The 15 Best Gadgets of 2020

Tech Lists best of 2020
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The 15 Best Gadgets of 2020

Gadgets and tech continue to make life a little bit easier. 2020 saw the introduction of a number of cool new devices that can help around the house, or just help you have some fun. And yeah, tech makes great gifts, either for yourself or for your loved ones. There’s a lot out there to choose from, though—so much that it can get overwhelming. So we whittled down the choices to 15 cool gadgets that will improve almost anyone’s home all through the year.

Here are the best gadgets of 2020.

15. Sensibo Air Smart AC Controller

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$180

As most of the West Coast of the U.S. has discovered, not all real estate comes with central air conditioning, and window AC units are still very much a thing. The problem is most of them aren’t very smart. There are several fine alternatives for adding app controls to that window box, but the new Sensibo Air is a high-tech package that improves on the competition with both the addition of remote sensors to help monitor larger rooms and a bevy of smart technology to keep a room both comfortable and energy efficient. Just set a schedule or use motion sensors to only keep the AC running when it needs to be, and watch the savings roll in.


14. KeySmart Max

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$120

KeySmart uses Tile technology (and its app) to create a kind of smart key ring. With its built in USB-rechargeable battery that lasts 60 days, this handy gadget also includes a small yet bright flashlight and multi-tool. It fits in your pocket, holds up to 14 keys, and sports a range of 150 ft. Since normal Tiles don’t fit on keys, this is a sure-fire stocking stuffer hit.


13. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs

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Starting at $400

The new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are still nearly impossible to get, but for PC gamers looking to get the latest tech to fuel their virtual adventures, NVIDIA has a console-priced alternative that will outpace both console systems. The new RTX 30 series of video cards make all the new gaming bells and whistles scream. Ray-tracing, 4K, VR… Anything you want to do, these new cards will slay. Even the lowest-end, the 3060ti, will amp up your gaming performance by a large margin.


12. Tile

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$18+

Tiles have been around for a while now, letting people find their phones, Kindles, purses, and whatever else you can stick them on. The line has evolved to include smaller, rounder, and even credit card-sized iterations for more placement options and better range. The end result is the same though: these things can be domestic lifesavers. Using the app, you can ding any tile in use around you to help locate those lost items. The company even sells multi-packs and offers a variety of colors and patterns, making them perfect gifts for the more forgetful members of your household.


11. iRobot Roomba i3+

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$500

Not a lot of people we know enjoy the all-too-necessary chore of vacuuming, so why not outload it to a robot? iRobot’s latest models are the smartest and most reliable robot cleaners around, and they have some nifty tricks up their proverbial sleeves… or dust buckets. The i3+ is their mid-range model with some amazing features. Most notably, it empties itself in the special base station that holds up to 60 days of your floor filth. Roombas intelligently map out your floorspace and learn to intelligently navigate around obstacles. Just get your new best friend set up and let it do the rest, so you can enjoy a little more free time.


10. Jabra Elite 85t

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$230

Going right up against Apple’s Airpods, the Jabra Elites provide great sound and features in a tiny package. These Bluetooth earbuds offer a winning combination. The active, adjustable noise cancellation is a fantastic feature letting you fine tune it to blot out the world or just dull the noise without muting humans around you. There’s excellent battery life and the adjustable fit keeps it comfortable for all types of ears. The overall design of the earbuds is also more low key and less obvious than Apple’s, which is an added plus.


9. Livescribe Symphony

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$110

For many of us, handwriting will always be the preferred method of jotting down notes, writing stories, or plotting out that epic novel. Writing by hand also improves your ability to learn and retain knowledge, but typing in those notes is far from an enjoyable activity. The Livescribe Symphony lets you skip that last step thanks to its mix of a tech-laden pen and special notebooks that transcribe everything you write (and even draw) right to your mobile. From there, you can have it sent to the cloud, edit it, and go about your day. The pen itself is USB rechargeable, but otherwise looks like a nice upscale writing tool and there are notebooks, journals, planners, and even sticky notes for the pen to accommodate all your handwriting needs.


8. Logitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse

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$60

The world of the gaming mouse can be a rabbit hole of choice, meaningless tech specs, and cost, so Logitech taking the tech from their exceptionally good high end G90x line and putting it into a lower price bracket is great news for both gamers and normal computer users. The G305 is light, responsible, energy efficient, and just comfortable to use. You can even adjust the sensitivity and response speed on the fly. Best of all, it looks like a normal mouse instead of something designed as a set piece for a Transformers movie.


7. Airthings Wave Plus Smart Indoor Air Quality Monitor with Radon Detection

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$230

Nothing says love like showing you care about the air someone breaths. In the past, in-home high-tech air quality monitoring was bulky and prohibitively expensive. The AirThings Wave Plus looks just like a puck-shaped smoke alarm, but monitors air quality, CO2, Radon, air pressure, humidity, and temperature. It sounds boring, but poor air quality both indoors and outside is rampant nowadays and can have a profound effect on health. Granted, the Wave Plus only lets you know how the air is, but that’s a significant step in the right direction to doing something about it.


6. Eufy Security Wireless Video Doorbell

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$140

Video doorbells are another product whose usage exploded this year, but most of them come with add-on subscription services to store your video data in the cloud. Not so with Eufy’s clever solution. This is an excellent gift for even non-techies, because the actual doorbell is wireless, so installation is a snap. The battery lasts months between recharging and the 2K resolution camera is quite good with a wide angle of vision. The biggest selling point is the Homebase, a small box housing a hard drive that saves around 180 days worth of doorbell footage. No cloud, no subscription, no worries.


5. Google Nest Audio

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$100

Surprisingly big sound in a portable standalone package, Google’s foray into a screenless smart speaker is a much cheaper and surprisingly good alternative to the Sonos. Since it’s from Google, it uses the company’s Google Home voice assistant to not just play music, but answer all your biting questions about the weather, how to spell, esoteric animals facts, and whatever else you can think of to, well, Google. If you opt for more than one, they link together for true stereo or let you continue playing your content from one room to another.


4. Google Nest Hub Max

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$229

For the best all-around voice assistant, the Hub Max is a remarkable piece of tech. When it comes to internet searches about, well, nearly anything, Google far outpaces everyone. If you ask it about something, it will provide some answer (which Alexa still has significant issues with). More than that, the ability to check the weather, see news, make to-do lists, control your lights and thermostat, and watch videos all from one screen can be a surprisingly huge help when stuck at home. Virtual assistants like this make great company in the kitchen, and the bright, sharp video and vastly improved audio quality over previous versions make everything easy to see and hear.


3. Wyze Thermostat

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$50

For anyone on the fence about adding a “smart” thermostat to their house (and nearly everyone should), Wyze’s brand new thermostat offers a surprising number of the bells and whistles of much higher-priced units at a pittance. It’s not as sharp looking as the Nest or Ecobee, but for just $50, the Wyze lets you control and monitor your thermostat from anywhere with its mobile app. It can determine if you’re home or away, and let you set a heating and cooling schedule as you like. The company is even adding remote sensors for full house temperature monitoring next year.


2. MyCharge Hub Turbo

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$70-$110

For the person in your life who constantly kills their batteries on just about anything, the MyCharge is the best portable charger we’ve come across. It’s slightly hefty(almost an inch thick and about the size of a phone), but the performance makes it worth it. This charger has short USB-C and Apple Lightning cables cleverly built in, so you don’t have to worry about losing them, and a regular USB port for plugging anything else in. More than that, it offers truly rapid charging that can fuel your phone or tablet to over 50% in about 15 minutes. We’ve charged laptops, Switches, iPhones, Kindles, Androids with this thing without issues (even multiple devices at once) and it keeps going.


1. Einova Wireless Charging Stone

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$60

Surface chargers are great, but not generally the most aesthetically pleasing additions to your side tables and nightstands. Luckily, someone noticed and decided to add some style with marble. That’s right, this is literally a wireless charging stone that adds a little class and weight to any table. Surface chargers aren’t really complicated things, but the Einova version makes for a unique and reliable gift that can charge any modern phone quickly with ease.

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