Presenting the Matridox Best of CES 2022 Awards

Highlighting 10 of the coolest gadgets and innovations shown off at this year's Consumer Electronics Show!

Another CES has officially come and gone, and this year’s show was officially one of the most unique. While the Consumer Electronics Show made its return to Las Vegas after being forced to shut down last year due to COVID-19, various companies and media outlets pulled out of this year’s event due to a rise in coronavirus cases driven by the Omicron variant.

This led to many journalists and curious spectators alike to rely on virtual presentations and demos to explore everything CES 2022 had to offer. Meanwhile, those who did physically go the CES in Vegas were greeted by virtually empty demo areas and exhibits. I enjoyed reading Input’s piece on the state of the show floor with its photo gallery detailing just how vacant everything felt.

Nevertheless, the show went on, and we got tons of cool tech to marvel at. Over the past few days, I’ve combed through the best of the best to see which devices and innovations are worthy of one of the most-coveted Matridox Best of CES 2022 awards. After much deliberation, I’ve made my decisions.

Without further a do, presenting this year’s Best of CES awards!

Best Car: Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz was one of the first companies to unveil a concept car at this year’s CES, and its Vision EQXX certainly made an impression, earning my Best Car award.

What makes this car so interesting is its range. It’s an EV (because obviously) that can travel up to 648 miles (or 1,000 kilometers) on a full charge. Mercedes achieves this by maximizing the efficiency of the vehicle by reducing its weight, going easy in the horsepower department, and building 117 solar cells into the body of the vehicle.

Using the cells, Mercedes says the Vision EQXX can gain an extra 15 miles (or 25 km) during a long road trip in a day. This could come in handy if you’re close to your destination and need just a few more miles in your tank to get there.

The rest of the car looks such, with a very futuristic aesthetic and extravagant interior featuring a 47.5-inch 8K display mounted to the dashboard. I recommend checking out John McCann’s article on TechRadar if you want more details – he has a ton.

What’s cool is how close Mercedes says it is to including technology in its vehicles. Some of the features on the EQXX are near production-quality, and they could ship in 2024-2025 models. Notably, Mercedes makes it clear the EQXX is nothing more than a concept, but an intriguing one at that.

Best Smart Home Device: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

CES 2022 was full of new smart home gadgets, but a returning favorite that got a 2022 refresh is taking this year’s Best Smart Home Device award: the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra.

That’s quite the name, and it’s pretty fitting for the amount of stuff this little robot is capable of. Not only does it vacuum your floors, but it can also mop up messy areas. The S7 MaxV Ultra is smart enough to map out your house using its built-in sensors so you can tell it specifically which room you’d like it to clean, and this new generation includes an upgraded cleaning system that can tidy up the mopping mechanism during and after cleaning sessions. The device is also better at recognizing different objects to judge where it’s located in your home.

It’s a pricey accessory at $1,399.99 (and it’ll go on sale in Q2 2022), and it seems that it’ll be worth every penny given just how many bells and whistles it comes with.

Best Laptop: Dell XPS 13 Plus

I picked Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus for the Best Laptop award simply because of its looks. This laptop is so different compared to past XPS devices that it was practically begging for me to give it an award.

Dell went with a much more futuristic look with the XPS 13 Plus, invisible trackpad and all. The Function keys were replaced by capacitive touch targets, and the keyboard is much more squared off. It’s a laptop that’ll certainly stand out in a crowd.

Plus, you get the latest and greatest specifications. Dell packs in Intel’s 12th-generation processors, a 13.4-inch 16:10 display with an optional OLED panel, up to 2TB of storage, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and a 55Whr battery.

The new XPS 13 Plus is a looker, and I love a good laptop design, so it’s only fitting that this machine takes this particular award this year.

Best TV: Sony Bravia XR A95K

Making history as the first television to ship using QD-OLED technology, Sony’s Bravia XR A95K is this year’s Best TV award winner.

The TV, available in 65-inch and 55-inch sizes, uses quantum dots to display more vibrant colors than a traditional OLED panel along with improved brightness and image accuracy. It basically takes everything already great about OLED like inky blacks and high contrasts and makes it better.

I’m dying to see what this TV looks like in-person (hence I semi-regret cancelling my trip out to Las Vegas), but if Sony’s pitch is any indication, it’ll look pretty baller once it’s in your living room.

Best Health & Fitness Tech: Withings Body Scan

Withings’ new Body Scan seems like the perfect addition to anyone’s new year’s fitness routine, which is why it’s taking the Best Health & Fitness Tech award at CES 2022.

The new Body Scan isn’t just your typical bathroom scale. Using its retractable handle, it can scan and measure your full body composition and store the information it collects in Withings’ smartwatches, Apple HealthKit, and Google Fit. That way, you can get a more accurate measurement of your body’s fat content, water weight, and more. The scale is also capable of capturing your heart rate, EKGs, and vascular age data.

Its 3.2-inch color LCD display makes information easy to see and read, while the battery inside the scale should last about a year, according to Withings.

Altogether, the scale seems very interesting and a potential game-changer for those who want to keep a closer eye on how healthy they are. It’ll cost $279 and go on sale in the second half of 2022, pending FDA and CE clearance.

Best Wearable Tech: InWith metaverse contacts

It wouldn’t be a 2022 CES awards if I didn’t pick some gadget that interacted with the metaverse, and InWith’s contact lenses are the perfect gadget for that purpose.

According to InWith, its soft and flexible contact lenses include patented computer circuitry that are capable of displaying AR experiences as well as metaverse content without the need for chunky glasses or a headset. The company’s XR Platform will be available to contact lens providers in order to fast-track adoption once the technology is perfected, and InWith says it’ll provide the most discretion possible for those who want to dive into the world of augmented and mixed reality.

While there’s no official word on when anything like this will start shipping, it’s hard to deny just how cool they seem.

Best Gaming Tech: Asus ROG Flow Z13

I love a good 2-in-1 PC, and when Asus took the wraps off the ROG Flow Z13, I instantly considered it for my Best Gaming Tech award. It’s obviously won that award, and for good reason: it’s incredibly interesting.

The ROG Flow Z13 is essentially a Surface Pro 8 but designed specifically for gaming. It’s a 13.4-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard, up to a 12th-generation Intel Core i9, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics, and gobs of I/O. Asus says you can connect the device to an external GPU for even faster performance, and you can configure it with up to a 4K IPS touchscreen if you value screen quality.

I watch reactions pour in on Twitter, with most of them beaming with positivity. It’ll go on sale in the first half of 2022 for an undisclosed price, but to be honest, I feel like gamers won’t be bothered by how much it costs because of just how cool it is.

Best Startup: Counterfake

If you do a lot of online shopping (like many others), you may have found that certain sites try to scam you by selling fake products or listing genuine products and shipping you fake items. A new startup that was featured at CES 2022 called Counterfake is trying to combat this.

Counterfake uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze different businesses’ products 24/7 and keep track of whether they get listed on unapproved sites. If the system detects that a fraudulent version of a product is up for sale, it’ll alert the business owner and give them steps to take the fake ones down.

It’s an ingenious tool, one that will hopefully blossom into a widely-adopted service in order to combat the seemingly out-of-control amount of fake products on the web. Right now, Counterfake says it works with 200 sellers, and that number is likely to grow.

Best Robot: John Deere autonomous tractor

I’m not sure what year I expected to start seeing self-driving tractors, but I don’t think I thought it would be 2022. Yet here we are, with John Deere making a huge splash at CES 2022 with its own fully-autonomous tractor that I’m giving the Best Robot award to.

The tractor seems very interesting, especially with the pitch to farmers being they can stay at home and allow their equipment to do all the work. The company says you can control the entire machine right from your phone, and all that’s involved is plotting out your land with the tractor’s built-in sensors and letting the GPS take over. The tractor is more of an evolution of John Deere’s technologies that it’s had for years, technologies that aren’t as complicated as something like a self-driving car given the somewhat simple navigation of an ordinary tractor.

If the tractor runs into an issue, it’ll alert a tele-operator and turn on its 360-degree cameras so they can get a better look. If it’s a false positive, the tractor can keep moving, but if there’s a real issue, the farmer is alerted and they’re given the option of dismissing it or going to check the issue out in-person. Beyond navigational issues, relocating the tractor, and and refueling, there won’t be much human intervention with one of these robots.

John Deere has a page up on its website with more details for those curious. I also recommend reading Shara Tibken’s CNET article which is chock-full of information.

Best Concept: LG Display Media Chair

This is one of those concepts that you think could be totally real in just a couple of years, but only for the rich and famous.s

Taking the title of Best Concept at CES 2022 is LG Display’s Media Chair. An entertainment center fit for royalty, this enormous chair has a 55-inch curved OLED television mounted in front of it for watching content, while rumbling speakers surround the reclining chair itself. There are also speakers built into the OLED TV thanks to LG’s Cinematic Sound OLED technology. What’s more, the TV can rotate between landscape and portrait orientations with the tap of a button, and the TV will also be in your line of sight since it moves with you as you recline.

Does anyone really need this thing? No, but LG says it’s going to be brought to market in some capacity from a third-party Korean massage chair company who’s licensing the technology. I can only imagine it’ll cost a ton of money regardless of who makes it. Just know that LG won’t be selling Media Chairs on its website anytime soon, but damn is it glorious to gander at.