The best tech prod­ucts

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - YOUR READY RECKONER TO THE BEST TECH­NOL­OGY PROD­UCTS

The Tech­Life team finds the best bud­get, value and per­for­mance prod­ucts, and the lat­est re­leases in the top tech­nol­ogy cat­e­gories. If you be­lieve there are other prod­ucts that de­serve the ti­tle in any of the tech cat­e­gories, let us know and give us your rea­sons why in 50 words or less. Equally, if there’s a hot new prod­uct that’s wor­thy of at­ten­tion, we want to know. Send your email to tech­[email protected]­turenet.com.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] D-Link DSL-G225

$80 | www.dlink.com.au A ba­sic, NBN-ready 300Mbps Wi-Fi ADSL router with four LAN ports. Good wire­less range and cov­er­age.

[ BEST MESH-NET­WORK­ING KIT ] Net­gear Orbi RBK50

$549 | www.net­gear.com.au Mesh-net­work­ing has ar­rived with this fan­tas­tic, great-per­form­ing router and ex­ten­der kit.

[ BEST WIRE­LESS EX­TEN­DER ] ASUS RP-AC68U

$240 | www.asus.com/au With 5 Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports, this AC1900 Wi-Fi ex­ten­der’s built-in LEDs help you fig­ure out the best place­ment.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] QNAP TS-228

$229 (disk­less) | www.qnap.com De­spite the bar­gain pri­ce­point, this 2-bay NAS is fea­ture packed and lets you in­stall apps to add more functions.

[ BEST VALUE ] TP-Link Archer D7

$170 | www.tp-link.com.au The UI is a bit no-frills, but once set up, this is a very solid AC1900 router for a price well be­low the aver­age.

[ BEST VALUE ] TP-Link Archer C3150

$235 | www.tp-link.com.au For a mod­ern home stream­ing ul­tra high-def video, this hand­some unit will run a 2,166Mbps AC net­work.

[ BEST WIRE­LESS BRIDGE ] ASUS EA-AC87

$159 | www.asus.com/au This bridge is a great way of link­ing up to four wired Gi­ga­bit de­vices to a 1,300Mbps AC net­work.

[ BEST VALUE ] ASUSTOR AS3102T

$360 (disk­less) | www.asustor.com This two-bay NAS of­fers ex­cel­lent fea­tures and can dou­ble as a me­dia player, with Kodi and HDMI-out­put to your TV.

[ BEST PER­FOR­MANCE ] Net­gear Nighthawk X8 D8500

$649 | www.net­gear.com.au The price is eye-wa­ter­ing, but this tri-band 802.11ac mo­dem-router truly has it all.

[ BEST PER­FOR­MANCE ] ASUS RT-AC88U

$379 | www.asus.com/au This full-fea­tured unit is over­flow­ing with op­tions and set­tings, plus it has su­per-fast wire­less.

[ BEST POWERLINE ADAPTER (BUD­GET) ] TP-Link TL-PA8010P

$139 | www.tp-link.com.au A pair of 1,200Mbps adapters that proved to be both fast and af­ford­able in our most-re­cent roundup.

[ BEST PRE­MIUM ] Synol­ogy DS418­play

$649 (disk­less) | www.synol­ogy.com If you need more space, this four-bay model of­fers apps for added fea­tures and can even transcode 4K videos.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] ASUS DSL‑AC3100

$469 | www.asus.com/au It’s very sim­i­lar to the RT-AC88U be­low, but this tri-band 802.11ac model also has ADSL/VDSL mo­dem.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Nor­ton Core

$399 | au.nor­ton.com It looks like some­thing from space, but this router scours every bit that en­ters your home for ma­li­cious data.

[ BEST POWERLINE ADAPTER WITH WI-FI EX­TEN­SION ] TP-Link TL-WPA4220KIT

$119 | www.tp-link.com.au This ver­sa­tile and fast kit of­fers an 802.11n Wi-Fi ac­cess point for both wired and wire­less con­nec­tions.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Synol­ogy DS1618+

$1,290 (disk­less) | www.synol­ogy.com A 6-bay ex­pand­able NAS with op­tional SSD or 10 GbE sup­port, this one’s for de­mand­ing SMBs and en­thu­si­asts.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] UE Won­der­boom

$99 | www.ul­ti­ma­teears.com This new Blue­tooth por­ta­ble gets you great ‘UE quality’ sound at a neat price.

[ BEST VALUE ] Jabra Move Wire­less

$160 | www.jabra.com.au Ex­cit­ing de­sign and strong per­for­mance, and an ex­cel­lent bud­get op­tion for couch po­ta­toes and fit­ness buffs alike.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] Google Chrome­cast Ul­tra

$99 | play.google.com Google’s 4K wire­less HDMI don­gle makes it easy to stream me­dia con­tent to your TV and has high-speed Wi-Fi.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] BenQ TH670

$899 | www.benq.com This 1080p DLP unit can do dou­ble-duty for home cinema or busi­ness use, with a 3,000 lu­mens bright­ness.

[ BEST BUD­GET TV ] Ko­gan SmarterTV (58-inch)

$879 | www.ko­gan.com.au A sprawl­ing 58-inch screen for less than a grand, this An­droid TV is su­perb value.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] HP 250 G6 2FG10PA

$670 | www.hp.com/au A 15.6-incher with ad­e­quate 1,366 x 768p LCD, Core i5, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD — it will cover the ba­sics.

[ BEST VALUE] JBL Pulse 3

$269 | www.jbl.com.au The light­show sets it apart, but it’s the great sound­scape of this wa­ter­proof speaker that will keep your at­ten­tion.

[ BEST NOISE-CAN­CELLING ] Bose QC35 II

$449 | www.bose.com.au Not a huge up­grade, but still the best noise-can­celling cans, with well­bal­anced au­dio and su­perb com­fort.

[ BEST ALL-IN-ONE ME­DIA PLAYER ] Tel­stra TV 2

$192 | www.tel­stra.com.au It’s 4K HDR10 com­pat­i­ble and has great sup­port for all the lo­cal stream­ing and catch-up ser­vices.

[ BEST POR­TA­BLE ] Sony MP-CL1A

$749 | www.sony.com.au En­joy a smooth 720p im­age from a unit not much larger than a ph­ablet. A remarkable achieve­ment.

[ BEST MAIN­STREAM TV ] TCL 65P6US

$1,595 | www.tcl.com.au HDR10 and in­built Chrome­cast functions adds up to good value for a 55” screen, all for less than $2,000.

[ BEST ULTRABOOK ] Dell XPS 13 (2018)

From $2,099 | www.dell.com.au Dell isn’t mess­ing with the for­mula. A barely-there bezel around a 4K screen, ul­tra-light and ul­tra-slick — at a price.

[ BEST MULTIROOM SYS­TEM ] Sonos One

From $299 | www.sonos.com Turn it on and hear to the sound that fills your room — you won’t want any­thing else. Ex­pand­able, with Alexa sup­port.

[ BEST WIRE­LESS IN-EARS ] Jay­bird Free­dom 2

$149 | www.jay­bird­sport.com/en-au These neat in-ears of­fer great sound quality and in­clude a com­pact backup bat­tery, and easy size ad­just­ment.

[ BEST 4K BLU-RAY PLAYER ] Xbox One X

From $649 | www.xbox.com This has sup­port for 4K Blu-ray and Net­flix stream­ing, boasts HDR, and has a com­pact de­sign, plus power.

[ BEST HOME THE­ATRE ] BenQ TK800

$2,199 | www.benq.com A pseudo-4K DLP unit that’s bright and sharp, mak­ing it fan­tas­tic for movies, TV and ca­sual gam­ing.

[ BEST PRE­MIUM TV ] LG OLED55C8PTA

$2795 | www.lg.com/au LG’s midrange 55-inch OLED for 2018 still de­liv­ers su­perb pic­ture quality and now has AI-pow­ered voice-con­trol.

[ BEST GAM­ING ] Razer Blade Pro

From $3,399 | www.raz­er­zone.com.au Thin­ner than most gam­ing rigs de­spite the screen size, and un­com­pro­mis­ing in its top 4K GTX1080 specs.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Sonos Beam

$599 | www.sonos.com This re­mark­ably small sound­bar pro­duces great sound. Alexa in­te­gra­tion will be joined by Google and Siri soon.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Nu­ra­phone

$499 | au.nu­ra­phone.com Both in- and on-ear for to­tal im­mer­sion. Smart per­son­alised au­dio pro­file results in world-class sound.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Nvidia Shield TV

From $249 | www.nvidia.com/en-au 4K and HDR TV and movie streams are no prob­lem, but the spe­cial bit is it will stream your PC games in 4K, too.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Op­toma HD39Dar­bee

$2,099 | www.am­bertech.com.au This slim 1080p DLP beamer is su­per-bright at 3,500 lu­mens and can throw up to a 300-inch im­age.

[ BEST LUX­URY TV ] Sam­sung QA65Q9FAMWXXY

$5,899 | www.sam­sung.com/au This su­per-bright 4K HDR QLED set pro­duces stun­ning im­ages in both well-lit en­vi­rons and dark rooms alike.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] ASUS TUF FX504GE

$1,799 | www.gi­ga­byte.com.au De­signed to out­last other lap­tops thanks to clever vent­ing. Its GPU hits the sweet spot for bud­get gam­ing.

[ BEST BUD­GET IPHONE ] Ap­ple iPhone 6 (16GB)

$369 | www.ap­ple.com/au The iPhone 6 can still be pur­chased at many on­line re­tail­ers for a rea­son­able price.

[ BEST BIG SCREEN ] LG G7 ThinQ

$1,099 | lg.com.au The QHD, 6.1” 18.9:5 ra­tio screen is truly vi­brant. Plus, the cam­era is in­tel­li­gent, and sound pro­cess­ing top-notch.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] Sam­sung Gal­axy Tab A 8.0

$295 (16GB) | www.sam­sung.com/au If you ab­so­lutely can’t af­ford the iPad mini 3, this An­droid al­ter­na­tive is an OK fall­back.

[ BEST BUD­GET ] Ap­ple iPad Air 2 (Re­fur­bished)

$519 (128GB) | www.ap­ple.com/au If the bud­get doesn’t ex­tend to an iPad Pro, get this 2014 unit in­stead. Check the re­fur­bished store if it’s sold out.

[ BEST RO­BOT VAC­UUM ] iRobot Roomba 980

$1,499 | www.irobot.com.au Strong suc­tion, brush­less ex­trac­tors, clever nav­i­ga­tion: this Wi-Fi-con­nected vac leaves your home spot­less.

[ BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT ] Canon IXUS 185

$130 | www.canon.com.au This su­per-slim bud­get com­pact is very easy to use and packs a 20MP sen­sor and 8x op­ti­cal zoom lense.

[ BEST BUD­GET AN­DROID ] Oppo A57

$299 | www.oppo.com.au A sin­gle-SIM 4G hand­set that packs two great cam­eras, a 5.2-inch dis­play, 32GB stor­age and a mi­croSD slot.

[ BEST PRE­MIUM — TIED ] Sam­sung Gal­axy S9+

From $1,349 | www.sam­sung.com/au The S9+ is a big phone with a fan­tas­tic cam­era, mi­croSD slot, wa­ter­proof­ing and a tough chas­sis.

[ BEST COM­PACT ] Ap­ple iPad mini 3 (re­fur­bished)

$359 (16GB) | www.ap­ple.com/au The iPad mini 4’s too ex­pen­sive, so hold out un­til one of the 7.8-inch 3’s pops up on Ap­ple’s AU re­furb store.

[ BEST VER­SA­TIL­ITY ] ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370UA

From $1,699 | www.asus.com/au This slim and sleek 13-inch 2-in-1 of­fers solid specs and won’t break the bank.

[ BEST SMART PLUG ] D-Link DSP-W215

$49.95 | www.dlink.com.au Smartly mon­i­tors your en­ergy us­age, pro­duc­ing daily and monthly re­ports, and turn things on and off re­motely.

[ BEST MIRRORLESS ] Nikon Z7

$5,185 | www.nikon.com.au Nikon’s first mirrorless is a win­ner. Ex­cel­lent build and very re­spon­sive, pro­duc­ing bal­anced colours.

[ BEST PER­FOR­MANCE ] Huawei Nova 3e

$350 (16GB) | www.mo­torola.com.au A ca­pa­ble bud­get work­horse that doesn’t sac­ri­fce power for its sleek, flag­ship aes­thetic.

[ BEST PRE­MIUM — TIED ] Ap­ple iPhone XS Max

From $1,799 | www.ap­ple.com/au If you can get past the mas­sive ask­ing price, there is no doubt that this is one of the best phones Ap­ple has ever pro­duced.

[ BEST PER­FOR­MANCE ] Ap­ple iPad 9.7 (2018)

From $469 (32GB) | www.ap­ple.com/au That gor­geous Retina IPS dis­play is al­lur­ing, bat­tery life is great. Still the best pick for a ba­sic all-rounder tablet.

[ BEST PER­FOR­MANCE ] Ap­ple iPad Pro (10.5-inch)

From $979 (64GB) | www.ap­ple.com/au This new 10.5-inch iPad’s big­ger screen hits the size sweet spot and makes a great 2-in-1.

[ BEST WIRE­LESS SE­CU­RITY CAM­ERA ] Net­gear Arlo Pro

From $499 | www.net­gear.com.au Wa­ter­proof, weath­er­proof, and of­fers a week’s worth of cloud stor­age. Great value in the long run.

[ BEST CON­SUMER DIG­I­TAL SLR ] Nikon D3400

$850 (twin lens kit) | www.nikon.com.au Aimed at new­com­ers, with a com­pact de­sign, ex­cel­lent bat­tery life, de­cent AF sys­tem and re­li­able im­age quality.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Nokia 6 (2018)

$399 (32GB) | www.nokia.com/au A re­fresh of last year’s de­sign, this pol­ished and durable unit has great bat­tery life.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Sam­sung Gal­axy Note 9

From $1,499 | www.sam­sung.com/au Takes all the cur­rent and best phone fea­tures, and puts them to­gether to cre­ate un­par­al­lelled per­for­mance.

[ BEST VER­SA­TIL­ITY ] Acer Switch 3

From $499 | www.acer.com.au This de­tach­able 2-in-1 has a sty­lus to work with Win­dows ex­cel­lent pen in­put ca­pa­bil­i­ties. A great all-rounder.

[ NEW ON SHELF ] Len­ovo Yoga 920

$2,999 | www.len­ovo.com.au In­tel’s lat­est i7 CPU mar­ried with 16GB RAM and a vivid, 13.9-inch 4K screen com­prise this su­perb con­vert­ible.

[ BEST AI SPEAKER ] Pana­sonic SC-GA10

$379 | www.pana­sonic.com.au Give your streamed mu­sic room to soar, and ask Google to tell you the weather, all in the same de­vice.

[ BEST AC­TION CAM ] GoPro Hero 6 Black

$599 | www.gopro.com The Hero can now shoot video at 4K @ 60fps, with im­proved elec­tronic im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion and low-light per­for­mance.

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