This year (2017) was a tech-packed year. Smartphones and laptops saw a renaissance. Smart speakers became mainstream. More than any year in recent memory, this year saw the launch of many (mostly) gimmick-free tech products. Here are our picks for best tech of the year.
Apple Watch Series 3
It took a few years, but the Apple Watch finally morphed into a category-leading smartwatch with the new Series 3. Apple overhauled watchOS, sped up performance, and added a handful of impressive health and fitness-focused features. Most impressive is the addition of cellular connectivity without enlarging its physical size.
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
If the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is too big and the (now discontinued) 9.7-inch iPad Pro was too cramped, then the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is just right. Paired with a Smart Keyboard and an Apple Pencil, the smaller iPad Pro is one of the best devices for creatives. And though it won’t replace a real laptop running a full-featured operating system, iOS 11 supercharges it with better multitasking.
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google blessed us with two Pixel 2 phones this year — a 5-inch and 6-inch — but the 2 XL is the real star. Sure, some people are unhappy with a few of the 2 XL’s very minor imperfections, but if you can look past them, the phone’s a winner all around, especially the cameras.
You don’t need a point-and-shoot or a DSLR to take photos that’ll wow everyone on Instagram. All you need is a new lens to augment your phone’s camera to get more interesting shots. Currently, Moment makes the most high-quality glass for the iPhone, Pixel 2, and latest Samsung Galaxy phones.
After years of trying to sell its Surface tablets and hybrids as genuine replacements for the classic clamshell computer, Microsoft caved and built a legitimate laptop. The Surface Laptop has no gimmicky Touch Bars and no flimsy hinges. The most adventurous thing about it is its Alcantara-covered keyboard.
SanDisk 400GB microSD card
What’s it feel like to hold 400GB of storage on the tip of your finger? You feel like God. Grab three of these microSD cards and you’re holding 1.2 terabytes of data. The world’s largest capacity microSD card has enough room to stash 400,000 e-books, or 200,000 smartphone photos, or 100,000 songs, or 88 full HD movies.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ restored the the Korean electronic giant's reputation after the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 nearly destroyed the brand. But it was the Galaxy Note 8 that put it back on the throne.
LG Wallpaper TV
Think your half-inch thick 4K TV is already really thin? Think again. LG’s Wallpaper OLED 4K TV is so thin (2.57mm) that it makes an iPhone X (7.7mm) look fat. The wafer-thin flatscreen is a visual entertainment paradise, and every time you stare at it, you can’t help but become lost in its perfection of pixels and high dynamic range colors.
MacBooks Pros may be the go-to laptop for just about everyone, but it’s nowhere near as fun to use as Google’s Pixelbook. It’s a Chromebook, so it comes with all the limitations of one, and at $1,000, it’s not for everyone.
Of all the tech products that came out this year, no single product was more talked about than the iPhone X. Minor iOS 11 bugs aside, the iPhone X is a showcase of why Apple products feel so magical to use. The iPhone X effortlessly melds beautiful hardware with intuitive software into an experience that’s incredibly delightful at every corner.
You need only use Face ID or play around with Animoji to understand why the iPhone X is such a game-changer. The iPhone X isn’t just another shiny new phone, it’s the bedrock for mobile for the next 10 years and beyond.