Everywhere around us, there is chaos and disorder. Political instability, economic crises that last decades, nuclear saber rattling… the future is all bleak entropy! But one time a year, we can all escape the unhappy news cycle by replacing it with a weeklong-dose of ambitious futurism and unabashed tech optimism, courtesy of CES. We undertake our annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas because we love to see things improve — nothing improves faster or more reliably than personal electronics — but I’m sad to say that not every company that comes here is doing its utmost to push things forward. And it’s kind of our fault.
My favorite category of technology, gaming hardware, seems like a one-note record repeating itself for over a decade. More LED lighting, more of that wannabe Lamborghini aesthetic, and more of the Tron-like typography that should have gone out of style last century. CES 2017 was a great opportunity to disrupt this self-satisfied market, as the giants that are Lenovo and Samsung launched dedicated sub-brands for gaming PCs, starting off with big and powerful gaming laptops under the Lenovo Legion and Samsung Odyssey banners. But what they didn’t do was innovate. At all.
First of all, take a moment to soak up all the fake accoutrements on each machine. If you’re thinking all the red stuff above the Lenovo Legion keyboard is a speaker array, part of a cooling system, or something else functional, it is not. It’s just stuff. And somebody please explain to me why Samsung built this ridiculous…
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