— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.
Finding an electronics product that fulfills rather than frustrates and shows quality no matter what the price isn’t easy. Whether it’s a TV for your home theater, a laptop for your kid, a camera, tech for travel or other products, Reviewed has tested them all and is here to inform and help you find what you need. Here are our favorite electronics that we saw in 2018.
1. Best Television: LG C8 Series
For years, OLED technology has been the most impressive thing in TV tech, and OLED TVs have been our top-ranked televisions for the same amount of time. At the cutting edge of screen tech, OLED TVs are capable of a natural contrast, color production, and viewing angle efficacy that almost no LED/LCD TV can match.
It makes sense, then, that the best TV you can buy this year is an OLED model. The LG C8 is uniquely positioned in 2018 as the most affordable of LG’s core OLED lineup. There’s a cheaper OLED series, the B8, but it skimps on some processing power compared to the other 2018 series. All in all, the C8 delivers the most power at the cheapest price, making it our #1 TV pick this year.
2. Best TV for the Money: TCL 6 Series
If you’re looking to get the a truly robust TV experience for as little as money as possible, you’ve got to check out our top pick for best TV for the money: the TCL 6 Series.
The 6 Series is a top-notch performer that combines future-facing TV tech like 4K resolution and HDR specs with a svelte, voice-searchable version of the Roku platform. It’s easily the best TV in its price range, and should be on your radar if you don’t have thousands to spend this year.
3. Best TV under $1000: Vizio P-Series (55-inch)
The P-Series is one of Vizio’s best TVs in 2018, and the 55-inch model is the best TV under $1,000 that we’ve reviewed. You’re getting higher brightness and more color than the last year’s model, a better design, and more far-reaching smart features.
If you’re an AV nerd, you’ll be pleased to hear that this year’s P-Series’ local dimming is absolutely incredible. While we don’t like the smart features as much as the Roku platform TCL has picked up, Vizio continues to be the brand of choice for budget-conscious shoppers who still want top-notch picture quality.
4. Best TV under $500: Vizio E-Series (55-inch)
While it’s right on the $500 line (and at some retailers is a little more expensive), the 2018 55-inch Vizio E-Series year is easily the best overall choice for most people on a budget.
You’re not giving up much, though. You get a 4K display, HDR, excellent contrast, and accurate colors. Pound for pound, the 2018 E-Series is a great choice if you want a solid, reliable, and future-facing TV.
5. Best TV for Gaming: TCL 6 Series
If you spend more time playing Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch than watching Netflix or channel surfing, you’ve probably got slightly different priorities than the average person when it comes to buying a new TV. The TCL 6 Series—the 55-inch specifically—is our top recommendation for most gamers looking for a high quality, low input lag TV.
At $650, the 55-inch 6 Series does everything modern console (and PC) gamers might want. It’s got 4K resolution, high brightness/color for HDR gaming, and fast responses on its HDMI inputs. For what you’re paying, this is already a great value for most TV buyers, but it’s also an especially good choice for gamers.
6. Best Streaming Device: Roku Ultra
The Ultra is Roku’s the top-of-the-line model and still our favorite streaming device. It supports 4K and HDR content at up to 60 frames per second, comes with Roku’s most advanced remote, and there’s even remote location button on the box itself.
The remote is still the easiest to use of all the major players, and it now features power/volume buttons that work with your TV. The remote is perfectly sized, has buttons to quickly access popular services, and even includes a headphone jack so you can plug in headphones and listen to what you’re streaming wirelessly—perfect for late-night binge sessions.
1. Best Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7
When headphones manage to expertly balance form and function, we stand up and take notice. Audio-Technica’s ATH-MSR7 over-ear headphones do that by combining thick memory foam padding, an aluminum/magnesium housing, and rich, consumer-friendly sound. The result is a luxurious combination of comfort and high-fidelity audio that make them well worth the asking price. They’re cans that’ll please audiophiles and average consumers alike—so long as they don’t mind spending a little more.
2. Best Headphones for Travel: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose has a devoted following, and with a pair of wireless headphones like the QuietComfort 35 II, that’s not surprising. The active noise cancellation (ANC) Bose here works perfectly to cut out a wide range of noises—from the deep rumbles of subway trains to high-pitched HVAC humming. The 35 IIs are light enough to be worn for hours at a time, and provide about 20 hours of battery life on a single charge. Plus, their sound profile is relatively well-rounded, gently emphasizing bass and higher pitches.
The only real drawback is the price—around $350. But if you have a little disposable income and want an outstanding pair of travel headphones, this is the pair to buy.
3. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds: Apple AirPods
If you’ve ever bought an iPod or iPhone and used the iconic white earbuds that were included, you probably know what to expect when it comes to the look, feel, and fit of Apple’s AirPods. But you’d be surprised by much better the AirPods sound than their wired counterparts—that’s why they’re our favorite true wireless earbuds.
What’s so great about the AirPods? Simplicity. Just pop open the dental floss-sized charging case and they automatically pair with your iPhone or MacBook. When you’re done listening, just pop them back into the case and they’ll magnetically slot into their chargers and automatically disconnect. It’s downright elegant. While pairing is the standard Bluetooth headache on non-Apple devices, anyone can enjoy the AirPods’ superior wireless range and killer battery life.
4. Best Headphones for the Money: 1More E1001 Triple Driver
Starting at $99 and wielding a design that aims to compete with headphones ten times as pricy, 1More’s Triple Driver in-ears certainly have their work cut out for them. While they aren’t necessarily the best headphones we’ve ever tried, they’re just about the best under-$100 in-ear headphones we’ve tested to date. They’re stylish, sound great, and complement every genre of music—from hip-hop, to classical, to blues.
5. Best Laptop: Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
The Dell XPS 15 (2018) stands as an experiment gone right. This 2-in-1 convertible—with its sturdy hinged screen, powerful 8th Gen Intel processor, and Radeon RX Vega graphics—is one hell of a powerhouse, which rockets it to the top of our best laptop list. The display is beautiful, too, and we love the keyboard and speakers.
The XPS 15 2-in-1 isn’t free from drawbacks, namely sub-par battery life and heat dispersement issues, but it’s still our pick as the ideal option for power users like hardcore gamers or multimedia professionals.
6. Best Laptop for Students: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC flash storage, is a pure productivity machine—and the perfect laptop for students. It’s easily fast enough to handle simple tasks like streaming Netflix or surfing the web, and in fact is surprisingly zippy for a Chromebook.
The Flip feels genuinely well-built, too. The aluminum body is slim and lightweight, but doesn’t bow under pressure. The convertible hinge design also lets you rotate the lid all the way around so you can use it like a tablet, making it easier to share information in a classroom setting. While it’s pricier than your average Chromebook, if you’re hunting for a sophisticated-looking machine for schoolwork, it doesn’t get much better than this.
7. Best Laptop for the Money: Acer Aspire E 15
One of the best bargain laptops of 2016, the Acer Aspire crams great battery life, a 15.6-inch FHD screen, and competitive Intel chips (with optional Nvidia graphics) into a laptop that only asks $350 for admission. That why it’s our best-for-the-money laptop.
You’re also getting a standard 4 GB of RAM and a 1 TB spinning hard drive, ensuring a respectable chunk of storage to start out with. While the Aspire is bulky and thick, it’s also powerful and easy to upgrade, ensuring potential years of capable performance even when you’re running modern programs. We’re fans of the trackpad and backlit keyboard, an amenity that is almost unheard-of at this price. If you’re looking to get the most laptop at the least price, we heartily recommend the Acer Aspire E 15.
8. Best Camera: Sony Alpha a9
The Sony Alpha a9 is the kind of camera that only comes along once every couple of years. It’s a world-beating mirrorless model with the autofocus and burst shooting chops to credibly stand toe-to-toe with the best Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Though maximizing its potential means living with quirks some professionals may not love, it’s worth it thanks to the power Sony has packed in here.
The speed of this full-frame camera is simply incredible, and the low light performance is astounding given the technology. Every camera has some trade-offs, and the a9 is no exception, but it has enough going for it that professionals everywhere should have this blue ribbon camera on their radars.
9. Best Camera for the Money: Panasonic Lumic LX10
t’s a great time to be a photography buff, but not everyone wants to carry a DSLR around all the time. That’s where an advanced compact camera like the Panasonic Lumic LX10can really come in handy. Simply put, Panasonic seems to know exactly what enthusiasts want in a point-and-shoot.
The nuanced controls and rear-tilting touchscreen LCD make you feel like you’re handling a much pricier model. And of course, the LX10 takes good still photos and even better video—Panasonic’s 4K capture is among the best, especially for casual video shooting. There are few cameras that are more convenient and fully-featured, and almost none at this price.
10. Best Drone for Money: Potensic T25
The Potensic T25 is our favorite affordable drone. For under $200, this drone has just about anything you could ask for: stability, GPS, a 1080p camera, and more. It’s also a variable speed drone, meaning it can fly slower for precision flying or faster if you have lots of ground to cover.
We also love how easy it is to charge the batteries. Not only do they slide into the drone with a satisfying snap, you don’t actually have to remove them at all, as there’s a microUSB port on the drone’s chassis. The Potensic T25’s major claim to fame is its GPS, however, which provides rock-solid stability—you can basically release the controls and this drone will stay where you left it, which is not something you usually get from a sub-$200 drone.
11. Best USB Battery Pack: RavPower Turbo Series 20100mAh
The first thing this RavPower battery pack has going for it is its huge capacity, which can charge a smartphone several times over before needing to gas up again. The trade-off is that that capacity makes this pack a heftier than some of the smaller battery packs we tested
That said, the 13.4-ounce RavPower Turbo Series is still slim enough to slide into a backpack without taking up much space. The clincher, however, is the pack’s functionality: There are two USB ports—one that’s Quick Charge compatible, and a USB C port—giving this pack the edge over its closest competitors.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
- Best Buy board clears CEO of misconduct allegations
- 3.94 lakh cybersecurity incidents reported to CERT-In in 2019: Dhotre
- Amazon Prime Day 2019 LIVE: All of the best UK deals on offer today from PS4 bundles to the Amazon Fire Stick
- The best mirrorless cameras for 2020
- The best dash cams for 2020
- The best trucks for 2020
- E3 2019: EA 'learned a lot' from Anthem but doesn't apologize
- Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: From High-pitch Poll Campaigns to Duel Over EVMs, India Awaits Verdict
- Best websites to look for a new job – and how to make sure you get a pay rise
- How to write the best CV and free tools and apps to help you do it