Gear of the year: TechRadar's top tech from 2013

nexus 7

Nexus 7 2013

best in class

Best in class: Budget tablet
Released: August 2013

If you're looking for a 7-inch tablet, we'll put it like this: there is no better alternative on the market, right now. The Nexus 7 is the best in its class.

And be aware of that qualification, because markets change very quickly. The Nexus 7 wipes the floor with the competition but Google could have worked at 100% rather than 97% to make the Nexus 7 the one to beat.

For original Nexus 7 owners, it may not be worth an upgrade, but for new tablet buyers, you can't knock that value for money, and this is going to be amassive seller in the run-up to the holiday season.

If you're an Android fan, snap one up right away. But if you're on the fence, we definitely recommend checking out the Retina iPad Mini or new Kindle Fire HD. Nexus 7 2013 review

sony 4k tv

Sony KD-65X9005A

best in class

Best in class: 4K TV
Released: March 2013

Our best TV of the year is the KD-65X9005A - much more than just another large screen. The poster boy for a new generation of broadcast technology, it delivers a picture experience quite unlike conventional Full HD screens.

Image quality with native 4K content is simply astonishing, both in terms of absolute fidelity and image depth. But perhaps the biggest surprise is just how beneficial its panel density is with Full HD too.

Upscaling is extremely effective, and with Blu-ray (particularly Mastered in 4K discs), it simply shines. There's been considerable debate as to whether the 4K at this screen size is an appreciable advantage in the average home. Well we can confirm it most definitely is. Debate closed.
Sony KD-65X9005A review

TomTom go 6000

TomTom Go 6000

best in class

Best in class: Sat nav
Released: August 2013

The TomTom Go 6000 is very impressive. The interface is intuitive, with TomTom's excellent routing benefiting from being able to draw on live traffic data to make for incredibly accurate journey times as well.

The experience you'll enjoy when using this compared to what you'll get from a smartphone or even an older sat nav is incredible. You won't be second guessing what's around the corner or waiting for the signal to catch up - and while that will cost you, it's money well spent.
TomTom Go 6000 review

AMD Radeon R9 290

AMD Radeon R9 290

best in class

Best in class: Graphics card
Released: December 2013

Our favourite graphics card has to be the 290. No sooner had we put the finishing touches to our R9 290X review when the red-tinged graphics gurus went and released this new card based on the exact same GPU. And it's a bit of a doozy. We would bet that anybody who dropped a lot of money on an R9 290X is probably cursing vociferously. At a far cheaper price point all you're really losing out on is the 'X' in the title – the actual gaming performance has barely suffered at all.

This card offers super value and it's the one to buy for PC gaming enthusiasts this year. AMD Radeon R9 290 review


Panasonic DMP-BDT230

best in class

Best in class: Blu-ray player
Released: February 2013

In the furore about whether streaming is taking over from optical discs, Panasonic's mid-range Blu-ray player makes a strong case for the survival of hard media. It's our favourite BD player of the year due to its balance of both performance and price.

Excellent digital media handling and a fairly wide suite of smart TV apps impress, but it's some excellent 2D, 3D and upscaled DVD images that make this Blu-ray player a standout option for even a high-end home cinema environment. Few decks can match it for pure image quality, and it's also one of the easiest 'smart' devices to use. It's also great to see Netflix here, complete with a dedicated button on the small, old-fashioned, but easy to understand remote control.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.