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The best tech we've seen in 2018

Looking back at tech of 2018, we at CNET have a lot of favorites. Take a look at our highest ranked products from this year.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite

If you already have a Netgear Orbi router, the Outdoor Satellite extender can spread blazing speeds throughout your yard.

-- Andrew Gebhart 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

DJI Mavic Air

DJI's smallest folding drone is also one of its smartest. And thanks to its 4K-resolution camera, it's simply the best travel drone you can find. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Dual cameras and a 6.2-inch display put the Galaxy S9 Plus over the top, but it's the phone's elegant curved sides, deep customization options and gorgeous colors that make it one of the best big-screen phones you can buy.

-- Jessica Dolcourt

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 is a quality hi-fi component masquerading as a thrift store cast-off. Speaker designer Andrew Jones continues to dominate the entry level with a loudspeaker that gives the more expensive Bowers and Wilkins 685 S2 a run for its money.

-- Ty Pendlebury

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

TP-Link Archer C3150 V2

This TP-Link router is the complete package for an affordable price. The hardware performed really well and its range was surprisingly good. You'll get all the bells and whistles, plus an easy-to-use web interface.

-- Andrew Gebhart 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

TCL 6 series

With image quality fit for TVs that cost twice as much, and Roku's superb Smart TV system, this is the best TV value of 2018.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade 2018

A subtle but important overhaul of this slim gaming laptop gives it more GPU power, a more mod thin-bezel design, and a larger 15-inch display. If you want a gaming laptop that doesn't look too gamer-y, this is our new favorite. 

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Spectre x360 13

HP's 13-inch convertible laptop aces on design, battery life and features, and while it's not cheap, it's definitely a good value.

-- Lori Grunin

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple iPad 2018

Apple's only iPad so far in 2018 is a budget model that supports the Apple Pencil. And, that's probably all anyone needs.

-- Scott Stein

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

LG OLEDC8P

LG's newest OLED TV puts up the best picture we've ever tested, running circles around its LCD and QLED competition.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Electrolux EFLS627UTT

The Electrolux EFLS627UTT is the best performing front-load washing machine we've ever tested. Not only does it do a great job removing stains, it's also an attractive appliance with an intuitive display panel.

-- Megan Wollerton

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

OnePlus 6

Despite the lack of It lacks waterproofing and wireless charging, the OnePlus 6 is blazing fast, shoots amazing portrait mode photos, has a polished refined design and costs much less than other flagship phones. It's a terrific phone for everyday use.

-- Patrick Holland

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9

It can't take portrait photos, but the Galaxy S9's dual-aperture camera takes great photos in a smaller package than most of today's superphones. Wireless charging, waterproofing and a headphone jack sweeten the deal on a stellar all-rounder you can count on all day long.

-- Jessica Dolcourt

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

SimpliSafe Home Security 2018

SimpliSafe's install-it-yourself security system got a much-needed makeover this year, but the price is just as affordable as before. With reliable performance, an Alexa integration that lets you arm the system with your voice and 24/7 professional monitoring available for less than the competition, our top home security pick is better than ever.

-- Ry Crist

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Nest Hello

Nest's first foray into the smart doorbell category was a huge success. Its Hello doorbell combines excellent HD live streaming with advanced features such as facial recognition.

-- Megan Wollerton

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

LG UP870

If you want to spend as little as possible on a 4K Blu-ray player and still get excellent performance then the LG UP870 is the way to go. It even looks decent sitting in an AV rack, unlike some other budget players.

-- Ty Pendlebury

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite Active 65t

The Jabra Elite Active 65t is currently the best overall truly wireless headphone you can buy.

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501

A slick super-thin gaming laptop with a hidden secret. When you open the lid, a special panel on the bottom opens up, lifting the rear of the system and allowing for better cooling of its powerful Nvidia 1070 GPU. 

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 13 2018

With an updated look, new components and smaller body, this premium 13-inch laptop feels like one of the best all-around Windows systems right now. It's a strong contender if you're looking for that MacBook vibe without MacOS.

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition 2017

For a fraction of the cost of an iPad, this good-enough 8-inch tablet comes with a rubber case and a kid-proof replacement policy. But the best part is Free Play, a subscription service of all-you-can-eat kids books, videos and games. 

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Huawei P20 Pro

Three cameras and an iridescent pinky-purply-blue shade that's pretty enough to make you cry. The P20 Pro isn't just Huawei throwing down the gauntlet. Tt's Huawei smashing the gauntlet into pieces on the ground. This phone takes excellent pictures and is a performance beast. Too bad it lacks a headphone jack, wireless charging and external storage. Unfortunately, you won't be able to buy it in the US.

-- Jessica Dolcourt

Published:Caption:Photo:Juan Garzon / CNET

JBL Link 300

This Google Assistant smart speaker sounds almost as good as Apple's HomePod and costs significantly less.

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo Labo

Weird Nintendo is back with the most impressive papercraft cardboard programming toy for a game console we've ever seen.

-- Scott Stein

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Aspire E 15

The E 15 is a throwback to a simpler time when you didn't need to carry around a pouch full of dongles to use your laptop. It has all the ports you could want plus a DVD burner and even discrete graphics -- and all for less than $600. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

The Surface Pro has become the gold standard of slate-style Windows tablets. The latest version doesn't change the formula much, but adds an LTE antenna for always-on on-the-go connectivity. Our only gripe: The best-in-class keyboard cover is still sold separately. 

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Utilitech 100W Replacement LED 2018

Utilitech's extra-bright 100W replacement LED offers best-in-class efficiency at a great price, and it's terrific on dimmer switches, too. 

-- Ry Crist

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

LG G7 ThinQ

Though it flaunts a familiar design, the LG G7 ThinQ is water resistant, a headphone jack and an AI-powered camera that can give your photos a boost before you click the shutter.

-- Lynn La

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Side-by-Side Counter-Depth Refrigerator

If you're in the market for a new counter-depth fridge, be sure to consider the latest side-by-side from LG. It isn't anything super distinctive, but it offers some of the best performance you'll find for the price, and it works with Alexa and Google, too.

-- Ry Crist

Published:Caption:Photo:LG LSXC22436S refrigerator-product-photos

FirstBuild Paragon Mat

The Paragon Mat, which is part of the $299 Paragon Smart Cooking System, lets you set specific temperatures for pan cooking and automatically maintains a steady temperature. The result is a helpful gadget for beginner cooks.

-- Ashlee Clark Thompson

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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Ring Spotlight Cam

The Ring Spotlight Cam is a simple way to keep watch over your yard. Install the HD camera anywhere you'd put an outdoor light fixture and use the related Ring app for remote monitoring.

-- Megan Wollerton

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Cree 60W Replacement LED 2018

Cree's newest LED is also its cheapest, most basic bulb yet, but it's still brighter than advertised and terrific at dimming. Most reassuring of all: it still comes with a category-leading 10-year warranty.

-- Ry Crist

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Sony UBP-X700

It's 2018, but if you're still looking for a player that spins physical disks of any kind -- especially 4K ones -- the Sony UBP-X700 should be near the top of your shopping list. It offers up to date compatibility -- HDR10, Dolby Vision -- and excellent video quality for $200.

-- Ty Pendlebury

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018

The X1 Yoga is a showcase for all the latest tech Lenovo can put into a two-in-one design including its first WQHD-resolution 14-inch display (2,560x1,440 pixels) with 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut, brightness up to 500 nits and, pending a future update, support for Dolby Vision HDR.

-- Joshua Goldman

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HP ZBook x2 G4

It's the only detachable workstation for creative pros, with perks that include an Adobe RGB 4K display with internal calibration, chemically etched for a better-feeling experience with the custom Wacom stylus.

-- Lori Grunin

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ZenBook Flip 14

This fine-looking 14-inch two-in-one has a little extra muscle under the hood courtesy of Nvidia discrete graphics that pushes it beyond its competition. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ZenBook 13

There are 13-inch laptops with discrete graphics, but none are as thin and light as the ZenBook 13. And like Asus' other ZenBooks, it looks really good even if it is a fingerprint magnet. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Miix 520

Lenovo continues to impress with its detachable two-in-ones such as the Miix 520, with performance and battery life that rivals models from category creator Microsoft. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Tribit XSound Go

At $35, the Tribit XSound Go is arguably the best-sounding budget mini Bluetooth speaker you can currently buy.  

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Link 20

Feature Google Assistant rather than Alexa, the JBL Link 20 (No Alexa), is a top voice-enabled portable wireless speaker.

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen

A workhorse two-in-one Windows laptop that emphasizes its built-in stylus, flipping between laptop and tablet mode depending on the task. The pen features are heavily inspired by the Galaxy Note's S-Pen, which is a good thing. 

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Soraa Radiant 60W Replacement LED

At $14 per bulb, they definitely aren't cheap, but Soraa's LEDs are fantastic at helping the colors in your home pop. That makes them a good upgrade pick for your kitchen or walk-in closet.

-- Ry Crist

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Oppo R11s

A terrific midrange phone that proves you don't need to spend top dollar for a top-quality camera.

-- Daniel Van Boom

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

Optoma UHD60

Come for the Optoma UHD60's 4K resolution at a relatively affordable price, stay for the excellent contrast and screen-filling brightness.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Q8 series 2018

It can't match OLED for pure picture, but Samsung's Q8 is no image quality slouch and boasts the nicest design and features available.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Breville Precision Brewer

Hands down the most flexible drip coffee maker on the market, the Breville Precision Brewer creates everything from big pots, pour-over, to cold-brewed joe.

-- Brian Bennett

Published:Caption:Photo:Brian Bennett/CNET

JBL Endurance Sprint

Its touch controls are a little finicky but the JBL Endurance Sprint is a well-designed wireless sports headphone that sounds very good as is a good value at $50. 

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Fire TV Cube

With the ability to infuse your existing TV, sound bar or receiver with Alexa commands, the Cube is the closest thing to a voice-operated remote control.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 2018

Tired of waiting for new MacBooks? This is a solid option for creatives who want performance, pen input and the flexibility of a two-in-one design. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

LG Gram 15 (2018)

At 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) this is the lightest 15.6-inch laptop you'll find. It also has an amazing battery life of 14 hours in our tests. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

If privacy and data protection are must-haves for your next business laptop, put this stealthy two-in-one on your shortlist. 

-- Joshua Goldman

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Spin 5

A great value-filled version of a Windows two-in-one laptop. It looks and feels much fancier than its $700 price, thanks to a metal design and current eighth-gen Intel CPU.

-- Dan Ackerman

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

TP-Link Archer C2300 Wi-Fi router

This router performed well, but it might be ideal for a lot of devices in a large home. It has bonus features like link aggregation and security powered by Trend Micro, so you'll get a lot of bang for your buck.

-- Andrew Gebhart 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Mon

Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500

The futuristic-looking XR500 gives gamers complete control over their home Wi-Fi experience with options to reduce lag and stabilize connections.

-- Andrew Gebhart 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Huawei P20

Cheaper and smaller than the Pro, the Huawei P20 takes terrific photos and is small enough to use one-handed. While Huawei did pull back on some features (the P20 isn't fully water resistant, for example), it brings similar features for hundreds less. And if you don't like the notch, black it out.

-- Jessica Dolcourt

Published:Caption:Photo:César Salza / CNET

Oppo R15 Pro

With a fresh design, great cameras and long battery life, the Oppo R15 Pro is the best midrange phone not called OnePlus. 

-- Daniel Van Boom

Published:Caption:Photo:Ian Knighton/CNET
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Dayton Audio MK402

Only have $200 to spend on a stereo system? Buy yourself a Yamaha stereo amp and pair it with a couple of Dayton Audio MK402 speakers. They may not look like much, but they sound a lot more expensive than their $60 price tag would have you believe.

-- Ty Pendlebury

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony XBR-X900F series

Another superb performer thanks to full-array local dimming, the Sony X900F distinguishes itself with extreme brightness and Google's Android TV system.

-- David Katzmaier

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Oculus Go

The first standalone VR headset costs $199, is easy to use and doesn't need a phone or PC. It's the best VR starter device around.

-- Scott Stein

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit Versa

Fitbit's newest smartwatch is more affordable, waterproof, and better-looking than before. It's also the best alternative to the Apple Watch.

-- Scott Stein

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Tribit XFree Tune

At less than $50, Tribit's comfortable, impressive sounding over-ear wireless headphone is an excellent bargain. 

-- David Carnoy

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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