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2020 saw many of us leaving the office and transitioning to a work-from-home set-up. This has lead to a shift in what most consumers need in a computer. So our predictions about CES 2021 will be about current needs during the pandemic.

Previously the difference between a standard ‘office-based’ work computer and a ‘home-based’ personal computer was pretty big but with the pandemic, there has been a shift of perspective. We now need our at-home devices to be able to serve multiple purposes. It used to be that if you wanted a business-ready PC you bought one and if you wanted a gaming set-up likewise. But as Dan Ackerman recently put it in his article for cnet, the lines between are well and truly beginning to blur.

Granted no one saw the rapid work from home shift coming, it couldn’t be predicted by any sort of market trend and most laptops or desktop computers have a long development cycle. Manufacturers can be forgiven for not being able to pull the perfect device for the job out of thin air. But they are currently looking at developing products that will fill the needs of our unpredictable new world. Likewise they are pushing anything they already have that is capable for the tasks. So we can likely expect to see more ‘business laptops’ at the CES 2021 (Consumer Electronics Show 2021).

Business over leisure

In CES 2020 there were many experimental designs, prototypes, and new gaming PCs presented. All of the new products had a fun consumer focus. This year, it’ll be a bit dourer. 

In place of cutting-edge first-gen folding screens and impressive gaming rigs, the focus will likely be on laptops. Webcam functionality and microphones as well as security will be a key concern since much of the world is now operating via video conferencing. This is what basically your company IT department would be looking for in a new work laptop. Even though these things are not as flashy, they are a necessity for a lot of people at the moment.

Last year we’ve all learned that most of the laptops have really bad cameras when spending countless hours on Zoom calls. That’s why this part of our personal computers has instantly become so crucial. So, in 2021 we can expect them to be pushing models with the software and hardware for better camera imagery. Physical webcam shutters that have already begun to rise in popularity will continue to do so.

It is doubtful that we will see laptops sporting 5G antennas as the innovative highlight this year as some were expecting with the shift to 5G. The main reason for the tech lep being installed in portable devices was for better connections when traveling outside of the home. With so many of us now not having to commute, high-end business systems will probably be given the limelight instead.

As you can see the pandemic is the main ousher of progress right now. On CES 2021 a lot of gadgets and digital solutions suppose to close real flaws that appeared during the previous year.

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