HyperX drops Alloy Origins 60, its first 60% gaming keyboard – CNET


HyperX Alloy Origins 60 mechanical keyboard

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

After partnering with keyboard maker Ducky on a couple of limited-edition One 2 Mini mechanical gaming keyboards, HyperX is going it alone with its first 60% keyboard, the Alloy Origins 60. Announced for CES 2021, the compact keyboard's layout makes it significantly smaller than HyperX's Alloy Origins Core, its tenkeyless keyboard. The smaller size not only frees up space for mousing but makes it better for travel. 

The keyboard uses the company's homegrown red linear mechanical switches, which I've found to be fast, smooth and responsive. They also have exposed LEDs, which makes them really bright. The Origins 60 comes standard with PBT double-shot keycaps with secondary functions printed on the sides so you don't have to remember where the arrow keys are. Three customer profiles for lighting and key macros can be stored to the keyboard's onboard memory using HyperX's desktop software.

The keyboard will be available in the US direct from HyperX on Feb. 22 for $100. HyperX also announced its Pulsefire Haste ultralight gaming mouse, Cloud II wireless gaming headset and Cloud Revolver gaming headset will now be available globally. They were previously available in the US only. 

A little something for Xbox fans


ChargePlay Duo for Xbox Series X|S. 


If you managed to get your hands on a new Xbox Series X or Series S and are ready to move on from the AA batteries in their controllers, HyperX has a new charging option. The ChargePlay Duo is officially licensed for Xbox and can charge two controllers at once with its quick docking design.

The charging station has a weighted base to keep it from sliding all over when you drop your controllers on it and there are status lights so you know when they're full. The package includes two, 1,400mAH rechargeable battery packs and has additional battery doors to fit on the new console's controllers. 

Look for the ChargePlay Duo on HyperX's online shop in the US for $40.  

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The farm of the future could be hiding inside this shipping container – CNET


The Cube's crops are powered by LED lights.

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

As we head into 2021 facing a number of dire existential threats -- pandemicsand climate change to name a few -- one of humanity's encroaching issues is population rise. 

How on earth (literally) are we going to feed all these people?

Traditional farming methods could be problematic in the long term. It's not just an issue of space but a problem of sustainability. We're currently damaging our environment with current farming techniques -- and eradicating existing species and their habitats to the point where many are calling it the sixth extinction event.

In short, we have some problems to solve. Part of the solution could be found inside this 40-foot refrigerated shipping container.


They call this... The Cube.


They call it The Cube: A modular smart farm, designed to be built in urban spaces in pretty much any configuration you like.

The containers can be stacked vertically or horizontally, with potentially dozens or even hundreds of Cubes fitting together to make one giant farming system, capable of cultivating and growing tonnes of produce. The hope is to bring sustainable, efficient, year round farming to spaces that can't traditionally support agriculture. 

Now playing: Watch this: The future of vertical farming is hiding in this shipping...


"The human populations are growing quite fast," explains Seungsoo Han, the COO at N.thing, "and we need to come up with some kind of very efficient solution that can actually support that fast growing population, also at the same time, we shouldn't actually damage the environment that that population lives in."

At the heart of the Cube farm is an automated operating system known as Cube OS. The system takes in data from sensors inside each farm, measuring readings like humidity, ph levels in the water, temperature, carbon dioxide -- everything that's needed to grow a healthy plant. And each of these variables can be tweaked and optimised, depending on the plants you're growing. 

N.Thing has already partnered with Korea's largest supermarket chain to supply greens and, last year, it rolled out a farm in the United Arab Emirates, where summer temperatures regularly climb over 100. Next, N.Thing plans to expand into other territories like Singapore and Qatar.

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Megalodon babies ate their unhatched siblings in the womb – CNET


Screenshot from Discovery network's "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives" TV show.

Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

The megalodon was one of the most terrifying aquatic predators to ever stalk the Earth's oceans, reaching at least 50 feet (15 meters) in length (yes, the 2018 film takes some liberties on that front). But if you thought that, millions of years after extinction, it had already reached the peak of its capacity to frighten people out of the water, think again. 

According to research, set to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Historical Biology, the megalodon birthed not only the largest shark babies in the world, but they achieved this size (in part) by dabbling in a practice called oophagy -- young sharks ate their undeveloped siblings.

Researchers from Chicago and New Jersey note that megalodon babies, like contemporary lamniform sharks, would most likely feed on unhatched eggs in the womb in order to grow. This certainly resulted in fewer sharks, but the ones that survived this fatal sibling rivalry were huge -- bigger than an adult human.

By using CT scanning techniques, a process that uses multiple X-rays to reconstruct 3D structures, on vertebral fossils housed in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, the team was able to back-calculate the rough length of a Megalodon's body at birth -- with results indicating a length of about 6.6 feet (2 meters).

"As one of the largest carnivores that ever existed on Earth, deciphering such growth parameters of O. megalodon is critical to understand the role large carnivores play in the context of the evolution of marine ecosystems," said Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago and lead author of the study.

Additionally, the study was able to determine the shark grew at an average rate of 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) per year for the first half century of its life, with a growth curve model indicating that the sharks had a life expectancy of 88-100 years.

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Stripe reportedly quits processing payments for Trump campaign website – CNET


Online payment processor Strip is cutting off the president's campaign website.

Angela Lang/CNET

Online payments processor Stripe has stopped processing payments for President Donald Trump's campaign website in the wake of last week's deadly pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The company, which handles online payments for millions of online businesses, is cutting off the Trump campaign due to violations of its policies against encouraging violence, sources told the newspaper. Stripe's terms of service prohibit its service to be used by any "high risk" business that "engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property."

Violence that erupted Wednesday afternoon when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol during the vote to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Twitter and Facebook each suspended Trump's accounts for incendiary comments following the riots.

Trump released a video statement that night telling the rioters to go home but referred to them as "special people" and told them "we love you." 

Neither Stripe no the Trump campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Transparent OLED: See-through TV comes to tomorrow’s beds, restaurants, subways – CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

LG Display, the company that produces the OLED panels used in TVs by LG, Sony, Vizio and others around the world, also demonstrates some of the coolest, most futuristic concept technology at CES. Its private booth is where I first got my mind smoked by an 18-inch roll-up OLED in 2016 and where I experienced the even crazier 65-inch version two years later. It's also where I sniffed OLED flowers and relaxed in an OLED-lined airplane berth.


A diner at a sushi bar browses the options on a 55-inch transparent OLED screen.

LG Display

With CES 2021 going all-virtual I won't get the chance to experience the booth in person this year, but the company's online showroom is the next best thing. Its focus this year is on new transparent OLED screens, which LG has improved to provide 40% transparency, compared to 10% for current generations. Displays you can see through aren't new -- LG has touted them for a while in commercial applications, and earlier this year Xiaomi started selling transparent 55-inch TVs in China for $7,200 a pop. LG, the only transparent OLED manufacturer in the world, supplies those panels but as usual it's not talking about specific products for sale with its latest concepts.

The online showroom will demonstrate the following scenarios, each with a 55-inch transparent OLED screen.

  • Smart bed: Push a button and the transparent OLED screen rises from a frame at the foot of the bed to display TV shows or other information. The screen itself acts as a speaker -- a feature found on some current OLED TVs -- and LG says the frame and its transparent screen can be moved to other areas of the house.
  • Restaurant partition: Shown as part of a sushi bar, the screen between customers and the chef can display menu items or video while people wait for their food, while still allowing viewers to watch the chef at work and maintaining the integrity of a partition. 
  • Subway train window: A window installed on a subway train can display route information, weather, news and maps at the same time as riders look outside at the view.

A 55-inch transparent OLED screen makes an informative subway train window.

LG Display

LG says demand for transparent screens is increasing in smart homes and buildings as well as driverless cars, aircraft and subways. Among the three scenarios in the 2021 virtual showroom the "smart bed" seems the least useful to me, but it's easy to imagine a future where such displays are so cheap and ubiquitous that video or information can appear on any normally transparent surface, from windows to glass coffee tables to eyeglasses. It's not as mind-blowing as a roll-up TV, but it's arguably more practical.

One great thing about virtual CES is that, for the first time, booths that were private in person can be made more widely available. LG says its online showroom will be open to all general visitors during CES 2021.

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CES 2021 continues today. Here’s how to watch CNET’s Day 2 livestream from home – CNET


Kohler's 16,000 Stillness Bath combines light, fog and aromatherapy to create a spa-like experience at home. 

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

After a busy first day with an autonomous car challenge and product reveals from companies like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony, the all-virtual CES 2021 continues on Tuesday. Day 2 brings a focus on gaming, interviews with tech leaders, more commentary from CNET's editors and a deep dive into how 2020 transformed technology at home with CNET's Next Big Thing panel discussion. 

You can watch it all on CNET's livestream. Here's our schedule for Tuesday (all events are listed in Pacific Time). To see it all, go to CNET.com/ces

7:30 a.m. -- Livestream begins! 

7:45 a.m. -- CNET's hosts welcomes you to Day 2 of CES 2021.

8 a.m. -- Watch the CES keynote address with AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

9 a.m. -- Nvidia unveils the latest in gaming and graphics at its press conference.

9:45 a.m. -- Andrew Gebhart hosts a tour of new products from Kohler like a $16,000 bathtub designed to bring you serenity now.

10 a.m. -- Jeff Bakalar will interview Origin PC CEO Kevin Wasielewski.

Now playing: Watch this: Infinity Game Table puts board games on demand


10:30 a.m. -- Bridget Carey talks with Jason Banta, AMD's corporate vice president and general manager.

11:00 a.m. -- Neural input technology sounds like mind reading, but it's already here ... if you're ready to experiment. We discuss the NextMind dev kit Scott Stein's been wearing at home for the last two weeks.

11:30 a.m. -- Bridget will be back with Scott to demonstrate the Infinity Game Table, a tabletop tablet that lets you play digital versions of board games like Monopoly. Scott and Bridget also will interview Scott Bachrach, CEO of Infinity's maker, Arcade1Up.

12 noon -- Catch a replay of Monday's CES keynote address with Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.

1 p.m. -- CNET's Next Big Thing: Will our homes remain our headquarters?

CNET Next Big Thing 2021 panelists

The panelists for CNET's Next Big Thing 2021.


Brian Cooley will look at whether technology can make the case that we keep doing almost everything from home. He'll talk with Jennifer Kent, senior director at Parks Associates; Paul Lee, global head of Research, Tech, Media and Telecoms at Deloitte UK; and Megan Wollerton, senior editor, CNET Home. 

1:30 p.m. -- Sharon Profis, Scott Stein and Vanessa Hand-Orellana discuss what's coming in wellness and health technology in 2021.

2 p.m. -- CNET's CES 2021 Thought Leadership Panel: COVID-19 made us all gamers. What happens next? 

Our sister site Gamespot will debate whether gaming, which boomed in 2020 as people stayed home during the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to grow in 2021. Panelists include NPD Group executive director Mat Piscatella; Innersloth (makers of the hit game Among Us) community director Victoria Tran; and former video game journalist and co-founder/host at Kinda Funny, Greg Miller.

2:30 p.m. -- CNET's Lexy Savvides, Claire Reilly and Ian Sherr recap Day 2 of CES 2021.

3:00 p.m.  -- That's it for today! Join us Wednesday for CES Day 3.

Now playing: Watch this: CES 2021: What to expect as the show goes all-digital


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Samsung’s busy 2021 starts with CES and Galaxy S21 launch – CNET


Samsung may get rid of its Note lineup as it expands its foldables in 2021. 

Angela Lang/CNET

An expanded foldables lineup. More 5G phones. Smarter gadgets. Computers, TVs, home appliances and a host of other devices. Maybe even lower prices. After a crazy 2020, this new year could be one of Samsung's busiest yet. 

To take advantage of the opportunity 2021 brings, the South Korean company needs to be bolder to regain its status as an innovation powerhouse, while also delivering on its promises to make consumers' lives easier. That will start with Samsung's Unpacked event at 7 a.m. PT on Thursday, where it will show off its new Galaxy S2 lineup.

Already, the company's head of mobile has given a glimpse of what Samsung has in store. Tae-moon Roh, Samsung president and head of mobile communications, said in a mid-December blog post that his company will expand its foldables lineup and make the devices more "accessible," likely a polite way to say cheaper. It also will put more emphasis on camera and video capabilities and bring features from its Galaxy Note devices, like S Pen support, to its upcoming Galaxy S21. 

Now playing: Watch this: Galaxy Note 20 vs. Ultra: Which should you buy?


"We have never believed in a one-size-fits-all mobile experience, and we never will," Roh said in the blog post. He added that Samsung is working on "revolutionary advancements" in 5G, artificial intelligence and the internet of things to reset the boundaries of what mobile can do and to let consumers "tailor their mobile experiences to fit their lives -- not the other way around." 

If those topics sound familiar,  it's because Samsung largely targeted the same areas in 2020. Samsung was one of the first companies to dive into 5G and foldables, though those bets haven't yet paid off. There aren't enough compelling reasons for consumers to need one of the 20 5G phones Samsung has introduced, and its foldables are too expensive to sell in high numbers. Despite the millions Samsung's sunk into AI, its devices aren't much better at talking to each other or interacting with their owners. And though the coronavirus pandemic created the opportunity to put the smart home at the center of everyone's life, Samsung has been slower than Google and Amazon to make the internet of things a reality. Even with four Unpacked mobile events -- Samsung's flashy product showcases -- the company wasn't top of mind for most consumers in 2020. 

"Samsung was just forgotten for a lot of the time," Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said. "It lost a little bit of that cool factor it used to have." 

In some ways, not being top of mind was good. Samsung didn't have the problems of Huawei, which faces US sanctions and may soon run out of components for its phones, or the struggles of competing Chinese vendors dealing with the US trade war. Samsung was never called to testify before the US Congress, no phones exploded, it wasn't the victim of a major hack, and it wasn't criticized for failing to contain the spread of misinformation.

Still, Samsung's lineup hasn't created the buzz that tech products like Apple's new 5G-enabled iPhone 12 devices have managed to generate. On Jan. 7, the company said its fourth-quarter results aren't as strong as some Wall Street analysts expected. It earlier had warned that the fourth quarter would be weaker than the third as server customers bought fewer memory chips and as said tougher smartphone competition would hurt its results.

In 2021, Samsung will have to find a way to capture attention in a world that won't look like the one when 2020 began. Samsung will get its first chance with an earlier-than-normal Unpacked event. 

A whole new world

Like its competition, Samsung is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and the impact that's having on consumers. When COVID-19 first started spreading, worries about the illness caused a dramatic slowdown in phone purchases as people around the globe decided the device they had was good enough. Demand eventually recovered as new 5G phones began to hit the market, but not soon enough to boost Samsung's Galaxy S20 sales. Computers and TVs have been hot items with people stuck at home, and appliances are purchases consumers can put off only so long. Samsung has benefited from surging demand for all of those products.

Samsung has shifted strategy in response to what's happening. It sped up the development and release of its Galaxy S20 FE, which, at $700, is a cheaper addition to its flagship phone lineup. It also tweaked the sales strategy for devices like the Galaxy Note 20. And it's benefited from its less expensive Galaxy A Series, which it's likely to expand this year.

In 2021, Samsung plans to expand the lineup of devices crucial to its future, specifically foldables. It will possibly kill off those that don't fit with its vision, like the Note family. The first glimpses of Samsung's plans for mobile in 2021 will come at Unpacked.

Samsung is expected to launch three new Galaxy S devices at Thursday's event. The new S21 models will likely be the 6.2-inch S21, the 6.7-inch S21 Plus and the 6.8-inch S21 Ultra. The devices are expected to look largely the same but have bigger camera modules, boosting their photo and video capabilities. Overall, those devices aren't expected to be major overhauls from their predecessors.

Unpacked could also mark Samsung's expansion into new areas, including Tile-like smart trackers. 

Samsung likely won't shake up pricing for the Galaxy S lineup. But it could make bigger changes with its other devices, including its foldables. 

Hello foldables, goodbye Note?

Like most tech companies, Samsung has struggled to sell its pricey smartphones during the pandemic. While Samsung was one of the first companies to release a phone with 5G, Huawei quickly surpassed it in shipments. The Chinese handset maker became the biggest smartphone vendor in the world in the second quarter, the first time in nine years that Samsung or Apple hadn't held the title. 

Samsung will try to claw back ground, and US sanctions against Huawei will help it do so. Samsung overall regained ground in the third quarter to again become the top smartphone vendor as Huawei struggled to survive.

The Korean company's 2021 phone lineup may offer more price points, including more affordable foldables. Roh said the company is "expanding [its] portfolio of foldables, so this groundbreaking category is more accessible to everyone." That's almost assuredly code for lower prices, which could help lure consumers to what are currently budget-busting devices. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 retails for $2,000, while the Galaxy Z Flip with 5G costs $1,450. 

Samsung could keep the older generations of its foldables around at lower prices, as well as introduce new and cheaper designs as it tries to help the devices break out of their tiny niche. Still, its rivals, like LG, will move beyond just foldable displays in 2021. LG is expected to show off a phone with a rollable display, similar to its rollable TVs

Samsung will have to make sure it doesn't overwhelm buyers with too many choices. One way it can do that is by trimming its phone lineup. As it expands foldable options, Samsung could also kill off the Galaxy Note. 

"It's hard for Samsung to justify the Galaxy S21 and a Note 21 when they outwardly look very similar," Strategy Analytics analyst Ken Hyers said. "If the market for ulta-premium [phones] is limited and you don't want to crowd it with too many of these products, the Note series seems to be the one that made the most sense to cut."

Samsung's Note has struggled to stand out for the past several years. When the big-screen devices debuted in 2011, they created a new category of devices that straddled the line between tablets and smartphones. So-called phablets were first mocked, then copied. Now the phablet category no longer exists, and it's nearly impossible to buy a phone that comes with a small screen. Apple's iPhone SE is one notable exception. 

Along with packing in the biggest display possible, Samsung's Note had two other selling points: it came with an S Pen stylus and featured the highest-end specs possible. When Samsung's first foldable, the Galaxy Fold, debuted in 2019, the Note lineup no longer had the flashiest components or biggest screen. The Note's main differentiator from Samsung's flagship Galaxy S lineup and its Galaxy Z foldables became the stylus. 

In his blog post, Roh noted that Samsung is "excited to add some of [the Note's] most well-loved features to other devices in our lineup." That could be a hint the stylus is coming to the Galaxy S21, removing the last differentiator for the Note. But Samsung also continuously stresses its efforts to give customers plenty of choices, something that could work in the Note's favor.

Smarter gadgets?

In previous years, Samsung has had one of the biggest booths -- and flashiest press conferences -- at CES. In 2020, the buzziest news of the show was a secretive artificial intelligence company created by a Samsung executive, and its Neon "artificial humans" emerged from Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Labs (STAR Labs) before Neon became its own company. Though the technology wasn't included in any Samsung products, Neon made a splash. 

Samsung also had a cute robot, called Ballie, at the show. The idea was for the robot, which looks like a big tennis ball, to serve as a companion that follows its owner around and responds to commands. At CES 2019, Samsung showed off four different types of robots for consumers.


HS Kim, the head of Samsung's electronics business, shows off the Ballie robot at CES 2020. 

James Martin/CNET

Like nearly all major technology companies, Samsung is making a big push in artificial intelligence. The technology, which gives devices some ability to act on their own, is seen as the next big wave of computing -- the way we'll interact with our gadgets in the future. Instead of swiping on our phone screens, we'll talk to our devices or to ever-listening microphones around our homes and offices. The ultimate promise for the AI is to predict what you want before you ask.

Samsung's major push with AI in its devices has revolved around its Bixby voice assistant, which first arrived in 2017's Galaxy S8. The digital assistant has since made its way to smart TVs, refrigerators, washers, air conditioners, speakers and more. Samsung previously aimed to put Bixby voice controls into every device it sells by 2020. But the company hasn't talked much about Bixby over the past year, and the tech is viewed as lagging behind Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Apple's Siri. The Galaxy Home smart speaker Samsung started talking about three years ago hasn't materialized as an actual product

Instead, Samsung appears to have put its AI efforts into features that work behind the scenes, like improved camera technology, or into robots that wow audiences but little else. Ballie was possibly the cutest example of Samsung's AI push, but the company hasn't said anything more about the robot. (Similarly, Neon could have proved popular as people stayed at home during the pandemic but it isn't available for consumers.) Samsung could use its CES 2021 press conference to show off more robots even though it would be better served focusing on how its devices work well together. 

Roh, in his mid-December blog post, said Samsung will have more ahead in AI for mobile in 2021. The company has been "working hard to expand highly advanced on-device AI capabilities within the Galaxy family, enabling our devices to continually learn from daily activities and routines to take better pictures and videos, maximize battery life and storage space, optimize displays and much more," Roh wrote. "We're planning to expand these personalized capabilities to every facet of Galaxy's product portfolio to empower people to be productive and do all the things they enjoy."

Now Samsung has to make its new offering live up to that promise. 

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For CES 2021, Samsung’s new refrigerators embrace the custom aesthetic trend – CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

A term from tailoring, "bespoke" means something that's made for your specific needs -- and that's the pitch with Samsung's Bespoke line of refrigerators, which are set to make a global debut at CES 2021, a virtual, all-digital event this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To fit the bill, the Bespoke refrigerators offer fully modular designs that you can customize to your kitchen's content. Each of the fridge's four doors comes in your choice of finish, material and color -- including unusual options like pink and sky blue. That lets you mix and match to make the fridge that best fits your personal aesthetic. If you want something uniform in classic black or white, great. If you'd prefer a statement fridge with burgundy refrigerator doors and navy blue freezer doors, that's fine, too.

If you want, you can mix and match different colors for each of the different doors on Samsung's Bespoke refrigerators.


All of that borrows a page from the international playbook, as refrigerators in Europe and Asia have long offered options for modular design and lots of color choices. In fact, Samsung first introduced the Bespoke lineup for the European market in 2019, albeit with an even greater number of size and color choices than Americans will see this year. With the line's global expansion, Samsung is making a cautious bet that American consumers are willing to pay a premium for unique, eye-catching fridge designs, too.

As for features, each of the new Bespoke models borrows Samsung's 4-Door Flex design, which splits the appliance into four quadrants. Color-wise, your options for each of the four doors are as follows: navy steel, champagne steel, black matte, white glass, gray glass, beige glass, pink glass, sky blue glass, burgundy glass and navy glass. 

The top two sections serve as the refrigerator and the bottom two serve as the freezer, but you get the option of dialing the bottom right section's temperature up and using it as an extra fridge if you need. That's a high-end feature worth considering, but it isn't new.


The water dispenser is located inside the left refrigerator door, right next to a handy, auto-filling pitcher.


Same goes for the autofilling water pitcher, a feature I loved in premium Samsung fridges from years past. Although it has been done before, Samsung claims that the pitcher is better integrated with the in-door water dispenser in these Bespoke models. There's also a new, deodorizing UV filter for the air inside the fridge, which fits an expected trend of new products incorporating germ-killing ultraviolet light into their designs. Just note that Samsung isn't making any claims about killing germs at this point. That's a contrast with LG, which put a UV sanitizer inside the water dispenser on its newest fridge, with promises of killing up to 99.99% of bacteria.

Meanwhile, the Bespoke freezer's ice maker can switch from standard ice cubes to nugget-style "ice bites" for folks who enjoy drinks with chewable ice. That's a nice upgrade, and honestly, I'm surprised that Samsung beat GE to the punch here, given the popularity of that company's Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

Samsung isn't sharing any specifics on pricing or availability here in January, but it's safe to assume that these fridges won't come cheap once they arrive later this spring. We'll likely learn more about them once CES hits -- if I hear anything else, I'll update this story.

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Experience CES 2021 for yourself with CNET’s livestream. Here’s how to watch – CNET

Jason Hiner/CNET
This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

If you usually spend part of your January following CES to discover what the year will bring in technology and gadgets, don't worry about the 2021 show's all-virtual format. No, the industry isn't flocking to Las Vegas this year, but the show will go on and CNET will still find the most fascinating new products and bring you the most important stories and trends.

To experience CES 2021 for yourself, you only need to watch CNET's livestream. We'll be broadcasting all day on Monday, Jan. 11, when the show opens and getting an achingly early start. Follow along for press conferences, product reveals, a CES keynote presentation and expert commentary from our editors and hosts. Of course, we won't have a CNET stage, but the members of our team will join you from their home stages around the country.

Here's our schedule for Monday, Jan. 11 (all events are listed in Pacific Time). To see it all, go to CNET.com/ces

4:30 a.m. -- Livestream begins! 

4:45 a.m. -- CNET's hosts welcome you to CES 2021.

6:00 a.m. -- Samsung press conference (note that Samsung's reveal of its Galaxy S21 phone will happen Thursday, Jan. 14, at a separate Unpacked event, which CNET will be all over).

7:00 a.m. -- Panasonic press conference.

8:00 a.m. -- TCL press conference.

9:00 a.m. -- Kohler press conference.

10:00 a.m. -- Intel press conference.

11:00 a.m. -- Indy Autonomous Challenge.

12 noon -- Caterpillar press conference.

1:00 p.m. -- Schneider Electric.

2:00 p.m. -- Sony press conference.

3:00 p.m. -- CNET's Roger Cheng, Jason Hiner and Claire Reilly discuss CES so far, during our editors roundtable. 

3:30 p.m. -- CES keynote address with Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.

4:30 p.m. -- That's it for today! Join us tomorrow, Jan. 12, for CES Day 2.

Now playing: Watch this: CES 2021: What to expect as the show goes all-digital


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Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: Digging into price, features and more – CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

On Thursday, we got a first official look at Samsung's Galaxy S21 phone line at the company's Unpacked event, on the last day of CES. The latest version of Samsung's flagship Galaxy phone follows the Galaxy S20 line, released in 2020. If you're in the market for an upgrade, you may be wondering: What exactly are the differences between the two Galaxy phones? And is it worth it to spend $800 for an upgrade? 

Here's everything you need to know about how the Galaxy S21 is rumored to compare with the Galaxy S20. (Psst... here's why now might be the worst time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20.) We chose a winner for each category below based purely on specs. We'll have more in-depth hands-on coverage of the Galaxy S21 soon.

Read more: Galaxy S21 vs. S20 specs compared: What Samsung changed in its new phones

Drew Evans/CNET

The base Samsung Galaxy S21 includes a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 4,000 mAh battery, and three rear camera lenses, including a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens. It runs on Android 11, and has a new Snapdragon 888 processor. The phone gets a major price drop compared to its predecessor, starting at $800. 

Angela Lang/CNET

CNET gave the base Galaxy S20 a rating of 8.7 out of 10, naming it the best out of the S20 line. Our reviewer called out top-shelf features, including a sharp display and advanced camera skills, but noted that the starting price of $999 was a bit high for what you get. That price has since dropped to $800 at Best Buy -- the same as the new S21. While the S21 includes many of the same features, unless the price drops further on the S20, it seems worth it to upgrade to the S21. 

Design, screen size and weight

The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 are extremely similar when it comes to displays. Both feature 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED displays, a 120Hz refresh rate, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The differences are relatively small: the S21 has a pixel density of 421 ppi, compared to the S20's 563 ppi. The S21 is also slightly heavier, at 6.03 oz., while the S20 weighs 5.75 oz. 

Design-wise, the different phones also appear to be close to identical. The only major difference in appearance is the rear camera module -- on the S21, it has a metal overlay, giving it a different look from the S20. Both phones are also IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Neither phone has a headphone jack

In terms of colors, the Galaxy S21 comes in pastels called phantom violet, phantom gray, phantom pink and phantom white (other colors are available for the S21 Plus and Ultra models). The Galaxy S20 is available in Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink and Cosmic Black. 

Winner: Tie


The base model Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 have the exact same camera setup: The rear camera modules include a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. Both phones also come with a 10-megapixel selfie camera. The cameras are the same on both Plus models, too. 

The major camera upgrades come with the S21 Ultra. This model has four rear cameras: a main 108-megapixel wide sensor and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, plus two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses -- one with 3x zoom and one with 10x zoom. It also boasts a fast Bright Night sensor and pixel binning technology, which makes your photos more detailed. 

Winner: Tie (except in the case of the S21 Ultra, which wins over the S20 Ultra)

Read more: Galaxy S21's camera features are good, but are they enough?

Processing speed

One of the biggest upgrades to the S21 is the phone's processor and the software it runs -- it's now on Android 11 with a Snapdragon 888 processor, which should lead to increases in speed and performance. The S20 was originally released with Android 10 and has a Snapdragon 875.

Winner: Galaxy S21

Battery life

The base Galaxy S20 and S21 models have the same battery size: 4,000 mAh. The battery size rises to 5,000 mAh in both the S20 Ultra and S21 Ultra. The only difference between models is in the Plus versions: The S21 Plus gets a battery size increase to 4,800 mAh, compared to 4,500 in the S20 Plus. 

Winner: Tie (except in the case of the S21 Plus, which wins over the S20 Plus)

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21: What to know about battery life and battery sizes

5G connectivity

All S21 and S20 models support 5G connectivity, so again, no difference there. 

Winner: Tie

Stylus support

One of the larger differences between the two phone models comes at the Ultra level. The Galaxy S21 Ultra includes support for the S Pen stylus (sold separately for $40), whereas none of the S20 models do. That means S21 Ultra owners will soon be able to use the small digital pen to jot notes, take better screenshots, sign documents or draw in their favorite apps.

Read more: Galaxy S21 Ultra works with Samsung S Pen, Pro stylus: Price, features and limitations


Outside of the processor, perhaps the biggest difference between the base S20 and S21 is the price tag. The Galaxy S21 will go on sale on Jan. 29 (though you can preorder the S21 now), starting at $800 for the 128GB model. In comparison, the Galaxy S20 started at $999. Though the price on the S20 has since dropped to $800 at Best Buy, Samsung did not say whether or not it would get a further decrease now that the S21 has been released for $800 as well. 

Winner: Galaxy S21 

Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20: Spec comparison

Here's how the specs of the two phones compare, now that the S21 details have been officially released.

For more about the Galaxy S21 and everything else Samsung announced, you can check out our roundup

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S20 specs

Galaxy S21 Galaxy S20
Display size, resolution 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X; (2,400x1,080 pixels) 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X; (3,200x1,440 pixels)
Pixel density 421 ppi 563 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 2.80x5.97x0.31 in 2.72x5.97x0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 71.2x151.7x7.9 mm 69.1x151.7x7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.03 oz; 171g 5.75 oz; 163g
Mobile software Android 11 Android 10
Camera 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Front-facing camera 10-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video capture 8K 8K
Processor Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 865 or 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5GHz + 2GHz)
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB
RAM 8GB 12GB (5G), 8GB (LTE)
Expandable storage Up to 1TB Up to 1TB
Battery 4,000 mAh 4,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen
Headphone jack No No
Special features IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, 5G-enabled, 30X Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, 120Hz refresh rate 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; IP68 rating for water and dust resistance,
Price at launch (USD) $800 $999
Price (GBP) £769 £799, £899 (5G)
Price (AUD) TBA AU$1,349 (4G), AU$1,499 (5G)

Now playing: Watch this: Our first look at the new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus


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