Outstanding Technology Products of 2022
Each year, I reflect on my Product of the Week picks and choose what I think has had the most significant impact on my life as Product of the Year. There were a lot of contenders this year, which I’ll cover, but I want to explain why I’m calling BlackBerry.
If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I’m a big fan of companies doing the right thing. For example:
- Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program shone early in the pandemic as incredibly helpful in keeping governments and schools running while we were all locked up at home;
- IBM’s emphasis on AI ethics could end up saving us from creating hostile AI;
- Nvidia’s work to create simulations on a global scale to combat global warming;
- HP’s leadership in capturing and reusing ocean-based plastics; and
- Dell’s aggressive examples of rooting out misogyny have all caught my interest in the past.
But this year, I really struggled with what was happening in Ukraine and felt that we weren’t doing enough to address the horrible conditions there. BlackBerry showed up to commit massive resources to Ukraine’s war effort and was able, in effect, to combat train its security (Cylance) and employee security (AtHoc) apps which are now much more able to protect us.
Given that so much of 2022 was all about fear and vulnerability, picking a product or company that has done the most to alleviate that fear nationwide seemed like the best course of action to convince. others to step in and help.
While I usually point to Cisco as the benchmark for helping with this level of state security, for 2022 BlackBerry’s extreme efforts to help Ukraine stuck with me, so this is my pick for the product of the year.
More on BlackBerry later. First, let’s look at the other contenders.
Three laptops have excelled for me this year:
Alienware m17 R5 Gaming Laptop
If I was more of a gamer than me, then the Alienware m17 R5 would have been the easy choice to lead the category, especially once I loaded the right drivers and the battery life was reasonable. When I first turned it on I got two hours, but after the driver patch it went to six. The laptop looks good, and if I was into first-person shooters, where the performance really shines, it would have ranked higher.
Alienware m17 R5 Gaming Laptop | Image Credit: Dell
3rd Generation ThinkBook Plus Laptop
The second was the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3. Again, battery life wasn’t great, but the use of dual screens and just the wow factor of this laptop makes it more than ideal for those on the go. of us who mostly work from home but don’t want to be locked in the same room with a desktop computer all day.
17-inch ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 Laptop | Image Credit: Lenovo
This ThinkBook’s dual screens also allow users to do two very different things at the same time, like attending a Zoom meeting while at power level or watching a video – not that I would. already do it myself.
HP Elite Folio 2-in-1 Laptop
The HP EliteBook Folio was released in 2021, but it’s still my favorite laptop. HP released a Dragonfly version this year that was based on Intel and not Qualcomm, but which cut battery life in half. HP has removed the leather from the bottom, which makes the product less comfortable to carry. So while I would still rank the Folio first for 2022, the fact that I think the 2021 version is even better for the way I work should be noted because sometimes companies make changes that aren’t ideal for the product.
HP EliteBook Folio | Image credit: HP
The Snapdragon version of the product isn’t as capable as the Intel version, but for the way I work – mostly writing, browsing the web, and watching videos while traveling – the battery life, weight, and comfort of the battery is king. I’ve gone up to three days traveling without needing this laptop’s power supply, which is unusual in a good way. So last year’s HP EliteBook Folio was the best laptop I’ve used in 2022.
I’ve been using ChiliSleep products since they came out with the first ChiliPad. If there’s one solution that continues to make sure I get a good night’s sleep, it’s Sleepme’s ChiliSleep Dock Pro. This product uses water to heat and cool your bed, just like race car drivers and astronauts use it to cool their suits. Whether it’s a hot or cold night, I’m like Goldilocks in the last bed: just right.
ChiliSleep Dock Pro Control Unit | Image Credit: Sleepme
This year Sleepme released a sleep tracker that I haven’t checked out yet that comes with a subscription so that the warmth of the bed adjusts appropriately to optimize things like REM sleep. The only recurring problem is that I can’t take the thing with me when I travel. Hotels seriously need something like this because I always feel too hot or too cold when I sleep in a hotel. Put this product in the “I can’t live without it” category.
I haven’t included them in the competition before, but I drive an electric 2019 Jaguar I-Pace myself. Just before I started writing this column, I learned about the most impressive electric car drag race . It was between a Lucid Air Sapphire, a Tesla Plaid and a Bugatti Chiron, which cost around $4 million. Oh, they also raced the Lucid against a hot rod Ducati (due to their generally much higher power-to-weight ratio, motorcycles usually dust cars in races like this).
So far, when it comes to straight-line drag racing, the Tesla is the champion against almost everything but this Bugatti. Here’s a Plaid beating a track-only dragster:
The Bugatti isn’t much faster, at least not in the quarter mile (top speed is a very different story, but none of us go 250 mph unless we want our 4 car millions of dollars is confiscated for life). Long story short, in racing, the Lucid outpaces the Bugatti, which beat the Tesla, outpaces it, I mean by a car length — even though the Bugatti has a lot more power.
The reason is that electric can generate a ton more traction, because traction control works better with electric cars than gas cars – and if you can’t turn off the power, no matter how much you have some. So, the Lucid Air Sapphire would be my pick for best electric car in 2022. Also, the thought of dusting off a Bugatti in the light with a family car makes me smile.
The most powerful CPU remains AMD’s Threadripper, and the most powerful GPU is Nvidia’s 4090 RTX card. Put them both in the same system and you’ll probably have your friends salivating and your power meter spinning like a top.
AMD has taken the lead in high-end workstations thanks to the Threadripper, and I’ve seen people get pounded by their friends for using Intel processors for the first time this year, which is a huge win for AMD .
On graphics, Nvidia’s 4090 RTX is simply a beast that kind of begs the question: why doesn’t AMD make a Threadripper-like GPU to match it? Maybe next year, but while Intel remains the standard enterprise processor, AMD has overtaken Intel in performance.
I’ll do a head-to-head on AMD, Nvidia, and Intel GPUs over the holidays, but when it comes to ultimate performance, AMD on CPUs and Nvidia on GPUs led the pack in 2022.
So far no one has found a phone I like better than the Microsoft Surface Duo 2. I know I’m a special case, but when my wife and I go out and we both use our phones ( she has a purple iPhone), more people come to me asking about my phone than hers by a factor of about eight to one.
Thing is, I’m a reader, and I use my phone to read books when I’m waiting in line, when I’m stopped in traffic, and when I’m waiting at a traffic light (not when the car is moving).
This phone has become the one thing I never leave because I get bored easily. But if I can open a book, the wait time flies by, and I appreciate the extra attention the phone gives me.
So for how I use a phone, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 phone ranks number one. It feels and works like a book better than any other I’ve tried, including other foldable phones – and I have to admit, having something more exclusive than your typical smartphone is important to me.
The reason I’m highlighting the company’s BlackBerry rather than its individual products like Cylance and AtHoc is that it’s the company that stepped in to help Ukraine fight off Russia’s attack by deploying thousands of experts, by partnering with several companies to protect the Ukrainian people. its key mission.
The result is that Ukraine is safer, but also that BlackBerry products are the only ones in their category that have really proven themselves. Combat testing is crucial, as Germany recently discovered. His tanks which were supposed to be nearly invincible were anything but something that would have been problematic if needed in a war.
BlackBerry Network Operations Center in Waterloo, Canada | Image credit: BlackBerry
There are many hostile states and powerful organizations around the world that want to hurt us, and it is my opinion that only battle-tested security tools will be up to the task, because only those tools will have truly been tested. against the highest threat levels. .
We all want to feel safe, but I don’t want a false sense of security and I want to know that my protections are working. By helping Ukraine, BlackBerry has ensured that its security and safety products will work in the most hostile conditions. By doing something incredibly good, BlackBerry has also helped itself and its customers by ensuring that its tools are up to the task.
I’d like other tech companies to learn from BlackBerry’s efforts because if there ever was a time when we needed proven capabilities, it’s now. Thus, BlackBerry is my Product/Company of the Year for 2022. Special credit goes to John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, who recognized this critical need for proven security tools and together with his team stepped up to provide them.
I hope you are all staying safe and having a great New Year. We will come back next week with my predictions for 2023.