The Best Tech Products and Services of 2022

(Credit: René Ramos; Shutterstock/Evgenia; Amazon, Roku, Reyee)

Here at PCMag, we review close to 2,000 products and services every year. Our analysts field-test and benchmark the very latest desktops and laptops, phones and tablets, software and web services, and so much more.

Now it’s time for us to narrow down everything we’ve reviewed over the past year to our top picks—101 winners, to be exact, for about 5% of what we’ve evaluated in the past 12 months. That’s an elite group. You might think deciding what to include would be easy, but this list represents hours of careful, sometimes heated deliberation among our team about which devices, software, and apps deserve a spot here. It’s an arduous process that’s performed with you in mind. (After all, it’s your hard-earned money we’re talking about spending.)

This year’s pick list outlines the top products we’ve tested between November 2021 and November 2022. Of our 101 picks, 85 of these products and services have earned our Editors’ Choice endorsement, and seven of them have received perfect five-star ratings—everything here comes highly recommended.

The 15 overarching categories included below are the same as in our 2021 edition. In fact, they haven’t changed too much since we first launched this annual story in 2013. But as tech trends have evolved, we’ve added and subtracted subcategories along the way. For example, we didn’t see a great new smart treadmill this year, but we did test an excellent smart stationary bike. One thing that hasn’t changed: All of the products here have been selected by writers and editors who are experts in the categories they cover. 

The best part? Our favorite products of the year make for the ultimate holiday shopping list, complete with buying links to the best prices in the chart below. 

 

Laptops

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Image

Ultraportable Laptop

Breaking ranks with the standard black ThinkPad aesthetics, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 ($1,851.85 as tested) is an ultra-premium ultraportable laptop that’s a real stunner. Black vegan leather and bronze accents give it a luxe look, and small touches—such as a reimagined TrackPoint and an excellent webcam—show that the polished design is more than skin-deep. But the real treat here is the AMD Ryzen-powered performance, with class-leading processing and graphics chops that will take you through a full day or more of work on its fantastic battery.

Base Configuration Price $1,355.40

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Image

Desktop Replacement Laptop

Dell already makes a very good 15-inch XPS laptop, but the XPS 15 OLED variant (model 9520, $2,299 as tested) steps up that winning design by pairing it with Intel’s latest 12th Generation “Alder Lake” CPUs (with their flexible Performance and Efficient cores) and a superb, inky-black, near-4K screen. The elegant XPS design is a through-line that passes from the 13-inch up to the 17-inch versions, with aluminum and carbon-fiber construction, a roomy touchpad, and an excellent keyboard. This middle-of-the-pack desktop-replacement model, though, is a prime slice for power users, with graphics up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 and lots of connectivity, making it hands-down the best desktop replacement of 2022.

Starts at $1,449.00

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Image

Budget Laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

It’s rare enough to see the Microsoft Surface brand on a budget-friendly system, but the Surface Laptop Go 2 ($799.99 as tested) won us over with an updated 11th Generation CPU, an upgradable SSD, and clever touches such as a 3:2-aspect-ratio touch screen more commonly seen on much more expensive laptops. Add minor improvements to the webcam and a more sustainable design, and the Surface Laptop Go 2 becomes the budget laptop to beat.

Starts at $599.99

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Image

Chromebook

A Chromebook that competes with the best 2-in-1 Windows machines? That’s no joke, and neither is the Chromebook Spin 714 ($729 as tested), the latest first-class ChromeOS convertible from Acer. Now with a 12th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU, the flexible design gets another boost with a new 16:10 touch screen and a garaged stylus pen included. The features are wed to a tried-and-proven premium design, with an aluminum chassis that’s both attractive and hardened against shock and vibration. The end result is nearly flawless, making it the best of the Chromebook bunch.

MSRP $729.00

Lenovo Legion 7 Gen 7 Image

Gaming Laptop

You can certainly find gaming laptops that are more budget-friendly, but if we’re talking about the best overall offering of the year, we can’t look past the all-AMD-based version of the Lenovo Legion 7 Gen 7. As configured for our review ($2,859), this laptop offers blistering gaming performance in all scenarios, a fast screen, a primo metal build, Lenovo’s usual comfy keyboard, and long battery life for a gaming machine. It’s not the most portable gaming model, but 5.5 pounds is reasonable considering the power and features inside. If your budget has a hard limit, the $1,839 starting price may be more realistic than our review model’s cost.

Starts at $1,839.00

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) Image

Business Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022)

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) simply raises the bar, vying not only for the title of best business laptop but maybe also for best laptop, period. The latest Carbon uses Lenovo’s best professional design, utilizing carbon fiber and a magnesium alloy, that’s astonishingly thin and light but still rugged enough for travel. The new X1 Carbon adds brilliant 4K resolution and OLED display options, stretches battery life to more than 12 hours, and keeps the superb keyboard and generous port selection of past models. For office work on the go, there’s no better choice.

Starts at $1,439.00

MSI CreatorPro X17 Image

Workstation Laptop

The MSI CreatorPro X17 workstation ($4,899.99 as tested) impresses with more than just muscle. MSI has adapted the best aspects of its superb gaming-hardware design that prioritizes airflow and cooling to an RGB-lit keyboard and plenty of ports. The result is a high-performance machine that’s been retooled for serious number crunching and media work. The great keyboard and glass-surfaced touchpad are matched in quality by a 17-inch 4K display, which boasts factory calibration and a fantastic 120Hz refresh rate. The combination of function, features, and just a bit of gamer flash make this the top workstation of the year.

MSRP $3,449.99

Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2) Image

Apple Laptop

Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2)

The iconic Apple MacBook Air ($1,899 as tested) got a massive revamp this year, with a new look adapted from the updated MacBook Pro line as well as Apple’s latest M2 processor. The result is unrivaled portability and the most powerful Air yet. The new design ditches the tapered profile while somehow becoming even thinner, but it brings back the fan-favorite MagSafe power scheme, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and a larger, more vibrant display. It’s the freshest MacBook in a long time and by far the best choice for most Mac users.

Base Configuration Price $1,199.00

HP Spectre x360 13.5 (2022) Image

2-in-1 Laptop (Convertible or Detachable)

HP Spectre x360 13.5 (2022)

An elegant, slim design; a beautiful OLED touch display; and long battery life: There simply isn’t much more you’d want from a premium 2-in-1 laptop, which is why the Spectre x360 13.5 ($1,749.99 as tested) takes the crown this year. It’s not a matter of style over substance, either, as it features snappy 12th Generation Core i7 U-Series performance in its slim chassis. There are a couple of connectivity shortcomings, and it doesn’t come cheap, but this is one gorgeous convertible.

Starts at $1,149.99

Tablets & Ebook Readers

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus Image

Android Tablet

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the tablet by which we compare other affordable Android slates. For the price, it still manages to include a large 11-inch screen, fantastic speakers, and solid battery life, making it a compelling Android-powered alternative to the iPad.

Starts at $259.99

Apple iPad Air (2022) Image

iPad

Apple’s 2022 iPad Air is the epitome of a mobile tablet, with a nearly perfect balance of features and performance. The company’s M1 chip is impressively powerful, and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil makes the new Air a better creative tool than its predecessor. While battery life could be better, it’s not bad, so that’s a relatively minor complaint. If you’re looking for a do-it-all tablet with top-notch accessories, the 2022 iPad Air is the best choice in Apple’s tablet lineup.

MSRP $599.99

Amazon Kindle (2022 Release) Image

Ebook Reader

Amazon Kindle (2022 Release)

The Kindle is Amazon’s most affordable ebook reader, and the 2022 model is a strong upgrade over the 2019 version thanks to its much sharper screen, additional storage, and longer battery life. Starting at $99.99, the standard Kindle is $40 less than the Paperwhite, and this latest refresh brings the two closer to parity than ever.

MSRP $99.99

Mobile

Google Pixel 7 Image

Android Phone

Google’s Pixel 7 sits comfortably between the $449 Pixel 6a and the $899 Pixel 7 Pro in the company’s lineup, which is the sweet spot in the budgets of many smartphone shoppers—and that just so happens to make it one of the most feature-rich, affordable phones on the market. The Pixel 7 easily outclasses most similarly priced handsets, and brings some real heat to Samsung’s $799 Galaxy S22, with standout performance and camera quality for the price. Though its low-key external design refresh and minor spec bump may seem a bit incremental year over year, you simply won’t find a better Android phone for $600.

MSRP $599.00

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Image

iPhone

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s largest, most tricked-out handset, and the top pick in the iPhone family for anyone who wants a do-it-all smartphone. The smaller iPhone 14 Pro is $100 less, but we think the larger screen and longer-lasting battery you get with the Max are worth the extra cash. Moreover, the Pro Max outshines the standard iPhone 14 thanks to its more capable processor, always-on display, and Dynamic Island. With an upgraded main camera powered by a new Photonic Engine, and safety features such as Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite, Apple has delivered as fine a device as any on the market.

MSRP $1,099.00

Google Pixel 6a Image

Midrange Phone

Google is having a great year. Its high-end phones are tremendous, but you can’t forget about the incredible Pixel 6a, released earlier in 2022. It has the best features of the Pixel 6, scales back in some sensible places, and hits a price that makes it a viable purchase for shoppers on a budget. The Pixel 6a isn’t as powerful as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, but casual smartphone users won’t notice the difference.

MSRP $449.00

OnePlus Nord N20 Image

Budget Phone

OnePlus consistently manages to pack an excessive amount of features into shockingly low-price phones. The Nord N20 is about as affordable as a phone can get, but it comes with high-end features including long battery life, fast charging, and a 64MP main camera. You’ll have a hard time finding a better phone for less money.

MSRP $299.99

Verizon Orbic Speed 5G UW Mobile Hotspot Image

Hotspot

Verizon Orbic Speed 5G UW Mobile Hotspot

Mobile hotspots are useful if you have a phone that doesn’t support tethering or you don’t want to run down your phone’s battery for the day. The Orbic Speed 5G UW is currently the only hotspot that can handle the Verizon’s new 5G network, and that support should make a big difference in network performance if you live in a C-band zone. We’re not fans of its bulk or middling battery life, but those issues are worth working around to get the best possible network speeds.

MSRP $299.99

T-Mobile Image

Cellular Network

Each year for over a decade, the staff of PCMag has embarked on a journey to determine the fastest mobile network. This year, we took it a step further by determining the best network. T-Mobile(Opens in a new window) came out ahead in more cities than AT&T or Verizon, giving us the confidence to call it the best cellular network in the US.

Apple Watch Series 8 Image

Smartwatch

The Apple Watch Series 8 looks exactly like its predecessor, but it offers some notable health and safety improvements not available on last year’s model. Its biggest upgrade is the ability to measure and track changes in your body temperature while you sleep, with a dual-sensor design for more accurate readings. If you have a menstrual cycle, the Series 8 can use your body temperature data to estimate the date of your last ovulation. And on the safety front, the watch can detect if you’ve been in a car crash and automatically call for help. With these upgrades, plus an already unrivaled user experience and app selection that’s further enhanced by watchOS 9, the Apple Watch Series 8 remains the best iPhone-compatible smartwatch for most buyers.

Starts at $399.00

Digital Health & Fitness

Oura Ring Generation 3 Image

Fitness Tracker

The third-generation Oura is like a mood ring on steroids: It looks like a basic metal band, but it houses small sensors to help keep tabs on your activity, physical and mental health, and sleep. It can even monitor your heart rate and track your body temperature around the clock, as well as predict your next period. Not everyone wants to wear a bulky wristband, and the Oura Ring Generation 3 is the best finger-based tracker we’ve tested.

Starts at $299.00

Forme Studio Image

Fitness Mirror

Ever wish you had a team of personal trainers at your beck and call? The Forme Studio workout mirror makes that dream a reality. This sleek and discreet piece of smart fitness equipment differentiates itself from the competition with a wildly immersive 43-inch 4K touch screen on which you can browse and stream a wide range of fun and effective trainer-led fitness classes. You can also get personalized weekly workout plans from a human Fitness Concierge to help you crush your goals. Forme trainers appear almost life-size on the Studio’s large screen, which makes it easy to see what they’re doing and follow along.

MSRP $2,495.00

MYX II Image

Smart Stationary Bike

Out of all of the Peloton Bike alternatives we’ve tested, the MYX II, aka The Beachbody Bike, offers the best value. Starting at $1,399, the smart stationary bike costs $100 more than the original model, but features a slimmer 21.5-inch touch screen with improved speakers and increased processing power. It also has a new metrics sensor for more on-screen data, a video camera for interactive classes, and Apple Watch support. And after a recent merger with The Beachbody Company, the MYX II offers access to two different workout streaming platforms: MYX + Openfit ($39 per month) and Beachbody On Demand Interactive ($29 per month), both of which offer plenty of content to keep you sweating.

MSRP $1,399.00

Aventon Aventure Ebike Image

E-Bike

If you yearn to bike beyond paved roads, ride fast, and feel the wind on your face, the aptly named Aventure Ebike from Aventon might be your ideal companion. The Aventure is an all-weather fat-tire e-bike with five pedal assist levels and an on-demand throttle for speedy getaways at up to 28mph. Its powerful 750W rear hub electric motor has a range of up to 45 miles, while its suspension and fenders make it well-suited for rides on the beach or trails. A built-in display includes Bluetooth connectivity and can keep your phone charged, while a companion app tracks your rides and lets you customize bike settings. The Aventure is a powerful bike, and you definitely need to exercise caution when using it, but it makes for a very fun ride.

MSRP $1,999.00

Smart Home

Emporia Smart Plug Image

Smart Plug

Adding connectivity to just a few devices you regularly use is a good way to dip your toes into smart home technology. At $9.99, the Emporia is an affordable single-outlet smart plug that lets you control traditional electronics like coffee makers, fans, and lamps from your phone or via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. It’s also very easy to install and generates reports that keep track of real-time and historical energy throughput.

MSRP $9.99

Wyze Bulb White Image

Smart Lighting

From motion-sensing night lights to mood-setting light strips, we’ve rated many of Wyze’s lighting products highly, including the original Wyze Bulb. Its successor, the Wyze Bulb White, is another winner. The price remains the same, and it still puts out a maximum of 800 lumens, but the new version has a 25,000-hour life expectancy (up from 20,000 hours), and you can now set up multiple bulbs in the Wyze app at the same time. With these upgrades, the Wyze Bulb White outshines its excellent predecessor.

Starts at $14.99

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Image

Robot Vacuum

If you’re looking for both a robot vacuum and a robot mop, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is easily among the most expensive hybrids you can buy, but it’s also the most feature-rich and self-sufficient model we’ve tested. Thanks to AI-powered obstacle avoidance, an integrated voice assistant, home security camera functionality, automatic dustbin emptying, and a self-cleaning, drying, and refilling mop, the Deebot X1 Omni can thoroughly clean any type of floor you have with less effort on your part than competitors.

MSRP $1,549.99

SimpliSafe Home Security System

Security System

SimpliSafe Home Security System

If the idea of keeping your family and home secure appeals to you, but a costly multi-year service contract does not, the SimpliSafe Home Security System is the right pick for you. It keeps your home safe from intruders and environmental threats including fires and floods in a seamless system that provides an ideal balance of high-quality service, ease of use, and value. 

MSRP $229.00

Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 Image

Security Camera

The original Wyze Cam Outdoor earned high marks thanks to its excellent video quality and rich feature set for an affordable price. The Wyze Cam Outdoor V2 is better in every way, with improvements such as color night vision, a wider field of view, and a better motion detection sensor. It still requires a hub and uses non-removable batteries, but those are fair trade-offs for its simple wireless setup and ability to work without an internet connection from anywhere.

MSRP $73.99

Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell Image

Video Doorbell

Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell

If you’re in the market for a smart doorbell but don’t want to deal with wiring and voltage transformers, the Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell is an excellent deal. It runs on a rechargeable battery, installs in minutes, and comes with a wireless remote chime that you can place anywhere in your home or yard. Additionally, the camera delivers sharp 1080p video, works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and offers free cloud storage for video recordings.

MSRP $119.99

Wyze Air Purifier Image

Smart Air Purifier

If you’re concerned about breathing in wildfire smoke, dangerous off-gas from new furniture, or the dander from a pet, you should consider a smart air purifier. Most models suitable for large rooms are quite pricey, but the Wyze Air Purifier is an affordable alternative. It features a 360-degree High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and activated-carbon filter that promises to remove a variety of unwanted or harmful particles from the air in fairly sizable rooms. The unit is a bit of an eyesore, but it operates quietly, features Wi-Fi connectivity for app and voice control, and offers basic air-quality data. Most important, it filters the air just as competently as devices that cost several times as much.

MSRP $169.99

Furbo 360 Dog Camera Image

Smart Pet Camera

Ever wish you could pan the view left or right when spying on your pooch through your pet camera? As its name suggests, the Furbo 360 Dog Camera offers 360 degrees of visibility with fewer blind spots than its predecessor. It also features improved treat tossing, color night vision, and an automatic pet-tracking option for $40 more than the standard Furbo. Otherwise, the 360 model retains all the features of the regular Furbo, including a 1080p camera with a wide-angle lens, two-way audio, and free barking alerts.

MSRP $210.00

Amazon Echo Show 15 Image

Smart Display

Amazon’s Echo Show 15 is the company’s largest-screen (and biggest-statement) smart display yet: It resembles a picture frame and hangs on the wall like one, while its widgets and face-detection capabilities make it a useful information hub for every member of your household. And it’s getting an update that adds the Fire TV smart TV platform, letting you access the same streaming media any Fire TV device can—a big jump in functionality.

MSRP $249.99

Amazon Echo Dot With Clock (5th Gen) Image

Smart Speaker

Amazon Echo Dot With Clock (5th Gen)

The Amazon Echo Dot With Clock has always been exactly what it sounds like: an Echo Dot smart speaker with a clock. The 5th-gen version makes the clock part even better: The LED display now also shows weather information, the currently playing music, and a few other handy tidbits, on top of the time and any timers running. It’s worth the extra $10 over the standard Echo Dot and is an ideal speaker for your nightstand.

MSRP $49.99

TVs & Home Theater

LG C2 Evo Image

OLED TV

LG’s C2 Evo OLED TV is an impressive follow-up to the company’s class-leading C1 that we reviewed in 2021. Simply put, the LG C2 offers the best color accuracy we’ve ever seen out of the box with no calibration. It also boasts the lowest input lag we’ve measured on a television, and it has useful features like Apple AirPlay and hands-free access to some voice assistants, making it the best high-end TV you can buy this year.

MSRP $1,599.99

Hisense U8H Image

LCD (LED) TV

You don’t need to spend a ton of money for a big, bright, colorful TV. The Hisense U8H offers a great picture with incredibly high peak brightness and a wide color gamut. It also uses the Google TV platform, with both hands-free Google Assistant and Google Cast streaming, plus standard access to all major streaming services. The U8H is a fantastic value, especially if you can find it for lower than its suggested retail price (which you almost always can).

MSRP $1,399.99

Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) Image

Media Hub

Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022)

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is one of the most expensive media streamers on the market, but it’s worth the money for one big advantage: hands-free Amazon Alexa. This lets you control the screen and any compatible smart home devices you have, make video calls with a compatible webcam, get weather reports and sports scores, and check your schedule, all without picking up a remote. It also has an HDMI pass-through so you can play games on your favorite console and still access Alexa.

MSRP $139.99

Vizio M-Series 5.1 Sound Bar (M51ax-J6) Image

Soundbar

Vizio M-Series 5.1 Sound Bar (M51ax-J6)

A great soundbar doesn’t have to be fancy, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. The Vizio M-Series 5.1 Sound Bar offers exactly what it sounds like: 5.1-channel sound with rear satellites and a subwoofer. It also has excellent surround imaging with Dolby Atmos support, even without the height channels found on much more expensive soundbars. And at just $330, it’s a steal.

MSRP $329.99

Audio

Sony SRS-XG300 Image

Speaker

Sony’s SRS-XG300 dustproof and waterproof outdoor speaker can provide the soundtrack to your adventures with its intense bass and full sense of sound. Useful speakerphone functionality, as well as a companion app with a custom EQ, battery enhancements, and lighting options, round out the stylish, sporty package. Support for the hi-res-capable LDAC codec should please listeners who want top-notch audio streaming performance over Bluetooth.

MSRP $349.99

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Image

Earphones

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Bose definitively takes back the ANC (active noise cancellation) crown with the QuietComfort Earbuds II. These earphones are supremely effective at cutting back low-frequency distractions and perform better against mid- and high-frequency noise than any other model we’ve tested. Their engaging audio presentation and comfortable fit add to the appeal, while an IPX4 rating ensures they can survive moderate workouts and weather. Meanwhile, the accompanying Bose Music app offers a decently customizable EQ and plenty of noise cancellation settings.

MSRP $299.00

Anker Soundcore Space A40 Image

Budget Earphones

Anker Soundcore Space A40

Anker’s budget-friendly true wireless earphones always offer a strong value, and the Soundcore Space A40 earbuds are no exception. We’re fans of their rich, detailed sound presentation and impressive battery life. And as always, the Soundcore companion app has useful extras such as an adjustable EQ, on-ear control customizations, and ANC settings. But the ability to cancel noise is what sets them apart in this crowded segment: They don’t quite compete with more expensive class leaders, but we haven’t tested any other models that fare better at this price.

MSRP $99.99

Sony WH-1000XM5 Image

Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones excel in both sound and active noise cancellation. They produce plenty of low-end power without distortion and don’t sacrifice detail in the mids or highs. When you really want to focus on your music, their top-tier noise cancellation circuitry dramatically lowers environmental noise across the entire frequency range. Everything else about the headphones feels premium too, including comfortable design, LDAC support, 30-hour battery life, and a full-featured companion app.

MSRP $399.99

Cameras

Canon EOS R3 Image

Full-Frame Camera

The Canon EOS R3 marks a return to form for the long-dominant photo brand. In recent years, Sony cameras have won photo pros over, but the R3 should change that. Its Stacked CMOS sensor nabs Raw images at 30fps, and its autofocus recognizes subjects with an impressive accuracy rate (and can be controlled by eye movement). Throw in an HDR viewfinder, and this pricey camera is definitely for pros, but we think it’s worth the money.

MSRP $5,999.00

Canon EOS R7 Image

APS-C Camera

The Canon 7D line was a favorite for action and wildlife photography during the SLR days. The EOS R7 is the first real mirrorless counterpart. It has a high-pixel APS-C sensor with stabilization and uses the same autofocus system as the high-end EOS R3 to track birds, people, cars, and other moving subjects at a healthy 15fps clip. You won’t find a better camera for action photography, and 10-bit 4K60 video makes it a versatile pick for vlogs, too.

MSRP $1,499.00

Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN Art Image

Prime Lens

Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN Art

The Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN Art is a specialty lens, but it excels in its niche. The wide, bright optics are ideal for night-sky photography, and the prime is also a good match for architectural interiors and real estate work. And filter support is included for landscape and long exposures. The full-frame lens is available for Sony and L-Mount Alliance cameras.

MSRP $899.00

Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Image

Zoom Lens

Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

Ultra-wide zooms are handy tools, offering a way to shift perspective and grab more of the world in one picture. The Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary does the job for Sony and L-mount cameras for a reasonable price. It delivers the edge-to-edge clarity photo enthusiasts crave, and landscape photogs will appreciate its sun star quality.

MSRP $899.00

GoPro Hero11 Black Image

Action Camera

The Hero11 Black extends GoPro’s streak as our perennial favorite in the action cam space. This year’s model uses an innovative 8:7 aspect image sensor that lets you reframe footage for 16:9 and 9:16 screens, pushes 4K120 and 2.7K240 slow motion, and raises color sampling to 10-bit. Note that GoPro’s pricing remains confounding: The Hero11 Black costs $499.99 at retail, but you can get it for $100 less when you buy it along with a year-long GoPro subscription, so don’t overspend.

MSRP $499.99

DJI Mini 3 Pro Image

Drone

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has the best camera you’ll find in a 249-gram drone, a nose-mounted Quad Bayer lens for 4K60 video and 48MP stills. The small quadcopter is light enough to sidestep FAA registration requirements (though you’ll need to pass a free knowledge test to stay legal) and includes three-way obstacle avoidance to help prevent crashes. The Mini 3 Pro is available in a few configurations; spend $759 to get it with a remote that works with your smartphone, or $909 for one with a remote with its own built-in screen and camera-control app.

MSRP $669.00

Desktops

HP Envy 34 All-in-One (2022) Image

All-in-One Desktop

HP Envy 34 All-in-One (2022)

Not many new all-in-one desktops hit the market in 2022, but one clearly stands above the rest: the premium HP Envy 34. Starting at $2,349.99 (and $2,709.99 as tested), the HP Envy delivers a stunning big-screen experience with a wide 34-inch 5K panel, and plenty is going on beneath the surface, too. A Core i7 CPU and GeForce RTX 3060 mobile GPU drive strong performance, the RAM and storage are accessible, and the connectivity is solid. The high-quality magnetic camera is the cherry on top of this do-it-all, all-in-one desktop.

Starts at $1,999.99

Dell XPS Desktop (8950) Image

Budget or Mainstream Desktop

Our review configuration was well out of budget range at $1,802, but crucially, this desktop starts at $799.99. You get the same chic design and user-friendly build no matter the model, and Dell offers plenty of flexible options, so you can order the best PC for your needs. Even the base model offers a snappy 12th Generation Core i5 CPU and 16GB of RAM. If you want much cheaper options, mini PCs that cost only a few hundred bucks are easy to find. As far as a traditional tower PC goes, though, this is the best-made, most capable option within the budget and mainstream tiers.

Base Configuration Price $749.00

Apple Mac Studio (M1 Ultra) Image

Compact Desktop

Apple Mac Studio (M1 Ultra)

The definition of big power in a small package, the Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra chip is an incredible performer. It’s all the more impressive considering how compact the chassis is. The classic Mac industrial design carries over to this tiny box, which is bursting with connectivity and can be configured in a variety of ways. Our supremely expensive configuration ($6,199) rises above the already-high $3,999 starting price—this is definitely a desktop made for power users. It’s a testament to both Apple’s design and in-house processors.

Base Configuration Price $3,999.00

Falcon Northwest Talon (2022) Image

Gaming Desktop

Falcon Northwest Talon (2022)

In a year in which even budget systems don’t represent as much value as they used to, we’re rewarding high-end excellence. As with our gaming-laptop pick, you can find far more affordable options, but the latest Falcon Northwest Talon blows us away in form and function. You need not approach the sky-high price of our configuration ($6,989), but if you’re considering a custom build and the latest parts, the folks at Falcon Northwest put together a thoroughly excellent system in this Talon build with a starting price of $3,700. It’s a treat for the eyes, and the shiny new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 inside made light work of our gaming tests.

Starts at $3,978.00

HP Z2 Tower G9 Image

Business/Desktop Workstation

It’s easy for a workstation desktop to reach astronomical pricing, but the HP Z2 Tower G9 is ready for serious work without causing sticker shock. This highly configurable tower is easy to service, runs quietly, includes the features and connectivity that pro users need, and packs a punch even in moderate configurations. Our Core i7-12700K review unit ($2,479 as configured), joined by 64GB of RAM and an Nvidia RTX A4000 GPU, breezed through benchmark tests. This effective, upgradable, and potent workstation offers something for nearly everyone.

Starts at $1,004.00

PC Components & Storage

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition Image

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition is currently the undisputed fastest graphics card in the world. With 24GB of GDDR6X video memory and an enormous amount of hardware resources, this mega-card can run modern AAA games with maxed-out settings at 4K with ease, and it promises to be an eventual on-ramp to 8K fun. Prepare to pay out a small fortune, and know you’ll need an exceedingly powerful PC (and power supply) to get the most out of an RTX 4090. But if you want the best gaming experience money can buy, this is your card.

MSRP $1,599.00

Intel Core i9-13900K Image

High-End CPU

Intel’s late-2022 “Raptor Lake” Core i9-13900K is the fastest consumer processor we’ve tested to date, yet it manages to undercut its closest competitor significantly on price. With 24 CPU cores (a mix of high-performance and power-saving cores) and a top operating clock speed of 5.8GHz, this processor has bountiful power for gaming and many other high-performance tasks, too. If you aren’t going to game, its fairly capable integrated graphics can run older games reasonably well and will serve ably for any non-gaming graphics task.

MSRP $589.00

AMD Ryzen 7 5700X Image

Mainstream CPU

AMD’s Ryzen 7 5700X is well worth considering for value-minded power users and mainstream shoppers with a bent for performance. Its eight CPU cores come clocked at 4.6GHz max turbo, giving the processor strong performance for many tasks, and its 65-watt TDP makes it easier to keep cool than many other power processors. Though it isn’t the fastest processor on the market (it’s on AMD’s older AM4 platform, and it has already been technically succeeded by AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X), its price has dropped, and its performance remains competitive in many areas. That makes this CPU a strong option for anyone looking to build a budget system using the very robust, long-running AM4 platform, especially if they already have a compatible motherboard and RAM.

MSRP $299.99

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi Image

Motherboard

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi

MSI’s MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi is not only one of the best Z690 motherboards we’ve seen to date, but it’s also, arguably, the best MSI motherboard we’ve seen in recent years. The board features an ample amount of expansion slots with five M.2 PCI Express slots, a plethora of USB ports on the rear I/O panel, and a top design for both the board itself and the BIOS, making them easy to work with. The board also costs less than several competing motherboards. It’s a standout option for anyone looking to build an LGA 1700-based PC.

MSRP $369.99

Fractal Design Torrent Nano Image

PC Case

Fractal Design Torrent Nano

Building a mini-ITX PC can be highly advantageous, especially when space in your home or office is at a premium, but doing so comes with its own set of challenges. Often, we see mini-ITX PC cases that are difficult to build in because of their cramped interiors. This also often causes problems with fitting in large graphics cards and high-performance thermal solutions. With the Torrent Nano, however, you can have it all. This mini-ITX PC case can hold large GPUs, up to 335mm long, and it also has room for a 240mm water cooler—while still being smaller than most MicroATX PC cases.

MSRP $119.99

SK Hynix Platinum P41 Image

Internal SSD

SK Hynix, a relative newcomer to the consumer SSD space, made a huge splash with the Platinum P41, its first PCI Express 4.0-compliant stick. This internal solid-state drive easily surpassed its rated sequential read and write speeds and dominated our PCMark 10 general storage and 3DMark gaming tests, setting new high scores in several of our benchmark tests. Its one notable omission is a heatsink, important for such a blisteringly fast drive. With a thin heatsink added, the P41 can be used with a PS5 or a laptop.

Starts at $104.99

ADATA Elite SE880 External SSD Image

External Hard Drive or SSD

ADATA Elite SE880 External SSD

The ADATA Elite SE880 is a tiny, featherweight external solid-state drive, available in 500GB and 1TB capacities, with a moderate price per gigabyte. It’s even smaller than the Editors’ Choice-winning ADATA SE800 (from 2020), though it lacks the latter’s ruggedness. The SE880 is capable of impressive read and write speeds when used over a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connection; when paired with most computers, it reverts to still-respectable USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds. In PCMark 10 Overall and 3DMark gaming-centric testing, it was one of the best performers among Gen 2×2 drives.

Starts at $79.99

Networking

Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 (AS6702T) Image

Network Attached Storage

Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 (AS6702T)

Low-cost network attached storage (NAS) devices are great for home use, but if you’re a small-business owner, you’ll want a NAS that offers speedy performance, multi-gig LAN connectivity, and high-speed expansion options. With the Lockerstor 2 Gen2, you get all that and more. It’s easy to install, and the Asustor Data Manager software makes it easy to create storage volumes, share folders, and download more than 300 apps for office productivity, data backup, security, home entertainment, and other functions. Plus, this top-performing, two-bay NAS is equipped with four M.2 slots for speedy caching (using M.2 solid-state drives), two 2.5Gbps LAN ports, and two high-speed USB ports for device sharing. 

MSRP $549.00

TP-Link Archer AXE75 Image

Router

It’s not often that cutting-edge technology is affordable, but that’s a big part of the appeal of the Archer AXE75, which is among the least expensive Wi-Fi 6E routers to date. The AXE75 offers access to the uncrowded 6GHz channel. It’s a no-brainer for future-proofing your network, especially if you plan to buy a new phone or PC in the next few years, since those devices will also likely be upgraded with 6GHz support. It also delivers strong throughput performance and wide signal coverage. Getting all of these features in a router under $200 is hard to beat. 

MSRP $199.99

Eero Pro 6E Image

Mesh Wi-Fi System

While our top router of the year (the Archer AXE75, above) is reasonably priced, our top mesh system is significantly more expensive. But if you want to simultaneously future-proof your network and extend its coverage throughout a large home, the two-pack version of the Eero Pro 6E is well worth the price. It has all the features we’ve come to expect from Eero devices, including speedy throughput, ease of use, and the ability to control home-automation devices via Zigbee and Amazon Alexa. It also adds multi-gig wired connectivity and support for the 6GHz Wi-Fi band known as Wi-Fi 6E. In addition to the two-pack we tested, which is good for homes up to 4,000 square feet, the Eero Pro 6E also comes in single-node ($299) and three-pack ($699) versions. 

MSRP $499.00

PC Peripherals

Epson WorkForce ST-C4100 Supertank Color MFP Image

Inkjet Printer

Epson WorkForce ST-C4100 Supertank Color MFP

This top-of-the-line all-in-one, which handles letter- and legal-size paper, shares our Editors’ Choice honors with its consumer clone, the Epson EcoTank ET-4850. Its 30-sheet ADF can’t scan two-sided originals, but it’s otherwise a supremely capable printer, copier, fax, and scanner, small enough to fit on a desk but heavy-duty enough for a busy office. Best of all are its low, low operating costs—0.3 cent per black page, and 0.9 cent per color one.

MSRP $499.00

Canon imageClass MF452dw Image

Laser Printer

Need laser speed and text quality but don’t need color printing? Look no further than Canon’s imageClass MF452dw, a compact and capable monochrome multifunction that handles duplex printing, scanning, and copying (plus faxing—single-sided only, but them’s the breaks). You get plenty of wired, wireless, and mobile device connectivity with this mode, and you can manipulate the machine from a painless 5-inch touch-screen control panel. Most important: Expect top-tier text and graphics output.

MSRP $329.00

Canon Selphy CP1500 Wireless Compact Photo Printer Image

Photo Printer

Canon Selphy CP1500 Wireless Compact Photo Printer

It’s geared mainly for printing pics from your smartphone (though it has USB and Wi-Fi interfaces, too), but this compact dye-sub device is more versatile than most rivals—affordable options include a battery pack for taking this mini-printer with you and a paper cassette that lets it print three smaller snapshot sizes (including stickers) as well as standard 4-by-6-inchers. Handy controls and good print quality make it a perfect phone companion.

MSRP $139.99

Creality Ender-3 V2 Image

3D Printer

The Creality Ender-3 V2, an open-frame 3D printer that you build from a kit, produced generally above-par prints in our testing. It has a relatively large build area for its modest price, and it supports PETG and TPU filaments, in addition to the usual ABS and PLA types. The V2 takes several hours to build and may require some troubleshooting to get up and running, but it’s a great way to learn a lot about 3D printing, and you can take pride in using a machine that you assembled yourself.

MSRP $319.99

HP ScanJet Pro 3600 f1 Image

Scanner

It’s a flatbed scanner! It’s a sheetfed document scanner! It’s (almost) affordable enough for entry-level use but sturdy enough for high-volume work. HP’s midrange ScanJet Pro 3600 f1 is ready to digitize anything from stacks of pages to delicate items or books and magazines on the flatbed. It’s not networkable, and its simple control panel lacks the fancy touch screens of some rivals, but it makes up for that with excellent software and performance.

MSRP $599.00

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 4K Pro-UHD Laser Projector Image

Projector

Epson Pro Cinema LS12000 4K Pro-UHD Laser Projector

You may not notice the difference at armchair or couch distance—but more closely, you can see that the true 3,840-by-2,160-pixel resolution of Epson’s flagship Pro Cinema LS12000 delivers detail that pixel-shifting 4K projectors (that combine two sets of 1080p images) miss. A 15-element glass lens, sophisticated video processing with HDR10+ support, and a 20,000-hour laser light source (which matches the dark blacks of lamp-based projectors) make it worth the money for 4K cinephiles.

MSRP $4,999.00

Logitech MX Master 3S Wireless Mouse Image

Mouse

Logitech MX Master 3S Wireless Mouse

Many mice scamper across PC Labs’ test benches, but none of them beat the MX Master 3S this year. Ergonomically sound and ultra-customizable, this wireless winner delivers quiet clicks and high sensitivity. You can connect to up to three different Bluetooth or USB devices, as well as make use of Logitech’s Flow technology to move from one screen to another, and even copy and paste between Mac and Windows systems. It’s quiet, comfortable, and quite a looker, too—once you spend some time with it, you’ll quickly learn why it earned our top rating.

MSRP $99.99

Razer Pro Type Ultra Image

Keyboard

Razer is best known for its gaming peripherals, but the Pro Type Ultra proves that the company’s solid gaming foundation can translate just as easily to a premier productivity keyboard. The Pro Type Ultra has comfortable keys for fast typing but without resulting in the loud click-clacks of your typical gaming keyboard. Bluetooth and 2.4GHz RF connections are available to connect with up to four devices at one time, while an elegant bright backlight illuminates the board, replacing the RGB often seen in gaming keyboards.

MSRP $159.99

Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor (U2723QE) Image

Productivity Monitor

Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor (U2723QE)

The Dell U2723QE has most of the features a creatively inclined employee might seek in a productivity monitor. Its 27-inch UHD (aka 4K) screen is one of the first to employ LG’s IPS Black technology, which greatly improves its contrast over standard IPS screens. It’s bright for a business monitor and covers the full sRGB color space as well as nearly the full DCI-P3 digital video space and 90% of Adobe RGB. A pair of DisplayPort connectors lets you daisy-chain a second 4K monitor to your setup. You can power your laptop over a USB-C port (one of three), which provides up to 90 watts of power delivery, and an Ethernet port can keep you connected even if Wi-Fi is not available. Four downstream USB-A ports, a full range of ergonomic features, and a mini-joystick controller complete the picture.

MSRP $654.99

Gaming

Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW) Image

Gaming Monitor

Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW)

Customizing your PC with the latest CPU and GPU is all well and good, but to make the most of what’s inside, you need a high-quality monitor. Consider Alienware’s 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW), one of the finest gaming monitors to come across our desk this year. With a curved ultrawide OLED screen, the display’s 3,440-by-1,440-pixel native resolution and 175Hz peak refresh rate deliver gorgeous, colorful visuals. Snappy and responsive, the monitor is sure to impress hyper-competitive gamers and casual fans alike.

MSRP $1,299.99

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Image

Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

SteelSeries’ Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has everything you’d want in a wireless gaming headset, and adds a few extra features on top of that. It feels good, sounds great, and offers Bluetooth connectivity and active noise cancellation. It also has a two-battery design that features a charger built into the transmitter, so you don’t need to spend time juicing the headset.

MSRP $349.99

Meta Quest Pro Image

VR Headset

The Meta Quest Pro is clearly priced beyond most consumer budgets, with enhanced specs and features to match. Its Snapdragon XR2+ processor adds welcome power, and its upgraded display improves contrast and color. In a nice touch, the headset incorporates eye- and face-tracking tech, too. It’s an excellent enterprise-level VR headset that anyone with deep-enough pockets can pick up and use.

MSRP $1,499.99

Secretlab Titan EVO (2022 Series) Image

Gaming Chair

Secretlab Titan EVO (2022 Series)

SecretLab once again demonstrates that it knows how to make a top-tier gaming chair. The Titan EVO 2022 series combines the Omega and Titan lines’ best aspects in a chair with plenty of size, material, and design choices. It’s comfortable and sturdy, and you can customize it with Cyberpunk 2077, Game of Thrones, League of Legends, The Witcher, or World of Warcraft skins.

MSRP $549.00

Valve Steam Deck Image

Game Console

The Valve Steam Deck didn’t immediately wow us out of the box, but regular, post-release firmware updates fixed several issues. It’s an impressive piece of hardware, with enough power to run modern PC games in a handheld package that costs about as much as the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. The Steam Deck lacks the battery life to make it viable as a traveling gaming device, but it’s ideal for playing PC games on the couch or connecting to a monitor or TV via a dock.

MSRP $399.00

God of War Ragnarok Image

PlayStation Game

This outstanding sequel to 2018’s God of War features Kratos and his boy, Atreus, continuing their journey through the Norse world and slaughtering the gods along the way. The original game’s somber tone and hard-hitting action return, with powerful new weapons, genre-defining cinematics, and challenging puzzles. If you own a PS5, you can’t do without this action-adventure masterpiece.

MSRP $69.99

Forza Horizon 5 Image

Xbox Game

Take a trip to Mexico and enjoy the gorgeous vistas, tight racing action, and community-driven challenges with Forza Horizon 5. Like its predecessors, the game captures the beauty and appeal of simply driving by offering premier vehicles and gorgeous environments. Naturally, it also offers thrilling, competitive racing modes. Still, sometimes you just want to get in a car and motor toward the sunset, and Forza Horizon 5 is just the game for that.

MSRP $59.99

Bayonetta 3 Image

Nintendo Switch Game

PlatinumGames delivers an absolute masterpiece of an action game with Bayonetta 3. Like previous Bayonetta titles, it lets you slaughter hordes of angelic enemies using a stylish, acrobatic combat system that demands skill while remaining accessible to first-time players. New to the series is the ability to summon massive demons to fight alongside Bayo for even more epic encounters.

MSRP $59.99

Monster Hunter Rise Image

PC Game

With Monster Hunter Rise, developer Capcom takes Monster Hunter World’s critically acclaimed elements and streamlines them for even tighter play. That’s not to say that Rise is a casual affair; the game’s new movement techniques, including parkour and the Wirebug tool that gives your character Spider-Man-like swinging, let you pursue big beasts with flair and precision. Factor in high frame rates and superior visual fidelity compared with the Switch version, and you have one of the series’ best entries.

MSRP $59.99

Apps & Web Services

Apple macOS Ventura Image

Operating System

Apple’s desktop operating system remains the most polished option around, and Ventura’s Stage Manager adds welcome new multitasking options. It improves the search and Settings features as well as the included Mail and Messages apps. You can use an iPhone as a webcam, and Shared Libraries let everyone add and edit family photos.

MSRP Free

Apple iOS 16 Image

Mobile OS

Apple’s remarkably polished iOS 16 delivers substantial operating system enhancements. Live Text now works with video, letting you capture, copy, and even translate text in any media you capture. Visual Look Up uses similar AI to identify and isolate a photo’s subject, so you can save the image as a PNG file or search for additional info online. Awesome screen customization options, impactful email changes, and numerous other fun and invaluable new features make the mobile OS a winner.

MSRP Free

Canva Image

Graphic Design Software

Canva is an app that lets unartistic people and designers alike create professional-looking graphics and videos for social media, advertising, presentations, and other uses. You no longer have to take a course in Photoshop or Illustrator to make visuals for your business or brand. Canva’s web, mobile, and desktop apps can all be had for free, although for an annual fee, you get access to a wealth of extra templates and stock content.

Per User, Per Month, Starts at $12.99

Adobe Photoshop Image

Photo-Editing Software

Just when you thought Adobe couldn’t make Photoshop more powerful, the company injected dazzling new AI tools into the software. Selection tools continue to be turbocharged, to the point that now you can simply hover over multiple objects in an image and they’re automatically selected sequentially. Text tools, painting tools, gradients, and neural filters have all seen big improvements over the past year. Photoshop simply remains the best photo-editing software you can get.

Per Month, Starts at $9.99

CyberLink PowerDirector 365 Image

Video-Editing Software

CyberLink PowerDirector 365

If you want to do everything that’s possible with video but don’t want to learn a complex editing system, then PowerDirector is for you. With a subscription, you get a continual boost of effects, templates, and content, as well as stock footage from Shutterstock and Getty. Even without a subscription, you can enjoy the program’s powerful tools for keyframe editing, motion tracking, sound tools, transitions, speedup/slowdown, and titling.

MSRP $99.99

Apple Logic Pro X (for Mac)

Audio-Editing Software

Apple has done it again with the latest version of its long-running digital-audio workstation. Logic Pro 10.7 adds integrated Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio music production, including 3D visualization tools that help you create, mix, and master immersive audio, all while retaining the robust roundup of bundled plug-ins and vast loop library Logic Pro has become famous for. Even this late in the game, with storied competitors that include Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Motu Digital Performer, few DAWs can match Logic Pro’s smooth recording and music composition workflow.

MSRP $199.99

Netflix logo

Video Streaming Service (On Demand)

The video streaming landscape is far more competitive than it was just a few years ago, with the rise of Apple TV+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Paramount+. But Netflix, the innovator, is still the best overall service. Over the years, Netflix has built a compelling library of high-quality dramas, cool animation, and irresistible reality trash. Its rich apps offer streaming flexibility, too. The new ad-supported tier makes it more affordable than ever to binge your favorite shows.

Per Month, Starts at $6.99

YouTube TV Logo

Video Streaming Service (Live TV)

YouTube serves up more than just cat videos: YouTube TV is a full-on cable TV replacement that offers a wide array of live channels, including ESPN, FX, MTV Classic, and local stations. It’s a traditional TV experience but with excellent DVR options and the ability to add AMC+, NBA League Pass, Showtime, and other channels.

MSRP $72.99

Apple Music Image

Music Streaming Service

Spotify may be the face of streaming audio, but you shouldn’t overlook the excellent Apple Music. The service has an impressive 100-million-song catalog, high-quality radio, curated playlists, lossless audio quality, immersive spatial audio, and robust support for Apple’s rich device ecosystem. Apple Music may be a smidge more costly than many competing services, but it’s a top-tier choice.

Per Month, Starts at $10.99

Todoist Image

Productivity App

With a rare five-star rating, Todoist is unequivocally the best to-do list app on the market. What makes Todoist shine is its superb user experience and design: It’s elegant and simple, with all the features anyone could need, such as custom views, natural language input, and collaboration options. We love Todoist Pro for individuals who need to manage all the varied aspects of their lives, and the Business version is excellent for small teams that need to coordinate ongoing work or lightweight projects.

Per Month, Starts at $5.00

Rev Image

Transcription Service

Transcribing audio files can be a long and arduous process unless you outsource the task. Rev is our favorite tool for the job. Founded by five MIT students in 2010, Rev delivers high-quality transcriptions, captions, translations, and more. Rev lets you choose between AI- or human-generated transcriptions, whereas many other services offer only one or the other. We also like the optional subscription model that gives you 20 hours of audio transcribed per month for a flat fee.

MSRP $0.25

Zoom Meeting Logo

Video Conferencing Software

In a capitalistic system where winners and losers are declared during every tragedy, Zoom got the bittersweet win when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Zoom Meetings (typically shortened to Zoom) went from being a video-conferencing app that hardly anyone outside the tech industry had heard of to a household name and even a verb. No one Skypes anymore; everyone Zooms. The company’s mission was to master the backend technology needed to make video calls less glitchy and more reliable, and it has succeeded.

Per User, Per Month, Starts at $14.99

Wix Website Builder Image

Website Builder

Wix maintains its reign as one of the most well-rounded and versatile website builders we’ve tested. Don’t want to spend money? Try the robust free option. Looking to make an online store? Leverage the numerous e-commerce tools. Want an eye-catching visual design? The attractive templates and powerful image editor make that a breeze, too. Wix removes many potential web-hosting obstacles so that you can focus on creating.

Per Month, Starts at $14.00

HostGator Web Hosting Image

Web Hosting Service

Hostgator is a superbly well-rounded web hosting service that delivers powerful tools to suit your many developmental needs, at wallet-friendly prices. Hostgator’s robust shared hosting plans in particular earn it high marks, but it provides strong virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated packages, too. If you’re fine with Linux OS server infrastructure, Hostgator is a fine choice for your personal or small-business hosting needs.

Per Month, Starts at $10.95

Factor Meal Delivery Service Image

Meal Kit Delivery Service

Factor Meal Delivery Service

Have you sampled the HelloFresh-owned Factor? If not, you should. Factor is similarly excellent, and it features a delicious menu of rotating dishes that you simply heat and eat. Factor lacks an a la carte option (it offers a subscription plan), but the service accommodates most diets, and you can purchase meal add-ons for your weekly deliveries.

Starts at $11.50

Kippo Image

Dating Service

Match and Tinder are terrific dating services, but Kippo helps you find your next relationship by letting you bond with another person over geeky passions such as comic books and video games. After all, nerds know better than anyone else that online communities can lead to real, meaningful human connections. You can take matters to the next level by virtual dating via audio chat or hanging out in a metaverse-like online space that features couples activities such as go-kart racing and volleyball.

Per Month, Starts at $10.00

Security

Norton 360 Deluxe Image

Security Suite

A Norton 360 Deluxe subscription lets you install protection on your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. Protection is the richest on Windows, where you get expected security suite features such as antivirus, firewall, spam filtering, and parental control, but also a full-powered backup system with 50GB of hosted online storage. You can install the included VPN on any of your devices with no limits on bandwidth or choice of server. While this suite doesn’t incorporate Norton’s LifeLock identity-theft protection, it taps some LifeLock technology to monitor the dark web and ensure your personal information isn’t up for sale.

Per Year, Starts at $109.99

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Image

Standalone Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus earns perfect scores from independent antivirus testing labs and good-to-perfect scores when we challenge it to detect and deflect dangerous and fraudulent websites. Its broad collection of features includes an active Do Not Track system to foil ad trackers, ransomware-specific behavioral detection, an isolated desktop to shield your financial transactions, and discounted access to Bitdefender’s Premium VPN. By name, it’s just an antivirus program—but with its wealth of features, it beats out many security suites.

Per Year, Starts at $39.99

Keeper New Logo

Password Manager

Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault

Keeper Password Manager and Digital Vault offers consistent, excellent apps for all the platforms and browsers you could want. It includes the advanced features found in the very best password managers, including password inheritance, secure sharing, multi-factor authentication, and an actionable password-strength report.

MSRP $34.99

NordVPN

Premium VPN

NordVPN does it all. With it, you can direct how your web traffic moves with split tunneling, route your data through an additional VPN server with multi-hop connections, and connect to Tor via VPN—a real rarity. NordVPN also has an impressive collection of servers the world over, and you can choose them directly. The company is also expanding out of the VPN space and into the world of antivirus protection. Other excellent VPN services cost less than NordVPN, but it makes the fewest compromises.

Per Month, Starts at $12.99

Proton VPN Image

Free VPN

It’s surprising that our top pick for free VPNs is also the highest-rated VPN we’ve reviewed, but that’s a testament to Proton VPN’s excellence. This service does everything we want a VPN to do, supporting split tunneling, multi-hop connections, and VPN access to Tor. Other VPNs can match those features, but Proton VPN’s free service places no limit on data use, which means it’s the only free VPN you could use as a daily driver. Revamped with a new look and access to Proton’s suite of privacy-first cloud services, it’s an excellent choice whether or not you choose to pay for it.

Price as Tested $9.99


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