Throughout the year, those of us in the tech space have the opportunity to see, touch, and test some of the most interesting new products. Much of the time, these products are exciting but iterative. For example, we might get really excited about gaming monitors or new laptops, these products already existed and are marginally better than their predecessors. However, sometimes a new product is so interesting that it stands out in a crowd of products.
This year, Tom's Hardware decided to put together a collection of products that weren't just interesting but were truly innovative. While the full list will be revealed as part of a live stream on April 25, 2022, at 3 PM Eastern, Avram gave us a little look into a few of the winners.
One of the products that are likely to be copied in the next year is the Valve Steam Deck. This handheld computer has entered a product category that has mostly been ignored except by smaller companies that have failed to make a mark. It is a full-powered computer put into a formfactor similar to the Nintendo Switch. This allows gamers to bring a full game, available only on PC, with them on the go. The system runs on the company's own SteamOS, which is a flavor of Linux, but can also run Windows.
The gaming world has taken to the device in a way that has surprised even us. Valve hit a vein of desire within the gaming community that previous devices simply haven't exposed. And, when you live in this space and get to be surprised by the response to a product, it's always a treat. The Steam Deck is already available, and has become top seller by revenue on Steam.
You might be asking yourself, "How could a headset possibly be innovative?" It's a fair question, and Avram explains. It's less about the headset itself and more about the fact that it boasts 300 hours of battery life. Yes, you read that right and there is no typo - 300 hours of battery life. That is literally game changing when it comes to a wireless headset.
Dell isn't generally known for its webcams (we usually look to Logitech and Razer), but the UltraSharp Webcam is truly unique. It's focused on producing the absolute best picture it can, no matter the condition. In the Tom's Hardware review, the camera was able to adjust itself to produce a great picture even against a bright window directly behind the subject. If we have learned anything in the last 2 years, it's the importance of a good camera. Know if you're going to wade into this one, that there is no microphone, so possibly take a look at the HyperX headset, as well.
Again, we can hear your question about the Ryzen 7 5800X 3D CPU. "How is a CPU 3D? It's not displaying anything, right?" That's correct. However, the name comes from the fact that they have changed the internal architecture to not rely on a flat design, but instead stacking components in such a way as to increase L3 cache. A similar technique has been used in server chips, but this is the first time it has been available in a consumer chip. It even has a 9% performance bump over its non-3D counterpart.
When put on the spot, Scott thought about some of the interesting products that he's seen in the past 12 months. LumiLor was one of the brands he came up with. This company makes electroluminescent devices that can enhance items, such as clothing, or can add safety and security to things like bike helmets. What separates these products from others is that they require almost no power, so they can run for long periods of time. He also thought about On2cook, a real-life version of the trivection oven from 30 Rock. This small device uses multiple types of heat in order to cook food quickly while not losing all of the nutritional value of the food.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.