While 2016 sucked in many ways, many great things happened in the world of technology. However, there were some absolute shockers too. Here we look at the 10 best technology products of 2020. Click here to jump to the Top 10 Worst products of the year. If you have any additional ideas or gadgets or anything for either category, leave a comment below and we’ll consider adding it.
10. Evapolar USB portable mini air conditioner
While technically an evaporative cooler, this small gadget (which has been modified with Russian military technology) can make things very cool – even when running off a USB battery power pack. Suddenly, offices, tents and bedrooms can be transformed into much more-comfortable locations. At $179 it’s a steal
9. Samsung Galaxy S7
This was our phone of the year. It had every feature you could want in a phone but did away with gimmicks like a curved screen. Many rivals appeared throughout the year that couldn’t match what the S7 offered months beforehand. That’s why it’s on our list.
8. Samsung 960 SSD and T3 USB drive
This might sound a bit dull but Samsung’s M.2 960 Pro NVMe hard drive and its tiny, supersonic, high-capacity T3 External drive blew us away this year thanks to its 3D NAND technology. If you want built-in or removable storage then you need these.
7. Tesla Powerwall 2
Pays for itself in 6 years and then provides free electricity ‘forever’? That’s got to be attractive to home owners. Who knows, perhaps the investors who make up the bulk of the property market will buy into the idea in order to make their ‘investments’ more attractive and help save the world at the same time?
6. Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi
It seems so simple and yet few have managed it. Most homes and offices have WiFi and network deadspots and yet even with a decent WiFi range extender it can be a hassle to fill them. Orbi’s tri-band satellite system means that you can extend the same network anywhere (house or garden) just by moving a satellite around or adding a new one.
5. Nvidia GTX 1080
Crazy fast, but also capable of running at low-power. This graphics card didn’t just take VR and 4K gaming in its stride, it did so for portable computers too. As such we had backpack PCs and portable gaming laptops that didn’t sacrifice quality or framerates for portability.
4. Google Daydream VR
Since the beginning of VR there has been a chasm-like gap between the dumb VR headsets that were available for mobile phones and the high-powered, expensive headsets that need to be attached to monster PCs. Then Google introduced us to the Daydream VR system which lets you interact with high-powered applications and games – on your phone – using a responsive wand controller. Suddenly the gap is closing and you can experience amazing VR on your phone.
3. Google Assistant
It takes quite a lot to make the likes of Siri and Cortana feel dumb but the new A.I.-enhanced Google Assistant managed it. While still not perfect, you can now have useful conversations (and even funny ones) with Google’s new personal assistant – something that’s set to be enhanced with the launch of the Google Home system. Now if they could only give it a proper name…
2. Space X Falcon 9 rocket
Bit of an outlier here, but if you are in the market to launch something into a near-Earth orbit then consider Space X’s reusable Falcon 9. After weathering mocking jibes as the first four attempts literally crashed and burned, the Falcon 9 finally touched down safely introducing a new dawn of reusable rockets that can slash the costs of space deployment.
1. Tech product of the year: Hisense Series 7 ULED TV
It might not be a space ship or be saving the planet but as consumer tech goes, few things disrupted more than this in 2016. Hisense’s 7 series ULED TV wasn’t just the best we tested for most of the year, it was one of the cheapest 4K TVs by a very long way. It blew rivals Sony, Samsung and Panasonic out of the water. We still can’t figure out how a side-lit LED TV can produce such true-black letterbox bars. Its colours and upscaling prowess are also amazing. You can currently buy the 55-inch variant for under $1300 in Australia. That’s absolutely ridiculous value and, along with Netflix will popularize 4K TV wherever it’s sold. It already won Good Gear Guide’s TV of the Year, but now it’s also PC World’s Tech Product of the year.