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Year in review: What 2019 brought to the world of technology

31 Dec 2019

2019 has been a year of gadgets - from foldable phones through to PCs, wireless headphones and even robot toys, there's been plenty to keep us inspired by the wide world of tech. This list is a mere smattering of some excellent products we've had the pleasure of going hands-on with this year.

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Tom Richmond remarked that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 was a joy to use. Even though battery life is slightly down on the Pro 6, it’s still a pretty nifty device, although you’ll need relatively deep pockets to buy it with the accessories you’ll need.

2. Sony PS-LX310BT turntable should now be out. A Bluetooth-enabled device, the reviewer remarks that, “Sony fuses the much-loved vinyl sound quality with the convenience and flexibility of connecting to a wired or wireless device, perfect for enjoying vinyl in today’s connected world.”

3. Sennheiser GSP 370 wireless headset: Darren Price got so caught up with the 7.1 surround-sound on the headset that at one stage he removed them just to make sure he wasn’t being fooled by his speakers. One of many headsets that will appeal to the gamer in you. With 100 hours of charge, you’ll be sure of uninterrupted gameplay on your PC, Mac or PlayStation 4.

4. OPPO ENCO Q1 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: I was impressed by these headphones, which I’ve used with all my devices, enjoying the comfort of their in-ear experience as well as outstanding sound.

5. The 2019 MacBook Pro has got me slobbering more than our family dog when gingernuts were on offer. With a new 16” screen, a new improved keyboard, a six-speaker sound system, longer battery life, Touch Bar, Touch ID, the Force Touch trackpad and the Apple T2 Security Chip, there’s plenty to be excited over.

6. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PC/ Xbox One): Hmmm! 9/10 did Darren Price give this game, despite its drawing heavily on features from other games. Exposed Cal is as a former Padawan, and help him you will in his journey. A long-awaited continuation of the Star Wars games this is.

7. BlueAnt’s Pump Air 2, low-cost, true-wireless buds were a great low-cost find for Ben Moore. With a plethora of silicone tips, you’ll be assured of comfortable listening at a reasonable cost.

8. Ring Door View Cam: Hot off the press, I was impressed by Ring’s clever thinking for all the apartment-dwellers and renters who want the same kind of security. If your door has a peep-hole, this is the Ring model for you. Even if you can’t reach the doorbell, the Ring will pick up your knocking and activate.

9. EA Games’ Need for Speed: Heat for PC and Xbox One: While Darren hinted that this game has a rather anti-establishment bias, he couldn’t fault the racing gameplay, scoring it 8/10. A great stocking filler for your rebellious teen.

10. Konka KD32908CG Curved Wide 32” gaming monitor: Although my review is done, I’ve struggled to pack up this monitor to return to its rightful owners. It’s a lot of gaming monitor for a very reasonable cost.

11: Apple AirPods Pro: Lama Farhat said that these AirPods complete the Apple ecosystem, and equipped with the H1 chip are very much deserving of the “Pro” tag and the slightly higher price tag.

12: Sennheiser, Apple and Beats Wireless earbuds: Lama put these through their paces and found plenty to praise in each of them. Like she wrote, the choice will be based on your requirements, whether it be multi-device connectivity, longer battery life or super-hearing.

13: HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical keyboard & Pulsefire Dart wireless mouse: Darren Price unlocks the mystery of what makes mechanical keyboards so darned responsive, and why you’ll never want to go back to a normal keyboard after using one. Designed for the gaming experience and coupled with the Pulsefire Dart wireless mouse, you’re promised “ninja-like reflexes” in your gameplay.

14: The OPPO Reno 2Z was just one of several standout phones I reviewed in 2019.  Aimed at the middle of the market, it has several features that give it the feel of one of its high-end competitors. It proved how rugged it was when I took a tumble, which put me out of action for a few weeks. Packing it up and sending it home was gut-wrenching.

15: The Nokia 7.2 was another phone that really caught my attention. In a similar price range to OPPO’s Reno 2Z, it has features I’d expect in a phone costing three times the price. The ZEISS camera lenses are just one of the standout features.

16: The Dyson Pure Cool Me has changed my life. Whether it’s when I’m trying to sleep or working in my airless little office, it has been proving its worth since the November weather started feeling like February.  It has reduced my allergy symptoms and my asthma inhaler generally now stays in my pocket.

17: ASUS Lyra Voice: the smart router with the power of invisibility: Labelled as one of FutureFive’s Hot Products, this is the router you should look at if you require a mesh WiFi network. It can also be used as a range extender and is ideal for the modern smart home.

18: JBL’s wireless headphones and home audio products featured in late October and features a wide range of products that I’d be happy to have stuffed in my stocking. It’s well worth a look if you need some more ideas.

19: The 10.2” Apple iPad (Seventh Generation) had me ignoring my iPad Pro for the time it spent with me. Coupled with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, you’ll soon forget what life was like before you got one.

20: The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless headset was a revelation, and showed me that Corsair haven’t rested on their laurels but keep on producing excellent products. This is one for those who demand uncompromising sound quality.

There are plenty more products that stood out for me in 2019, from Epson’s FastFoto Scanner to ASUS’ ProArt Series PA27AC monitor, to Plantronic's new range of BackBeat and BackBeat GO products.

Need more inspiration? Check out all our team’s reviews here. Stay safe over the holidays and see you in 2020.