As you well know, there are features such as editorials and reviews in addition to news items, so here are 10 of the ones you were really interested in during 2019. Not to worry, the most popular op-ed is here too, but let's look at reviews first:
Dell's XPS 15 opens up our top 10 with the latest iteration, featuring a carbon fiber palm rest, its chiclet-style backlit MagLev keys, and a beautiful OLED display.
It got a very respectable 9 out of 10, so not all was perfect. The score is due to its quirks like the inclusion of a barrel charger, some connectivity issues, and the lack of an IR camera.
Next up is the Lenovo ThinkPad P72, the company's latest mobile workstation packing an Nvidia Quadro P5200, a 17.3'' UHD display, and 16GB of DDR4-2667 RAM. Of course, that all comes at a price, but then again, that's to be expected.
It got an 8.5 out of 10, with the high points being its performance, keyboard, and inclusion of Windows Hello support. What wasn't so great was the battery life, landing at about two hours despite its 99Wh battery. Needless to say, it is quite thick and heavy, and there's also no RTX support as of yet, so keep that in mind.
Coming in at number 8 is HP's Spectre x360 13 inch variant, which does have quite a unique angular design and was reviewed in its rather pretty copper-looking colour.
Like the ThinkPad P72 above, it got an 8.5 out of 10, with the positives being the design - that much was obvious -, the display, and the inclusion of privacy switch, which disconnects the camera internally. On the other end of the spectrum, the not so great parts are the lack of a physical volume rocker - present on previous HP convertibles -, as well as the absence of Windows Precision drivers for the trackpad.
The ones above are followed by the Google Pixel 3a XL, a fantastic entry in Google's hardware lineup. Released earlier this year along with its non-XL counterpart, it follows the launch of the Pixel 3 phones in November of 2018.
It gets a nearly perfect 9.5 out of 10 because of its great value, quality screen, and great camera, though it falls a bit short, which is due in big part to the absence of wireless charging. This was a feature included on the Pixel 3 and 3XL, meaning folks could take advantage of the Pixel Stand and the addition of Google Home features to the device.
Slotting in at number 6 is the Lenovo Yoga A940, an all-in-one PC that according to our own Rich Woods, put Microsoft's Surface Studio to shame.
The second device on the list to get a near-perfect 9.5 score, the Yoga A940 is very well priced, has a full desktop CPU inside, as well as support for things like Dolby Atmos. What's not ideal is the included keyboard and mouse combo, the webcam, and the unfortunately loud fan. Then again, this is a desktop CPU we're talking about, the six-core Core i7-8700.
Also in the top 10 is the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, which Rich Woods believes to be the best Wear OS watch of them all.
It gets a very good 9 out of 10 for its performance, AMOLED display, and overall great design. With that said, the somewhat inconsistent battery life, as well as the quirks of Wear OS do drag the score down for what's an otherwise great wearable.
Fans of backups and media streaming off their own home server will be thrilled to see the Synology DS1019+ on this list, in no small part due to its fantastic feature set.
Getting a 9.5 out of 10 from our very own Christopher White, this NAS solution has great performance, is easy to set up, and has plenty of expansion opportunities due to its five dedicated drive bays. Please keep in mind that the chassis is entirely plastic, and that there are no springs on the drive sleds, which is reflected in the overall score.
Coming in at number 3 is the Lenovo Legion Y540, from the company's gaming-oriented notebook lineup.
Equipped with a 1660Ti, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, it does quite well in the performance department, also receiving praise for its keyboard and overall design. What ultimately gave it the 8.5 out of 10 score was the not so great battery life, the fact that it's quite thick and heavy, and the very unfortunate placement of the webcam at the bottom of the display.
Making its second appearance on this list is Fossil, with its Sport smartwatch. As the name implies, this one is a bit more fun looking, as well as a bit less expensive.
It's very light, weighing in at just 25g, and it packs the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, which means it has support for an ambient display. With that said, the rather sluggish performance gets is a 9 out of 10, the same as the more expensive and serious Gen 5 above.
Surprise of all surprises, the one review you all thought was the most interesting was for the Huawei Band 3e. Advertising a rather great 14 days of battery life and a weight of 17g, this one is more on the entry-level of fitness tracking, as you won't be blown away by its 0.5-inch screen.
The Huawei Health solution contributed to the 8.5 out of 10 score, as did the form factor itself and the great value for money - $29.99 at the time the review was published. The notification delivery did however leave something to be desired, as the device itself doesn't show you what app it's coming from or what the notification is. The only thing you'll know is that you have a notification from something.
Unsurprisingly, the top op-ed of the year is the one highlighting that Microsoft did in fact make some good changes to the way Windows Updates were handled.
Gone was the strange seeker approach of 2018 and a more sensible implementation took its place. For one, 1903 spent a month in the Release Preview ring for testing, rather than no time like 1809, which was quite broken upon its first release.
In addition, 1903 introduced a "download and install" button that's specific to the feature updates themselves. If you wanted to check and see if there were any cumulative updates you could - by clicking "Check for updates" - without the need to worry that Windows would also install its feature update alongside.
Is this all? Perhaps, though you never know what else is right around the corner. In the meantime, sound off below in regards to what you thought about this list.
Have a great New Year, everyone!