Today's Tech News and Reviews

The time is here once again where we get to pick through all of the content we have covered through the year as well as all of the analytics and trends, to help bring to you what’s hot (in tech) this holiday season! From big screen TVs to your favorite video systems, we have narrowed things down to as few categories as possible to make things simple, while still trying to cover as much as we can so that not to miss anything important.

We will break everything down based on their category and then talk about what’s currently in demand this year, as well as a few predictions and recommendations based on our own hands-on experience.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4k UHD TVs

The WOW: It looks like Samsung is on a roll this year, taking up both slots for the TVs we have to recommend this year in our guide. Our eyes see so many TVs every year, starting from CES every January where we get to feast upon some of the greatest technology tomorrow has in store for us all. Of course, for now, we are more worried about what we can get our hands on today. We want to start off with what is one of the best models your money can buy when it comes to performance, quality and size. The winner in this category is Samsung’s 82″ Q6F QLED Smart 4K UHD TV.

This TV doesn’t just look huge on the wall. It’s the kind of TV that you feel like you need to tip your hat to every day as you walk in our out of the door. To appreciate what it is capable of displaying on your wall, and feeding your eyes every time you need a dose of quality entertainment. Of course, within this category, it is going to be pricey, and pricey it absolutely is. The model will run you $2,997.99 (but hey, that’s down from its originally MSRP of $4,499.99).

Buy Samsung’s 82-inch Q6F QLED Smart 4K UHD TV from Amazon

The Affordable
: Now it is time to be a little more reasonable. Here comes a series of Samsung 4K screens that we actually have hanging on our walls here. Three of them to be specific (currently). Samsung’s 6 Series (50″-58″) 4K UHD LED TVs, are some of the hottest selling models are year. These screens have been hitting wonderful rates all year and they look absolutely fantastic on the wall. Not only that, but their menu systems are quick to move around in, and the TV’s fire on and off within a flash. Both their performance, detail and value come together for the perfect Christmas gift this holiday.

Shop Samsung’s 6 Series (50″-58″) 4K UHD LED TVs on Amazon

Of course, you don’t have to stick with these two models as you know there is going to be some amazing sales this year during periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But check them out, eyeball those stats and use them as a benchmark, so you can get an idea of what to expect if you decide on a different model.

(Image credit: Microsoft)


Xbox: Of course gaming is going to always pop up within the top two categories every year. Last year, the Xbox One S took the spotlight over the One X, despite the One X having much better hardware. This was due to the fact that the price point of the S was just too good to pass up, and they were leaving the shelves at a much faster rate. Now however, the Xbox One X has finally taken its pedestal thanks to the rising popularity of going 4K. All of the latest games offer enhanced graphics that can be taken advantage of with the new system, and there is finally a long list of titles to choose from. Not to mention of course, you have the entire Xbox One catalog of games in general plus an endless list of Xbox 360 games it supports on top of it all. The Xbox One X is offered in multiple bundles now, most of which are or will be featured at $100 off or more.

Shop Xbox One X bundles on Amazon

: We had a hard time going over the stats between the PS4 and the new Nintendo Switch. The PS4 has been selling well, but it has also been doing so steadily, and mostly thanks to awesome bundle prices. However, in the end, we could only relate this to the Xbox One S doing well for all of the same reasons. When it comes to sells spikes due to popularity, the Nintendo Switch took that prize this year. With the success of their new console outshining that of the Wii U (*shiver*), and the instant popularity of games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Party and the upcoming Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the Nintendo Switch has become a hot item that has made it onto the list of just about every kid out there (as well as some of you “older” kids with no limitation to what old qualifies as). So, move on over Sony, as Nintendo has this spot. Maybe next year…

Shop Nintendo Switch bundles on Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Smart Speakers/Assistants

This year we have had a selection (finally) of multiple smart speakers to pick from, with all sorts of digital assistants built-in. Not just the Amazon and Google speaker wars. Now we have Apple’s HomePod, Microsoft’s Cortana speaker (Harman Kardon Invoke) and more. This really helps to level out the playing field a bit vs giving all the business away to two companies. However, with none of these digital assistants playing well with each other, or the acceptance of some kind of standard protocol, we still get left with the same two options (Amazon and Google). These two companies had a head start and offer the most compatibility with other smart home devices as well as an endless list of features. The others are still playing catch-up. So the top two selling smart speaker options this year is of course, Amazon and Google. Especially with the prices being offered this Black Friday (including $20-$24 for an Echo Dot, and $25 for the Google Home Mini).

Shop Alexa speakers via Amazon | Shop Google Home speakers via Best Buy

(Image credit: Western Digital)

Hard Drives

At first this was going to be a hard category to narrow things down to, but it wound up working out just fine. Typical spinning hard drives are starting to wind down in popularity as more than just enthusiasts and professionals seek out NVMe solutions. The temptation to go from HDD to SDD was pretty decent for most, but HDD to NVMe changes everything. NVMe absolutely destroys HDD solutions when it comes to speed/performance, and they are so much smaller, allowing them to be used everywhere without the need of multiple physical sizes.

The winner is  Samsung’s 970 EVO NVMe PCIe drives, with the top performing sellers being the 500GB and the 1TB models. The first half of the year leaned mostly toward the 256/500 combo, but with price drops, the 1TB model took to the wind as buyers were attracted to the extra capacity. They range currently between $139.99 and $227 depending on the model, and both might even see a slight dip during Black Friday/Cyber Monday (who knows).

Shop Samsung 970 EVO NVMe on Amazon

As a bonus listing, one of our favorite external HDD solutions, the Seagate Expansion 8TB USB 3.0 drive (review), has seen some price drops as well. These drives are great for backups, video game system expansion and more. It made last year’s list due to its performance and massive capacity, making it a hot item for systems like the Xbox One X (that eats a lot of capacity with every game). Now you can find it for just $139, thus making it quite difficult not to recommend.

Read Our Review | Buy from Amazon

(Image credit: GoPro)

Action Cameras

It can be interesting to watch a company come in and out of the light. Most specifically, it is interesting to see what they can accomplish to finally bring themselves back with. Last year, GoPro lost the light and we stuck with recommending their older Hero 5 Black model. The 6 just didn’t do anything for us nor did it really have a heavy effect on the market. If their following model brought the same results, it wasn’t going to look good at all for GoPro as a company. However, the GoPro Hero 7 Black launched, and we have never been so giddy to play with one ourselves. In fact, I believe we are still waiting to hear back from them about it (pfft). The GoPro Hero 7 Black brings with it some amazing new features, including some of the best image stabilization any action camera (or in most cases, any camera in general) has to offer. It offers 4K@60, live streaming, voice control, 8x slow motion shots, a new TimeWarp feature for time-lapse shots, and it is waterproof without the need of a shell (although with a shell, you can get much deeper). What really won us over was all of the footage captured using their new stabilization. Coming from a tiny little camera, GoPro, you made it back into the light! You can learn more about it here in our story, and can check it out on Amazon with the following button.

Buy the GoPro Hero 7 Black from Amazon


This year we have multiple options that made the list for headphones. It can be hard not to allow this with so many options to choose from. We are going to break things down this time between in-ear solutions (buds), on/over-ear solutions (cans), and a professional solution (for artists).

In-Ears (Consumer): Headphones are a dime a dozen. There is what feels like an endless ocean of models to choose from. Lucky for us, we have listened to quite a few of them over the years. This causes our expectations to thicken when it comes to pointing something out as “That One!”. This also makes it a bit easier for us to choose a winning candidate. For in-ear this year, we have a toss-up between two models from the company 1MORE. Their wired version of their Triple Driver Earbuds (review) has made the list now a number of times, proving to be one of our favorite wired in-ear solutions. Between performance and price, these are absolutely killing it! To make things even better, this year they launched a wireless Bluetooth version of their triple drivers. They don’t quite hit the same level of quality as the wired model, but they still deliver enough to win them a lot of attention.

The 1MORE Triple Driver (Wired) In-Ear Headphones can be found at Amazon or 1MORE directly.

In-Ears (Prosumer): Now for those looking to get their hands on something a little more for professional use. The BGVP DMG pro level wired earbuds (review) presented by Linsoul Electronics, with an optional microphone cable for phone calls, three different equalization options (Heavy Lows, Flat Response, or Treble Enhanced); provide professional quality and sound at a consumer price. Utilizing 3D printed parts that contain 6 drivers per earpiece, along with a top of the line MMCX connection cable, these amazing sounding headphones are equally at home on a stage, in the comfort of your living room, or on a run in your neighborhood.

Read Our Review | Buy from Amazon

On/Over-Ears: This time we nearly had a split win for the spot of performance over-ear headphones, between Bose and Sony. Both the QCII headphones and Sony’s equivalent were really neck to neck. However, then came along Beyerdynamic’s wireless on-ear Aventho headphones (review). These headphones offered a wonderful range to them when powered right via wired. Combine these with a nice headphone amp/DAC solution and you literally become lost in what you are listening to. Diving into the realm of audiophile, not only have these headphones took the prize this year, but they also won Editors’ Choice (2018) as well. I know I bragged about a wireless pair of headphones sounding best wired, but you can consider the wireless capability as an extra benefit (wired, with wireless benefits).

Read Our Review | Buy from Amazon

(Image credit: Netgear)


Last year, Netgear made a splash with their flagship Nighthawk X10 router, making it onto the holiday gift guide and all. However, this time we take a step back in speed slightly while showing a preference for flexibility and range instead. With the popularity of mesh networking climbing each day, it didn’t come at a surprise to find out that mesh took the winning spot this year. Lucky for Netgear, they happened to gain that spot as well, just barely inching past Linksys’ Velop setup. Netgear’s Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System is dominating the marketing right now in mesh sales, making it one of the most largely bought into systems out there. Linksys and Google trailing right behind them. Specifically, Netgear’s AC3000 model seems to be soaking up all the light, which comes with two units that together, can cover an area of up to 5,000 square feet. You can of course buy into additional units to continue extending your distance from there. Great for larger homes and small businesses looking to get a stable network without having to jump between broadcasted SSIDs.

Buy the NETGEAR Orbi AC3000 Mesh Network System from Amazon

Well, that’s it! It looks like we have covered everything. This document of course a living one, as we may choose to add additional items in the near future depending on trends and surprises. But these products are currently some of the best of the best in performance and/or the best item selling off the shelves right now. Make sure to bookmark this list and follow along in case changes are made, to help get some amazing ideas for your holiday shopping.

We also welcome your own thoughts below in the comments, as we love to hear from you.

May the shopping season be with you!

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Senior Editor, Author, Reviewer and Designer for Poc Network, ProAudio and Mobile Nations. James enjoys spending most of his time as an audio engineer and technician for the live music industry when he isn't running around the office here juggling an intense workload. He can also be found frequently in the nearby mountainous ranges, scrambling rocks and rappelling down large sections.

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