These are the best tech products of 2020
Reviewed's 2020 Best of Year awards
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It's been a crazy year, and the tech world certainly isn't exempt from 2020's unprecedented challenges. But, as the sun rises in the east, so will the latest and greatest products find their way to your doorstep. And whether it's that sleek new smartwatch to keep you on track, the latest dazzling TV tech to keep you entertained, or the peaceful solitude of the best headphones, we've got you covered.
Our expert reviewers and lab testers have been hard at work as always to separate the serious gems from the plain-old wastes of space so you can get the most out of your precious dollars.
Here are our favorite tech products, or jump to all the 2020 Best of Year awards.
When Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise canceling headphones launched this year, we were very excited—and for good reason. The latest version of Sony’s flagship headphones deliver the same plushy, padded materials and pleasingly detailed sound we’ve come to expect, while adding in some really cool extra features. Throw in great battery life and some of the best noise canceling in the industry and you’ve got a recipe for the best headphones this year. Read the full review.
There’s no denying the sheer ubiquity of working-from-home setups right now, and there’s plenty of reason to think your “temporary” working from home setup may be more or less permanent for a while. If you’re looking for a stellar pair of headphones—comfortable enough to wear for a whole workday, wire-free, and perfectly tuned to block distractions—our favorite headphones this year, the Sony WH-1000XM4, are your best bet. Read the full review.
Sure, the shockingly popular AirPods Pro are a safe choice for Best of Year. But, although there's a growing heap of great competitors, some of which beat the Pro at one feature or another, we couldn’t find any that beat their all-around performance this year. Apple's flagship buds offer a comfy fit, solid sound and good noise cancelation, they’re compact, and they’re incredibly easy to set up and use—especially if you’re an iPhoner. In short, they do everything well, and in the still-burgeoning true wireless genre, that’s worth celebrating. Read the full review.
Panasonic’s mid-tier entry is a dark horse candidate, and our team of experts highly considered others like Samsung’s excellent Galaxy Buds+. But when we tallied up all the RZ-S500W have to offer it was an easy call. We've simply never heard noise cancellation this good in a pair of true wireless earbuds at this price. They also add great sound, a comfy (if bulbous) fit, water resistance (IPX4), excellent onboard controls, and solid battery life. While they're not the most stylish or sporty of the bunch, you won’t find this blend of performance and features anywhere else at this price. Read the full review.
Just when Dell's flagship XPS 13 was beginning to feel stale, it came back with a vengeance. The latest Dell XPS 13 is truly a laptop with something to offer everyone: incredible performance, awesome battery life, a beautiful design, and an affordable starting price under $1,000. Though we're giving the nod to the standard edition here, it even comes in a 2-in-1 alternative that is nearly as good.
For a while now, Mac lovers were faced with an ever-aging MacBook Air that seemed to constantly get outshined by the 13-inch MacBook Pro. For 2020, the MacBook Air received one of its biggest updates ever, with brand new internals, a Retina display, a fresh new look, and the super comfortable Magic Keyboard. The MacBook Pro is still technically the better Mac thanks to its beefy hardware and ultra high-res screen, but finally, the MacBook Air gives it a run for its money. The Air is the best-value MacBook you can get, with plenty of power to handle daily web tasks, plenty of battery juice to keep you moving, and durability to keep it working for years to come. Read the full review.
HP's Envy x360 series is meant to be its mid-range model, the budget alternative to its stellar Spectre laptops. Instead, HP took all our favorite design cues from the Spectre, added the wonderful AMD Ryzen processor, and produced an incredible all-around laptop that is perfect for students, professionals, and everyone in between. Best of all? You can get an extremely fast version for around $700 that keeps up with laptops costing twice as much. Read the full review.
The HP Envy x360 strikes the perfect balance of build quality, power, and value that students need. For about $700, this metal-framed beauty has a blazingly fast AMD processor that can tear through assignments and can still yield over eight hours of battery life. Its 2-in-1 form factor also makes it easier to take notes and stream any lectures you need in the day. For everyone but the most demanding of students, the HP Envy x360 is a perfect match of comfort and convenience. Read the full review
Finding a gaming laptop that is both powerful and practical to carry around can be tricky. Finding it under $1,500 is even harder, but Asus proved it can be done with the ROG Zephyrus G14 this year. This gorgeous 14-inch laptop packs in over 5 hours of battery life, a 144Hz 1080p screen, a top-line AMD Ryzen 9 processor, and a midrange Nvidia GeForce RTX2060 graphics card that make this beast perfect for both snappy gaming and heavy computing tasks. It unfortunately doesn't have a webcam, but unless you're regularly taking video calls, we think this tradeoff is worth it for one of the best values gaming you can get. Read the full review.
Usually, when you buy a "flagship" laptop, you're paying flagship prices. Not so with the Dell XPS 13, which starts at less than $1,000 but still gets you an 11th-gen Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. That's a fantastic value, and easily the best laptop you can get for less than a grand.
This is an excellent midrange Chromebook that succeeds as both a clamshell laptop and as a 2-in-1. It has a large, smooth trackpad with excellent tracking, a keyboard that I could easily type on for hours, and a touch screen that’s always sensitive to my fingertips. This metal-trimmed Chromebook also has a powerful processor and a 6-hour battery life, so you'll be able to use this uber-comfortable 2-in-1 for years to come. Read the full review.
The iPad Pro has long been considered the best tablet available, offering powerful performance for work and play, with a price to match. The 2020 iPad Air offers the majority of the Pro's best features, including a similar design and display, and unlike the standard iPad, it even supports premium accessories like the Magic Keyboard and latest Apple Pencil. Perhaps most notable, the Air uses Apple’s ultra-fast A14 Bionic chip, which will be powerful enough to handle anything you can throw at it now, and probably the next four or five years from now. As such, our experts can confidently call the new iPad Air the best tablet of the year. Read the full review.
The LG CX OLED is our pick for the best TV of the year thanks to its stunning, class-leading picture, its cutting-edge features, and its sensational design. Whether you’re a casual channel surfer or a diehard cinephile, you’ll likely be blown away by the CX’s phenomenal performance, which features perfect black levels, voluminous color, and excellent motion handling. Gamers will be thrilled with the LG CX’s HDMI 2.1 support, which paves the way for next-generation gaming features. All told, there’s not a better TV we’ve tested in 2020. Read the full review.
The Vizio OLED isn’t the most affordable TV on this list, but it is the most affordable way to secure a brand new 4K OLED TV in 2020, and its performance is every bit as good as we had hoped.. While its picture is not quite as bright as the LG CX, the Vizio OLED nevertheless delivers perfect black levels, excellent motion handling, and a razor-thin panel. It also offers a similar suite of next-generation gaming enhancements like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). If you’re shopping for an OLED TV and still want some cash leftover, the Vizio OLED is your best bet. Read the full review.
From its quantum dot-bolstered brightness to its forward-looking features, the TCL 6-Series is the embodiment of good value. We love this 4K TV’s bright, colorful picture, its convenient, built-in Roku smart platform, and its Dolby Vision support. For gamers, the 6-Series’ 120-Hz native refresh rate—along with its VRR and ALLM support—make it the most affordable way to lock down next-generation gaming features. It may not be the best TV to come out in 2020, but it’s certainly one of the most exciting. Read the full review.
Searching for a budget-friendly TV pick that you can feel good about? Look no further than the 55-inch Vizio M Series Quantum. which offers a taste of quantum dots at a reasonable price. The M Series Quantum delivers solid picture performance, 4K resolution, HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatibility, and—best of all—color-boosting quantum dots for just shy of $500. We’re confident this is the best-looking TV in this price range. Read the full review.
If you’re planning on investing in a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X and you need a new TV to take advantage of the next-generation features that these consoles have to offer, the LG CX is the best TV for the job. Not only does it offer the best picture money can buy, but it’s also built for the future, thanks to its HDMI 2.1 ports and support for features like Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency mode. Simply put, the LG CX is the best choice to take advantage the PS5 and Xbox Series X hardware. Read the full review.
Whether you like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or some other streaming service, Roku is (probably) the best platform for you. The Roku Ultra is the best Roku you can get, with support for 4K and HDR, including Dolby Vision. By far, the best feature is still Roku's remote, which is just about perfectly designed, can play a sound so you can find it in the cushions, and it has a headphone jack for wireless listening. Read the full review.
There are a ton of great affordable streaming devices out there, but the new Google Chromecast with Google TV is our favorite this year. It supports 4K and HDR (including Dolby Vision), has a new remote that is nearly as good as Roku's, and because it's built on Android it supports a huge range of apps beyond just streaming. For $50 (or less!) it's a huge value. Read the full review.
Our experts evaluated a lot of soundbars this year, but nothing made an impression quite like the Sonos Arc. With impressive sound and features, you wouldn't be wrong in calling it the best smart speaker and soundbar Sonos has ever made. The Arc is a major investment—both in price and living room real estate—and it leaves behind some of the trappings of other bars (including a spare HDMI input). But its one-piece design dazzles with rich and beautifully detailed sound for music and TV audio, while its Dolby Atmos acrobatics are the most effective of any such compact setup we tried in 2020. Read the full review.
For years, JBL’s “Flip” line of portable Bluetooth speakers has successfully straddled the lines between robust, bass-forward sound; water- and outdoors-proof aesthetics; and a price point that feels very fair for everything you’re getting. The Flip 5 continues that tradition, providing incremental but worthwhile improvements to sound quality to boot. If you’re looking for a reliable Bluetooth speaker, we highly recommend the JBL Flip 5. Read the full review.
Apple has ruled the smartwatch segment since the company unveiled its first entry into the space in 2015. Even though the Apple Watch essentially demands an iPhone, it’s so ahead of the smartwatch pack that it almost wins the category by default. Our experts agree that the latest Apple Watch, the Series 6, once again has the best interface, the most elegant design, improved features for health and fitness (including blood-oxygen tracking) and all the apps and fitness tracking you could ask for, making it our favorite of the year. Read the full review.
Not everyone is an iPhone user, and those looking for the best smartwatch experience this side of the Apple ecosystem will want to go with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2. Combining comprehensive fitness tracking, a sleek and minimalist design, and relatively long battery life, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a top performer. Adding to the pros is the price, which cuts well below the cost of Samsung’s other top smartwatch in 2020, the Galaxy Watch 3, without any notable performance drop. Add it up and the Active 2 is an easy pick for the best Android smartwatch of the year. Read the full review.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.