These are the best devices and accessories of 2019!

We review hundreds of phones, tablets, PCs, accessories, and more each year, and for the past few weeks, our team has been debating which products and services stood out in 2019. Some products received a minor update, while others came to market and shook the status quo. Looking for the best overall devices, services, and games in the Microsoft ecosystem? Look no further. These are all of our Best of 2019 Award winners!

Best Devices of 2019

Best Phone for Windows Users



Samsung Galaxy Note 10

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is this year’s best smartphone for Windows users, the first device released under a partnership between Microsoft and Samsung, seeing services such as Your Phone, OneDrive, Outlook, and more integrated by default. It has unique Your Phone features such as Phone Screen mirroring, the ability to backup photos to your OneDrive through the built-in Gallery app, and a dedicated pen for OneNote and Outlook to utilize. It’s rocking the latest Snapdragon 855 processor with up to 12GB RAM and has a monstrous 6.7-inch WQHD display too.

Best Overall Laptop



Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Dell’s revamp of its 2-in-1 Ultrabook set the bar for design, functionality, performance, and looks. One of the first laptops with Intel’s latest 10th Gen U-series processors, the XPS 13 2-in-1 features one of the best HDR displays with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, impressive audio, Thunderbolt 3 with Wi-Fi 6 and the ability to easily change form factors giving users ultimate flexibility. It’s pure joy to run, but also a reliable workhorse with an all-day battery that is more powerful than expected. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is the best of what a PC can be in 2019.

Best Ultrabook



Razer Blade Stealth

For years the Razer Blade Stealth has walked the line between a cool looking Ultrabook and something gamers would want as well, but it was never truly a gaming laptop. That all changed this year with the latest Blade Stealth which features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU – the first of its kind in a 13-inch laptop. Combined with a Core i7 and up to a 4K display, the Blade Stealth is now the most potent 13.3-inch Ultrabook on the market, one we expect to be copied by others in 2020. But for now, Razer has all the glory of portable power and hip aesthetics. For pushing the Ultrabook category forward, Razer gets all the credit.

Best Convertible Laptop



Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Perhaps for the first time, Dell’s convertible version of the XPS 13 is better than the regular model, and by a good margin. Not only did it come to market as one of the first packing Intel 10th Gen processors, it has a stunning display, features like Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3, and most of all, the ability to use it however you want. Fancy scribbling on a tablet? Folding the display out to watch a movie? Or you know, just using it like a laptop. No worries, it can do it all. Toss in beautiful design and construction and an all-day battery life, you have a guaranteed winner.

Best 2-in-1 Tablet



Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the fifth iteration on a design that is tried and true, making the Pro 7 one of the best 2-in-1 tablets on the market this year. With Intel 10th-gen processors on the inside, the Pro 7 has excellent performance, with features such as instant-on capabilities that see the device wake up instantly when you press the power button. You can get it with up to 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and it even has a new USB-C port for all your USB-C related peripherals. It’s rocking a12.5-inch touch display with pen support too, though the pen and keyboard are sold separately.

Most Innovative New Device



Microsoft Surface Pro X

While Microsoft has dabbled, the ARM-powered Surface Pro X is at the fore of a new dawn for ARM-based Windows PCs, which enjoy all the benefits of mobile chipsets with many of the productivity benefits of Windows. Although Windows might have some pitfalls to navigate when it comes to ARM devices, the Pro X represents one of the best truly “mobile” Windows experiences to date, with always-on LTE connectivity, impressive battery life, and a ridiculously sleek footprint.

Best Gaming Laptop



Razer Blade 15 Advanced

It’s easy to create a thin, portable laptop. It’s a whole different ball game to create a gaming laptop with similar dimensions. Razer does so with the excellent Blade range of gaming notebooks. Not only do you get the choice between powerful Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, but also a gorgeous 240Hz matte display. This beast of a portable gaming rig comes with an 80Wh power plant, Wi-Fi 6 support, and can be upgraded to hold up to 64GB of RAM. Not only is this notebook ideal for gaming, but also video editing. The Blade 15 Advanced quickly became our favorite gaming laptop of 2019.

Best Desktop All-in-One



Lenovo Yoga A940

Lenovo’s Yoga A940 all-in-one (AiO) desktop PC wowed us in 2019. The Yoga A940 brings up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8700 CPU with six cores, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB HDD coupled with a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and a dedicated AMD Radeon RX 560 GPU for unbridled creative performance, all contained within a custom chassis. Instead of a classic AiO design with everything contained behind the monitor, hardware is split between the display and a large base. That pairs with impressive speakers and a Qi wireless charging pad, as well as an abundance of ports for all your accessories.

The 27-inch 4K touch display attached to the base can be reclined and extended out for a comfortable drafting position, ideal for use with an active pen. It’s a beautiful screen, hitting 100% sRGB and AdobeRGB color gamuts, as well as 95% NTSC. It fixed a lot of the issues we had with Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2, and it also happens to be considerably more affordable.

Best ACPC



Microsoft Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X is the most high-profile Windows 10 on ARM PC yet bringing excellent audio, display, inking, typing, and the slimmest Surface ever. Microsoft’s creative solution to storing the pen in the keyboard and the ability to swap out the SSD is an impressive advancement of the always-connected PC category. The Surface Pro X brings necessary functionality to road warriors and productivity-focused individuals that’s been missing for years. With excellent battery and 4G LTE, this laptop is an essential tool for a growing market.

Best PC Accessories of 2019

Best Keyboard



Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard

Do we love the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard with a heavy dose of nostalgia? Possibly, but it doesn’t change the bare facts. This icon reborn is as impressive today as it was all those years ago, retaining that iconic, ergonomic form factor and bringing it up to date for 2019. With larger keys, more consistent key travel, and a simple plug and play operation, if you spend your days typing, this is the keyboard to do it on.

Best Mouse



Razer Viper

Built with direct feedback from professional tournament-level gamers, the new Razer Viper takes mouse tech to the next level. Ditching mechanical switches for Razer’s optical solution, this mouse comprises dozens of refinements that make competing mice feel obsolete. Great for both right and left-handed gamers, this is a mouse that demands attention.

Best Headphones



HyperX Cloud Orbit S

While not cheap, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S is quite possibly the most impressive advancement in PC audio in the last few years. The secret? AudezeTM planar magnetic drivers coming together with Waves NxTM sound processing that tracks your head movements to maintain mind-blowing positional audio awareness. That means is you get a bizarrely realistic audio experience that pinpoints audio to an accuracy never achieved before in headphones. Such tech allows exceptional sound direction and separation key for high-performance first-person shooters. It’s awesome.

Best Microphone



Blue Yeti X

Whether you want to create your own podcast or make it big as a streamer, you’ll need a great-sounding microphone. Blue is a brand many rely on for audio clarity and the new Yeti X offers fantastic value. Blue took everything that made the Yeti great and added some neat new features with a slight bump in audio capture quality. Overall, it’s a must-have for any budding audiophile who’s not quite ready to splash the cash on more premium-grade studio microphones.

Best External Drive



Seagate Backup Plus Slim

Seagate is one of the big players in storage, and the Backup Plus Slim is your go-to solution for a portable drive. Available in sizes ranging from 1TB to 5TB, this Seagate external drive offers great value in terms of $ per GB. Because it’s using a mechanical HDD, transfer speeds aren’t particularly exciting at 120MB/s, but for the price and for what you’ll likely use an external storage solution for, it’s more than adequate. As a bonus, Seagate includes two months worth of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, which gives you access to Photoshop.

Best WMR Headset



HP Reverb

HP upped the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) game in 2019 with the release of the Reverb; a VR HMD packed with premium features. Not only does it have the highest resolution of all WMR headsets, it also boasts a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals. All this is packed into a lightweight, comfortable headset with an easily adjustable fit and an overall aesthetically pleasing look that’s not nearly as clinical as the other options out there.

Built-in headphones are positioned along the side headstraps, and a mic is also ready to communicate your voice to your friends. It might come at a higher price than other WMR systems, but if you want the best WMR experience possible, you’ll get it here.

Best Xbox Accessories of 2019

Best Xbox Controller



Scuf Prestige

The Scuf Prestige starts life as a regular Xbox Wireless Controller, but through some extreme modification, it ends up being so much more. Not only are the thumbsticks, bumper mechanisms, and other aspects of the device replaced, but the paddle placement on the back is an industry-leading design. We’ve been testing the Scuf Prestige for months, and it is incredibly reliable even with heavy day-to-day use. If you want a professional controller for Xbox One or PC, then look no further.

Best Xbox Accessory



PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip

With Xbox Project xCloud nearing launch, smartphone mounting clips are an affordable essential for on-the-go game streaming. Microsoft teamed up with PowerA for an officially licensed pairing, clamping onto any modern Bluetooth-enabled Xbox controller. Its rubberized spring-actuated clamp maintains a firm grip on any modern devices, with two adjustable hinges for finer angle adjustment. That’s a feature set unmatched by market rivals, still at a budget-friendly price tag.

While Xbox Game Streaming remains in development, Project xCloud and accompanying remote console streaming will play a more significant role in 2020. And with a free test underway in the U.S. and UK, this small investment draws more value from your Xbox, outside the living room. Simply put, this provides the best Xbox game-streaming experience.

Best Windows Apps of 2019

Best Windows 10 App



Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge for Windows is arguably one of the best apps to come out of Microsoft this year. It’s a complete rebuild of the Edge web browser using the strong and stable Chromium codebase, the same used by Google Chrome and Opera. This means the new Edge is incredibly performant and can render webpages just like rival browsers with no issues. Edge, for the first time, is a real contender in the browser space, and we’re super excited about it being available on not just Windows 10, but Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and even macOS.

Best Photography App



GIMP

Adobe Photoshop is a fine piece of kit for photographers and designers. You’re able to manipulate images, create unique design, and more, but it’s pricey and doesn’t work cross-platform. GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an alternative to Photoshop that’s free and open source. It works on not only Linux, but also macOS and Windows, allowing you to take images captured on your fancy camera, import them and make edits, and export final results. You’ve got pretty much everything you require too, so long as you don’t mind learning a new software suite.

Best Games of 2019

Best Windows PC Game



Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium is an excellent open-world game on PC where you step into the shoes of a detective. Your goal is to interrogate quirky characters, solve, murders, or take bribes, depending on the type of mark you want to leave on the city. All aspects of gameplay come together, forming a remarkable experience.

Best Indie Game



Children of Morta

Children of Morta is an incredible roguelike title that will keep you hooked for hours on end, serving up superb gameplay and presentation, as well as a surprisingly strong narrative. Aside from the rare cheap moment, everything about Children of Morta, from the story to the gameplay to the presentation, is simply incredible. In fact, it’s potentially among the best roguelike games ever made.

Overlooked/Underrated Award



A Plague Tale: Innocence

This medieval-era story may have flown under your radar in May, but still delivers an unmissable dark tale on Xbox One. Following two siblings caught among the plague chaos, players utilize stealth to escape the trials ahead, while fending off hordes of carnivorous rats. While Asobo Studio may be small, their accomplishments with this title top our annual picks. Assembling a linear, story-driven action-adventure brimming with stealth opportunities, A Plague Tale is a grim, unforgettable glimpse into dark ages, among the highlights of 2019.

Best Anticipated Game



Cyberpunk 2077

What can be said about Cyberpunk 2077 that hasn’t already been said? It’s from the creators of The Witcher series and promises to offer a groundbreaking first-person role-playing experience. Not only is Night City larger than the environments in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but it also features a lot of verticality and complexity. Given CD Projekt RED’s past successes in the genre, this game is by far our most-anticipated title for 2020.

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