Another week is behind us, as well as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021. It was an interesting one too, since it was the first time that CES was entirely digital. Regardless, there were some cool stuff that we saw from the show, and I want to highlight a few standouts that I'm particularly interested in.
First off, one of my favorite announcements was from OtterBox with its new Mobile Gaming Collection of accessories. OtterBox is a brand that is known for making highly durable cases for the best iPhone and other devices, and I have several OtterBox cases consistently in my iPhone 12 Pro case rotation. The new Mobile Gaming Collection includes the Easy Grip Controller Shell for your Xbox One or Xbox Series X controller. This shell covers everything except the face of the controller, so you get protection from nicks and scuffs, and the antimicrobial material on the grips wicks the sweat (and germs!) away for a solid grip while gaming. It also looks fantastic, with one of the color options even glowing in the dark. I am a little sad that it's only available for Xbox controllers right now though, but hopefully OtterBox makes this shell for DualShock 4 or DualSense controllers in the future.
To top it off, the complementary Mobile Gaming Clip works seamlessly with the Easy Grip Controller Case. I like that the Mobile Gaming Clip has three clips on the mount (instead of the usual four on other mounts), because this means that it won't interfere with your smartphone's side buttons — clever! The Mobile Gaming Clip also doubles as a stand while it's not on your controller, which is convenient. And your controller with the shell and mobile gaming clip can all be stored away nicely in the accompanying Gaming Carry Case. I have the collection already and am looking forward to putting them to the test — stay tuned later for a review!
Another pretty cool accessory, which honestly feels long overdue, is the PopSockets MagSafe-compatible lineup. This includes magnetic PopSafe Grips, PopMounts, PopWallet+, and PopGrip Slide. Honestly, when I first saw the original PopSockets a few years ago, I thought the product looked pretty dumb, and I was always like, "why would I need such a ridiculous looking thing on the back of my phone?" But ever since I bought one and slapped it onto the back of one of my iPhone cases, I understood — it became easier than ever for me to take a selfie, type and use my phone with one hand, and just felt more comfortable to hold my phone. One of my favorite phone cases is the Otter+Pop, which is a collaboration between OtterBox's Symmetry line with a built-in PopGrip, and I've just loved having PopGrips on my phone whenever I can.
But one of the things I always hated about the original PopSockets is that you have to stick it on via an adhesive pad. While they're removable, it can wear out over time, and honestly, it takes a little work sometimes. I'm super stoked to see MagSafe-compatible versions of PopGrips and other accessories, because getting them on and off will be that much easier. It just makes sense, really.
Anker is another company that is going all-in with the MagSafe compatibility. This is one of my most recommended brands when it comes to power accessories and the like, so I'm excited for its new Magnetic Series collection. This includes magnetic wireless power banks, magnetic charging stands, and MagSafe-compatible cases. I've never been disappointed with an Anker product, so I'm eager to get my hands on these when they're available.
The Kensington StudioDock is another unique product that aims to make your iPad Pro or iPad Air even more productive. It's a dock that has many I/O ports so you can connect a variety of peripherals to your iPad, and it can even charge up your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. This looks like it'll be a perfect desk accessory, especially if you use your iPad as a secondary display via Sidecar. However, no price was announced, which is definitely going to be a big factor for most people.
These were the main announcements from CES 2021 that stuck out with me. I'm pretty excited to check out all of the new stuff once they're going to be available later this year. If you want more CES 2021 coverage, make sure to check out our Best of CES 2021 awards, as well as a roundup of the best MagSafe charger alternatives and all new HomeKit and AirPlay 2 devices.
Until next week folks!
- Christine Romero-Chan