The best tech 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.