While 2020 got battered by theand a global recession, the technology industry continued its torrid pace of rewriting industries and transforming daily life across the planet. The slowdown of manufacturing in Asia delayed the release of plenty of tech products in the first half of 2020, but the second half made up for it with a deluge of product releases between September and December.
As it does each year, CNET evaluated the most important products in the biggest categories in consumer tech. Our goal is to designate the most recommendable product and label it as the CNET Editors’ Choice. We do that to provide the clearest and most useful buying advice to readers.
The best products combine a mix of performance, design and value. In a year marked by a recession, value has additional gravitas — and you see that reflected in our picks.
All of the products on the list have been thoroughly tested by CNET’s team of subject matter experts. We also don’t designate a product as an Editors’ Choice until it’s been in the hands of the general public for at least a week, to make sure there aren’t any bugs, glitches or other surprises that didn’t show up in our testing.
All of that is what makes the CNET Editors’ Choice badge a hallmark of excellence in consumer tech and a signal to consumers that a product is among the best of breed in its category and a good value for their hard-earned money.
Let’s also not forget that in 2020 technology has played a central role in helping humanity cope with a global crisis. As hard as the pandemic has been for the economy, jobs, education, community life, mental health, travel, shopping and countless other aspects of life, it would have been even more difficult and devastating without technology to connect us virtually and make us able to work, collaborate, educate, entertain, socialize and encourage each other from afar.
The products that enabled life to continue during the pandemic naturally got special consideration during a historic year.
So here they are, the best products of 2020 listed by CNET’s five core technology topics: