Consumer technology in 2016 was split between evolutionary refinements of existing products (iPhone 7, PlayStation 4 Pro) and truly futuristic gadgets that seemed to spring from the pages of a science fiction novel. But items on both sides of that ledger were among CNET's top-rated products of the year.
On the latter side, Snapchat Spectacles were nearly impossible to find (thanks to a buzz-inducing rollout via randomly placed vending machines). But being easy to use, fun and not terribly expensive, they corrected nearly all of the problems that plagued Google Glass.
This mini recreation of Nintendo's original home console -- which includes 30 built-in classic games -- distills 1980s retro nostalgia in one perfect little box. Too bad Nintendo grossly underestimated demand, making it nearly impossible to find for holiday shoppers.
Apple may continue to eschew touchscreen tech on Macs (outside of a tiny Touch Bar on the new Pro laptops), but Microsoft is going all in. The company's first desktop PC features a 28-inch touchscreen that can tilt down like a drafting table.
That's not to say that the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pros isn't cool; it is. But the thinner and lighter design, giant trackpad and addition of Touch ID combine to make it the most lustworthy MacBook Pro ever.
There have been many super-slim laptops this year, but most traded a touchscreen for a thinner body. This 12-inch HP hits the right balance, with a high-res touch display in a very slim, lightweight body.
In a year where superior Android tablets were few and far between, the Huawei Media Pad M3 stood out. This small, elegantly designed tablet's sharp HD screen and loud speakers give the iPad Mini 4 a run for its money.
Pick up Google's first solo phone and you know you're holding something special. The experience is lightning-fast and buttery-smooth, and it takes some of the best photos we've seen. The larger XL version supersizes the screen space without feeling bulky or dense. (It's otherwise identical.)
Caption byCNET staff
/ Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Unlike most competitors, the Lumix ZS100 adds a good general-purpose zoom range to this 1-inch sensor compact in addition to a great feature set, delivering better quality than you typically see from a consumer compact camera.