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H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage) testing |

H13-629 testing - HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage) Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage) testing November 2023 by team

H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage)

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) exam typically consists of around 60 to 80 multiple-choice questions. The exact number of questions may vary.

- Time: Candidates are given a specific time limit to complete the exam, which is usually around 120 minutes. It is important to manage time effectively to ensure all questions are answered within the allocated time.

Course Outline:
The HCIE-Storage (Written) certification exam focuses on validating the knowledge and skills required to design, implement, and manage complex storage solutions using Huawei storage technologies. The course outline may include the following key areas:

1. Storage System Architecture and Design:
- Advanced storage system architectures and components
- Storage virtualization and data migration
- Storage system design methodologies and best practices

2. Storage Networking and Protocols:
- Advanced SAN and NAS technologies
- Fibre Channel (FC) and Ethernet-based storage networking
- Storage protocols and interfaces (FC, iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, etc.)

3. Data Management and Protection:
- Data deduplication and compression
- Snapshot and cloning technologies
- Data replication and disaster recovery solutions

4. Storage Performance Optimization:
- Performance monitoring and analysis tools
- Performance optimization techniques
- Quality of Service (QoS) and resource allocation

5. Storage Security and Compliance:
- Storage security principles and best practices
- Data encryption and access control mechanisms
- Compliance and regulatory requirements

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) exam typically include:
- Assessing the candidate's understanding of advanced storage system architectures and design principles.
- Evaluating the candidate's knowledge and proficiency in storage networking and protocols.
- Testing the candidate's ability to manage data storage, protection, and optimization.
- Assessing the candidate's understanding of storage security and compliance requirements.

Exam Syllabus:
The specific exam syllabus for the H13-629 HCIE-Storage (Written) exam may vary, but it generally includes the following topics:

1. Storage System Architecture and Design:
- Advanced storage system architectures and components
- Storage virtualization and data migration
- Storage system design methodologies

2. Storage Networking and Protocols:
- Advanced SAN and NAS technologies
- Fibre Channel (FC) and Ethernet-based storage networking
- Storage protocols and interfaces

3. Data Management and Protection:
- Data deduplication and compression
- Snapshot and cloning technologies
- Data replication and disaster recovery solutions

4. Storage Performance Optimization:
- Performance monitoring and analysis tools
- Performance optimization techniques
- Quality of Service (QoS) and resource allocation

5. Storage Security and Compliance:
- Storage security principles and best practices
- Data encryption and access control mechanisms
- Compliance and regulatory requirements
HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage)
Huawei Expert-Storage) testing

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HCIE-Storage (Written) (Internetwork Expert-Storage)
Question: 317
True or False, Info Replicator supports copying the data at the same time. The basic attributes of the home
directory, extended attributes, ACL (access control list).
WORM (write-once-read-many) and CIFS / NFS share configuration information is known as a wealth island from
the end. When a disaster occurs, master and slave sites can quickly take over the business after the switch.
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
Question: 318
In Simpana software, incremental backup means:
A. The data that has changed since the last backup.
B. The data that has been changed since the last full backup.
C. The completion of all data backup.
D. After the initial backup, all data has back up.
Answer: B
Question: 319
Which of the following statements are true regarding HUAWEI OceanStor 18000 Engine, SVP, Disk Enclosure,
and PCI-e Switch Interconnections?
A. SVP needs to be connected to multiple engines through two PCIe switches, and each engine controller
needs to be connected to a PCIe switch to ensure that link redundancy and to Improve reliability.
B. When the control plane is connected to a network, when the engine and the PCI-e switch are
interconnected, the port 0, port A3 and PCIe port can be interconnected.
C. Huawei slot 0 and slot 5 of the OceanStor 18000 engine enclosure can be used to install SAS interface
modules and interconnect disk enclosures.
Answer: B
Question: 320
A Huawei OceanStor 9000 is externally shared using NFS and CIFS at the moment.
You want to set some parameters to Improve the performance of the NFS mounted under the Linux operating
system. Which of the following description is correct?
A. Rsize / wsize, read and write the maximum size of each block, it is recommended to adjust to the
maximum. General Linux operating system environment, the maximum value of 1M.
B. Async, allowing asynchronous data write, synchronous write requirements. NFS server must brush each
data into the hard disk before it can return success delay higher.
C. Noatime, if you do not need to record the file access time, you can increase this parameter to avoid
frequent access, modify the access time to open pin.
D. Nolock, if there is a shared file between NFS clients, you can use this parameter. Reduce service-side file
lock overhead.
Answer: ABC
Question: 321
Huawei Standard Edition N8500 has two nodes named Pubeth1 and Pubeth4. It opened the NFS service. NFS
server accepts recovery after NFS guest. However, the client mount point can not be accessed into the directory for
a long time without echo. What do you need to do to fix it?
A. Restart the NFS server of the N8500
B. Restart the clients NFS service
C. Reseat the NFS client network cable
D. Forcibly unmount the NFS client mount point and mount it again
Answer: D
Question: 322
True or False, with a client using the SMB 1.0 / 2.0 / 2.1 / 3.0 protocol to perform file replication inside a Huawei
OceanStor 9000, it does not need to pass through the client, but can be done directly to the system.
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
Question: 323
Client1 needs to read file X from a Huawei OceanStor 900 and the node that responds to the read request is node
Based on this, which of the following are correct?
A. If the system has monitored the file X has been cached on Node B, the client client1 can read the file
directly from Node B.
B. If the system monitors that node B has cached file X, then node A can read the file from node
C. After HUAWEI OceanStor 9000 processes the request for memorizing the file X from client1, the system
reserves the message on both node A and node B.
D. If the system monitors that node A has cached file X, then node A only caches the data of file X and does
not cache its verification data
Answer: BD
Question: 324
For commonly used SQL Server 2005 and 2008, users can connect to the specified server through the SQL Server
Management Studio tool Database Engine. There are two connections in the connection group authentication
method. Which client application connection method can provide the required landing User ID and password?
A. SQL Server Authentication
B. Windows authentication
C. Log in as superuser
D. Other ways when landing
Answer: A
Question: 325
An Engineer installed a OceanStor 9000 for a customer (a total of 5 OceanStor 9000 C Node, front and rear ends
are 10GE TOE networking, on-site installation TOE network card). Then connected the signal lines, power lines,
and debugged the software. During the installation there were issues. Which of the following description of these
issues are correct? (Multiple choice.)
A. 5 devices TOE NIC A0, B1, and A0, B3 inserted into the PCIe slot will not affect the system. Deployment
will not affect the network bandwidth, so it cannot be adjusted.
B. The signal cables are long and need to be strapped to the cabinet or placed on the bottom tray.
C. Label NODE 01 A0-0 The signal cable is inserted in the network port A0-1. The signal cable labeled
NODE01 B3-1 is inserted in the network position B3-0, due to the same network card two network port
peer, you can place the wrongline, you cannot adjust.
D. CE6850 switch connected to two stacked copper cables, one of which is needed to post-cold more cold,
because it does not affect the network interoperability. You can base this software debugging.
Answer: BD
Question: 326
A customer deploys a set of OceanStor V3 storage in two cities and adopts asynchronous remote replication
networking between the two storage arrays. Which of the following statement is correct? (Multiple choice.)
A. The automatically created Asynchronous Remote Copy snapshot can either be a private quick pick or a
public one.
B. In a DR scenario, it is recommended to create a virtual snapshot of the secondary LUN and map it to the
host for access.
C. In remote replication link networking, parallel networking is better than crossover networking.
D. The number of LUNs in the consistency group should be as small as possible, and only the LUNs that
have write dependencies on the same application are placed in a consistency group.
Answer: CD
Question: 327
A hospital bought a Huawei OceanStor 9000V100R001C30 storage device for storing business data. According to
the relevant laws and regulations, which of the following descriptions of data loss prevention is wrong?:
A. The engineer has set the WORM root directory according to the hospitals requirements, and all the
subdirectories under this directory have the WORM attribute.
B. During the file protection period, no one can delete the protected file.
C. Protected Documents are Protected for a Period of 70 Years on Huawei OceanStor 9000 Storage Device.
D. WORM log save root, quota and WORM protection period cannot be set.
Answer: B
Question: 328
Choose the correct statement regarding the N8000 clustered NAS system that provides file system sharing services,
surface VxFS file system, and roll features.
A. VxFS is a non-log file system that can support more than 2T files.
B. File system snapshot using copy-on-write (copy-on-write technology) and other files together, share
partition or volume storage space.
C. Provide file system-level snapshots, copy.
D. File System Snapshots, Scenarios, Replication, etc. Features are based on Storage Checkpoint.
Answer: BC
Question: 329
True or False, In an OceanStor V3 system storage array, all the snapshots of a LUN occupy no more space than the
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
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Huawei Expert-Storage) testing - BingNews Search results Huawei Expert-Storage) testing - BingNews Huawei achieves record-setting Wi-Fi 7 speed in lab test No result found, try new keyword!Huawei has achieved a record-setting Wi-Fi 7 speed in a lab test of its AirEngine 8771-X1T Wi-Fi 7 Access Point. Mon, 13 Nov 2023 05:11:00 -0600 en-us text/html Google claims it is beating Huawei in global weather prediction with AI No result found, try new keyword!Results of a study have shown Google's weather prediction model GraphCast performed better than Huawei's Pangu-Weather in most tests Competition between China and the US in machine learning weather ... Thu, 16 Nov 2023 20:00:13 -0600 en-us text/html A test update to solve the storage issue of the Pixel 6 and above

A new solution to the storage issue on the Pixel 6 and later devices has been seen on the horizon in the form of an OTA update. Google is working on rolling out a ‘Test’ update to the said device.

Shortly after the Android 14 update, some users of the Google Pixel 6 or later found their devices plagued by storage-related issues, ranging from random reboots to losing access to media storage. These problems basically rendered a lot of the devices completely unusable. The severity of the bug prompted Google to take notice.

After users reported the issues, Google soon responded informing that a solution to the storage issues was under development and they would soon roll out the update to the affected models. 

The proposed solution is a ‘Test’ update

In response to the storage issues, Google initially suggested performing a complete factory data reset as a potential fix. However, this solution is far from ideal, as it’s time-consuming and requires you to back up all the files before going ahead.

Recently, Google revisited the problem and introduced a “possible” solution. Unfortunately, Google labels it as a ‘Test’ update. We can expect it to roll out over the next two weeks through Over-the-Air (OTA) distribution. Importantly, only devices that have opted to receive it will receive the download.

How do you get the update on your Pixel 6 or later device?

To access the OTA ‘Test’ Update and potentially resolve the storage issues, affected users will need to complete a Google Form. You should receive the ‘Test’ update within 24 hours of completing the form. Notably, some devices are stuck in a rebooting loop. In this case, you might need to reset your device using the buttons before you can proceed with the update. Google also suggests contacting Pixel Support for alternative solutions.

It’s worth noting that the storage access problem affects devices with multiple users. It includes guest profiles, restricted profiles, and child profiles. So you should avoid creating or logging into secondary profiles on your device until the storage issue is fixed.

In conclusion, this OTA update is a step toward addressing the problem without having to reset your device, which in itself wasn’t a permanent solution.

Sun, 05 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Huawei modernises storage with OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage Series

Modern businesses are under pressure to be agile, adaptive and innovative. The IT department feels the brunt of it, as the organisations goes through digital transformation projects, while still needing to keep the lights on.

Data is the core of intelligent management; the intelligent management, scheduling, mining, and analysis of data allows applications to deliver personalised experience and companies implement precision control over the design, production and logistics process to reduce management costs. Data is defining new business models and creating new commercial opportunities.

Additionally, businesses need to store a lot of data, and think nothing of having to store data into multiple petabytes. The digital and intelligent transformation demands high-performance infrastructures, and there's the added challenge of an expanding and demanding regulatory environment which places demands on the organisation's storage environment.

How can modern businesses keep up with the storage demands of the volumes of data, while meeting regulatory compliance? A different way of working, in both the data centre and the wider business transformation, can be found in All Flash Arrays (AFA) storage.

Born with high performance, all-flash storage is one of the new engines being touted for mission-critical services. Competition and progress in all-flash storage has created a level of maturity, reliability, and cost-effectiveness that exceeds hybrid disk arrays in all characteristics except raw capacity, providing data centres with higher agility and service capability.

Huawei is one of the vendors in the market, that has vertically integrated its capabilities in chips, networks, and management. Highlighting its leadership position, Huawei has released the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage series, which adopts an intelligent Solid State Drives (SSDs) controller chip, intelligent multi-protocol processing chip, and intelligent BMC management chip to build an end-to-end service acceleration platform, delivering triple performance and maximizing resource utilisation.

Data is stored on SSDs, that's why performance and stability of these drives are critical. The control unit is responsible for data read/write. The Flash Translation Layer (FTL) is used to store the mapping between the user LBA and the physical page in the SSD. To achieve the ultimate in storage speed, Huawei leverages an innovative SSD controller chip to accelerate data read and write. The FTL algorithm is moved from the control software layer to the SSD controller chip, so that all FTL reads and writes are performed by the chip, significantly reducing the number of software interactions and hence the I/O response latency.

For example; a computer using Windows 95 needs to load a long string of codes after being powered on, which takes two to three minutes. After switching to Windows 2010, the computer has a stronger CPU to load the codes. You can enter the "Start Up" interface instantaneously. According to tests by Huawei's performance and interoperability lab, the read latency of Huawei SSDs is as low as 80 μs in low-load scenarios, which is better than the other vendors; the performance is two times higher than that of competitors.

To achieve end-to-end acceleration, Huawei developed the FlashLink technology by combining  SSDs and storage controller , NVMe architecture, and a storage operating system designed for flash from the ground up. Huawei's Dorado storage can deliver three times higher performance after enabling of value-added features such as deduplication, compression, and snapshot, while maintaining 0.5 ms latency, eliminating performance shortage issues in peak hours.

Whether for new applications such as artificial intelligence, Big Data, autonomous driving, and blockchain, or traditional healthcare, manufacturing, and finance industries, innovative chip technologies have become the main driving force of enterprises.

The intelligent SSD, within the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage series, has a controller chip purpose-built for the flash media, exploring full potential of flash to Improve user experience. The multi-protocol intelligent processing chip simplifies networking, reduces management costs, and offloads network protocols to accelerate data read/write.

OceanStor Dorado's intelligent BMC management chip accelerates fault locating, implements failover in seconds, and excels in energy saving, helping users leasing IT devices to reduce costs and explore new business opportunities.

Find out how Huawei is continually improving its storage products.

Wed, 09 Jan 2019 12:42:00 -0600 en text/html
How companies are benefitting from Huawei all-flash storage solutions

Data has become an important factor in keeping an organization agile and competitive. However, traditional ways of storing data, to meet both technical and compliance needs, are failing. Two examples of how organizations have been able to modernise their storage environment demonstrate just how much of a competitive advantage investment in this area can offer.

The core of intelligent management; the scheduling, mining, and analysis of data, help applications deliver personalised experience and companies implement precision control over the design, production and logistics process to reduce management costs.

Companies from a variety of industries, across Europe and Asia, choose to go with the Huawei OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage Series, to help them make storage the driving force for their enterprise.

In 2017, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) announced the 2017 Low Carbon Champions Awards. BYD UK — the London branch of BYD Auto — won the "Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle of the Year Award" and jointly won the "Grand Prix" — the top award — with Transport for London (TfL) and Go-Ahead London for their partnership in launching London's first two all-electric bus routes. This award specifically noted BYDs contribution in delivering the vehicles, operational capacity, and infrastructure for the London project.

Founded in 1995, BYD in IT-related and automobile business for traditional fuel-powered vehicles and new energy vehicles. BYD Auto experienced a period of rapid business development and proliferation of operational processes. This generated a large amount of concurrent data flows from product sales, spare parts inventory, and after-sales services.

To give an idea of the exactly how much additional data was being generated, the volume of data most manufacturing enterprises' online transaction management systems doubles every two years, and concurrent requests to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system grow exponentially, leading to high I/O frequencies and long user wait times.

This increased in data must be analyzed by a BI system, combined with the shorter timeframe in which data must be processed and reports generated, imposing stringent requirements on data loading and processing speed, as well as system stability. The BI system is a must-have tool for enterprises' manufacturing planning, sales analysis, market trend forecasts, and other important business decision-making.

BYD Auto's ERP system couldn't handle the required 185,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 60,000+ concurrent services during peak hours. The system once took over an hour to query the monthly SAP ERP financial statements. Access performance was so poor, the ERP system could not be used for service development. In one extreme case, a system breakdown even jeopardised production line operation.

Based on these requirements and the analysis results of BYD's live network, Huawei created an OceanStor Dorado all-flash acceleration solution for the auto company. In this solution, HDD-based storage was replaced by all-flash storage to expedite read and write I/O and make the ERP and Business Warehouse (BW) systems more efficient. No changes were made to the live network architecture, databases, hosts, ERP software, or O&M, to avoid possible risks. To keep the system upgrade from affecting services, the Huawei data migration team provided a set of data mirroring workarounds using host volume management software.

Legacy data was also migrated to the OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage without affecting ERP services. Upon Huawei's recommendation, BYD Auto retained its development and test systems and sandbox on the legacy storage system to protect the investment.

The success of the ERP system reconstruction project led BYD Auto to choose Huawei's OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage again for its next Document Management System (DMS) and Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) system upgrade. OceanStor Dorado's superb performance and robust stability again impressed BYD.

Far away from BYD Auto is Widiba, Widiba is an online banking arm of MPS created in 2014 in Italy, with the aim of providing customers with simple, convenient, and innovative fund management services. It prides itself on delivering high value through the use of an IT platform that can be customized by users to suit their own particular needs and a network of 600 advisors, offering a wide range of telephone-based financial advice services.

In accurate years, Widiba has intensified its technological innovation. It uses an interactive model similar to Google search and leverages big data engines to recommend banking services for users based on their behavior algorithms and feedback information. After several rounds of communication and repeated demonstration, Widiba chose Huawei as a partner to build a future-proof IT data management platform.

The platform is powered by Huawei's OceanStor storage systems in new data centers. The OceanStor supports converged active-active (HyperMetro) for SAN and NAS. The high-performance SSD-based all-flash SAN storage bears online transaction records and other critical business systems, and check images are kept on the large-capacity NAS storage.

During the IT enablement process, Widiba made penetrating insights into the trends of big data and the monitoring of user experience. It believes that SSDs will be the most appropriate data storage media to meet the requirement of massive storage capacity and the high performance necessary to ensure satisfactory user experience.

Therefore, Widiba has built a high-performance storage resource pool composed of SSD-based OceanStor systems to meet the performance and efficiency demands of core business systems. The pool helped increase the core service processing efficiency and shortened the average transaction and query response time. The storage system latency was reduced from 3 to 5 ms to less than 1 ms, and improved storage resource utilization, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by 30 percent.

To address the challenges of the mobile Internet era, Widiba cooperated with Huawei to design a converged active-active (HyperMetro) SAN and NAS solution. Huawei deployed one set of OceanStor systems in Widiba's Siena Production Center and another one in its Florence Data Center, in an active-active configuration. Storage resource pools at the two sites provide backup for each other, achieving 99.9999 percent data availability. The two linked sites are 100 km away from each other. One storage system of the SSD-powered active-active SAN provides 100,000 IOPS at 1 ms latency, and one storage system at the other site offers 78,000 IOPS at 2.4 ms. This design meets the storage performance requirements of IBM MQ, VMware virtualization, and PostgreSQL databases on the live network.

Migrating services is never easy and requires various types of operating systems. Application software and device models must all be moved over, which creates intense challenges in terms of compatibility.

Adding to the complexity, organisations require zero service interruption because, in the era of 24/7 operation, they can't tolerate any negative impact on customer experience. Both companies chose to go with Huawei for its OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage Series, because Huawei was able to deliver a fast and reliable system, that helped them reduce and manage costs.

Contact Huawei to find out more about the OceanStor Dorado All-Flash Storage Series. 

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:45:00 -0600 en text/html
Huawei conducts 5G testing in Nepal with little transparency, raising concerns about corruption

Chinese telecom giant, Huawei is conducting 5G testing in Nepal with little transparency, raising concerns over potential corruption issues and monopoly in the country's telecom sector, Nepal-based Khabarhub reported. The Chinese telecom giant, which is seen as a security risk by the US and European governments was testing the 5G technology, with little transparency, in Nepal using a frequency of 2600 MHz. 

The testing has raised concerns among authorities and triggered an investigation by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) over potential corruption issues.

Since the company is already under scrutiny for allegedly being involved in bribery and clandestine operations worldwide, the issue of national security remains a significant concern in its global expansion efforts.

As the company faces allegations of intellectual property theft and espionage in several countries, the issue of national security remains a significant concern in its global expansion efforts, according to Khabarhub.

Additionally, Huawei's business dealings have led to bans in certain countries and investigations by international authorities.

Earlier, the US and European governments had said that Huawei is a security risk due to concerns about state influence and the potential vulnerability of its fifth-generation networks.

This has also led to objections from countries like India, which have raised red flags against deploying Huawei gear in their own 5G mobile networks.

The company has faced multiple accusations of bribery and corrupt practices worldwide, reported Khabarhub.

Meanwhile, in Algeria, a North African country, the company's executive was convicted of bribery, resulting in a ban on Huawei from bidding for public contracts.

Similarly, investigations are ongoing in Zambia, where the company is accused of attempting to secure an expensive contract to build cell towers in rural areas through bribery.

Even in the Solomon Islands, Huawei was caught offering millions of dollars to the ruling party in exchange for an undersea fibre-optic cable contract.

This incident, along with several others in accurate years, has raised serious concerns about the company's business ethics.

Western nations have scrutinized the telecom company, not only for alleged bribery and corruption but also for intellectual property theft and espionage, as per Khabarhub.

Huawei and its smaller Chinese rival, ZTE, too, have faced corruption investigations in around 21 countries in the past 12 years.

Among these cases are allegations of bribery, illegal donations to political parties, and questionable business practices in African countries, including Algeria and Ghana. Notably, the transaction costs of these corrupt deals are estimated to be in the billions, Khabarhub reported. 

Mon, 31 Jul 2023 05:50:00 -0500 text/html
China says it’s built the world’s fastest internet network

China has started to roll out what it’s calling the world’s most advanced internet network, which promises to operate several times faster than current networks.

The network – which can travel at about 1.2 terabits (or 1,200 gigabits) each second – is fast enough to transfer data from 150 movies in one second, according to Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei.

Those represent theoretical speeds that won’t appear at consumers’ homes anytime soon. But a more robust, faster internet service has broad implications for businesses, faster information transfers, stock trading advantages and other national security implications.

In a press conference this week, Huawei and China Mobile officially launched the country’s next-generation backbone network, in partnership with Beijing’s Tsinghua University and Cernet, an education and research network funded by the Chinese government. A backbone network is network infrastructure that moves internet traffic to different geographic locations, and can support hungry-data transfers from technologies such as 5G and electric vehicles.

The new network runs on 1,800 miles of optic fiber cables between Beijing and the south, according to a translated press release. It did not share details on plans to expand throughout the country.

It started to operate and undergo tests this summer, but is launching about two years ahead of expert forecasts.

The news comes as President Biden is set to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping in San Francisco on Wednesday, following months of tension between the two superpowers. Xi previously said the development of the backbone network will establish the country as “a cyber power” and “accelerate the promotion of core Internet technologies,” the press release said.

But because this doesn’t apply to home internet speeds, and rather to internet infrastructure, it doesn’t pose a direct threat to the US, unlike how it otherwise competes with AI, semiconductors or wireless networking technology. It could, however, offer a foundation for Chinese-based businesses that would require a lot of bandwidth.

Wu Jianping, a professor at the department of computer science and technology Tsinghua University who is overseeing the backbone internet project, said in the press release that the system, including software and hardware, was made in China, produced and is independently controlled. He also called it the most advanced network in the world.

This isn’t the first time a major tech launch has coincided with a US visit. Huawei launched its highly-anticipated Mate 60 Pro smartphone, which features a breakthrough Chinese-made 5G chip, around the time some US diplomats were visiting the country in late summer. The US government later said it was investigating how the company would have the technology to make such a chip following sweeping efforts by the US to restrict China’s access to foreign chip technology.

CNN’s Brian Fung, Juliana Liu and Wayne Chang contributed to this report

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 08:31:00 -0600 en-SG text/html
Expert Reviews Product of the Year Awards 2023: Technology

We reveal the finest tech we’ve tested this year, from smartphones to sat navs

We’ve seen some truly extraordinary technology this year at Expert Reviews. No fewer than 50 smartphones have passed across our experts’ desks, from high-end foldables to budget models that you can repair at home. We’ve had a gaming monitor with a gigantic, bendable OLED panel; a laptop with two screens and a 360-degree hinge; and a pair of earbuds with solar charging built into the case. And on the subject of audio tech, who could forget these whacky air-purifying headphones?

It might sound like fun and games – and for the most part, it is – but testing all that tech does serve a purpose. At Expert Reviews, we believe it’s essential that you know you’re spending your hard-earned cash on the best possible product for your needs. By putting so many smartphones, laptops and TVs through their paces each year, we can provide you with unbiased, in-depth reviews to help demystify what can often be a very mysterious marketplace, so you can buy with confidence.

This year, we’ve outdone ourselves. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best technology of 2023 across a whopping 37 categories, from mobile phones and tablets to sat navs and e-bikes. You’ll also find an overall Tech Product of the Year: this is a product that we feel represents the absolute best that this year had to offer.

Without further ado, welcome to the Expert Reviews Tech Product of the Year Awards 2023.

Tech Product of the Year | Winner

Sonos Era 300 | £399

Sonos Era 300 review - speaker on plinth

If you’re looking for one wireless speaker for your home, then you can’t go too far wrong with our product of the year – the Sonos Era 300. It turned in a flawless performance in our audio testing earlier this year and it combines sumptuous audio quality with superb ease of use and incredible flexibility.

This is a speaker that’s just at home with regular stereo content as it is with spatial audio, and you can even use a pair of Era 300 speakers as rear channels in a Dolby Atmos set up, complete with height effects.

In our review we said: “It’s hard to think of a single thing that the Sonos Era 300 could do better,” and we can’t think of a better way to sum it up. It’s a superb product and fully deserving of our overall Product of the year award.

Tech Products of the Year 2023

Premium Smartphone of the Year

Winner | Xiaomi 13 | £849

Compact yet potent, the Xiaomi 13 is uniquely positioned as this year’s best premium smartphone. Not only is it the best small form factor handset we’ve reviewed for a number of years with a delightfully pocket-friendly design, but it also outperforms several of its competitors in a number of critical areas. The quality of the display in particular is absolutely astonishing, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset produced some impressive speed results in our performance benchmarks.

Highly Commended | Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 | £1,049

It wouldn’t be an end-of-year awards roundup without a Samsung foldable, but this year’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 is especially notable. The large cover display is a delight to use, making folded operations significantly easier, and the lighter, smaller design makes a huge difference in portability. The various performance improvements are also worth shouting about, with a nice little boost to overall battery life, too.

Mid-range Phone of the Year

Winner | Google Pixel 7a | £372

It’s no surprise that the Pixel 7a takes the top spot on the mid-range podium for 2023. Google’s photography expertise comes into play yet again, but this time it’s applied to an exceptionally well-rounded smartphone that’s fantastic value for money. The Pixel 7a’s photo and video skills are tremendous, and we captured some terrific camera samples as part of our review to which no other phone maker came close. We were also pleased to see the Tensor G2 CPU provide some big performance gains. 

Highly Commended | Samsung Galaxy A54 5G | £280

Samsung has been storming the mid-range field over the past couple of years, and the Galaxy A54 5G maintains the trend. A terrifically affordable alternative to this year’s flagships, the A54 5G benefits from a beautiful 120Hz AMOLED screen, with some snazzy colour options and impressive performance and stamina improvements over the previous model.

Value Smartphone of the Year

Winner | Motorola Moto G13 | £115

If you’re on a super-tight budget, don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds or are simply looking for the absolute best value for your money, the Motorola Moto G13 is the obvious choice. With nips and tucks in all the right places, it looks the business, performs well for general use and benefits from a handful of consumer-friendly extras such as a 3.5mm headphone jack, dual-SIM support and expandable storage. If you need proof that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on your next smartphone, then this is it. 

Highly Commended | Honor Magic 5 Lite | £249

A great choice for the budget-conscious, the Honor Magic 5 Lite packs in a lot of stuff for not a lot of money. Not only did it score one of the best battery life results we’ve ever tested – lasting for almost 30 hours on a single charge – but it’s also pretty much the complete package in every other department. That’s all topped off with a vibrant, curved display and a head-turning design.

Folding Phone of the Year

Winner | Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 | £1,049

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 in the hand, half folded

With the Galaxy Z Flip 5 Samsung has refined its clamshell foldable to such a degree that folding smartphones are now ready for mass market appeal. A flashy alternative to the usual blocky smartphone slabs, the Z Flip 5 is a sheer joy to use, with a gigantic cover display that allows you to read your notifications and reply to messages without having to open the phone. The new gapless design is pretty swish, too, as is the big jump in performance and stamina courtesy of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset. 

Highly Commended | Honor Magic Vs | £1,400

A proper tablet/smartphone hybrid, Honor’s Magic Vs is a standout foldable worthy of a Highly Commended award. With a gapless hinge design making for a remarkably thin handset when unfolded, the Magic Vs is as luxurious to look at as it is to use, with one of the most colour-accurate displays we’ve ever tested. Add in an asking price cheaper than its competitors, and it’s clear that it will take some beating.

Android Phone of the Year

Winner | Google Pixel 7a£372

While there’s been a veritable swathe of exceptional Android flagships this year, the sheer value for money offered by the Google Pixel 7a snags it the top spot. A big part of this is that the 7a is powered by the same Tensor G2 chipset as the pricier Pixel 7, delivering great performance for the price. You’re also getting a bumped-up 90Hz refresh rate on the display, and a camera suite that is nothing short of fantastic. Images are sharp, night captures are much more efficient and the expanded software options give you more choices than ever for tweaking your images in post.

Highly Commended | Nothing Phone (2) | £549

It costs quite a bit more than the first model, but the Nothing Phone (2) more than earns the extra money by making dramatic improvements across the board. Performance sees a big leap, with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset competing with much pricier phones; the design and unique glyph system are effortlessly stylish; and, crucially, the outstanding battery life is one of the best we’ve seen on any smartphone to date.

Best Phone Battery Life

Winner | Nothing Phone (2) | £549

Nothing Phone (2) review header

If you’ve read the above paragraph, you won’t be surprised to see the Nothing Phone (2) taking the win here. As well as lasting for a staggering 31hrs 28mins in our testing, the Nothing Phone (2) offers terrific performance for its price, a larger 6.7in OLED display and a revamped light-up glyph system on the rear. Not only is this futuristic design stylish and unique, it also makes more use of the rear LEDs than ever, with new features including a countdown timer and a journey progress tracker via Uber.

Highly Commended | Honor Magic 5 Lite | £249

If the Nothing Phone (2) is too rich for your blood, the good news is that the Honor Magic 5 Lite comes in a good couple of hundred pounds cheaper. For this, you still get exceptional battery life, coming in close to 29 hours, a gorgeous curved OLED display and decent, albeit not class-leading, performance. The cameras aren’t the best in low light and you don’t get a microSD card but, otherwise, this is a killer runner-up.

Phone Camera of the Year

Winner | Google Pixel 7a£372

Google phones often take the gold when we’re judging smartphone cameras, and this year is no different. The Pixel 7a might not use exactly the same hardware as the 7 and 7 Pro, but you wouldn’t know it judging by image quality. Colours are vibrant and punchy without going too overboard, night-shooting has been much-improved (Google says the shutter speed is twice as fast, and we’ve got no reason to argue), and features such as photo unblur have finally trickled down to the mid-range. Performance, battery life and design are all decent enough, but the cameras really push the Pixel 7a into a league of its own.

Highly Commended | Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra | £859

It’s one of the most expensive phones on this list, but there’s no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s cameras make it worth it. The massive 200MP main camera captures phenomenal levels of detail with neutral colours, and when paired with the 10MP telephoto lens it can capture up to 100x zoomed shots much faster than the S22 Ultra. Add in impressive performance and monstrous battery life, and this is one hell of a flagship.

Tablet of the Year

Winner | Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra | £1,099

Android’s answer to the M2 iPad Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is a big-screened powerhouse. Despite being fronted by a massive (and gorgeous) 14.6in AMOLED display, the S9 Ultra is impressively light, suiting something that’s aiming to be a portable laptop alternative. Battery life and performance aren’t quite at the iPad Pro’s level, but they’re still rather impressive, with big leaps over the S8 Ultra. The OS suffers the odd hiccup when trying to use the tablet as a desktop, but for the most part this is a terrific laptop replacement and the best tablet going this year.

Highly Commended | Oppo Pad Air | £239

The Oppo Pad Air doesn’t look like a budget tablet, with the lightweight aluminium frame suggesting a much higher price. Battery life and performance also punch above the Pad Air’s weight, outperforming other competitors in this price range. The accessories that make this a laptop replacement aren’t available in the UK, so the Pad Air is more suited to streaming, with a vibrant display and Dolby Atmos support for the four speakers.

Laptop of the Year

Winner | Asus Zenbook 14X OLED | £1,256

The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED ticks pretty much all the boxes for an award-winning ultraportable laptop. It’s not only supremely capable – available with 13th Gen H-series CPUs as well as the option for a discrete GPU – but it also has a wonderful 14.5in 120Hz AMOLED touchscreen that’s very bright and superbly colour accurate. It’s also compact and lightweight and, in its beige plasma ceramic finish, it’s arguably the most attractive laptop on the market today. At today’s prices, this gorgeous laptop is also an absolute bargain, making it a simple choice for our best laptop award.

Highly Commended | Apple MacBook Air (M2) | £1,059

Apple seldom puts a foot wrong with its laptops and the M2 MacBook Air is another example of excellence in design and build, offering world-beating battery life and an excellent display and speaker system. Its 60Hz display can’t quite match the Asus Zenbook 14X’s wonderful OLED panel, though, and its M2 CPU isn’t as quick either, knocking it into second place this year.

Value Laptop of the Year

Winner | Acer Swift Go 14 | £699

The new Swift Go range from Acer offers phenomenal value in a sub-£1,000 laptop and as a result it claims our Best Value Laptop for 2023. The base machine comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU and a Full HD IPS displa, will set you back £749 and is wonderfully good value, but it’s the OLED-equipped model we were really impressed with. The screen is simply superb for a machine costing less than £1,000, with a 2.8K resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate, and it combines this with a superb 1440p webcam and an impressive level of connectivity for an ultraportable machine.

Highly Commended | Medion Erazer Crawler E40 | £800

For just £799 the Medion Erazer Crawler E40 delivers an amazing set of specifications for £800. It’s a genuine gaming laptop for budget laptop money and comes with a 100W Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, a 12th generation H-series Core i5 processor plus a Full HD 144Hz screen. It might not be the most portable or attractive of machines, but for those whose priorities are high performance and value, there’s nothing that combines those two aspects quite as well at this price.

Gaming Laptop of the Year

Winner | Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 | £2,800

The doyen of gaming laptops, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 may not be cheap but it’s stacked with exotic high-end components. Inside the model we reviewed was an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU partnered by a 24-core Intel Core i9-13980HX processor with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, all wrapped up in a case that’s the quintessence of gaming style. The cherry on the cake is the Strix Scar’s mini LED Nebula HDR display, which has 1,024 individual lighting zones, refreshes at 240Hz and delivers performance beyond the wildest dreams of your average IPS panel when it comes to brightness and HDR capability. Pricey the Strix Scar 16 may be, but none of the alternatives is as well-balanced nor as fast. 

Highly Commended | Asus TUF Gaming A15 | £1,050

Asus’ TUF range of machines have long been among the more reliable affordable gaming laptops, and the 2023 A15 shows why. Non-gaming performance from the Ryzen 7 CPU is a little mediocre but the 140W TGP Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU easily makes up for that in gaming capability. Battery life is good, the keyboard excellent and the 144Hz 15.6in IPS screen is unusually colourful and colour-accurate for an affordable gaming machine. For just under £1,000 you simply can’t go wrong.

Chromebook of the Year

Winner | Acer Chromebook Spin 714 | £599

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is the laptop to buy in 2023 for Chromebook aficionados. Not only does it combine a fantastic display with touchscreen and stylus support, it also delivers stellar performance and battery life, lasting a seriously impressive 13hrs 19mins in our battery test. It might be a touch more expensive than you’re used to, but this 2-in-1 convertible laptop makes a great case for Chromebooks as genuine Windows or macOS alternatives. It’s a fabulous device to use as a working laptop or for media consumption and it’s this year’s Chromebook to beat.

Highly Commended | Asus Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip | £500

The Chromebook category was tightly contested this year, with the Asus Vibe CX34 Flip coming in a very close second. Like the Acer, it has a fantastic display and a 360-degree 2-in-1 design and, also like its rival, it comes with a stylus. The Asus only misses out thanks to slightly inferior battery life and a chunkier, heavier design. Otherwise, this is a superb all-round Chromebook that’s perfect for work, study and play.

Monitor of the Year

Winner | Philips 27B1U7903 | £1,100

The Philips 27B1U7903 is without a doubt the most astonishing monitor we’ve seen this year . The 3,840 x 2,160 163dpi mini-LED IPS display is a stunner, with a peak brightness of nearly 1,000cd/m2 in SDR mode and almost double that in HDR thanks to the 2,403 individual lighting zones. Contrast ratio is an OLED-like infinity:1. It also covers 163.3% of the sRGB gamut and 112.5% DCI-P3, while the Delta E variance versus the latter is an excellent 1.2. The two 5W speakers are a bit puny, but when it comes to image clarity, brightness, colour, HDR performance and accuracy, this Philips display delivers in spades. It even has a Thunderbolt 4 USB hub.

Highly Commended | LG 40WP95C | £1,500

LG’s 40in 5,120 x 2,160 monitor delivers super-crisp (140ppi) images on a gentle 2500R curve, making it one of the most usable widescreen displays on the market. The IPS panel is bright and colourful, covering 95% of the DCI-P3 gamut and with a Delta E deviance of just 1.2. The 20W speaker system delivers an impressive 89dB(A) and has a useful wedge of bass. Well made and ergonomically faultless, the LG 40WP95C is worth every penny of its asking price.

Value Monitor of the Year

Winner | Iiyama G-Master G2470HSU-B1 | £124

Iiyama G-Master G2470HSU-B1 review - 1

For the price, the G-Master G2470HSU-B1 gaming monitor is unbeatable value. Picture quality is good, with a peak brightness of 325cd/m² and plenty of accurate colour on hand. Motion handling is even better, with very little ghosting or smearing, and the speakers also do a decent job considering they’re rated at just 2W each. If the screen size is a concern, Iiyama makes a 27in version called the G-Master G2770HSU-B1, which retails for £45 more and is identical other than the size. The only drawback is the basic stand but, given the price, that’s not a stick to beat it with too harshly.   

Highly Commended | Huawei MateView SE | £99

The MateView SE is exceptional value. The 23.8in FullHD IPS panel is bright, colourful and accurate – the Delta E versus the sRGB profile is a solid 1.47 – and it refreshes at 75Hz with FreeSync support, plus there’s a 90° pivot. For input you get both HDMI and DisplayPort. There are no speakers but, given the price, who cares? For casual gamers there are crosshairs, a 75Hz refresh rate and response time adjuster. The OSD is a model of simplicity.

Gaming Monitor of the Year

Winner | Philips Evnia 34M2C8600 | £1,139

Built around a 165Hz, 34in, 3,440 x 1,440 Samsung-made QD-OLED panel with a 1800R curvature, the Evnia 34M2C8600 delivers superb gaming performance, while the two 5W speakers supply excellent sound. Content looks outstanding in either SDR or HDR thanks to the screen supporting very wide colour gamut volumes and class-leading colour accuracy. You also get a comprehensive USB hub with full KVM, the always-impressive Philips Ambiglow ambient lighting system and a VESA DisplayHDR True Black 400 certification. If you want a monitor that excels at gaming, media playback and productivity, the Evnia 34M2C8600 is head and shoulders above the competition.

Highly Commended | Iiyama G-Master GB3467WQSU-B5 | £320

The GB3467WQSU-B5 gives you a lot of monitor for your money. The 34in, 3,440 x 1,440, 165Hz VA panel is bright, peaking at 415cd/m2, and colourful, with gamut volumes of 115.4% sRGB and 81.7% DCI-P3. The excellent 3,307:1 contrast ratio and Delta E variance of 1.8 versus the sRGB profile are cherries on the cake. Motion handling is good rather than stellar and the 2W speakers could use more bass, but it’s still a superb package for the money.

TV of the Year

Winner | Samsung S95C | £1,699

Samsung S95C review - left view

Samsung’s S95B won our Tech Product of the Year award in 2022 and the second-generation model builds on everything that was great about that TV. It’s brighter than its predecessor and has an improved screen filter, enabling it to deliver better contrast in addition to incredible colour saturation. Picture quality is excellent, and crisp images are complemented by immersive audio courtesy of a 4.2.2-channel Dolby Atmos sound system and Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Plus technology. The One Connect box helps facilitate easy cable management, while four HDMI 2.1 ports and Samsung’s Game Bar 3.0 make the S95C a superb choice for next-gen gamers as well as TV and film lovers. 

Highly Commended | TCL C845 | £949

The TCL C845 may not have the self-illuminating pixels found on OLED models but it sets a new benchmark for what’s achievable at its price point. Its Mini LED panel is able to deliver seriously good HDR performance thanks to its searing brightness, impressive local dimming and Quantum Dot colours, while the onboard Onkyo audio system sounds genuinely good whatever you’re watching or listening to. The use of the Google TV OS means you’re able to access a huge range of streaming services, and gaming provision is great, too, with two of the four HDMI ports supporting key HDMI 2.1 features.


Value TV of the Year

Winner | TCL C745 | £599

TCL C745 review - view from the right of the TVAffordable TVs don’t get much better than the TCL C745. Its Quantum Dot LED panel can’t quite match its C845 stablemate for brightness and the pared-back sound system isn’t as effective, but those are minor grumbles when you take into account how competitively priced the C745 is. There’s support for every HDR format, fine details are rendered with a great deal of skill, and images look both vibrant and punchy. Lightning-fast response times and a host of gaming-related features courtesy of TCL’s Game Master Pro round out the offering of 2023’s budget superstar TV. 

Highly Commended | Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED | £550

TVs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Amazon, but the online retailer’s first Mini LED television strikes a very keen balance between price and performance. Image quality is particularly impressive: the majority of the DCI-P3 colour gamut is covered and reproduced accurately, while image processing and motion handling are first-class. Amazon’s Fire TV operating system could be more responsive but it offers plenty of choice when it comes to streaming services and is extremely easy to navigate, too.

Gaming TV of the Year

Winner | TCL C845 | £949

TCL C845 review - front view of the TV

TCL’s C845 crams in all the features a next-gen gamer could wish for and manages to do so at an extremely attractive price. There’s support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM) and 4K@120Hz, while PC gamers can also take advantage of 4K@144Hz thanks to support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. Key gaming information and settings can be easily accessed via TCL’s pop-up Game Bar, and the C845’s Mini LED panel is free of any concerns regarding image retention, unlike its OLED rivals. The C845 delivers wonderful HDR pictures and low input lag for a smooth, satisfying gaming experience. 

Highly Commended | Philips OLED 807 | £1,400

Ambilight is a unique selling point for Philips televisions, but the OLED 807 is a lot more than just a TV with immersive LED lighting built into its panel. It’s capable of delivering stunning SDR and HDR images, supports every HDR format going and features some of the best image processing around. These qualities make it great for watching TV shows and films, but also see it shine as a gaming TV. Only two of its four HDMI inputs support 4K@120Hz, ALLM and VRR, but we’re willing to forgive that given how engrossing gaming on the OLED 807 is when its three-sided Ambilight is working its magic.


LCD TV of the Year

Winner | Samsung QN95C | £1,799

Samsung QN95C review - right view

Samsung’s flagship Neo QLED TV doesn’t revolutionise the world of LCD televisions but instead makes meaningful improvements to an already successful formula. Its Mini LED backlight features twice as many dimming zones as last year’s QN95B, there’s a new light rejection filter that helps reduce reflections more effectively, and viewing angles are much wider. Images are supremely detailed, highlights pop and shadows are well defined, while lower-resolution content is upscaled flawlessly. Add a Dolby Atmos-certified 4.2.2-channel audio system, four HDMI 2.1 ports and a gorgeous design to the mix and you’ve got yourself an exceptional TV. 

Highly Commended | TCL C845 | £949

The TCL C845 isn’t on the same level as the QN95C above when it comes to picture and audio quality, but that’s to be expected given how much cheaper it is. And in just about every area that counts, the C845 is a top performer. Brightness peaks at over 2,000cd/m2, native contrast is good and the screen uniformity is excellent, while brilliantly executed local dimming helps ensure deep blacks and halo-free highlights. Gamers are well catered for by a couple of HDMI 2.1 ports, and the 2.1-channel Onkyo audio system is surprisingly good for a modern TV. If you’re after an LCD TV and can’t afford the QN95C, the TCL C845 is a very worthwhile alternative.

OLED TV of the Year

Winner | Samsung S95C | £2,399

Samsung S95C review - left view

The S95C is the standout option in Samsung’s Quantum Dot OLED lineup and the best OLED all-rounder we’ve seen all year. It’s very bright, able to accurately reproduce the entirety of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and retains artistic intent superbly well in Filmmaker mode. In addition to excellent picture quality, the S95C possesses all the other hallmarks of a flagship premium TV. Its next-gen gaming provision is top-tier, sound quality is staggeringly good given the ultra-slim dimensions of the TV, and Samsung’s Tizen operating system is both intuitive to use and wide-ranging in terms of the services it offers. 

Highly Commended | LG G3 | £2,500

The LG G3 is LG’s brightest OLED TV yet and delivers superior picture performance to both its predecessor and most other OLEDs on the market. Colours are reproduced with outstanding accuracy, the Alpha 9 Gen 6 chip handles upscaling fantastically well, and LG’s webOS remains one of the best smart platforms around. The G3 is a gamer’s delight, too: input lag is very low, Game Optimiser mode is very handy and all four HDMI ports are the 2.1 specification. It was a close call between the G3 and S95C, but the former’s lack of a stand and underwhelming sound quality saw the Samsung get the nod.

Projector of the Year

Winner | XGIMI Horizon Ultra | £1,749

XGIMI Horizon Ultra review - side

This top-notch projector picked up a perfect score in our full review, earning praise for its living room-friendly design, superb image clarity and detail and excellent colour performance in our in-house tests. With built-in audio and streaming features – the Horizon Ultra supports Android TV streaming, which gives you access to all the usual services – there’s very little that can touch this projector on virtually any front. It’s fair to say that it earns every penny of its asking price – and its place as our projector of the year.

Highly Commended | Epson EH-TW6150 | £899

If you’re on a tighter budget, the Epson EH-TW6150 is the projector for you. It performed well in our tests, delivering gorgeous colours and pin-sharp 4K image quality; it’s also brimming with adjustment options to help you find the perfect position for a good picture. These things help it to stand out from a crowded field, but it’s the sub-£1,000 price tag that really separates the EH-TW6150 from the rest.

Speaker of the Year

Winner | Sonos Era 300 | £399

Sonos Era 300 review - speaker on plinth

The Era 300 is the first Sonos speaker designed primarily for multichannel spatial audio, and it’s a resounding success. Its six drivers are each backed by their own amplifier and fire in different directions to produce room-filling audio that sounds fabulous, even by the American manufacturer’s high standards. Audio cues are positioned accurately within a broad soundstage, Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio tracks have a great sense of three-dimensionality, and build quality is superb, too. Add multiroom functionality, an excellent app and support for two voice assistants to those credentials and you’ve got the most complete wireless speaker we’ve seen in the past 12 months. 

Highly Commended | Marshall Middleton | £270

The Marshall Middleton may not be as portable as some of its Bluetooth-enabled rivals, but it’s dustproof, waterproof and able to withstand all sorts of punishment. It’s no eyesore, either, with the speaker paying eye-catching homage to the brand’s guitar amp-manufacturing heritage. Striking aesthetics are backed up by a sound signature that’s big, bold and bassy but not lacking in detail or poise, and on-device controls enable you to adjust bass and treble levels as required. There’s no built-in microphone and battery life could be better, but the Middleton is still a standout option in a crowded Bluetooth speaker market.


Soundbar of the Year

Winner | JBL Bar 1300 | £1,300

JBL Bar 1300 - right view surrounds detached

There are plenty of multichannel Dolby Atmos soundbars, but few are as immersive as the JBL Bar 1300 and even fewer are as versatile. In addition to Atmos, the Bar 1300 supports DTS:X, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2 and Alexa Multi-Room, as well as the Alexa, Siri and Google voice assistants. Its pièce de résistance, however, is the ability to detach its wireless rear speakers. These can then be used as part of an 11.1.4-channel surround-sound setup, as individual standalone speakers or even paired in a stereo arrangement over Bluetooth. Audio quality is excellent, too, with the Bar 1300 delivering powerful yet balanced and cohesive sound regardless of the type of content you’re watching. 

Highly Commended | Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus | £1,149

While the JBL Bar 1300 uses a discrete soundbar, subwoofer and rear speakers to create its surround sound, the Ambeo Soundbar Plus delivers virtualised 7.1.4-channel audio from a single standalone unit. And it does so incredibly well; no similarly sized soundbar we’ve tested can match its scale, drive and precision. It does its best work when fed Atmos content and is capable of conveying an extremely convincing impression of spatial audio, but is equally impressive when reproducing stereo content over Bluetooth. A pleasing array of connection options and a well-specified control app are the icing on what is a very tasty cake.

Value Soundbar of the Year

Winner | Yamaha SR-C30A | £270

Yamaha SR-X50A review - soundbar and subwoofer with TV

The Yamaha SR-C30A presents a highly compelling audio upgrade for small TVs without breaking the bank – and one that couldn’t be topped in 2023. Crafted with typical Yamaha quality, the compact soundbar excels in detail, low-frequency presence and mid-range clarity, while an included wireless subwoofer further beefs up the bass. You’ll also find ample controls to fine-tune that sound on the supplied remote, its companion smartphone app or the soundbar itself. It might not be best suited for larger rooms, but the setup impresses with dynamic sound and clear dialogue that punch well above its size. 

Highly Commended | Creative Katana SE | £300

The Creative Sound Blaster Katana SE, the latest addition to the gaming-oriented Katana lineup, provides a flexible single-unit soundbar solution. Ditching the subwoofer seen in its predecessors, it compensates with larger drivers that maintain the same total power output in a more compact size. The result is clear audio delivered through virtualised surround sound on a soundbar offering customisable RGB lighting and versatile connectivity, including SXFI Holographic audio support via headphones. For gamers prioritising convenience, it’s a practical choice.

Premium Headphones of the Year

Winner | Focal Bathys | £699

Despite being Focal’s first foray into the wireless over-ear market, the Focal Bathys are a remarkable success. Delivering a spectacularly articulate and well-balanced audio experience across an expansive soundstage, it’s near impossible to fault them in the sound stakes – and you can even use them as a DAC. Active noise cancellation performs reasonably well, too, with everything packed into an altogether impressive build. If you can afford their high price, the Bathy’s emotional expression and rhythmic control will keep you happy for years to come, making them the standout choice for audio excellence.

Highly Commended | JBL Tour One M2 | £203

Building on the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds’ success, the manufacturer’s Tour One M2 headphones bring similarly impressive features to an over-ear configuration. Their design might not dazzle but they make their mark through personalised EQ settings, robust noise cancelling and a fairly immersive spatial sound mode. Further capabilities, including high-resolution support via a wired connection, multipoint using Bluetooth and other features in a comprehensive companion app, make sure these headphones impress where it counts most.

Value Headphones of the Year

Winner | Sony WF-C700N | £100

sony wf-c700n beside case

Sony’s WF-C700N are true wireless earbuds that are your best bet in the sub-£100 category. They impress through a well-balanced sound that offers up ample bass and detailed trebles, which is further enhanced when using Sony’s 360 Reality Audio spatial sound format. The companion Sony app grants access to a range of extra features too, including customisable adaptive sound control, with effective action and location-based ANC modes usually reserved for pricier models. Add in comfort, reliability and solid battery life, and the WF-C700N are an attractive option for those seeking daily drivers that don’t break the bank.

Highly Commended | 1MORE SonoFlow | £90

Should over-ear headphones be more up your street, the 1MORE SonoFlow offer a well-rounded, budget-friendly experience. First and foremost, they excel in audio reproduction, delivering a balanced profile that combines detailed trebles with ample bass. Even more remarkable is their battery life: up to 50 hours with ANC activated and a staggering 70 hours without it. They’re eminently comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, too, with surprisingly effective ANC performance given they’re 1MORE’s first noise-cancelling headphones. What a memorable debut.


Wireless Earbuds of the Year

Winner | Technics EAH-AZ80 | £230

The Technics EAH-AZ80 have firmly established themselves as our favourite wireless earbuds released this year. Rich and robust audio, easily altered via plentiful EQ controls, is paired with a long-lasting battery and fierce noise cancelling. Unlike many earbuds, their microphone performance in noisy environments is astounding, too, and better than any other earbuds we’ve tested. Where the Technics EAH-AZ80 truly set themselves apart, though, is their industry-first multipoint pairing, offering unrivalled versatility for those who frequently switch devices. When manufacturers bring genuinely unique capabilities like this to headphones that excel in all other areas, it’s hard not to be impressed.

Highly Commended | Nothing Ear (2) | £99

The Nothing Ear (2) have elevated themselves beyond their predecessors by bringing high-resolution audio and improved noise cancellation to an already appealing package. The LDHC 5.0 codec might only be available via Nothing smartphones but, irrespective of your device, engaging audio will be personalised to your ears’ frequency range. As ever, Nothing puts this tech into a striking design that’s extremely comfortable in the ear, leading us to conclude that there’s no better buy at this price point.

Gaming Headset of the Year

Winner | Sony Inzone H7 | £119

Sony Inzone H7 review - main image

The Inzone H7 is a great wireless headset that’s optimised for use with PCs but works very nicely with the PlayStation 5, too. It offers most of the functionality found on the more expensive Inzone H9, including simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, microphone monitoring and support for Sony’s 360 Spatial Audio for Gaming, with active noise cancellation the only significant omission. 3D audio effects are convincing, and the sound is powerful, well balanced and detailed. The experience is customisable via the Inzone Hub software on Windows, too – another string to the Inzone H7’s considerable bow. 

Highly Commended | HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 | £46

Wireless headsets are all the rage but there’s still plenty of demand for wired options, and the Cloud Stinger 2 from esteemed gaming brand HyperX is a shining example of its type. It’s lightweight, comfortable to wear, sounds good and looks very smart for an affordable headset. Controls are kept mercifully simple and the flip-to-mute microphone works perfectly well for chatting with your squad mates or new friends you make online. As a welcome bonus, the headset comes with two-year access to DTS Headphone:X – spatial audio that can be enjoyed on both Windows PCs and Xbox.

Wearable of the Year

Winner | Coros Pace 3 | £219

Coros Pace 3 close up

The Coros Pace 3 hits the sweet spot when it comes to fitness wearables. It delivers the sort of accuracy and features that you’d expect from a far more expensive wearable at a price that’s almost too good to be true. It’s super lightweight and comfortable; it delivers superlative heart-rate and GPS accuracy thanks to its revamped optical sensor and dual-frequency satellite chipset; and, best of all, its battery life is simply phenomenal. Combined with great ease of use, a highly readable screen in outdoor conditions and an impressive set of fitness analysis tools, it’s a fabulous buy for anyone who wants more than just a smartwatch.

Highly Commended | Huawei Watch GT 4 | £249

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is a gem of a smartwatch. Not only does it deliver most of what you want from a modern smart wearable, it also looks incredible, has accurate GPS and heart-rate sensors and works with both iOS and Android phones to deliver notifications and phone calls to your wrist. It isn’t as advanced as an Apple Watch, but the battery life is in a different league.

VPN of the Year

Winner | Hotspot Shield | £11/mth

Hotspot Shield VPN review - Windows

Marking a welcome change from the usual suspects, we’re very pleased to name Hotspot Shield our VPN of the year for 2023. This user-friendly VPN aced our tests and impressed us with its simplicity, comprehensive feature set and streaming service coverage. It’s more than fast enough to watch content in 4K with no buffering, and its desktop and mobile applications are easy to navigate and packed with useful tools to help you maintain your privacy while surfing the web. It has a free version if you’re looking for a basic VPN, but the paid tiers are very reasonably priced, which is just the icing on a seriously appetising cake. 

Highly Commended | NordVPN | £2.39/mth

It’s another strong showing for NordVPN, a favourite of ours for a few years now. Fast and secure, Nord has a huge reach, meaning you can connect to servers across the globe without worrying about speeds or privacy. It’s reasonably priced and supports all the major streaming services, and its straightforward user interface is among the best we’ve seen on a VPN. Throw in an independently audited no-logs policy and you can see why Nord earns its place here.

Router of the Year

Winner | Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 | £298

Wi-Fi 6E routers are still expensive but this one from Netgear brings the price down far enough and keeps performance high enough to claim the Expert Reviews Award for best router of 2023. Its key attraction is its speed at close range, which is very impressive indeed, only beaten by the RAXE300’s bigger, more expensive brother, the RAXE500. But it’s also  much more reasonably priced than its sibling, tipping just about into the realm of affordability. For anyone seeking the pinnacle of performance in a one-box wireless router, it offers the best combination of performance versus price currently available.  

Highly Commended | Asus RT-AX59U | £146

Not everyone needs the sorts of speeds that the latest, greatest Wi-Fi 6E routers offer. For many, in fact, a solid connection and enough speed to deliver 4K streaming will be enough. That’s where the Asus RT-AX59U excels. It isn’t the fastest router we’ve ever tested, but it’s cheap, and stacked with useful features such as a built-in firewall, excellent VPN support and parental controls. And its performance and range are solid.

Mesh Router of the Year

Winner | TP-Link Deco XE200 | £620

TP-Link Deco XE200 from front

For sheer speed and range, nothing beats the TP-Link Deco XE200, a mesh wireless that delivered incredible results in our wireless testing over 5GHz Wi-Fi 6  client connections with the help of a super-fast MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 6E backhaul link. It’s even speedier than more expensive rivals that support Wi-Fi 6E, and will deliver enormous speeds to the furthest reaches of your home. Not everyone needs this sort of performance and range, or can afford the price but, if you do require the very fastest that Wi-Fi has to offer, the Deco XE200 is peerless in providing it, even to devices that don’t support Wi-Fi 6E.

Highly Commended | Asus ZenWiFi XD5 | £210

Asus’ compact mesh Wi-Fi nodes deliver everything you need for a solid, reliable Wi-Fi connection across your home. We like it because it’s well priced and provided consistent, speedy downloads and uploads across all our testing. But we love it because it’s absolutely jam packed with features, including security, parental controls and VPN support. It even has web-portal management, which isn’t always a given for mesh Wi-Fi systems.

Video Doorbell of the Year

Winner | TP-Link Tapo D230S1 | £100

TP-Link Tapo D230S1

The TP-Link Tapo D230S1 claims the gong for 2023’s best video doorbell thanks to its all-round excellence and value for money. Not only does it perform well, delivering great image quality and superb responsiveness, but it does so while being easy to use and reasonably priced. Most importantly, it doesn’t lock any of its main features behind a paid subscription. It’s super easy to install, comes with a chime in the box and supports both Google and Amazon smart speakers, and is the best choice for those seeking a little extra security for their front door.

Highly Commended | Ring Video Doorbell Plus | £160

Ring is the preeminent name in video doorbell security, and its latest premium offering is a class act. It offers crisp visuals and a wide 150-degree vertical field of view so you can see your visitors from head to toe, it delivers notifications without delay and comes with advanced features such as package and person detection and colour night vision. It’s easy to install, can be powered by battery or wired into the mains, and overall is our favourite Ring doorbell.

Action Camera of the Year

Winner | GoPro Hero 12 Black | £399

Building on the success of the GoPro Hero 11 (and the many GoPros that came before), the GoPro Hero 12 Black is hands-down the best action camera we’ve tested this year. Featuring stunning image quality, improved heat management and support for GoPro’s Max Lens Mod 2.0 (for POV shots) the Hero 12 is the ultimate camera for capturing your adventures in high definition. Throw in a brand-new “Easy” control mode that simplifies proceedings dramatically and it’s easy to see why we love this GoPro so much.

Highly Commended | Insta360 X3 | £459

The Insta360 X3 may not quite deliver the image quality of the GoPro, but it’s the best 360 camera we’ve tested and, for many people, that will be enough. Its image stabilisation is stunning, image quality is excellent and the ability to simply mount the camera and not have to worry about where it’s pointing is a godsend. With extra features and a larger touchscreen, this year’s Insta360 X3 is much easier to use and more useful than its predecessor.

Dash Cam of the Year

Winner | Miofive Dual 4K | £250

The Miofive 4K Dash Cam is fantastic value, with its Sony IMX450 sensor producing clear, well-exposed 4K footage whether you’re in blazing sunshine or driving after dark. It’s a smartly designed, low-profile unit with built-in Wi-Fi and an accompanying app, and the latest version has a two-part windscreen mount that makes it easier to remove. What’s more, it now comes with the option of a matching 2K rear camera, giving you front and rear protection in one pack. Add in 64GB to 128GB of built-in storage, parking features and friendly voice alerts, and it’s a deserving award winner.

Highly Commended | Thinkware U3000 | £529

Thinkware’s latest 4K dash cam is expensive but it offers impressive all-round protection, whether you’re driving or parked. Its Radar parking features do a great job of tracking nearby movement and triggering temporary recordings, while the Sony IMX678 4K sensor produces footage clear enough to read number plates and road signs with ease. With some of the most advanced smart features in the business, this is a high-tech dash cam to be reckoned with.

E-bike of the Year

Winner | Tern GSD | £4,700

The Tern GSD is the best of a new wave of e-bikes that aim to replace the car for most inner-city journeys. Its long-tail design can help you effortlessly carry big loads around, there’s space for two child seats on the back, and a trailer mount if you regularly need to carry even bigger loads. With space for up to two batteries, the bike can travel up to a maximum distance of 70 miles, and there’s a huge range of optional accessories you can add to it, from a modular bench seat and grocery carrier system to a weatherproof canopy to keep rear passengers dry and warm. Fed up of paying to keep your expensive car on the road? The Tern GSD might just be the ideal replacement.

Highly Commended | Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 EQ | £2,600

Not everyone needs a load-lugging beast like the Tern GSD. If you need to get to work quickly, without feeling too sweaty, tired or stressed from range anxiety, the Turbo Vado is ideal. It isn’t the most powerful e-bike around, with only 35nm of torque on offer, but it delivers its power assistance beautifully smoothly. It looks and feels like a “normal” bike to ride, but it’s much more fun and incredibly efficient, too. Our reviewer got the standard battery to last 30 miles in hilly Pennine terrain, but you can extend that with an extra battery that mounts to the frame just like a water bottle. A brilliant bike for commuters.

Fri, 03 Nov 2023 03:36:00 -0500 en-GB text/html
Grab a HEAD-TURNING Huawei laptop deal ahead of Black Friday

In the exciting run-up to Black Friday, tech enthusiasts have a golden opportunity that’s hard to overlook. The Huawei MateBook 16s (2023), a new powerhouse in the laptop market, is currently available at a stunningly reduced price. Originally £1,500, it’s now just £1,100. Not bad, eh?

View deal at Huawei

The Huawei MateBook 16s has been highly praised for its impressive blend of power, style and functionality. It’s equipped with a large, vibrant 16in screen, which is perfect for both productivity tasks and multimedia consumption. The display’s clarity and colour accuracy make it a joy to use for everything from document editing to movie watching.

Expert Reviews hasn’t published a full review of the 2023 version of the Huawei Matebook 16s yet, but its 2022 predecessor earned a perfect score of five out of five stars, as well as a Recommended award. This high rating was a testament to the laptop’s exceptional performance, bolstered by its powerful internals that ensure smooth operation, even with demanding applications. This year’s MateBook, which we’re testing at the moment, seems to be more of the impressive same.

One of the standout features of the Huawei Matebook 16s is its keyboard and touchpad. Designed with user comfort in mind, they provide a seamless and enjoyable typing and navigation experience, which is essential for those who spend extended periods on their laptop. Additionally, the laptop’s battery life is commendable, ensuring that you can work or play for long hours without the need for constant recharging.

In conclusion, the 2023 Huawei Matebook 16s, temporarily priced at £1,100, represents an excellent choice for those seeking a high-performance laptop ahead of Black Friday. Its array of top-tier features makes it a compelling option in the premium laptop market.

View deal at Huawei
Thu, 09 Nov 2023 10:01:00 -0600 en-GB text/html

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