Best of CES: The coolest smart home and home entertainment gear we saw

ces th groupCES 2019 has been ground zero for a dizzying array of connected devices—and if we’re being honest, we only saw a fraction of what the show has to offer. It’s just that big. But we did track down most of the new product releases in TechHive’s wheelhouse, and now we’re ready to share our picks for the Best of CES.

To win a Best of CES award, a product has to show unique promise and technical innovation—but do keep in mind these aren’t final reviews. So please check back throughout the year as we test this gear, and issue final review verdicts.

Ring Smart Lighting

Ring launched a whole new range of smart lighting at CES, and it integrates really well into an existing Ring security system. The line includes a floodlight, a spotlight, pathway lighting and step lighting, and all feature motion detectors. As with any security light, when motion is detected, the light will switch on. But with Ring’s new lights, the magic comes via networking. Users can set the Ring app so that when one motion detector catches movement, all the lights come on and Ring video cameras can also be programmed to start recording.


ces ring flood” href=”” rel=”nofollow”>ces ring flood


Thi means the lights can be used to create a much larger motion detection zone around a house, while also making the property look nicer—and visitors get more safety lighting. Our second favorite feature of the lights is the price. They range from $18 for the step light to $70 for the wired floodlight, which is pretty reasonable. Ring also has a smart transformer that can replace an existing wired landscape lighting transformer so lights can be switched on and off with the Ring system. They’ll all be available in March.

Array by Hampton Connected Lock

We covered the Array by Hampton Connected Lock when it was announced last fall, and now it’s shipping. The Array solves two issues that can befuddle many homeowners. First, this smart door lock connects directly to your Wi-Fi network, so you don’t need a smart home hub or any other product to take advantage of its connectivity. Second, it has a rechargeable battery, which is great because Wi-Fi adapters are power-hungry devils. With the Array, you never need to worry about the battery going dead because there’s a solar panel on the face of the lock that keeps the battery forever topped off.

Hampton Connected Lock

ces array by hampton” href=”” rel=”nofollow”>ces array by hampton

Hampton Connected Lock

Slide the solar panel up and you’ll find a numeric keypad with buttons fabricated from metal—not the typical mushy rubber things you’ll find on many other locks. The buttons are also backlit with blue LEDs to make them easy to see in the dark. Smart locks are all over the CES 2019 show floor, but the Array is the most impressive.

TP-Link Archer 11000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

The Wi-Fi Alliance won’t start its certification process until later this year, but if you’re a gamer itching to get into a Wi-Fi 6 router (aka 801.11ax), TP-Link’s Archer AX11000 looks like it will deliver the goods. Its aggressive industrial design, with bold red accents on its eight antennas, hits all the right notes. But it’s what’s under the hood that makes this router cook. Its tri-band Wi-Fi chipset can deliver blistering wireless speeds: 1,148Mbps of wireless throughput on its 2.4GHz network and a whopping 4,804Mbps on both of its 5GHz networks.


ces archer ax11000″ href=”” rel=”nofollow”>ces archer ax11000


If you’re lucky enough to have a very high-speed broadband connection, this router has a 2.5Gbps WAN port, and there are eight 1Gbps LAN ports so you can host wired LAN parties with friends. USB-C 3.0 and USB-A 3.0 ports are onboard to make it easy to share fast storage over your network.

Samsung’s 75-inch micro-LED TV

Samsung’s “The Wall” series TVs impress with their gargantuan size, but let’s be real—they’re not something consumers are ever likely to put in their homes. That’s why we’re excited to see the company getting ready to offer the micro-LED technology that makes “The Wall” possible in a more attainable 75-inch form factor. That’s still very big (and it could be very expensive), but it’s a TV that mere mortals can at least aspire to own.