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Related: Sound Guys’ Best of IFA 2023 Awards


Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority


At IFA 2023, HONOR announced its striking mid-ranger, the HONOR 70. The HONOR 70 looks and feels great and it’s the first phone with the Sony IMX800 image sensor. But what really sets it apart from the modern smartphone crowd is that it’s actually priced reasonably, at just €549 (8GB+128GB)/€599 (8GB+256GB) and we think that makes the HONOR 70 a wise investment in these inflationary times. Available now on Honor’s website.

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Announced just prior to IFA, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is essentially a smaller, cheaper version of the flagship Xperia 1 IV. We loved its compact size, a rare characteristic these days, but despite being smaller than the 1 IV, it has a larger battery. It may not have the flagship’s variable focal length camera but it has 4K 120fps video and Sony’s best-in-class eye auto-focus on all rear lenses. And these sound like pretty decent compromises to us. You’ll be able to get it from Amazon come end-September.


Garmin Venu Sq 2

When the Venu Sq line first appeared, it took the popular Venu recipe and replaced the OLED with an LCD to cut the price almost in half. Now, the Venu Sq 2 increases the price by just $50 but brings the OLED panel back. That’s a pretty amazing trade-off and well worth it for anyone wanting to experience the outstanding tracking Garmin is renowned for. You can buy one now for $249.

Fitbit Sense 2

The Fitbit Sense 2 is one of the most eagerly awaited follow-ups to a new wearable product line. Featuring a new continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor for automatic stress testing, a refined UI, and the same great price as the original ($299), we can’t wait to get our hands on the Sense 2. The Sense 2 goes on sale on September 23, with pre-orders open now.


We’ve seen a few blood pressure wearables with an inflatable cuff but the HUAWEI Watch D is the first one we’d actually consider wearing every day. It’s only a little bit chunkier than most smartwatches but houses a tiny pump to inflate the strap — this means it never needs calibration. This is a major breakthrough in personal health tech and it just received regulatory approval to go on sale in Europe. More details here.

TCL NxtWear S

If you like next-gen wearables you’re going to love the updated TCL NxtWear S. With two 1080p Micro OLED displays you can enjoy a private cinematic experience anywhere you go. We dig the physical controls for volume and brightness and the improved visual resolution and audio quality. It’s hard to make an AR monitor you wear on your face look good, but TCL has done an admirable job with the NxtWear S.

Laptops & Chromebooks

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Just the second product ever to launch in the foldable-screen laptop category, the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a sight to behold. It smoothly transforms from a 17-inch tablet to a 12.5-inch laptop, and it manages to look classy in the process. It’s packed with features, providing everything the discerning laptop – and tablet – user could ask for in 2023. Prices start at $3,499 in Q4, 2023, with additional details available on Asus’ landing page.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

After kickstarting the foldable display laptop category way back in 2023, Lenovo delivered its follow-up to 2023’s original 13-inch X1 Fold with the new 16-inch X1 Fold. With an improved full-size backlit keyboard, beefed-up performance, and additional productivity features, the X1 Fold has tightened up practically every aspect of its trailblazing predecessor. The new X1 Fold starts at $2,499 and is expected to go on sale in November 2023.

Lenovo Ideapad 5i Chromebook

Chromebooks don’t usually spring to mind when you think of fancy features like high refresh rate displays. But Lenovo has taken the humble Chromebook and given it a display makeover. With a big 16-inch 120Hz refresh rate panel, the IdeaPad 5i is unique among Chromebooks. Prices start at €549 when it goes on sale later this year.

Tecno Megabook Series

Tecno Mobile dropped its first-ever laptop at IFA 2023, the Megabook T1. We really liked the look and feel of this device for its ~€800 price. We were also pretty taken by the Megabook S1, which the brand showed at its booth but will officially announce in the near future. Keep an eye out for local availability and pricing in the weeks to come.

Tablets & Home Entertainment

HUAWEI MatePad Pro

The HUAWEI MatePad Pro is not just a nice-looking tablet with a 120Hz OLED display, it’s also the thinnest and lightest 11-inch tablet around. With support for both a magnetic keyboard and M Pencil, the MatePad Pro is part of HUAWEI’s blossoming Super Device ecosystem. With the larger 12.6-inch version packing up to a 10,050mAh battery and no fewer than eight speakers, the MatePad Pro looks great. Learn more on Huawei’s website.


Honor’s global ambitions are finally starting to take shape as the company prepares to step out from under HUAWEI’s shadow. The HONOR Pad 8 is the company’s first tablet release outside its home market in China. With a 12-inch 2K display, eight speakers, and an iPad-like metal design, the Pad 8 is a looker with multimedia credentials to match. You can already buy one directly from HONOR.

Leica Cine 1

What could be better than enjoying the Leica Look while you watch movies at home? The legendary optics maker has just announced its first ultra-short throw laser TV projector, the Cine 1, at IFA 2023. It sits mere inches from the wall yet can project in 4K at 80 or 100 inches. The Leica Cine 1 will be available in early 2023 for $6,900 (80-inch)/$7,900 (100-inch).

B&O Beosound Theatre

How about an $8,000 soundbar? Luxury audio specialist Bang & Olufsen likes to explore the stratosphere of the market with its products, and the B&O Beosound Theatre is no exception. This no-compromise soundbar offers spectacular sound, technical excellence, and support and upgradability commitments measured in decades rather than years. When you also consider the stylish construction and built-in motorized TV stand, the price tag actually doesn’t seem that ridiculous. Learn more on B&O’s landing page for the product.


JBL Tour Pro 2

JBL’s Tour Pro 2 thinks a touch-screen charging case makes earbuds all the more useful and we agree. The 1.45-inch touchscreen takes its cues from settings you’ll find on your smartphone, including pausing and skipping tracks, adjusting the earbud’s settings, taking calls, and even displaying notifications. With 10mm dynamic drivers, JBL’s Personi-Fi technology, and ANC, they sound pretty great too.

Urbanista Phoenix CosmOS

Today’s headphones may sound great, but they’re not very smart. Enter CosmOS, an audio operating system designed to free headphones from vendor shackles, empowering them to run their own apps, services, and more, just like your smartphone does today. This could be the future of headphones. Watch this space.

TVs, Monitors, and Displays

TCL C935 4K Mini-LED TV

TCL is justifiably proud of its new 98-inch 4K behemoth, the C935: the world’s largest mini-LED TV. Boasting QLED technology and 1,920 local dimming zones, a 144Hz variable refresh rate, Dolby Vision IQ, certification by IMAX Enhanced, and Google TV onboard, it’s not just the size that’s impressive. Get the full specs and details on TCL’s website.


Flat or curved? You don’t have to choose with the LG OLED Flex, probably the most exciting TV and monitor announcement from IFA 2023. The OLED Flex features motorized arms on its back that allow it to seamlessly go from a regular flat widescreen to a fully curved one at the touch of a button. Whether you want it for gaming or productivity, this 42-inch monster won’t disappoint. Check it out on LG’s website.

Samsung Odyssey OLED G8

Samsung has finally launched an OLED gaming monitor, and it’s a doozy. The Odyssey OLED G8 has specs to match its gaming pedigree, including a 3,400 x 1,440 QD-OLED panel, a 175Hz refresh rate, and a 1800R curvature radius. It’s packed with smart features too, like support for Samsung’s SmartThings IoT standard and the ability to stream games from services like Xbox Game Pass without having to connect it to a PC or game console.

Wireless Panasonic OLED TV concept

Cable clutter got you down? Panasonic envisions a particularly neat solution; just ditch the wires entirely. OK, so it still needs a power plug, but the lightweight 55-inch Wireless Panasonic OLED TV concept moves all those other cables off to a separate transmission box that beams a high bandwidth 4K image to the TV itself. Hopefully, this idea ends up tidying store shelves in the not-too-distant future.

Smart home

Ring Intercom

Ring’s new Intercom will connect to, well, your intercom and make it smarter. This should be a boon to apartment dwellers everywhere, a demographic that has been neglected by smart home product makers. Intercom acts as an extension to the intercom system in your apartment, allowing you to buzz visitors in from your phone, wherever you are. Ring claims it’s compatible with 90% of the thousands of intercom types available across Europe. One more step towards a fully smart home!


Eve’s smart home products, from smart bulbs to smart locks, have so far been exclusive to Apple users. That’s because Eve only supported Apple’s HomeKit standard, leaving users of other platforms in the cold. But that’s changing with Eve’s announcement at IFA that it will support the new Matter standard. Once Matter rolls out this fall, Eve products will finally tap into smart ecosystems from Google, Samsung, Amazon, and more.


If you’re serious about the quality of the air in your home, the ECOVACS Airbot Z1 “air management robot” is the gadget for you. Not only does it move around the house absorbing dust and allergens from the air, it also packs HEPA H13 filters, UV lights for disinfection, fragrance capsules for odorizing the air, and a built-in humidifier. It also monitors air quality, which allows it to target the areas where it’s needed the most.

Withings Body Comp smart scale

When it comes to health monitoring, body composition is just the beginning. The new Withings Body Comp will estimate the ratio between fat and muscle in your body, but it will also check the health of your arteries and nerves. It will even warn you when the level of visceral fat is too high. All this functionality is packed into what looks like a regular bathroom scale, bringing seamless health monitoring one step closer to reality.

Green & Beyond

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

We live in complicated times. From geopolitical turbulence to climate change, the energy security we once took for granted is under threat. The new Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro will give you a little piece of mind thanks to its high capacity, fast charging times (just 1.8 hours), and ability to connect to two or more solar panels to harvest the unlimited energy of the sun. This completely green gas-generator replacement will please casual campers and hardcore preppers alike. Check out the price here.

Nokia Circular subscription

Ever wanted to bundle a new phone purchase with an extended warranty and protect the planet from the inevitable e-waste at your device’s end of life? HMD Global’s Circular subscription does just that, putting a sustainability slant on the classic monthly payment model. Time will tell if Circular proves popular enough to save the planet, but it’s a solid start with legit eco-credentials. Full details on Nokia’s site.

Riley RS3 Scooter

Foldable electric scooters are a common sight these days, but very few can compete with the Riley RS3 Scooter when it comes to portability. Where most competitors simply feature a collapsible handlebar, the RS3 comes with both a foldable handlebar and a foldable riding deck. The folded-up scooter is compact enough to fit in a bag and it’s light enough to carry around, at 14kg. It still has a 25km autonomy, making it ideal for city commuting.

Autel Evo II V3

Autel has taken the already great features from the V2 and improved them with the new Evo II V3. The drone boasts a higher resolution imaging system with improved low light and thermal performance to boot. Paired with new attachable accessories including a new Live Deck and remote controllers, multi-GNSS positioning, and long-range image transmission, the Evo II V3 has everything you’ll ever need.

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Best Of Mwc 2023 Awards: The Best Products From The Show

Lenovo rollable laptop concept

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Lenovo is no stranger to interesting form factors, but its rollable laptop concept is one of the coolest yet. At a touch of a button, the screen expands with a smooth motion, giving you double the workspace. It’s an interesting new direction for flexible display tech, and we can’t wait to see it hit the market. It probably won’t be cheap, but innovative new tech rarely is.

Motorola rizr rollable phone concept

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Although Motorola’s rizr rollable phone is still a concept, it’s one of the coolest things we saw at MWC 2023. It’s a 5-inch compact phone with a foldable display that rolls up and extends to reveal a full 6.5-inch panel for more immersive video and more comfortable typing. Plus, when it’s rolled away, the extra panel on the back acts like a secondary display for notifications and a viewfinder for photos.

Nokia G22 & iFixit repair kits

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The Nokia G22 budget smartphone seems like any other low-end handset when looking at the spec sheet. However, the device stands out from the pack thanks to its focus on repairability, as HMD teamed up with iFixit to offer repair kits or “Fix Kits” and replacement parts. Using the kit allows users to replace the phone’s battery, display, back cover, or charging port in roughly five minutes, giving power back to customers (literally).

HONOR Magic 5 Pro

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Eye-catching design? Check. Robust camera setup? Check. Powerhouse specs? Check. The HONOR Magic 5 Pro pulls out all the stops to compete against the industry’s best, and does it with style. With a curved glass back inspired by Antoni Gaudí and a triple 50MP rear camera setup, this flagship won’t be outshone by HONOR’s equally impressive foldable, the Magic Vs. Perhaps the only drawback: You won’t be able to buy this phone in the US.

OnePlus 45W Liquid Cooler

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

What do you do when you’re in a heavy gaming session on your phone and your framerates start suffering due to an overheating CPU? Normally, your only solution would be to take a break, but not with the OnePlus 45W Liquid Cooler. Just snap the clamp on the back of your phone and watch as your temps start to drop by up to 20 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, OnePlus had no information about pricing or availability for this device, but we thought it was (wait for it) cool.

PanzerGlass Matrix Hybrid Glass screen protector

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

PanzerGlass has made a name for itself by creating ultra-durable glass screen protectors. However, in February 2023, it launched its first 100% recycled plastic screen protector. While this is great news for the environment, most people might think that plastic screen protectors just aren’t worth it. Having tried it ourselves, though, the PanzerGlass Matrix Hybrid Glass screen protector feels surprisingly good and not at all like the sticky TPU protectors you’re likely thinking of when you think of plastic protectors. The Matrix model is only currently available for the Galaxy S23 series.

Qualcomm’s on-device Stable Diffusion

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Qualcomm has managed to run an AI text-to-image generator offline, on-device, without the need for a server or a connection, and it only takes 15 seconds. The Stable Diffusion model is running on an Android phone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is why it can render images this quickly. Although the resulting image is only 512×512 in size, we appreciate its privacy, speed, and immediacy.

Motorola Defy Satellite Link

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

More and more phone makers are announcing plans to bring satellite connectivity to their future products, but you don’t have to wait to get in on the action. The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is a compact, durable Bluetooth device that allows any Android or iOS device to send and receive text messages, share location, or contact emergency services via satellite. The service is run by Bullitt Group and costs $4.99/month, while the gear itself is $99. Not bad for something that could potentially save lives.

NuraLogix health assessment technology

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Smartwatches and other wearable devices have revolutionized consumer health tech, but you don’t need a dedicated device to get an assessment of your health. NuraLogix’s tech can analyze over 30 vitals with just a selfie video. It works on any smartphone by analyzing the user’s facial blood flow and using AI to compare it against a database of thousands of patients. The software then provides assessments for cardiovascular health, diabetes risk, and more, with a claimed 95% accuracy rate.

Xiaomi 13 Pro

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Xiaomi is serious about taking on Samsung. Its latest flagship, the Xiaomi 13 Pro, is more expensive than the S23 Ultra, but it has the hardware to back it up. You get everything you’d expect, but of course, the focus is on the camera system, which is co-branded with Leica. The triple-50MP camera setup is headlined by the 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor and features deep involvement from Leica on things like color science and lens tuning.

Xiaomi Electric Scooter 4 Ultra

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Xiaomi’s popular electric scooter lineup expanded with the powerful Electric Scooter 4 Ultra at MWC 2023. The new scooter provides better range than Xiaomi’s previous flagship model and it can go up steeper inclines thanks to the motor’s 940W peak power. The Electric Scooter 4 Ultra is also the first scooter from Xiaomi with double suspension, ensuring extra comfort. The machine will be available around the world for €1,000 (~$1,055).


Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

TCL’s NXTPAPER 11 seems like any other unspectacular, low-end Android tablet when looking at the spec sheet. But the company’s big selling point here is the use of so-called NXTPAPER 2.0 technology, effectively being a fancy term for a matte display. The end result is a glare-free screen, making for a viewing experience that’s easy on the eyes. The addition of a $249 price tag only sweetens the deal for those who value a great screen above all else.

HONOR Magic Vs

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Shopping for a large foldable phone? Now you have more choice with the arrival of the HONOR Magic Vs. The new foldable looks impressive and feels even better in the hand. It packs a folding screen with a minimal crease and a snappy hinge, a flexible triple rear camera system, and a thin profile that remains usable with one hand even when the display is folded.

Ossia wireless power transmission

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

After many years of teasing, we’re finally on the cusp of commercially available wireless power transmission. Ossia, a long-time developer of wireless power tech, partnered with ARCHOS to release what’s claimed to be the first wirelessly powered product that customers can actually buy. The selling point is clear: no longer are you limited by access to outlets and ugly cables; instead, power is delivered to the security cameras wirelessly, much like Wi-Fi works for data.

TECNO Megabook S1

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Chinese manufacturer TECNO is beginning to make a name for itself in more markets around the world. Its catalog now includes a range of sleek laptops, and the pinnacle of that range is the Megabook S1. This laptop definitely punches above its weight when it comes to looks, and its spec sheet is just as impressive. You get a beautiful 3.2K screen, a 12th gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage, and a beefy 70W battery.

Prophesee Metavision

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Blurry pictures are the curse of every smartphone photographer, but not for long. Prophesee has partnered with Qualcomm to bring its “event-based” Metavision technology to future smartphones. In a nutshell, Prophesee’s sensor exclusively tracks motion, which is paired with a traditional image sensor to turn smudged images into crisp masterpieces. No phones yet, but watch this space.

The 9 Most Useful Home Products Of 2023

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All 100 innovations for Best of What’s New 2023, this way.

You don’t need to stuff your house full of smart gadgets to surround yourself with cool gear. Sure, this list features an omniscient light that matches the sunshine streaming through your window—but there’s also a super-rugged tape measure, as well as a stroller that’ll do some of the pushing itself. Mix and match however you please.

Grand Prize Winner: Free P-series by Leatherman

Magnetic multitools you can wield with one hand.

Lightcycle by Dyson

A smart fixture that burns on for decades.

If you enjoy changing light bulbs, this is not the lamp for you. Dyson’s Lightcycle desk and floor lamps channel heat away from their bulbs with a heat pipe in the arm, technology that extends the life of their LED bulbs to 60 years. The fixtures also sense changes in ambient light to keep your work space at a constant brightness, no matter the time of day or type of weather brewing outside. Connect the Dyson Link app to have the lamp mimic the movement of the sun in your location, emitting warmer beams in the mornings and afternoons and cooler ones later in the day.

STUD tape measure by Milwaukee

A ruler that can take a beating.

Tape measures take a lot of abuse on the job site; they get bent, snapped, dropped, maybe even kicked down a flight of stairs. The STUD is built to endure all that; its thermoplastic rubber-covered frame can survive an 80-foot drop. The 33-millimeter-wide blade is also coated in high-density nylon to protect it from ripping and wearing, and it curves deeply in several strategic locations, meaning it’ll extend up to 14 feet until it flops. Handy if you can’t get somebody to hold the other end for you.

V11 vacuum by Dyson

Savvy, self-aware cleaning.

The fifth iteration of Dyson’s V-series knows how to adapt to its environment. Sensors in the cordless stick vacuum’s brush bar measure tension and determine whether it’s moving over a smooth hardwood floor or thick carpet, adjusting battery power accordingly. The wall-charged V11 can run for more than an hour on “eco” mode, and can level up to “medium” or “boost” for more heavy-duty cleaning if you’re willing to sacrifice battery life. An LCD screen at the top of the vacuum shows how much juice you’ve got, along with essential diagnostics like airflow blockage and whether you’ve done a bang-up job (kidding on that last one).

Power Clean faucet attachments by Moen

Powerful sink sprays for any mess.

Pots and pans come in a variety of sizes, but faucets rarely get to spice it up. Moen’s new kitchen faucets come with three snap-on attachments to help clean the toughest gunk and hardest-to-reach spots your cooking gear has to offer. The targeted spray acts like a pressure washer to remove stuck-on food; the four-corner spray takes the place of unwieldy bottle brushes; and the broad spray rinses stuff with wide, odd-shaped bases, like tea kettles. The attachments also blast water 50 percent faster than Moen’s standard faucets.

E-Priam stroller by Cybex

Power up all the hills.

The first electric stroller of its kind in the US, Cybex’s e-Priam can help you shuttle your kid around when the going gets steep. Sensors in the handlebar detect how hard you’re working, and then power the wheels to make the job less strenuous. Take on slopes as steep as 14 degrees with the added assurance that you won’t lose control downhill (the sensor-applied brakes will smooth out the roll). The wheels also assist when you’re crossing rough terrain, so you won’t have to struggle across the beach or through your untamed lawn. The stroller’s battery can last anywhere from a 10K to a marathon, depending on the load it’s carrying and the road ahead.

TrueHVL cordless worm drive saw by Skilsaw

A wireless boon for shop nerds.

The motor of a worm drive saw is located slightly to the rear, meaning its internal gears run perpendicular to each other. That gives the tool more power than its direct drive “sidewinder” relatives, at the expense of RPM. The tool’s narrow, elongated shape also lets you cut in tight spaces and provides extra reach when ripping wide sheets of wood. Plus, its blade is positioned to the left, so righties will be able to see where it’s cutting. The cordless part is clutch here: It’s hard to unplug with a worm drive because the gearing requires more oomph. Skilsaw found a way, though, by developing its own powerful battery.

Egg Timer with Piercer by OXO

Boiled to perfection.

You can’t just plop eggs in some boiling water and hope for the best. You need an impeccable sense of timing, too. If you weren’t born with it, give OXO’s egg timer a try. Just crank it to your desired doneness level (there are seven), tell it how big your eggs are, and it’ll let you know exactly when they’re ready to pull out of the pot. Plus, a lighted progress bar shows you how much time is left in the cooking process—useful for when you have to step away to put on pants. The pear-size gadget also has a built-in piercer that makes peeling shells an absolute thrill. Remember to run the eggs under cold water after boiling, though; otherwise all that punctuality will be in vain.

The Best Mechanical Pencils Of 2023

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Written By Sandra Gutierrez G.

Updated Apr 6, 2023 1:43 PM

If you’re an artist, an architect, or a person who prefers much more analog note-taking, chances are you have at least one mechanical pencil in your arsenal. These tools are versatile little pieces of engineering that come in a wide range—from the most basic plastic designs to more sophisticated, metallic models. Not all writing tools are created equal, and diving into a market as varied as this one can certainly be overwhelming. Worry not—even though the best pencil for you will ultimately depend on what you particularly like, there are certain specs you need to look out for. In the meantime, here are our picks for the best mechanical pencils.

How we chose the best mechanical pencils

Newcomers to the pencil world might get their senses saturated with the sheer amount of mechanical pencils available in the market right now. After all, a pencil is a pencil. Except that it’s not. That’s why we scoured the internet, including office-supply stores and specialized sites, to see what’s out there, read dozens of user reviews, and tried product after product to find the best one in each category. To make decisions easier, we broke down the winners based on different factors—best overall, best value, precision, best for art and drawing, best comfort, etc. Whatever your favorite notebook, there’s a mechanical pencil to match.

The best mechanical pencils: Reviews & Recommendations

We considered design and comfort, paying special attention to how these tools feel in your hand and if their weight and girth make it easy to write and draw. We also considered precision, durability, extras such as erasers and rubber grips, and price points. One of our choices should be a perfect match for you.

Best overall: Pentel GraphGear 500

Why it made the cut: Yes, Pentel already launched the GraphGear 1000, an allegedly better and improved version of this classic mechanical pencil. But the original GraphGear 500 is really all you need—it’s more affordable, reliable, and unlike its successor, still looks like a classic mechanical pencil. There’s a reason why Japanese retailer Muji made their gravity mechanical pencil line look (and feel) exactly like it.


Body material: Plastic

Built-in hardness indicator: Yes

Sleeve size: 4 mm

Lead size: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm sizes


Incredibly durable


Built-in lead hardness indicator


Body made of light-duty plastic

The metallic tip is one piece, so it’s not the easiest to clean

The metallic mesh grip in the GraphGear 500 allows for great control and embeds the pencil with added weight towards the tip, providing a low center of gravity. This feature is super pleasant to the touch and stays cleaner for longer, unlike those gunk-gathering rubber grips. The metal tip also allows for great precision and incredible durability—I’ve been writing and drawing with my GraphGear 500 for over five years, and it still feels like it did on the first day. 

The GraphGear 500 releases the lead through a 4mm lead sleeve, which provides greater paper visibility, making it perfect for working on small details or using rulers. This mechanical pencil comes in four different sizes (0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm), and the writing on the barrels is color-coded to reflect that, making it easier to find the exact tool you need for the job. To help with this, the GraphGear 500 also has Pentel’s signature lead grade indicator built into the eraser cap, so you can know exactly what you’ve loaded your pencil with at all times. 

No matter how many iterations of this pencil are out there, the original GraphGear 500 is a true classic. If you don’t lose it first, you’ll be putting your ideas on paper for a long time.

Best for precision: rOtring 600 Black-Barrel Mechanical Pencil

Why it made the cut: In 1989, rOtring established a new benchmark of precision with the launch of the 600-series pencils. These writing tools were designed specifically for technical drawing and durability, a standard that continues today.


Body material: Metal

Built-in hardness indicator: Yes

Sleeve size: 4 mm

Lead size: 0.5mm and 0.7mm


Extremely durable

Lead hardness indicator

Gnarled grip




Non-retractable lead sleeve

The rOtring mechanical pencil can easily last you a lifetime. It’s designed with a full metal body that gives it its 0.8-ounce weight heft. This provides a clear center of gravity, which results in cleaner, more precise lines. Still, this mechanical pencil is more than twice as heavy as the Pentel GraphGear 500, so if you’re not used to this weight, it may take you a bit longer to get used to it. 

Best for drawing: Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Hardtmuth Lead Holder

Why it made the cut: OK, technically, a lead holder is not a mechanical pen, but it shares enough characteristics that it can pass as one. The Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Hardtmuth Lead Holder is a must-have if you don’t want to get your hands dirty while you sketch.


Body material: Metal

Built-in hardness indicator: Unknown

Sleeve size: Unknown



Thick and steady

Full metal body




The full metal body of the Hardtmuth gives it an impressive 1.48-ounce weight—this can be a problem if you’re not used to such a chunky tool, but it’ll be right up your alley if you need a lower center of gravity for your sketching and shading. And the metal clip on the Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Hardtmuth Lead Holder is also sturdy, so you can take it anywhere you want without fear of losing it.

Why it made the cut: Pilot’s Dr. Grip line was created to reduce fatigue and enhance comfort while writing. The ergonomic design behind the Dr. Grip G-Spec mechanical pencil makes writing for hours a breeze.


Body material: Plastic

Built-in hardness indicator: Unknown

Sleeve size: Unknown

Lead size: 0.5mm and 0.7mm


Designed for comfort


Shaker mechanism


All plastic body



If you take a lot of notes every day, then you can’t go wrong with the Pilot Dr. Grip G-Spec Shaker mechanical pencil. Its ergonomic design consists of a thick body and a rubber grip with a soft inner layer and harder outer layer that provides stability and comfort even after hours and hours of writing. 

The Dr. Grip comes in various cool colors, including frost red and frost blue. It comes with an eraser at the top that’s refillable. The body is entirely made out of plastic, so it may not be the most durable mechanical pen, but the forgiving design of this pencil makes it very much worth it if you suffer from pain in your wrists and joints.

Best budget: Tombow MONO Graph

Why it made the cut: The Tombow MONO graph mechanical pencil is a durable, affordable writing tool full of features you won’t have to splurge on. 


Body material: Plastic body, metallic tip

Built-in hardness indicator: Unknown

Sleeve size: Unknown

Lead size: 0.5mm and 0.7mm


Lead lock

Shaker mechanism

Twist eraser



Full plastic body

No grip

Weak clip

Non-retractable lead sleeve

Tombow is well-known among artists and stationery enthusiasts for its brush pens and markers, and the Japanese company has also developed its own line of mechanical pencils and erasers under the brand MONO. Their signature MONO graph is a comprehensive writing and drawing tool that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. 

It’s designed with a shaker mechanism that pushes the lead out when you move the pencil rapidly up and down. This feature is very convenient, as it doesn’t require changing your grip on the pencil. If you’re too used to using your thumb to push the lead, you can use the clip as a push button. To avoid mishaps, you can also push the clip up to block the mechanism altogether. This is perfect for storage, as you won’t have to worry about lead breakage. 

Another great feature of the MONO graph is its eraser, which you can twist in and out easily. The eraser is over an inch long, and you can buy eraser refills, so you’ll always be able to fix your mistakes. 

The body of the Tombow MONO graph is almost entirely made out of plastic, which is something some people don’t like. Still, the material is durable, and the body is on the thicker side, so the pencil has a certain heft that provides control and comfort. The tip is made from a light metallic alloy, and the lead sleeve is not retractable, which may be a bother if you carry the MONO graph in your pocket.

What to consider when buying the best mechanical pencils

Not all mechanical pencils will fit your needs. Although we can’t help you become a better writer, we can help you point out what makes a great mechanical pencil. Here’s what to know when shopping for the best mechanical pencils:

Size of lead

The first and most important thing to consider before buying a mechanical pencil is the lead size. This will determine the type of lead you can load into the pencil—the lower the number, the finer the lead. Most pencils come in at least two sizes: 0.5 is the most common, followed by 0.7. The size you get will depend on what you’ll be using your pencil for. 


Next, you’ll need to consider the material the pencil is made of. Full metal-bodied pencils are much more durable than ones made totally or partially out of plastic, but they tend to be more high-end, making them heavier and pricier. But that doesn’t mean you’ll compromise quality for a full plastic body. Some of these polymers are thick and durable, while others are cheap and easily breakable. Most of the time, the price point is a great sign of what you’re dealing with, but reading reviews will also help you avoid splurging on a low-quality tool.


Finally, think about where your pencil will live. If you plan to keep it on your computer desk, then you’ll prefer a hexagonal-shaped body to prevent your pencil from rolling off and falling to the floor—possibly to its death or that of the lead within it. If you’ll be folding up your portable desk and carrying around your mechanical pencil in your pocket or in a pencil case, you’re better off with a tool with a retractable lead sleeve. This will avoid lead breakage and the threat of constantly getting stabbed in the thigh or your ribs or poking holes in your pencil case.


It may not seem like it, but the writing or drawing tools you choose to use are our very personal decisions. They don’t necessarily have to be pricey, highly specialized mechanical pens. Depending on what kind of work you do, if you’re on the move a lot, and whether you prefer heavier or lighter tools, your perfect mechanical pencil may not even be among our picks. Still, if you’re new to the wide and varied world of writing instruments, you definitely will not go wrong by choosing any of the items on this list. 

And whenever you find something you truly like, stick with it. We recommend purchasing a couple of extra pencils to have in storage, just in case yours gets misplaced, discontinued, or you use it so much it falls apart in your hands—not a bad way to go.  

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

The Best Gaming Mouse Of 2023

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Written By Carsen Joenk

Updated Apr 24, 2023 5:32 PM

The best gaming mouse: Reviews & Recommendations Best optical sensor: Razer Basilisk v2

The Basilisk by Razer Basilisk v2 gaming mouse has a sensor that is out of this world. Called a Razer Focus+, this optical sensor has a tracking accuracy of 99.6 percent and is equipped with smart-tracking, asymmetric cut-off, and motion sync. This mouse has a 20,000 DPI, 50G acceleration, and weighs around 3.3 ounces. There are 11 programmable buttons, a drag-free cord, and color customization so you will always feel in control. Additionally, you can adjust the overall sensitivity of the mouse and the scroll wheel resistance, making for a very versatile peripheral. There are several Razer mice that use the same sensor so take a peek at some of their other models if you need less versatility and more specificity.

Best adjustable weight: Corsair Nightsword

The Corsair Nightsword is one of the most customizable mice on the market when it comes to weight distribution and ergonomics. Two sets of weights with six different mounting locations will give you up to 120 different balance configurations and built-in software will automatically detect the mouse’s center of gravity so you can fine-tune the weight and balance to fit your preferred grip. It features a textured contoured shape with a thumb rest to keep your right hand relaxed and reactive. This Corsair mouse has 10 programmable buttons and 18,000 DPI with a customizable PixArt optical sensor. If you are looking for a mouse with more attention to grip than weight, we recommend you check out a cousin of the Nightsword, the Corsair Glaive with 3 interchangeable grips.

Best for sensitivity: Logitech G502 Lightspeed Best with customizable buttons: Razer Naga Trinity

The Razer Naga Trinity is the belle of the ball when it comes to buttons. It is excellent for MMO players and manages to side-step the issues that can arise with a lack of flexibility regarding grip when it comes to a high-button count. The Razer Naga Trinity has up to 19 programmable buttons with 3 interchangeable side plates that have 3, 7, and 12 buttons respectively (this allows you to adjust your grip depending on your game needs). It has a 16,000 DPI sensor, a customizable color profile, and weighs roughly 120 grams.

Best wireless: Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

The Corsair Dark Core is a rechargeable, wireless gaming mouse with up to 50 hours of continuous battery life, wireless charging Qi capabilities, USB wired play options, and eight programmable buttons. It has an 18,000 DPI optical sensor, RGB backlight customization with an integrated LED light bar, and two interchangeable side grips. This wireless mouse a little heavier than some models, coming in at 9.2 ounces but many gamers prefer the stabilization this weight provides.

Things to consider when shopping for the best gaming mouse

Gaming mice are designed with functionality far above any run-of-the-mill computer mouse options, which means you have more to think about before making a purchase. The overall shape or design of the mouse, its DPI, sensor type, mappable buttons, and whether or not you want a wired mouse are all crucial factors to consider. Each gamer might want something different so it’s difficult to recommend a universally perfect mouse. We’ll break down the elements and suggest some products that we feel exemplify excellence when in each category.

Optical or laser sensor Which ergonomic design options are best for you?

The assorted design options that for the best gaming mouse are manifold. But to break it down, these mice are all designed to be functional and ergonomic and alleviate pressure on your wrist. They allow you to play fluidly, without having to constantly adjust hand placement or position. Think about the weight of the mouse and the type of grip you prefer. If you make sudden, fast motions or you want a little resistance you could consider a mouse that has an adjustable weight option, which typically comes in the form of inserts. When it comes to grip, you have three options: claw, palm, and fingertip. A claw grip will have your wrist resting on the mouse pad, your fingers gripping the mouse itself, and your palm elevated above the body. A palm grip will have you rest your palm on the back of the mouse with your fingers resting on top; this is the grip found in a traditional computer mouse. A fingertip grip will have both the wrist and palm elevated, using only your fingers to control the motion alongside various buttons. Grip preference is frequently based on hand size- a fingertip grip mouse is typically the largest.

Most mice are created for right-handed players, but there are a number of excellent mice out there that have created ambidextrous programmable options like the Glorious Model O or Mira-M from HK Gaming. A few companies, like Razer, have even made dedicated left-handed mice.

How sensitive does your mouse need to be?

When searching for the best gaming mouse, you’ll came across a million tech acronyms. Which are important to pay attention to when making your selection? DPI stands for “dots per inch” and can also be marketed as CPI, “counts per inch” when discussing gaming mouse specs. DPI and CPI refer to the number of counts or captured pixels your mouse takes per inch of travel. The higher the DPI, the more sensitive the mouse is. A high DPI doesn’t always mean a better mouse though, you also want to make sure the mouse has a high IPS, or inches per second which tells you the maximum velocity at which it can still capture. Many gaming mice have a DPI of 4000 or higher with the option to increase or decrease that number. Some gamers prefer a lower DPI because lower sensitivity can mean better precision. DPI can also be selected based on your screen’s pixelation. If your screen has a high pixel density, then a higher DPI might be helpful. While DPI might not determine much about your gameplay because most gaming mice function with an already substantial count, we recommend finding something that is adjustable or customizable, so you can test out what works best for you.

Finally, you’ll want to consider your mouse’s acceleration. We touched on this briefly when discussing sensors but it’s important to know that no matter the sensor, acceleration can still affect your gaming. Acceleration describes the amount of gravitational force your mouse can handle whilst tracking accurately and effectively. It is also often customizable and while frequently considered a negative for games that require a lot of quick back and forth, it can be utilized effectively in FPS games and others that require precision.

Do you need customizable buttons?

It is our humble opinion that customizable buttons can make or break a great gamer if used creatively and intelligently. Some prefer to forgo additional buttons but they can be a huge asset when it comes to execution and quick thinking. Gaming mice have at minimum 5 buttons and a maximum of around 19. The number of buttons right for you will probably depend on gaming experience and game preference. A lower button count will be just enough for newer gamers or those who enjoy FPS games. Low button mice can also be called shooter mice and some even come with a dedicated sniper button that will lower the DPI for more precision when pressed. A higher button count may take more experience to program and operate but will give RTS or MMO game players alternative functions and macros necessary to play successfully, though they take some time to get used to and you’ll need to program each one. These mice often feature a keyboard-style grid on the thumb side (muscle memory will soon become your new best friend). There are also button hybrid mice which will give you a little more flexibility without having to commit to one game type.

Customizable buttons can also mean customizable lighting. While this is mostly cosmetic, custom lighting options can be a super fun addition to your gaming mouse. RGB lighting can be found all over gaming setups, from speakers to chairs and now your mouse. Pick the aesthetic that works best for you (or your team). While the lighting will not impact the function of your buttons it does suggest that the customizable software is up to snuff. It’s important to feel like you’re in control of the command center when you’re fighting interplanetary battles.

Do you want a wired or wireless gaming mouse?

Another hot-button (get it?) debate amongst gamers and their mice is to go wired or wireless. Reliability is a major plus that a wired connection provides, but it also limits portability, range of motion, and inhibit your overall desk setup. These mice are connected to the computer using USB so you probably won’t need to invest in adaptors. Pretty much all wired mice are created equal when it comes to connectivity, though you can check out each spec to get a cable that is long enough for your needs. A wireless connection is more susceptible to disconnection or malfunction but models have become increasingly more reliable. A wireless mouse will declutter your cables, provide a cleaner setup, and will be easy to swap out. Keep in mind, you will need to charge this mouse so make sure you check out the battery life. You don’t want to be smack in the middle of a sequence only to lose complete control because your mouse is dead. A wireless mouse will let you play games from just about anywhere, you won’t need to be close to your monitor. This can be a great option for those of you who want to do some couch playing while hooking your monitor up to the television.

In general, we believe that a wired gaming mouse is a better option for most gamers, it also happens to be less expensive, but we recognize that sometimes you need to value form over function and as the technology continues to improve the form and function inch closer to being equals with many wireless gaming options.

Best budget: What you get for under $50

The price of many of the best gaming mouse options reflects the sophistication of their design and sensitivity. While it’s not easy to find comparable models with that level of functionality, it’s not impossible. Some of the best-known mouse manufacturers, such as Razer and Corsair, offer more affordable models made at the level of quality the brands are known for. You may not be able to customize lower-priced options like the Razer DeathAdder Essential, as much, and they may not be as aesthetically appealing. But the best cheap gaming mice can go easier on your wallet while providing the same levels of precision and functionality.

FAQs Q: What is the best gaming mouse in 2023?

While different gamers might dispute which mouse is the best overall, the consensus on online forums and reviews seems to be the fast-tracking and sensitive Logitech G502 Lightspeed. Its 11 programmable buttons and sensitivity options make it customized to your personal preferences as you play.

Q: Which mouse do pro gamers use?

It’s no surprise that gamers opt for a variety of mouses depending on their individual preferences, but two options pop up frequently when we’re talking gaming mouses. In addition to the Logitech G502 Lightspeed mentioned above, the Razer DeathAdder Essential is an affordable but high-quality option gamers opt for.

Q: What gaming mouse does MrFreshAsian use?

Ever wonder what mouse top gamers use to destroy opponents? You’re not alone. Gaming celeb MrFreshAsian uses the Finalmouse Air58 Ninja CBR Edition mouse in his gameplay.

The bottom line on shopping for the best gaming mouse

The Best Surge Protectors Of 2023

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Amanda Reed

Written By Stan Horaczek

Updated Mar 16, 2023 12:14 PM

Finding a proper protector for your electronics ensures that they’ll remain guarded against potentially irreversible damage that comes from commonly occurring electrical spikes in building wiring and power grids. While any amount of protection is better than none, it’s important to consider what types of appliances you’ll be using to determine what type is best for your needs. For most common home appliances—like lamps—any standard surge protector should do the trick. For high-wattage appliances and critical electronic equipment like computers or stereos, however, a heavy-duty model may be more fitting. Whether you’re looking for a portable surge protector to use with your electronics while you’re on the go, or one for permanent use in a business or home, we’ve compared some of the best surge protectors currently available to help you make an informed decision.

How we chose the best surge protectors

The homes and offices of the PopSci writers and staff are loaded with gadgets, all of which require ample power to charge and operate. To find the right choice for you, we surveyed dozens of models with a mixture of online research and hands-on experience to hone in on the models that make the most sense for specific users. The entries on this list come from reputable brands that have demonstrated reliability, which is crucial when trusting pricy gear to their performance. We looked for a mixture of functionality, reliability, and design that would offer the piece of mind you’re paying for in the first place.

The best surge protectors: Reviews & Recommendations

Power surges are a normal and inconvenient part of life that frequently occur when utility companies switch electricity on and off again. Various electrical events—including lightning strikes, storms, and power cycling of large appliances like air conditioners—can also trigger them. By placing a surge protector between your electronics and the wall outlet, you can add a layer of safeguarding for your precious appliances to prevent them from getting fried. One of our choices is an invaluable accessory for your priceless setup.

Best overall: Kasa Smart HS300 Plug Power Strip

Why it made the cut: Smart functionality and built-in power monitoring make this the best power strip surge protector.


Protection: 1,710 joules

Outlets: 6

USB ports: 3


Smart home connectivity

Sleek design

Lots of outlets

Handy companion app



Needs the app for full functionality

The Kasa HS300 is one of the best smart surge protectors on the market, offering 1,710 joules of surge protection in a sleek white finish and slim design that will be welcome in any office or home environment. It has many useful features onboard—including scheduling, remote control of devices, and power consumption monitoring—that are all accessible within the app. It’s compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Microsoft Cortana for users who want to harness the voice control feature. And this unit also can work as a standalone product with no hub required.

The simple, familiar design makes this model easy to hide away under a desk or entertainment center. Three built-in USB ports add extra charging options, and the plug on the strip itself lays relatively flat to the wall so it won’t get smushed by your furniture and bent out of shape.

Best for college dorms: GE UltraPro 10-Outlet Surge Protector

Why it made the cut: With 10 outlets and two high-speed USB ports, this strip is a great option for a common room or other shared space. No one gets left out.


Protection: 3,000 joules

Outlets: 10

USB ports: 2


Tons of protection

Lots of sockets

Modern design



The ubiquitous USB charging port is used to power everything from portable hard drives to cellphones, making it a popular outlet choice for inclusion on power strips and aftermarket wall outlets. Buying a surge protector with USB ports allows users to give their smartphones protection that traditional wall chargers and power strips don’t offer. It’s always nice to have peace of mind when charging a phone, and it ensures you won’t be stuck with a bricked device in the event of a power surge. These also eliminate the need for users to keep track of their wall chargers, which can often go missing, allowing them to plug straight into the surge protector. This is especially handy when you’re in a college dorm situation where multiple people may need access to charging capabilities, which is why it is our pick for the best surge protector for college dorms.

Users looking to charge numerous peripheral devices and enjoy the benefits of surge protection won’t have to skimp on normal three-pronged outlets with this GE UltraPro 10-Outlet Surge Protector. Its 10 grounded outlets and two USB ports offer 3,000 joules of surge protection to devices of all sorts in multiple plug orientations, making it a good option for shared spaces and desk areas with many devices to power. You can choose between 3-, 4-, and 6-foot cord lengths depending on the layout of your space. It’s the perfect model to put in a common room for shared use.

A pair of slotted holes on the back of the device makes it easy to mount to a desk or wall so that you can secure it down, and you won’t have to worry about someone walking off with it next time there’s a party or people come over.

Best heavy-duty: Tripp Lite Isobar 6

Why it made the cut: Its super-burly build and military-grade protection can power extremely demanding devices in challenging environments.


Protection: 3,330 joules

Outlets: 6

USB ports: 0


Super durable

Maximum protection

Meets high safety standards




The Isobar from Tripp Lite is a convenient and robust surge protection unit from a power protection industry veteran. It features a six-foot AC power cable and six protected outlets mounted in isolated filter banks to reduce noise interaction between connected electronics. Three indicator LEDs show users the current protection status and whether there’s a problem with the electrical line. Tripp Lite also offers insurance for connected peripherals, making the Isobar one of the best heavy-duty surge protectors for workshops, garages, and industrial spaces.

The surge protection potential of consumer devices is measured in joules, a unit equivalent to one watt applied to an electrical system for one second. A surge protector with a higher joule rating can absorb more energy before failing, which translates to more robust and comprehensive surge protection for critical equipment. If you plan on protecting expensive or sensitive high-wattage electronic equipment like computers, air conditioners, stereo equipment, or power tools, opting for a heavy-duty surge protector with a joule rating of 3,000 or more is a must. That’s what makes the Isobar so appealing to commercial users.

The sturdy metal housing allows this burly surge protector to function properly in demanding environments, like workshops and studios, without potentially cracking or becoming damaged and jeopardizing your equipment in the process. As a bonus, it looks as burly as it is.

Best for TVs: APC Wall Outlet Plug Extender

Why it made the cut: Its flat form factor makes it easy to tuck behind an entertainment center or TV stand where it can keep many cords in order.


Protection: 1,080 joules

Outlets: 6

USB ports: 2


Flat profile makes it easy to hide

Well-spaced outlets

Powerful USB charging


Average protection levels

Dated design

The APC Wall Outlet Plug Extender is one of the best surge protectors for TVs—and space-saving, too. It can generously expand any standard wall outlet into six plugs and two USB ports and add 1,080 joules of surge protection while hardly adding any extra space. That makes it easy to hide behind your entertainment center. It uses your wall outlet’s existing screw hole to fit securely without the danger of coming loose as you unplug your electronics. It also features LED protection indicators to keep you apprised of its current status. At this price point, there’s no better option for super-compact and relatively high surge protection. Because you get six individual outlets, it can also run entertainment devices like streaming boxes or smart speakers. The USB ports add a nice touch if you want to charge your devices or a remote.

Best for office: Belkin Pivot Plug Surge Protector

Why it made the cut: More than 4,000 joules of protection and 12 outlets means you have plenty of space for chargers, a printer, your desktop, and more.


Protection: 4,320 joules

Outlets: 12

USB ports: 0


Lots of outlets

Built-in cord management

Eight-foot power cord


No USB outlets


If you work from home, you know how important desk and outlet placement are to your productivity. And if you’re working with a full home office set-up—printer, modem, desktop monitors—outlets can quickly become scarce. This Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protector has a long 8-foot cord and 12 outlets to accommodate all your tech. Eight of the 12 plugs pivot, meaning your charging blocks and plugs can coexist with plenty of personal space. Although it doesn’t have any USB outlets, you probably don’t want your cellphone around while you’re trying to work on that big quarterly report. There is even phone line protection for your office phone. And 4,320 joules of protection give you peace of mind as you work during a big storm. This surge protector means business—and you’ll be able to conduct yours easier when you’re not puzzling together plugs.

Why it made the cut: When space is an issue, this pocket-sized power strip offers three outlets and two USB ports in a package the size of a candy bar.


Protection: 918 joules

Outlets: 3

USB ports: 2


Easily fits in a pocket

Fast-charging via USB

Won’t eat up a whole wall outlet


Only three outlets

Power strips, surge protectors, and other power distribution devices are best known for supplementing fixed workspaces and areas of the home. Still, power surges can affect your electronics anywhere and at any time. In some cases, power surges are more likely to affect your electronics while traveling than at home if you factor in the unfamiliarity of the local power grid and weather. For maximum protection of your sensitive devices wherever you go, get the best portable surge protector and enjoy the benefits of surge protection on the road.

Travelers who want extra peace of mind when using power outlets will appreciate the incredibly small form factor and 918-joule protection rating of this USB surge protector from Belkin. It comes in three variants rated for different levels of amperage depending on what peripherals you plan on plugging in. It uses a 360-degree rotating plug to maximize its compatibility with strange outlets in hotels, airports, and more. It’s flexible and simple to use, too, with two USB ports offering a combined 2.1 amps of charging power and an onboard protection status LED. It’s great on an RV or travel van because it doesn’t take up much space and won’t overdraw your vehicle’s system. Plus, if you want to take it inside a coffee shop or other spot where you may be spending some time, it’s easy to tote.

Why it made the cut: This ultra-affordable strip is a great option when you just need basic protection, or you want to keep a spare unit on hand for emergencies.


Protection: 800 joules

Outlets: 6

USB ports: 0


Very cheap

Compact form factor

Rotating sockets


Limited protection


This six-outlet surge protector from GE packs an integrated surge protector and 800 joules of protection into a familiar body, making it one of the best cheap surge protectors for the money. Each of its outlets can be closed with a simple twist for extra safety, and wall outlet mounts on the rear allow users to mount it up and off the floor if needed. It has a three-foot power cord and standard plug and offers incredible value for the money, making it a good choice for shoppers on a budget or users looking to purchase in bulk.

The key function of a good surge protector is the preservation of your electronics, so it’s hard to compromise on price without a dip in quality. Still, by remaining aware of the joule rating of the surge protector and the wattage of the equipment you’re powering with it, you can accomplish an adequate level of protection at an affordable price point. The GE and similar models are best for stationary use in the home due to less durable casing materials and may not bear the bells and whistles of more expensive units. Still, as long as you’re not powering irreplaceable equipment or operating in a building with a known history of frequent and intense surges, they should do just fine. The GE model strikes the right balance between performance and reliability for basic jobs. You don’t always need maximum protection if you’re just trying to string some holiday lights or have a power strip on-hand for emergencies.

What to consider when buying the best surge protectors

Surge protectors are available in portable, bag-sized travel units as well as tough, metal-clad industrial forms and everywhere in between. Determining the best unit for your needs comes down to the level of protection you require according to the quality of the electric system from which you’re pulling power and the value of the equipment you’re looking to protect. Whether you’re enduring daily power spikes or just want reliable protection for some extra peace of mind, we’ve picked out a few of the top surge protectors on the market to help you give your electronics the protection they deserve.

Voice control

Voice control, smart home technology, and home automation are more commonplace and accessible than ever before. There are countless smart plug products on the market that allow users to integrate traditional appliances with a smart home system. The best smart surge protectors offer users this same convenient hands-free remote electronics control without sacrificing high-level protection from power surges in a single unit.

Most smart surge protectors offer compatibility with Alexa, Google Home, and other popular smart home systems, but many can function as standalone units. A local Wi-Fi network and a companion app are usually all it takes to get up and running, turning a smartphone into a universal remote for your electronics. Users who want to create automated lighting schedules or activate coffee makers, slow cookers, and other devices from afar will appreciate the convenience and safety that a smart surge protector provides. These may not be the most robust choice for heavy-duty applications, but they’re unparalleled for adding flexibility, protection, and voice control to commonplace household and office appliances.

USB ports

You don’t always have to find a charging brick when you want to plug in your phone or other portable devices. Some surge protectors have built-in USB connectivity, which allows you to charge extra devices without having to occupy one of the AC sockets. These can come in handy even when you might not expect it. For instance, USB ports can be handy for charging controllers if you have them on the surge protector in your home theater.

Outlet arrangement

If you’re going to be plugging in big power bricks, there’s a chance you might run into a traffic jam that prevents you from using all of your surge protector’s real estate. Try to visualize the plugs you need to accommodate and ensure there’s room for everything. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to daisy chain strips together, and that’s not good for anything.

FAQs Q: How much does a surge protector cost?

A surge protector will cost you between $15-$80, depending on what features you’re looking for.

Q: What is Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 surge protection?

The most common form of surge protection offered by consumer products is Type 3 surge protection, which is used in parallel with consumer electronics at the load end of an outlet. Type 1 protection is a permanent installation that protects the whole electrical system from outside sources of surges, including lightning strikes and utility switching. In contrast, Type 2 protection is a permanent installation that protects from surges caused within a system, as in the case of air conditioners or other large appliances.

Q: How often should I replace my surge protector?

Surge protectors offer diminishing protection over time, but fortunately, the best surge protectors actively indicate whether your electronics are protected or not. As a rule of thumb, you can wait three to five years before replacing a surge protector, but users with frequent power issues—including lightning strikes, rolling blackouts, or brownouts—will have to replace their surge protectors more often.

Q: How many joules are in a good surge protector?

The best surge protectors can range anywhere from around 800 joules up to 4,000 joules and beyond. Determining which level of protection you need depends largely upon the value of the equipment you’re protecting as well as the known reliability of the electrical system that you’re using, but when in doubt, the more joules, the better.

Final thoughts on the best surge protectors

Surge protection doesn’t come standard in most buildings and power systems, so it’s crucial to ensure that your electronics are safeguarded from inevitable power spikes and blackouts with the best surge protector for your needs. Home users should turn to a smart surge protector for total control over their electronic ecosystem or a surge protector with USB ports for quick charging and protection of their irreplaceable devices. In contrast, commercial users who need robust protection should turn to a heavy-duty surge protector to keep their bases covered. Whether you’re powering a vacuum cleaner or a smartphone, every user of electronic equipment, big and small, should use a surge protector. Then you can rest assured that your devices are safe and sound the next time a blackout or power surge comes around.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

Update the detailed information about Best Of Ifa 2023 Awards: All The Very Best Products on the website. We hope the article's content will meet your needs, and we will regularly update the information to provide you with the fastest and most accurate information. Have a great day!