Refrigerators, Robots, and the Rest of the Best Gadgets at CES So Far

Even if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of robots taking your job or dominating the human race forever, you’d probably like a robot to help get the bags outside. LG’s three new robots do just that: one’s made specifically to carry your groceries (and speed up checkout), while another exists only to carry your luggage to your hotel room. A third does food delivery. All are unlikely to show up in your home anytime soon—which might be a good thing, given how poorly things went when LG tried to demo its in-home Cloi robot assistant. These are simple robots for simple (but arduous) tasks. And you don’t even have to tip.

Sneer all you want at the tech industry’s obsession with ultra-connected fridges (seriously, do it—we applaud you) but there’s apparently no stopping this train. LG’s newest model has a 29-inch touchscreen on the right door, which can provide recipes for whatever’s in your fridge or access Alexa to answer all your questions about tablespoons and cups. Tap twice on that screen, though, and it turns transparent so you can see what’s inside the fridge without having to open it. There’s a lot of other wacky stuff LG offers, like the ability to add expiration dates to food as you add it to the fridge so it can let you know what’s about to go bad. But mostly, this thing exists to help you make shopping lists, and to let you check from the grocery store to see if the milk is gone. Which has to count for something.

Yuneec’s first racing drone is nimble and zippy, as you’d expect from a remote-controlled flyer made to whip around obstacles and across the finish line before everyone else. It also has a neat “Flip-Up” feature, which automatically gets the drone facing right-side-up and back in the air after you inevitably crash it. The HD Racer goes on sale at the end of this year for only $180. Not bad!

It takes one helluva soundbar to make the list of our favorite CES items, and Sony’s new Z9F fits the bill. Sony says it’s the “world’s first 3.1 channel Dolby Atmos” soundbar with a “Vertical Surround Engine.” Those are catchy taglines and buzzwords, but what they really mean is that it’s a soundbar that can fill a room with impressive surround sound, and can project upward without having speakers directed toward the ceiling. In a short demo, it impressed us with its ability to project. It also has DTS:X, Bluetooth, and Chromecast support, which will connect it pretty nicely to a Google Home network. The only downside? It will cost $900 when it hits shelves later this spring.

Do you hate big, clunky gaming desktops? The new Intel Hades Canyon is what you’ve been waiting for. Featuring a powerful quad-core Intel processor wedded to VR-ready AMD Radeon graphics, this hardcover book-sized computer is VR ready and even overclockble. Starting at $800, it’s sold as a kit, so you’ll have to supply RAM, an SSD, and the OS of your choice to get it up and running. C’mon—it’s got an illuminated skull on it. It’s gonna be awesome.

In one hand, your laptop sleeve. In the other, an external laptop battery. (In this scenario, you’re perpetually on the go in a world devoid of outlets.) Why not, Incase asks with its IconConnected Power Sleeve, combine them? And what a simple, brilliant proposition that is! The glorious mash-up comes in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, and includes both USB-C and plain ol’ USB ports for your juicing needs. You can’t charge your laptop when it’s actually in the sleeve, but that’s a very gentle knock against a hybrid that we shouldn’t have had to live this long without.

The Kiyola looks like a vintage wooden piano, but it’s actually a contemporary wooden piano, and fully electronic. It was built by digital instrument-maker Roland in partnership with Japanese furniture design house Karimoku. The case is ethically sourced oak shaped into tight, classic lines; inside is a Roland modeling keyboard with velocity-sensitive keys and an array of speakers. So fetching is the mid-century aesthetic, the MoMA Design Store picked it up and will be selling it in the US starting in a few weeks.

The same folks who brought you the PicoBrew now bring you the PicoStill. Yes, Isaac Newton, it’s a still. Pico says homebrewers can use it to make their own hop oils to enhance the flavor and bouquet of their beers. Those who are, umm, “licensed and properly permitted” can use it to make actual booze. It’s a vacuum still with a copper column and a glass distilling chamber and temperature controls and a custom methanol collection chamber and yadda yadda yadda it MAKES BOOZE, people. $349, discounted preorders happening now.

Less than five years after a Kickstarter launched Peloton bikes—and the streaming spin classes that have undergirded their success—into homes across the US, the start-up has returned with its next act. The $4,000 Tread hopes to replicate the things that made the original Peloton such a smash; high quality hardware, combined with best-in-class group training over the internet. Whether running classes can attract the same devotion, especially at that price point, will be Peloton’s next big challenge. But based on its current trajectory, they’re likely not sweating it.

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