BEST HEADPHONES BRAND PHONES
Featuring over 30 brands, our headphones category has always been hotly contested. This year’s winner by far is Bose, maker of the well-regarded QC35 II. Sony, which makes the excellent WH1000XM3, is joint 3rd with 9%, along with B&O, Sennheiser, and Beats.
BEST MOTHERBOARD BRAND
ASUS Prime, ROG, TUF, TUF Gaming, Commercial, Workstation - whether you’re a gamer, an Intel fan, an AMD supporter, or a business user looking for a micro-ATX motherboard - you’re sure to find one that fits your needs in ASUS’ stable. Variety aside, great performance, reliability, and ASUS’ exclusive technologies are some of the often-cited reasons by our readers as to why they overwhelmingly favor ASUS motherboards.
PICTURES ASUS, SAMSUNG, NVIDIA
BEST GPU BRAND
2018 was the year NVIDIA announced the successor to its Pascal microarchitecture. Also known as “Turing”, the new GPU had a unified cache architecture for increased bandwidth, an embedded Ray Tracing core to vastly accelerate real-time ray tracing, and improved Tensor cores for improving the speed of deep learning-based operations - just to name a few. And all this sets the stage for the launch of the GeForce 20 series of GPUs that started shipping in Sep 2018. And before the year was over, we already had the RTX 2080s, RTX 2070s, and the crazy-expensive Titan RTX. January saw the more affordable RTX 2060 announced too.
BEST SSD BRAND
With 39% of the votes, this is the 5th straight year Samsung has strolled home with our Readers’ Choice award for Best SSD Brand. In a nutshell, Samsung’s consumer SSDs are generally divided into two categories: Pro and Evo. Available in various form factors, the Pro drives are for power-hungry enthusiasts, while the Evo drives are generally for mainstream users. Samsung did release a new 860 QVO series late last year though, which was their answer to those looking for affordable high-density SSDs.
BEST PC MEMORY BRAND
With 34% of the votes, Kingston has managed to fight off stiff competition from Corsair to retain the trophy it won last year. In addition to consumer memory modules, Kingston is also a major maker of server DRAM modules. At the VMworld show last year, the company showcased its newest Server Premier DDR4 server DRAM and demoed how it can help speed up in-memory applications and run virtualized environments.
BEST GRAPHICS CARD BRAND
With 42% of the votes, this is the 10th straight year ASUS has won Best Graphics Card Brand. Once again, we think ASUS’ popularity boils down to its ability to churn out a wide range of graphics cards for both NVIDIA and AMD fans. And mind you, these aren’t just duplicates of reference graphics cards, but with exclusive ASUS technologies, such as DIGI+ VRM, Super Alloy Power, DirectCU cooling tech for better overclocking, and Aura Sync RGB LED synchronization. For discerning gamers, ASUS also has a highly regarded ROG line, which is known for its supreme performance and reliability.
BEST EXTERNAL STORAGE BRAND
Say HDDs, and most likely, Seagate and Western Digital come to mind. With 26% of the votes, Seagate has narrowly beat out WD (25%) to take home the trophy. Some of the new products Seagate introduced in 2018 included the LaCie DJI Copilot, an on-set backup solution for drone users; the Seagate Fast portable external SSD; the LaCie Rugged Secure and Rugged RAID Pro 4TB, two external HDDs built to withstand all-terrain extreme conditions; and the 2TB Game Drive for Xbox SSD.
BEST REMOVABLE FLASH STORAGE BRAND
With 55% of the votes, SanDisk is once again the winner of our Best Removable Flash Storage Brand award. While SanDisk is now owned by Western Digital, the company still sells many products under the SanDisk brand. Which makes tremendous sense, since SanDisk has built a reputation of making high-quality flash memory products, including memory cards and readers, USB flash drives, and SSDs. Just this past January at CES, the company showed off a prototype flash drive the size of a regular USB flash drive that can hold an amazing 4TB of data.
BEST NAS BRAND
With 19% of the votes, Seagate is the the winner of the NAS category, with last year’s winner D-Link very close behind at 18%. Along with Synology, these three brands already make up for 53% of the total votes cast. A s a quick recap, 2018 saw the arrival of the Seagate’s new 5U rack-mount enclosure and an advanced 14TB data storage portfolio. The latter consists of several new 14TB drives, including the new IronWolf and IronWolf Pro 14TB drives for network attached storage applications.
BEST INKJET PRINTER BRAND
With a huge 44% share of votes, Canon is once again our readers’ favorite inkjet printer maker. In 2018, the company launched a variety of models to appeal to different user needs. For example, the Pixma TS9570, TS8270, and TS707 don’t just print gorgeous photos, they can also be used to print nail art stickers. For homes and small businesses that place cost over all else, the Pixma Ink Efficient E4270 has an ADF and supports automatic two-sided printing. 2018 also saw the arrival of Canon’s smallest photo printer to date: the PV-123 Mini Photo Printer. Like HP’s Sprocket printers, the PV-123 uses the Zink dye-printing technology to print its 2 x 3-inch photos.
BEST WIRELESS NETWORKING BRAND
With 31% of the votes, this is the 6th straight year ASUS has won our Best Wireless Networking Brand award. Recently, the company launched their ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, which is an 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) router that can support a maximum combined throughput of 11,000Mbps. For those looking for a dual-band AX6000-class router, ASUS also has one in the RT-AX88U. Other interesting routers we saw from ASUS last year included the Alexa-capable Lyra Voice mesh router and the funky-looking Blue Cave AC2600.
BEST IP CAMERA BRAND
With 22% of the votes, D-Link has now won our Best IP Camera Brand award three times in a row. D-Link’s newest offerings in 2018 included the DCS-2802KT, a battery-powered IP65 camera that works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The DCS-8300LH is also quite new, and that’s a Full HD Wi-Fi camera with a 137° wide-angle lens. Also slated to arrive sometime this year is the DCS-8330LH, a Full HD Wi-Fi camera with a smart home hub built-in, which means it’ll work with D-Link’s other Zigbee-based sensors and smart plugs.
BEST VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE PROVIDER
With a staggering 72% of the votes, Netflix is the runaway winner for this Readers’ Choice award for Best Video Streaming Service Provider. The world’s biggest online subscription video service with 137 million customers worldwide, Netflix recently unveiled 17 new Asian original productions from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and India. Also, just this January, Netflix scored 15 nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which itself was nominated for 10 awards.
BEST ACTIVITY TRACKER BRAND
With 45% of the votes, this is the 4th straight year Fitbit has walked home with this Readers’ Choice award for Best Activity Tracker Brand. In April last year, Fitbit’s Versa went on sale in Singapore. Touting a 4-day battery life, a continuous heart-rate monitor, and a dormant Sp02 sensor, the Versa watch also comes with Fitbit Coach, with workout programs and videos you can watch on the screen. Later in the year the Charge 3 also went on sale. Sporting a more traditional fitness tracker design, the Charge 3 offers water resistance up to 50 meters, a better touchscreen OLED display, and a 7-day battery life. According to rumors, a new Versa 2 is almost upon us.
BEST PC COMPONENTS RETAILER
Sim Lim Square has always been the go-to place for DIY enthusiasts building their own systems, as this is the mall that gathers numerous PC components retailers under the same roof. For the 10th consecutive year, our readers have voted Fuwell (14%) their favorite local PC components retailer. Once again, Fuwell has to fight off strong challenges from Cybermind and Best Bargain - both of which have 12% of votes. Bizgram isn’t far behind as well with 10%.
BEST CONVERTIBLE NOTEBOOK BRAND
With a quarter of the votes, this is the first time Microsoft has won our Best Convertible Notebook Brand award. If you’re looking for your very first Surface, know that the new Surface Pro 6 is now in Singapore (alongside the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Studio 2). Featuring Intel’s 8th generation Core CPUs, a 12.3-inch PixelSense display, and up to 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM, the latest and greatest Surface Pro is without question one of the best 2-in-1 devices money can buy. If your needs are modest, the 10-inch Surface Go that runs on a Pentium Gold 4415Y processor is also available here.
BEST BUSINESS NOTEBOOK BRAND
With 21% of the votes, the Best Business Notebook Brand award is once again won by Lenovo. Last year, the company launched the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme, a 1.7kg powerhouse that features a 15.6inch UHD display, NVIDIA GeForce 1050 Ti MaxQ discrete graphics, up to 64GB of memory, and a dual-PCIe SSD storage option with RAID 0/1 capability. There’s also the ThinkPad P1, a workstation laptop that can be fitted with an Intel Xeon processor and NVIDIA Quadro P2000 graphics. There’s a lot to look forward to this year too: we already know that there’s going to be new ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga with refined designs, a new Yoga S940 with a contoured glass display, and a new Yoga C730 2-in-1 convertible with a 4K AMOLED screen.
BEST SMARTWATCH BRAND
With 50% of the votes, Apple is the runaway winner of this award. In 2018, Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 4, which has a new design and a host of important upgrades. In addition to larger but thinner cases, there’s the new S4 processor and W3 wireless chip, a haptic digital crown, ECG support (though only for Watches bought in the U.S. at the moment), a fall detection feature, louder speakers, and of course, new watch faces. Seriously, if you use an iPhone, you can’t go wrong with the Apple Watch. In second place is Samsung, which had the Galaxy Watch to show for in 2018. Like previous Samsung Gear watches, it has the trademark circular, rotating bezel that’s used for UI navigation, plenty of hardware straps and software watch faces to choose from, and support for Samsung software/hardware features such as Samsung Health. Samsung Flow, and Samsung Pay.
PICTURE MICROSOFT, FITBIT, APPLE
BEST GAMING KEYBOARD & MOUSE BRAND
Despite featuring over 10 brands, Razer still managed to comfortably win our Readers’ Choice award for Best Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Brand with 36% of the votes. In early 2018, the global gaming hardware company announced the Mamba HyperFlux wireless mouse and the Firefly HyperFlux charging mat. Then in April, it launched the Razer Abyssus Essential (known as the Razer Jugan in China before this), an entry-level gaming mouse that features RGB underglow, an RGB logo, and a 7,200 DPI optical sensor; and in August, the Mamba Elite, which was outfitted with the same 16,000DPI optical sensor as the DeathAdder Elite, became official. But Razer wasn’t done for the year: at IFA in September, it unveiled the new Mamba Wireless gaming mouse and BlackWidow Elite mechanical keyboard. All this was quickly followed up by the BlackWidow Lite keyboard for office use in November, and the Turret keyboard and mouse combo for the Xbox One in December.
BEST TV BRAND
The leader of TV sales in the past decade, there’s no surprise that Samsung is once again our readers’ favorite TV maker with 39% of the votes. Last year Samsung brought several refinements to its QLED lineup, including an Improved One Invisible Connection and FreeSync support; and based on what we saw this past CES, there’s a whole lot more coming this year, including a new Quantum Processor that enables AI sound and Bixby 2.0, lower input lag for gaming, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration. Samsung is going all out to accelerate the adoption of 8K TV too, with the launch of no fewer than four new 8K QLED models. Korean rival LG, which wowed many at CES with its rollable OLED TV, is second with 26% of the votes.
PICTURES KLIPSCH, RAZER, SAMSUNG
BEST IN-EAR HEADPHONES BRAND
With over 30 brands participating in this category, the margins at the top are super-tight this year. This year, the trophy goes to Klipsch, which has 12% of the votes. Unlike last year, Klipsch’s victory this year isn’t that clear cut because only a handful of votes separated it from second-placed AirPods maker Apple (11%). New products to expect from Klipsch in 2019 include the T5 family of in-ear headphones. There are four headphones in the lineup, and one of them is the company’s first-ever true wireless earbuds. Bose, which makes the SoundSport Free true wireless earbuds, is in 3rd place with 10% of the votes.
BEST FIBER BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDER
Singtel remains our readers favorite local fiber broadband service provider, with 38% of the votes this year. In fact, Singtel has yet to lose this category since we started it seven years ago. In terms of consumer-facing offerings, in October 2018, Singtel launched its newest fiber broadband service called 1+1 Gbps Fiber Pro Gamer bundle. Designed for online gaming, this service comes bundled with the Razer Sila gaming router and subscription to the WTFast Gamer Private Network service, which enables gamers to automatically link to the fastest gaming servers. Mesh networking is also thing today, and Singtel is also onboard the trend: for example, Singtel’s current 1Gbps and 2Gbps fiber broadband plans include a pair of Askey and AirTiles Wi-Fi mesh routers respectively.
BEST PAY TV SERVICE PROVIDER
With 52% of the votes this year, Singtel has managed to wrestle away our Best Pay TV Service Provider award from long-time winner StarHub. For European football fans, in November, Singtel announced that it has scored English Premier League rights for another three seasons (to 2022); and in October, it revealed that it has reached an agreement with beIN Sports to air the live matches of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Non-football fans have reasons to be happy too: in October, Singtel launched e-Le, a brand-new Chinese language entertainment and lifestyle channel for Singtel TV, Singtel TV Go, and Cast; and in September, Singtel TV added Discovery’s HGTV, AFC, and Food Network to its suite of lifestyle channels.
BEST HOME THEATER SYSTEM BRAND
With 18% of the votes, this is the 9th year in a row that Bose has won our Readers’ Choice award for Best Home Theater System Brand. In August last year, the company unveiled the Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500 for music and home theater. Both support Amazon Alexa out of the box, with AirPlay 2 support for streaming from Apple devices said to arrive in early 2019. Both speakers also feature Bose’s proprietary ADAPTiQ technology to acoustically adjust to their surroundings. Luxury brand Bang & Olufsen, which recently launched its first digital store, isn’t far behind with 14% of the votes. Sonos comes in third with 13%.
BEST WIRELESS SPEAKERS BRAND
With 17% of the votes, JBL is our readers’ favorite wireless speaker manufacturer. It’s really no mean feat by JBL (which is owned by Samsung through its Harman subsidiary), because it has managed to beat out heavyweights like Bose (15%) and Sonos (13%). In 2018, JBL launched the Link 10, Link 20, Link 300, and Link 500, all of which are wireless speakers that work with Google Assistant and have built-in Chromecast receiver. For Bose, we’ve the Home Speaker 500, a smart speaker that works with Amazon Alexa. Wrapped in seamless anodized aluminum, Bose claims that it offers the widest soundstage of any smart speaker available today, thanks to two custom drivers pointed in opposite directions.
BEST HOME THEATER PROJECTOR BRAND
With 29% of the votes, Sony is once again our readers’ favorite home theater projector manufacturer. Just this past September, the company launched three new 4K models - VPL-VW870ES, VPL-VW570ES, VPL-VW270ES - with better motion processing, HDMI 18 Gbps compatibility, 4K/60p 10-bit processing, and an input lag reduction feature for a smoother 4K gaming experience. Expectedly, the laser light source VPLVW870ES is the highest-end of the trio. Its marquee feature is this 18-piece allglass lens that Sony says will ensure high precision in every corner of the image.
BEST GAMING PUBLISHER
With 23% of the votes, Activision Blizzard has managed to defeat over 15 other publishers to snag this Readers’ Choice award for Best Gaming Publisher. For the uninitiated, Activision Blizzard is responsible for several massively popular games such as Warcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, Candy Crush, and more recently, Overwatch. The company has also said that it’s planning to focus more on the aforementioned titles, esports, and its Battle.net services. Nintendo, which brought us Mario Tennis Aces, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee!, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, comes in second with 15% of the votes.
PICTURES BOSE, EPSON
BEST BUSINESS PROJECTOR BRAND
With 24% of the votes, this is the 6th year in a row Epson has won our Readers’ Choice award for Best Business Projector Brand. Now Epson’s focus these days are more in the highvalue, and high-brightness segment, which led the company to launch models such as the 25,000-lumen EB-L25000U way back in 2016. In end 2017, the Japanese company unveiled the EB-1470Ui and EB-700U projectors, two 3LCD laser ultra-short throw projectors; and subsequently followed that up in early 2018 with the EB-L1755UNL, a 15,000-lumen laser projector targeting the rental and staging market. And just this January, we saw the EB-L12000Q and EB-L20000U - the former is the industry’s first 12,000-lumen native 4K 3LCD laser projector, while the latter is a 20,000-lumen WUXGA installation projector.
BEST GAMING DESKTOP PC BRAND
With 27% of the votes, ASUS has managed to edge out local outfit Aftershock (24%) and Dell/Alienware (22%) to win our Readers’ Choice award for Best Gaming Desktop PC Brand. For those looking for a fuss-free, powerful, and compact gaming desktop, take a look at the ROG Strix GL12, which can now be decked with an Intel Core i99900K processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics. If that’s a bit too high-end and expensive for your blood, ASUS also has the ROG Strix GL10CS, which can be fitted with a Core i7 processor, GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, 8GB RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD. For those who like ASUS’ components but prefer to build out a system to their liking, well, do note that ASUS has re-entered the PC chassis market recently with the launch of the ROG Strix Helios.
BEST PREMIUM COMPACT CAMERA BRAND
For this Readers’ Choice category, our winner is once again Canon, which garnered 35% of the votes. Last year, the EOS DSLR maker released the PowerShot SX740 HS, a 20.3-megapixel compact camera with a 40x optical zoom lens and automatic connection features, and the PowerShot SX70 HS, also a 20.3MP camera but with an incredible 65x optical zoom. The company also refreshed its EOS M lineup with the introduction of the EOS M50 in early 2018. Powered by new Digic 8 image processor an improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF, this little shooter is also capable of 4K movie shooting.
BEST CPU BRAND
The first half of 2018 saw the arrival of the i7-8086K and i5-8500 from Intel, two 8th generation (Coffee Lake) desktop processor. But this was the just the start of Intel’s ramp up, as this was soon followed up later in the year with the 9X00-series chips, including the super-powerful Core i9-9900K, a 95W TDP chip with 8 cores (16 threads), a maximum turbo frequency of 5GHz, and 16MB of L3 cache. Like previous years, our readers’ clearly favor Intel’s CPUs over AMD’s, which sees the company garnering 82% of the votes.
PICTURES ASUS, CANON, INTEL
BEST INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA BRAND
There’s no doubt that Canon is one of the top camera manufacturers today. In fact, according to the company, it has been the global market share leader in the interchangeable-lens digital cameras segment for 15 consecutive years from 2003 to 2017. With 36% of the votes, Canon continues to be our readers’ favorite interchangeable lens camera brand. 2018 was certainly an event year for Canon. Earlier in the year, we saw the arrival of the EOS 1500D for entry-level users; and in September, the highly anticipated EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera was unveiled. And just two weeks ago, Canon announced the EOS RP, its second full-frame mirrorless camera but in a more compact and lighter body. The RP packs a 26.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS sensor and boasts a 0.05-second focusing speed and EV -5 focusing capabilities.
BEST GAMING NOTEBOOK BRAND
With 25% of the votes, ASUS has displaced last year’s winner Dell/ Alienware as the new winner of our Readers’ Choice award for Best Gaming Notebook Brand. Considering all the ROG products ASUS launched in the last two years, we can’t say we’re surprised. For example, remember the ROG Strix Scar II gaming notebook review we did last year? At the time we tested it, it had an NVIDIA GeForce 10 series GPU; but today, it already has been updated to support up to GeForce RTX 2070. In fact, the ROG Strix Hero II and ROG G703 have also been recently updated to support NVIDIA’s latest GPUs. And let’s not forget the ROG Zephyrus series. If you’re shopping for a slim gaming laptop, do yourself a service and check out the ROG Zephyrus S, which is a 15.8mm-thin gaming laptop with a full HD, 144Hz display and GeForce GTX 1060 graphics. The Zephyrus S is recently updated too and can now fit the GeForce RTX 2070 (Max-Q).
BEST CONSUMER ELECTRONICS CHAIN STORE
With 35% of the votes, IT and CE chain store Challenger has now won our Best CE Chain Store award for seven consecutive years. The Singapore-based retailer currently has 38 physical stores across the island (the current flagship store is at Bugis Junction), as well as Hachi.tech for those who prefer to shop online. Harvey Norman (16%), which opened a giant flagship outlet at Millenia Walk in late 2015 and followed that up with the Games Hub in 2016, comes in second. Best Denki and Gain City (each with 13%) are joint third.
BEST LIFESTYLE HOME APPLIANCES CHAIN STORE
The inaugural winner of our Readers’ Choice award for Best Lifestyle Home Appliances Chain Store goes to Courts, with 37% of the votes. In November 2017, Courts redesigned its Tampines Megastore flagship store to provide a transformed shopping experience catered to the modern shopper; in the same year, it also relaunched its online store and introduced Guru by Courts, the latter a one-stop home solutions service. Last but not least, in October 2018, it completed its massive renovation of its 25-year-old Ang Mo Kio store, decking it with more products and making it more modern and accessible to senior citizens living in the heartland. Harvey Norman is a very close second with 36% of the votes.
BEST SMARTPHONE BRAND
With a majority 42% of the votes, Apple remains our readers’ favorite smartphone maker. Last year, the iPad and MacBook maker unveiled the iPhone XS and XS Max, two models that built on the foundation set by the ground-breaking iPhone X in 2017. New improvements include an option for 512GB storage, an all-new A12 Bionic processor built on a 7nm manufacturing process, a better display, louder speakers, and improved rear cameras. There’s also the iPhone XR that offers most of the features found on the XS models (and better battery life!) at a signiflcantly lower price. Its closest rival remains Samsung, with 25% of the votes. The Galaxy Note9 was undoubtedly the highlight of the year, and by time you read this, the Galaxy S10 is already the hot new thing.
BEST MOBILE SERVICE PROVIDER
With 41% of the votes, Singtel is again our readers’ favorite local mobile service provider. Singtel’s share of votes has dipped a bit this year, and the most likely reason is the presence of new players such as MyRepublic, Zero1, and Zero Mobile. Staying with Singtel though, the telco announced in September last year that it has achieved Asia’s fastest five-carrier aggregation LTE speed of 1.5Gbps; and earlier in July, we were told that it will together with Ericsson launch Singapore’s first 5G pilot network at one-north. Singtel also works closely with handsets makers: just last October, it brought the Razer Phone 2 exclusively to Singtel customers. Data X4, a new add-on that lets Combo 2 and above subscribers quadruple their data, was also made available late last year.
BEST GAMING CONSOLE BRAND
With 47% of the votes, our readers have once again voted Sony as their favorite console maker. Apparently, just this past December, Sony has shipped over 94 million PlayStation units worldwide, which means it has already surpassed the lifetime sales of PlayStation 3. Also, over 876 million PlayStation 4 games have been sold worldwide so far. Since its debut four years ago, Sony has had three different PS4 models (not counting the limited edition ones): the original PS4, the PS4 Slim, and the PS4 Pro. The PS4 and the PS4 Pro are still being produced and sold today, with the PS4 Pro CUH-7200 being the latest revision that comes with a different power supply and is said to be quieter than models before it. Nintendo, which sold more than 32 million units of its Switch console as of December 2018, is second with 35% of the votes.
BEST GAMING MONITOR BRAND
With 28% of the votes, ASUS is once again our readers’ favorite gaming monitor brand. Of the gaming monitors ASUS launched in 2018, two caught our eye: the ROG Strix XG49VQ and the ROG Swift PG27UQ. The XG49VQ, in particular, is a sight to behold. A massive 49-inch HDRcapable gaming monitor, it has a 144Hz refresh rate and supports Radeon FreeSync 2, a 3,840 x 1,080-pixel resolution, and a feature called Shadow Boost that brightens and enhances detail in dark areas in games. On the other hand, the PG27UQ is a 4K HDR monitor that has a 144Hz refresh rate and supports G-Sync. That said, gamers can expect more displays from ASUS in 2019 - new incoming monitors include the Strix XG438Q, a 43-inch 4K FreeSync 2 monitor; and Strix 32VQR, a 32-inch, 2,560 x 1,440-pixel monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate.
BEST LASER/LED PRINTER BRAND
With 28% of the votes, Canon has managed to hold on to the Best Laser/LED Printer Brand award it won last year. Towards the end of 2018, the company refreshed its SOHO and workgroup lineup with no less than eight imageCLASS A4 mono laser printers. And leading that group is the MF269dw, a $379 all-in-one model that prints at up to 28ppm. If you only need to print, the single-function imageCLASS LBP113w that prints at a rate of 22ppm is only going for $199.
BEST GAMING HEADSET BRAND
With 29% of the votes, Razer is our readers’ favorite gaming headset brand. In July 2017, the company announced updated Tiamat headsets; and in September 2018, we were treated with the Kraken Tournament Edition. In case you missed it, the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is a gaming headset targeted at professional players with features such as THX Spatial Audio and dedicated dials for adjusting the level of bass and the audio balance between your game and chat. It also has memory foam ear cushions that are infused with cooling gel to reduce heat build-up and indented channels toward the front to make room for your glasses. For those who prefer speakers over headphones, the new Nommo Pro is a THX-certified 2.1-speaker setup that works with Razer Chroma.
BEST VR GAMING GEAR BRAND
With 33% of the votes, Sony, maker of the PlayStation VR headset, is now a three-time winner of our Readers’ Choice award for Best VR Gaming Gear Brand. According to Sony, as of August 2018, it has sold through more than 3 million PlayStation VR units and 21.9 million games worldwide. In second place is Samsung with a fairly high 30% share of the votes. In 2018, Samsung had two Gear VR models: one that worked with Galaxy S9 (and earlier) phones and one later in the year that would fit the newer Galaxy Note9 (and earlier) phones. Coming in third with 24% is Facebook-owned Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest headsets.
BEST ELECTRONICS SHOPPING PORTAL
With 33% of the votes, Lazada has managed to hold on to the trophy it won last year, beating the likes of Qoo10 (winner in 2017), Gain City, homegrown Hachi.tech, and even Amazon Prime. For those unaware, in April last year, Lazada and Razer launched a region-centric digital game store, offering SEA customers digital games at local price points. In the same month, the Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform also launched regional trade with Digital Free Trade Zone. This DFTZ enables regional sellers, like Lazada sellers in Malaysia, to market their products to Singapore buyers easily.