Apple 27-inch iMac, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Google Pixel 4a, and more: ZDNet's reviews round-up

From Apple's latest Intel-based iMac to Google's new compact handset and Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note, here's the gear we tested in August.
By ZDNET Editors, Contributor on
27-inch iMac (August 2020)
1 of 14 Apple

Apple 27-inch iMac (mid-2020)

The increasing overlap between the iMac and iMac Pro could be confusing for professional users who aren't sure which model would suit them best. It also suggests that the iMac Pro is due for an overhaul of its own before too long. However, the challenge for Apple with this new Intel-based iMac is to reassure Mac users that it is business-as-usual -- and, on that score, the new 27-inch iMac ticks all the boxes.

For more see: Apple 27-inch iMac (mid-2020) review: Apple reassures Mac users with a strong update for the Intel iMac

2 of 14 Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen)

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon continues to evolve, and remains an excellent ultraportable laptop for business users. The keyboard is a pleasure to use, there's a good range of screen options, sound quality is up there with the best laptops, and mobile professionals will appreciate the range of security features on offer. The only question marks surround the screen bezels and the touchpad: Lenovo needs to consider how it might shrink the former and grow the latter.

For more see: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th Gen) review: Flagship ultraportable maintains the quality

3 of 14 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Google Pixel 4a

The Pixel 4a is in a tight corner of the handset market. Its main competitor in the UK is probably the recently released OnePlus Nord, which is larger and has a bigger screen, supports 5G, and more cameras. But if you want a compact handset that's guaranteed early Android updates, don't mind a relatively small screen and appreciate the simplicity of point-and-shoot photography, Google might just have nailed it with the Pixel 4a.

For more see: Google Pixel 4a review: Excellence at an affordable price

4 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

While the Note 10 Plus (see our full review) wasn't a slam dunk upgrade from the Note 9, the Note 20 Ultra is a near-perfect upgrade for Note 9 users. The S Pen improvements, 5G support, 120Hz display, and improved cameras are all good reasons for Note 10 owners to upgrade to the Note 20 Ultra. The device performed flawlessly and once you try out a 120Hz display, we believe it is tough to go back to 60Hz.

For more see: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: 5G, display, cameras, and S Pen make it the best phone for business

5 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the tech giant's new entry into the productivity market and it is quite impressive. While there is not much more than the S Pen offered in the Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the device to purchase if you want to optimize your work with the S Pen. Samsung has also addressed most of the problems with the Tab S6 keyboard and this tablet is built for productivity.

For more see: Galaxy Tab S7 Plus first look: The business device to buy for S Pen use

6 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus

Microsoft's Surface Pro computers continue to impress, with stunning design elements and daily performance. However, the Surface Type Covers can be a let down in some use cases. Brydge just released its newest keyboard solution -- and if you are looking for a keyboard for your Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, or 7, then we highly recommend you consider the new Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus.

For more see: Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus keyboard hands-on: Skip the Type Cover and enjoy your Microsoft Surface Pro on your lap

7 of 14 Charles McLellan/ZDNet

TCL 10 5G

The TCL 10 5G has a lot going for it: the specification, build quality, performance and battery life are all impressive given the £399 (inc. VAT) price. It is shown up in some areas by its (4G) 10 Pro stablemate, most notably by having an IPS LCD screen rather than AMOLED, and by having an awkwardly protruding rear camera panel. Still, it's a good-value 5G phone -- although perhaps not quite as good value as the OnePlus Nord, which runs on the same Snapdragon 765G platform and comes with 8GB rather than 6GB of RAM for a slightly lower starting price (£379 inc. VAT).

For more see: TCL 10 5G review: Excellent specs, build and performance for the price

8 of 14 Sony

Sony Xperia 10 II

As with other Xperia handsets, the 21:9 aspect ratio is the key draw here. Be prepared for a considerable amount of video letterboxing along with the (rather enjoyable) wide-screen viewing. You can also expect some usability challenges navigating the screen one-handed, while the camera performance is disappointing. Both the OnePlus Nord and Google Pixel 4a are more expensive and have standard aspect ratio screens, but they are worth checking out, along with other options, as possible alternatives. 

For more see: Sony Xperia 10 II review: An affordable but disappointing wide-screen experience

9 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Sony WH-1000XM4

There has been a battle waging for years between Bose and Sony for the title of best wireless active-noise canceling cans. After more than a week of intensive time with the new Sony WH-1000XM4, we think it is clear we have an undisputed winner. We could not find a flaw in their design or performance. Sony has a winner here and has lived up to expectations at a launch price the same as the last model, $349.99.

For more see: Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise-canceling headset review: Making the world better through a flawless music listening experience

10 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Jabra Evolve2 85

The Jabra Evolve2 85 headphones are available now for $449, or $499 with the charging stand. This is a significant price, but if you spend all day on Teams or on your phone, then it is a great option for focused work. With the current remote-work environment many of us are working in, this headset could be a key component to increased productivity and easily be worth the price of admission.

For more see: Jabra Evolve2 85 business headset review: Extensive Microsoft Teams integration, 10 mics, and 37 hours battery

11 of 14 Philips

Philips 498P9 Brilliance

The 498P9 is a neat all-in-one solution for users who would otherwise need to use two large Quad HD displays. The use of a SuperWide panel guarantees image uniformity and colour balance, which is often more difficult to achieve with two separate monitors. The Ultra Wide-Color gamut-boosting technology, along with Philips smart image processing, does manage to extract very good image quality from the VA LCD panel in the 498P9.

For more see: Philips 498P9 Brilliance review: Two high-performance QHD displays in one SuperWide 32:9 monitor

12 of 14 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

OnePlus Buds

When OnePlus launched its affordable 5G Nord handset, it also unveiled its first attempt at true wireless earbuds, which cost £79 (inc. VAT) or $79. Overall the OnePlus Buds deliver a decent audio experience with plenty of bass tones, have pretty good battery life, and come with an all-important water-resistance rating. They're going to appeal to OnePlus handset owners most because of the on-phone controls. Owners of other phones might want to shop around before taking the plunge.

For more see: OnePlus Buds, hands on: Best for OnePlus phone users

13 of 14 palmsolo/ZDNet

Garmin MARQ Golfer

The Garmin MARQ Golfer supports more than 41,000 courses and it performed flawlessly. The Garmin MARQ Golfer is extremely well built, looks fantastic, and lifted a serious load while out on the course. It may be the perfect accessory for the serious golfer who also wants a luxury watch on the wrist. It's expensive, being priced at $1,850, but it is a lovely addition to the Garmin MARQ lineup and won't disappoint.

For more see: Garmin MARQ Golfer review: Virtual caddie contained in a luxurious and powerful GPS sports watch

14 of 14 Xiaomi

Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2

The Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 from Xiaomi is an update on the original model which launched in 2017 and that we took for a spin a couple of years ago. The biggest improvement to the original Mi Scooter is the addition of a useful small display. This display made it much easier to control the scooter status. We also enjoyed observing the speed on the panel. The price for the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 is EUR 399.

For more see: Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 review: Several refinements improve upon the original

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