But unlike Amazon last year, Google’s buzz was not organically generated. It likely paid exorbitant amounts of money for its advertising and spent countless hours organizing signs at booths and its army of white-clothed staff wandering the halls. Last year, Alexa was everywhere due to the company opening up the voice platform to be integrated into nearly any kind of smart device and only requiring final approval from Amazon, without any real marketing push from Amazon itself.

Whether this move will pay off for Google against Amazon in the smart-speaker war (Amazon is believed to have over 70% of the market currently locked up), is unclear, but one thing was clear: Google really, really wants the world to know that it makes a voice speaker system, too.

Best gadget: Razer’s Project Linda

Every year CES brings a fresh look at the computer; last year Razer debuted a laptop with three screens called Project Valerie (which was promptly stolen). This time Razer is selling the dream of your smartphone doubling as your laptop; the company’s newly-released smartphone drops into the space usually occupied by the touchpad on a laptop shell, then connects to the monitor, keyboard, and hard drive via USB-C.

Turn your gaming phone into a gaming computer.
Turn your gaming phone into a gaming computer.
Image: Quartz/Dave Gershgorn

Razer is a company that markets to “gamers,” a poorly-defined sector of consumers who typically gravitate between games on mobile devices like Honor of Kings and games that require the processing power of a desktop computer or game console.

Project Linda is the device meant to bridge that gap, at a reduced cost since the laptop shell doesn’t have a costly processor or RAM. Mobile games work natively on the laptop’s larger screen, as well as the typical cadre of laptop tasks like word processing and browsing the internet. For games that demand more robust hardware, Razer has partnered with Shadow, a company that remotely runs PC or console video games and streams them to your computer to play, akin to Netflix. And if you don’t want to rely on the streaming service, Razer sells an external graphics card that will do the heavy lifting.

This idea, along with the Samsung DeX that Quartz reviewed last year, tests the waters for a merger between the desktop and mobile computing landscapes. It’s not a matter of computing power anymore, as phones are now as powerful as the laptops we use everyday, but form factor. While the DeX renders the phone useless in its dock, Project Linda repurposes the phone’s screen as a touchpad, which can also passively display information. Will this device be the future? Probably not, but it could be an early draft of what’s to come.

Most fun product: Modobag

The best parts of CES are not the new televisions, cars, fridges, or cameras. It’s not the iterative upgrades to products we already understand and use—it’s the weird, interesting, and sometimes innovative products that bring you joy to experience. They’re rare to find, but as we said in this week’s special CES Daily Brief, they’re often found in Eureka Park, the ground floor of the Sands Expo Center, which is reserved for early-stage companies and products.

This year, we saw robot chess boards, a robot with Dave’s face on it, an analog game of Pong, recyclable one-use batteries, and personal VR roller coasters. All of them epitomize the strange but wonderful things you can find at CES if you look beyond the flashy booths from the multinational corporations. But one that really stuck out for us as being simply fun, and honestly quite silly, was the Modobag.

It’s a piece of luggage that can charge your devices through USB ports, but also happens to have a small hidden handlebar and stirrups that turn it into a tiny electric motorbike that you can use to zip around airports at up to 8 mph. We tested them out in the crowded Eureka Park show floor, darting in between bemused or confused attendees, tipping over when we turned too sharply. It’s the hardest we laughed all week.

This product does not need to exist, but it does, and it happens to be a lot of fun. Drake has one. You can back the company on Indiegogo, and perhaps it’ll bring a small amount of joy into your life, or at least get you to your flight a little quicker.

CES by the numbers

Quartz reporters Dave Gershgorn and Mike Murphy spent the last four days in Las Vegas, and were joined by tech editor Matt Quinn for two. Here’s a quick rundown of what we did:

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