Bad year, great gear: 2020’s 7 best tech products

Bad year, great gear: 2020’s 7 best tech products
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It’s nearly the end of the year, which means it’s time to take a step back and reflect on 2020. 

Despite how much this year was an Annus Horribilis on so many levels, some very good technology products were released. While we cannot list them all, here’s what made the top of our list on Jason Squared at ZDNet.

It should come as no surprise that Apple utterly dominated the year’s list of best technology products. Apple brought its A-Game this year, and it is starting to look like an unbeatable force when you compare their product lineup to its competitors.

Part of this is attributable to the fact that the company has so much cash and so much money devoted to research and development, that it’s one of the few who have been able to make it through the pandemic without introducing compromises into products it’s releasing. Let’s face it; its customers would not accept anything less. 

Just about the only thing the company has allowed to slip is delays in shipping and manufacturing. Apple has spread its products over multiple launches and ordering windows, but it’s handling it well. If it’s consciously left features out of products because of the pandemic situation, it’s done an excellent job of concealing it. There were a few things it could have done, like migrate to USB-C on iPhone and potentially get TouchID back as an authentication mechanism on the iPhone as well. But now we are nitpicking.

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Best phone: Apple iPhone 12

Best phone in the industry is even better, faster, and has 5G

With a blazing fast Apple Silicon A14 Bionic processor, a 6.1″ OLED display, dual cameras, magnetic locking charging interface, and a “retro” squared-off industrial design, the iPhone 12 maintains its crown as best smartphone. If the “default” iPhone isn’t your cup of tea, the new 12 Mini should appeal to those looking for the same power, but in a smaller device. For creatives, the 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max should fit the bill for those looking for more powerful camera capabilities as well as larger displays.

Our runner up in the Android department goes to Google, with its Pixel 5. It’s not a super-performer like the iPhone 12, but it’s a very respectable midrange 5G device.

$799 at Apple

Best tablet: iPad Air (third generation)

Almost “Pro” for about half the price

Image: Apple

The iPad Air is really an impressive device for the money. It is the best tablet for virtually any consumer or a business user looking for that higher-end content consumption and creation experience. It’s the “Executive” iPad. It matches the iPad Pro in just about every category, processing power, and display quality — except refresh rate, which really only design professionals need. Most people won’t use that for the extra $200-$400 an iPad Pro costs. 

My runner up is the refreshed base-level iPad 8th Generation, which is ideal for students and folks who want a device for casual content consumption. 

$879 at Amazon

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