high quality supplies, the software program seems to be 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 obtained into mechanical keyboards, and the GMMK Professional appears to be the answer I’ve been searching for. I’m undoubtedly planning on upgrading to it subsequent yr.
Not solely does the GMMK Professional appear to be an ideal keyboard itself, however its mere existence is a constructive signal for the market of mechanical keyboards. Because the pastime turns into an increasing number of in style, market-available choices just like the GMMK Professional are a necessity. And whereas the Professional is the primary of its type, I’ve a tough time believing it will likely be the final. I believe by the top of the yr, we could have seen extra firms provide related keyboards, which might solely be a great factor for customers.
Peter Cao, Freelance Author: Apple Silicon and Excessive-Finish Wi-fi Headphones
As a longtime Mac consumer, the largest 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 desire 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 which 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 which you could have glorious ANC with really nice sound.
That stated, 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 Ultimate Phrase…
Properly there you have got it. From premium headphones and chipsets to pinball machines and foldable cellular gadgets, we’ve all obtained tons of devices and goodies to look ahead to in 2021. Hopefully, there’s some tech you’re trying ahead to seeing subsequent yr, as nicely.