The GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022 – celebrating the year’s best gaming tech

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Welcome to the GamesRadar Hardware Award of 2022.

We’re embracing the awards season spirit by celebrating some of the very best in gaming tech that we’ve tested and seen in the last 12 months or so. 

With new-gen console stock easing somewhat, the past year or so has seen every area of hardware and tech flourish. As a result, some of our favorite areas truly shone this year from gaming headsets to laptops, and from SSDs to TVs and projectors. Given we’re at the end of year two of the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s life, the peripheral scene for both – as well as for PC and mobile – has continued to grow and seen new accessories arrive in great numbers. 

We love to celebrate each year’s new tech, and this year we’ve got 16 categories, honing in on specific areas of gaming tech and gear that have really impressed us, done things differently, or been at the cutting edge of new solutions and features. Be you a player on console, PC, mobile, or across multiple platforms, everyone is represented here.

But that’s enough intro, let’s get to revealing precisely who the winners of the GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022 are.

Best gaming TV – LG C2

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(Image credit: Future)

The LG C2 continues the award-winning trend that LG’s C-series has established. The OLED screen is as beautiful as ever, while there are gaming specs and support galore, and a supreme level of image quality that’s hard to beat.

Fast becoming an established fixture in these awards, the latest in LG’s C-series once again proved to be the best gaming TV and the best OLED TV of 2022.

We found that the LG C2 gets just about everything right. It’s just a fantastic screen that offers high full-field brightness with enviable HDR handling, and it also boasts an impressive processor. The latter is enhanced by a move to Evo-class glass, and having that powered by the Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor improves HDR dynamics and ambient light viewing, all without compromising its darkroom performance. Its 4K HDR  performance is just brilliant and the upscaling of HD content is superb too.

Of course, it’s also one of the best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X given its overall gaming support and prowess. This comes in the form of four HDMI 2.1 ports, as well as VRR support, and screen sync technology too, as well as its overall image quality makes games truly shine.

Highly commended – Samsung S95B

The Samsung S95B broke new ground this year in TVs, offering a new Quantum-Dot OLED-powered visual experience that only Sony’s A95K could meet head-on. Based on OLED tech but offering a lot of what the best QLED TVs offer too, the S95B offers extraordinary performance, colours and contrast, and brightness – it can comfortably outshine the LG C2. This makes it the perfect OLED TV for a well-lit room, and it also offers plenty on the gaming front with Samsung’s new gaming hub, a host of game settings, and four HDMI 2.1 ports. A high-spec, class-leading TV.

Best gaming monitor – Alienware AW3423DW

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Heralding the arrival of OLED technology on PC, the Alienware AW3423DW is an absolutely belting monitor that channels all of Alienware’s pedigree to offer a stupendous ultrawide experience.

One of the easiest picks for the winner of any of our categories this year, the Alienware AW3423DW OLED monitor shook up the best gaming monitor market this year and set new standards for contrast, HDR performance, and response rate. Also, offering a 99.3 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut, G-Sync Ultimate support, and a 175Hz refresh rate, it really is the full package before you even look at it in-game.

Housed in a familiar-looking Alienware chassis, the OLED panel, enhanced by Quantum Dot tech, is an absolute show-stopper and proves to take gaming and basically anything else to new and exceptional levels. Everything is clear and sharp, no matter how quickly you rip your mouse across the mat, and the colours and contrasts are otherworldly – it makes every other LCD screen look plain. The AW3423DW offers an incredible depth, stability, and clarity to in-game image thanks to that per-pixel lighting; we’d never seen the lies of Cyberpunk 2077 and Deathloop look so fabulous. 

As Jeremy said in our review, the Alienware AW3423DW is surely as good as it gets in modern gaming monitors.

Highly commended – Sony INZONE M9

The Sony Inzone M9 marked a notable venture into the gaming monitor market from the tech giant and one that aimed a gaming screen squarely at new-gen console users and PC players simultaneously. And it was a roaring success. It’s a screen that offers breathtaking visuals and a thoroughly unique design, while it’s also a gorgeous and functionally impressive gaming monitor that is priced competitively with other 4K-ready monitors of its ilk. The Inzone M9 is probably as close as it gets to adding a top gaming TV to your desk setup, and it’s certainly one of the best PS5 monitors available now too.

Best gaming chair – Mavix M9

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(Image credit: Future)

The Mavix M9 is one of the most comfortable and stylish chairs we’ve ever reviewed, with unparalleled support and out-of-the-box features.

If you ever wanted to feel the comfort a king feels when he sits on his throne then this is the chair for you. Ever since one of our team made the swap to the Mavix M9, there’s been a drastic reduction in the number of times (to zero) of feeling cranky or achy after sitting in a chair for long periods of time. This seat is certainly up there with the best gaming chairs we’ve ever reviewed here on GamesRadar. 

Alongside the pure comfort, this chair gives you, you also get the benefits of a mesh chair, which means you don’t get as hot and sweaty as you do in a leather chair. You have the option of picking up an Elemax, which also gives you a heater, cooler, and massager all built into the chair. 

Of course, you get the best comfort and features from a chair this expensive, but you also get an exquisitely designed chair. Although resembling an office chair more than a gaming chair, it is still beautiful and blends in easily with any setup, whether you need a light or dark colorway. 

Highly commended – Disney Home x Noble Chairs Collection

Now for those who are bored of office chairs and need something so aesthetically pleasing in their life that it will literally make all of their friends jealous comes the Disney Home x Noble Chairs Collection. This was the most beautiful chair I ever laid eyes on, and it was also so comfortable. Although you receive no lumbar or neck cushions with the chair, this honestly didn’t affect the comfort, it still felt great to sit in for long periods of time.

Best gaming SSD – Samsung 990 PRO

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(Image credit: Future)

Easily the fastest Gen 4 Solid State Drive on the market right now, and one that puts the hardware behemoth back where it belongs – at the top of the SSD pyramid

If you’re on the hunt for the best SSD for gaming this year, then look no further than the brand-new Samsung 990 PRO. Unveiled at GamesCom earlier in the year, this is currently the fastest Gen 4 drive on the market right now, clocking speeds of around 7,450MB/s read speeds and 6,900MB/s write speeds. These are faster than its predecessor, the 980 PRO, and represent the peak of this generation, even in the face of Gen 5 drives coming around the corner.

Alongside having some of the fastest read and write speeds, you’ll also find that the 990 PRO has the fastest random memory speeds on the market right now, across all generations of SSDs.

Highly commended – Kingston Fury Renegade

We found that the Kingston Fury Renegade had some of the most consistent high performance of any drive we tested. It allows you to achieve sequential speeds above 7000 MB/s, which is relatively high for a Gen 4 drive. You also get a built-in heat spreader which prevents your drive from overheating, and this works exceptionally well. Considering NVMe SSDs are now mounted much closer to your CPU than you’d ever find a SATA drive, it’s important to keep the area as cool as possible, making this a much-needed worthy mention.

Best gaming laptop – Razer Blade 15 2022

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

The Razer Blade 15 continues the brand’s tradition of packing incredible power into an impossibly slimline machine and doing so with a flourish. 

The Razer Blade 15 2022’s entry to the gaming laptop market brought with it Intel’s 12th generation processors and RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti GPUs, while keeping the same svelt design that many have come to know and love. Despite the extra power under the hood, the Blade 15 still manages to keep a low profile. The matte black chassis maintains its durability while remaining backpack-worthy, but this year has improved its ventilation with extra vents under the bottom. Such thermal engineering means the RTX 3080 Ti inside our test unit had space to absolutely sing, which means the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3060 configurations are no doubt excellent performers as well. 

The Razer Blade 15 is 2022’s best gaming laptop overall because of this combination of sheer horsepower and portability. This is a seriously slick machine with no cut corners. That display is as crisp as ever, finally offering up playable 4K resolution at Ultra settings on the more premium configurations, all at a rare 144Hz refresh rate. That’s not something you see on many machines at all, let alone rigs that can pull it off with this style. The best Razer laptops tend to hold these top spots, but with the Blade 17 2022 still proving a little too much for most backpacks and the screen limitations of the 14-incher, it’s the middle child that takes this crown.  

Highly commended – Alienware x15 R2

Our runner-up is the Alienware x15 R2, a beast of a unit configurable up to i9-12900H CPUs and RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards. Similar to the Blade 15, you’re picking up a super slimline, crisp design here, packing an incredible amount of power into a nicely portable machine. We were blown away by the performance under the hood here. In fact, the x15 R2 did outpace Razer’s 15-inch entry in our like-for-like testing. So why doesn’t it clinch the top spot? The display, while clean and clear, doesn’t offer the same vivid color spectrum on the x15 R2 and doesn’t quite hit those 4K 144Hz heights in its configuration options. This machine also runs a little hotter than its Razer competition as well. 

Best gaming mouse – Razer Basilisk V3 Pro

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Razer’s Basilisk V3 Pro is a superb gaming mouse and will serve you perfectly, no matter who you are or what you need it for

This is probably the best gaming mouse we’ve reviewed in a long, long time, and we struggle to think how the Razer Basilisk V3 Pro will be beaten in the future. It is such an amazing mouse with so much functionality that performs consistently well no matter what it’s used for.

When used for gaming, it’s great for all genres, whether you need a ton of inputs from its 11 programmable buttons or a really high DPI – it sports Razers’ highest DPI range ye – this pointer provides everything. 

Alongside this, its companion dock, the Mouse Dock Pro, is such a great addition. It allows you to charge your mouse wirelessly and connect through 2.4GHz without taking up another USB port. It adds a lovely pop of RGB to your desk. 

We cannot recommend a gaming mouse higher than this, and this really is the best option for gaming mice in the market and is absolutely worth every penny.

Highly commended – Logitech G502 X Plus

The Logitech G502 X Plus is a great mouse that impressed us this year, and one that comes in as a new addition to the best-selling G502 Hero line. It has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold, a great feature set and it is lighter than other options on the market. You get Lightsync RGB, which is beautiful and easy to control using G HUB.

Best gaming keyboard – HyperX Alloy Origins 65

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Fast, comfortable, and practical, the HyperX Alloy Origins 65 was a sleeper hit in 2022. 

65% keyboards seemed to pick up some steam in 2022, and this snappy speedster tops our list. The HyperX Alloy Origins 65 launched over the summer, a follow up to another of our favorite decks on the market, the Origins 60. Small improvements to keycap texture, key spacing, and switch sensitivity combine to make for a particularly impressive keyboard. However, those in-line arrow keys (no more double functions) were the clincher in our decision to keep the Origins 65 firmly on the desk after testing. In a year of miniature gaming keyboards working harder than ever (Razer’s Hunstman Mini Analog brought variable actuation to the form factor, and SteelSeries’ Apex Pro Mini offered up customizable actuation distance), the HyperX Alloy Origins 65 wins out by mastering its simpler package. 

After all, the best gaming keyboards work their hardest when they help you play comfortably, for long periods of time, and with a satisfying tactility to every tap. The HyperX Alloy Origins 65 is a rare gem in this regard. You’re getting excellent speed here, with sensitive (though not too frivolous) switches, and low latencies. Those PBT doubleshot keycaps combine with particularly snappy switch-feel to bounce with a satisfying clack. Doing all that for under $100 easily propels this little speed demon into our top spot. 

Highly commended – Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless

Simplicity doesn’t always work for every setup, though. The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless certainly doesn’t keep things simple. Our runner up boasts hot-swappable mechanical switches, the capacity for up to 50 onboard profiles, and a new RGB-laden design. Packing that many features into a 60% gaming keyboard certainly doesn’t come cheap, but the scope of opportunity here certainly impressed. This swiss army knife of a deck just misses out on the top spot because of that everyday typing experience, though. Stabilizer rattle and a scratchy key press means this incredibly impressive hopeful doesn’t quite take the crown in 2022. 

Best controller – SCUF Reflex

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Launched in May 2022, the SCUF Reflex entered the market as one of the few customizable, third-party PS5 controllers up for grabs. High-price-tag aside, such a position propelled it to stardom – and with very few gamepads offering a competing level of personalization for either PS5 or PC – it’s our top contender for the year overall. With an aesthetic that calls on the original DualSense form factor, albeit layered up with the colors and patterns of your choice, the ergonomics are top-notch. SCUF stuck to the controller’s original design philosophy here – and if it’s not broken, why fix it? 

Launching in three variants; the standard Reflex, high-end Pro, and the more expensive, speed-focused Reflex FPS, these controllers range from $199 / £199 to $249 / £249. This isn’t a cheap set of buttons but comes in at a similar price trajectory to the official DualSense Edge (due to land next year). With immensely satisfying, clicky back pedals placed in a particularly comfortable position, as well as trigger actuation controls, profile switching, and a particularly grippy texture this is one for those after a little more speed in their combos.

There’s no need to be concerned about losing that DualSense feel either. In our testing, we found the thumbsticks, d-pad, and buttons to all bear a remarkable resemblance to the real thing, albeit with a little more heft behind the main body. That means this isn’t a replacement PS5 controller (or even a spare PC controller) – more one for those after a competitive edge in everything from Elden Ring to Apex Legends. 

Highly commended – HyperX Clutch Wireless

If you weren’t on the hunt for an all-singing, all-dancing $200 controller in 2022, the HyperX Clutch Wireless stepped right into position. HyperX brought its first ever gamepad to the shelves back in March, and the peripherals brand absolutely nailed its first venture. Packing Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connection with PC and Android – it may sound simple, but very few gamepads under $50 / £50 achieve such a feat. The SteelSeries Stratus+, also launched this year, requires a cable for PC play – for example. 

You’re not getting endless customization options, back buttons, or fancy audio controls, but if you’re just after a flexible, quality set of clickers to see you through a cloud gaming or to keep next to your keyboard, this was one of the year’s best value options. 

Best PC headset – SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is not only the new wired flagship from SteelSeries, the dominant force, but is our first choice recommendation in the wired market, period. The audio is of an incredibly high standard with more bass to round out the bottom end, while the build offers supreme comfort, and the GameDAC is a great asset

This is a PC headset to rule them all in 2022; and the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro succeeds in everything it tries to do. Deploying it with a top PC or laptop soon reveals it to be, clearly, one of the best PC headsets for gaming you could ever possibly use with its short-but-neat cabling solution and GameDAC combination.

It’s a premium headset but you certainly get your money’s worth in every department. The redesign that the Nova lineup has, particularly on the Nova Pro is spectacular, made for a more grown-up, less gamer-y, refined and subtle aesthetic, while also being supremely comfortable. 

That GameDAC is well-designed and easy to use and offers a whole raft of adjustments, personalisations, and EQ optimisations which really help to elevate the headset above others.  

And that audio, boy, that audio. It retains SteelSeries’ known excellence and also the brand’s characteristic EQ quality, but there is notably more bottom-end to play with. The options this gives you thus multiply and being able to crank that up and enjoy a booming rich sound for music and single-player games is just as brilliant as the default, flatter EQ profile that the Nova Pro offers by default. The audio is supreme out of the box; but even if it’s not quite for you, you can tinker easily to achieve a perfect balance and result.

The bottom line right now is that if you’ve got the budget for it, you’ve got a new first-choice headset in the wired market. If you can live with its cable situation and the potential for some wear and tear down the line, you’ll be rewarded by great sound, first-class airline looks, and an elegant base station that does it all. 

Highly commended – Razer Kraken V3 Pro

Offering something not quite brand new but certainly exciting and more refined, the Razer Kraken V3 Pro was a brilliant entry into the renowned headset series in the past 12 months. The immersion-heightening haptic tech and feedback makes games feel even more alive, action feel more real, and worlds feel more alive. Putting this exciting tech on top of that Kraken audio pedigree and quality makes for a brilliant PC gaming headset, and one that can be enhanced further through the Synapse software. A triumph in pushing the gaming headset boundaries and sets an exciting benchmark for the future.

Best PS5 headset – SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

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(Image credit: Future)

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is, simply put, excellence in a gaming headset. It’s the finest headset for PS5 we’ve tested this year, and probably the finest across all gaming platforms, and against any contender. The audio is incredible, the customisation is great, the battery solution is ingenious, and the new design is comfortable and chic

We have been blessed with a fair few PS5 headsets over the past 12 months or so, but none has been as impactful or as downright brilliance as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. If you can get past the admittedly premium price of admission, then you’ll get a headset that excels in every way you’d want and need a gaming set to. 

The audio is just superb. We’ve come to love that SteelSeries and Arctis audio quality by now, but this time it comes with even more detail and nuance, and, importantly, even more bass which helps make things even more fulsome. With further options to alter this via the options and EQ adjustments available in the DAC, the audio truly shines.

Such high levels of execution continue throughout the headset too. The battery life and solution is just ingenious: as well as being fully chargeable by USB-C and having a decent battery life out the door, the battery units themselves can be removed and charged in the DAC unit one by one while you play; meaning you’re always charged and you’re always charging. Like the others in the range, the design moves away from the Arctis lines that came before. There’s a distinct move to a more subtle, grown-up, even, aesthetic – and one that you could definitely wear out and about employing the Nova Pros as great headphones too.

All in, there’s just no weak point or soft spot to the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. It’s as close to the complete PS5 headset, or gaming headset in general, that we’ve ever tested.

Highly commended – Astro A30

We loved the Astro A30 headset this year. It channels that brilliant Astro audio quality we’ve come to love from the likes of the A40 and A50 and take is multi-platform, and truly versatile. It’s another near-perfect do-it-all, multi-platform gaming headset, really excelling when combined with the Logi G app to fine tune its wonderful audio – and you can even do that while you’re wirelessly connected to your PS5. A terrific sounding and versatile headset, that is brilliant for PS5 and worthy of the levels of praise here and in our recent review.

Best Xbox headset – Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX

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The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX iterated on an already-excellent headset but refined and added to its feature set to become probably the best Turtle Beach headset going right now, and also the best Xbox headset given its sheer audio prowess and performance 

Although there was little wrong with the Gen 2 variant, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX successfully builds on, improves on, and enhances the experience you get with the headset in almost every department. 

The sound quality is that same exquisite Turtle Beach quality, and when you throw in excellent battery life, compatibility, and functionality, the result is just an all-around tremendous headset. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re pairing the 700 Gen 2 MAX up with Dolby Atmos on Xbox Series X for virtual 7.1 surround sound, with atmospheric 3D Audio on PS5, or just using it au naturel, there is always a depth, detail, and clarity in the audio that is very impressive for the price point. In our testing, we were particularly impressed with how layered and balanced the sound always felt in both single-player and multiplayer games, although that just speaks to the quality of those returning 50mm neodymium drivers. 

If you’re looking to maximise your budget in the mid-range levels of the best Xbox Series X headset spectrum, then the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX is the headset for you in 2022.

Highly commended – SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro for Xbox

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro for Xbox was yet another model from this year’s lineup from the gaming tech giant that set a new standard in its niche. Wired Xbox audio has never sounded so good and the overall audio performance is just exceptional. The audio can be finely tuned, the DAC unit is genuinely a boon, and the sturdy design and build of the headset make for a solid and comfortable unit to wear for hours at a time. if being attached by wires isn’t a problem for you then this is one of the leading headset choices on Xbox from all that came out in 2022.

Best Nintendo Switch headset – SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 wired headset is the most simple and straightforward headset from 2022’s Nova lineup – and it is the perfect companion for Nintendo Switch offering a lightweight and comfortable solution that priorities the excellent SteelSeries audio

Proving that the best Nintendo Switch headset doesn’t always have to be a fancy-pants wireless set of massive drivers, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 shows that a simple wired one with supreme audio can be the perfect companion.

The Nova 1 entered the fray as the most budget-friendly variant of the new Nova range but immediately proves to be a viable candidate for any platform, with gaming audio that houses a strong and noticeable pedigree.

It’s particularly at home on the Switch due to its simp[licity – there’s no need for wireless pairing or EQ setting (though this is possible on PC with the SteelSeries software), it’s just plug-and-go; and without bursting the bank you’ve got downright great Switch audio.

It’s a successful paring down of those higher-spec Arctis Nova models, and sound quality has been prioritised and is the focus of the Nova 1s. The aesthetic luxuries and comforts of the more expensive models are fine to shirk here, as the headset is still very comfy over long play sessions. This is a very well-considered headset that represents a perfect Switch headset solution.

Highly commended – Razer Barracuda Pro

The Razer Barracuda Pro is a terrific do-it-all headset that is right at home on the Nintendo Switch. It’s got superb, Razer-level audio quality, decent mics, and will happily step in for any audio need like movies and music when you’re not gaming. The USB-C connectivity makes it as perfect a multi-platform headset as it does for Switch too. If you were on the lookout for a premium, wireless, multi-purpose headset for Switch from 2022’s lineup then this is it.

Best gaming phone – XIaomi Black Shark 5 Pro

GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

The XIaomi Black Shark 5 Pro excels in its performance while also offering a rarity in the world of gaming phones; a solid camera system. 

Packing extreme performance, a slick OLED panel, and as much RAM as one can handle, the Black Shark 5 Pro is the best gaming phone to come out of 2022. Yes, you’re dropping ever so slightly down from the Snapdragon 8+ processor of the Asus ROG Phone 6 here, but it’s just the + that you’re sacrificing. When benchmarks still run off the scale, there’s very little to raise an eyebrow about there. As it stands the Black Shark 5 Pro nails not only its role as a mobile game thumb tapper but also your everyday life companion. 

That’s largely due to the cameras. Before this year we were resigned to sacrificing our Instagram grids for the benefits of a boosted processor, display, and RAM. The 5 Pro changed all that on release in April. The camera quality is on par with that of a flagship everyday smartphone, offering excellent detail and color, the likes of which other gaming-oriented devices could only dream of. It does all this while still packing enough power under the hood to offer up blitzing performance. 

Not only that, but the physical pop-up triggers mark another departure from typical gaming phone fodder. While the market is still generally moving forward with touch capacitive panels, these actual clicker buttons were a joy to use in our testing and elevated play across a range of native titles and streamed blockbusters. 

Highly commended – RedMagic 7 Pro

The RedMagic 7 Pro carries the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor as the Black Shark 5 Pro, but does so with a lower price tag and striking gamified design. Between high-end cooling and speedy fast charging, the 7 Pro is the best value gaming phone to be released in 2022. You’re not quite getting the camera prowess of the Black Shark, but if you’re happy to sacrifice your Instagram feed for additional gaming software and highly efficient processing the RedMagic 7 Pro is one of the best options on the market right now.

Best PS5 SSD – WD SN850X

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(Image credit: Future)

The WD SN850X takes over from its predecessor beautifully offering some of the very best Gen 4 speeds going and making for a great value, high-performance PS5 SSD

The newest iteration of this popular PS5 SSD from WD works better than ever, operating at the lowest temps we’ve ever seen from this range. The WD SN850X comes with a built-in heatsink which saves you all the faff of picking up and installing one, and it functions so well. It presents some of the highest speeds of Generation 4, and certainly from WD, making it faster than the drives preinstalled in your PS5. Picking up one of these will actually upgrade your PS5 speeds. 

As opposed to its predecessor, the SN850, the newer SN850X is designed specifically for PS5 usage. This means you’ll find better performance when using it with your console. We found the older version peaked at 77 degrees C, whereas this ‘X’ edition peaked at a much more managed 58 degrees C, so you can be confident using it without worrying about it melting the insides of your machine, PC or PS5.

Given the thermal management and sustained performance have clearly been improved, and all of this means it’s an easy recommendation, for any use or machine; it’s just a great all-rounder.

Highly commended – PNY XLR8 SSD

The PNY XLR8 PS5 SSD is one of the best and fastest Gen 4 drives on the market and combines it with an effectively designed heatsink resulting in an amazing PS5 SSD. This is one of the fastest drives on the market at the moment and with the added heatsink, is designed for PS5 usage, and it’s also incredibly easy to install.

Best gaming projector – BenQ X3000i

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(Image credit: Future)

BenQ’s X3000i gaming projector gave us some of the best gaming pictures and experiences we’ve ever had in testing and reviewing these large picture givers. It offers the full package and is a genuine big-screen TV contender

Another decision we came to quite easily, the BenQ X3000i gave us a gaming experience we’ve simply not had before from projectors. 

It builds on everything its excellent sister model the TK700 offers (see below) and throws in brilliant colour technology to add a brilliant level of gloss and polish to its 4K imagery and its minimal input lag. 

Adding incredible colour reproduction and performance to a premium level of sharpness, smooth pictures, and overall fidelity to create one of the best 4K projectors and best projectors for PS5 we’ve ever reviewed. The quality was such that it even allowed us to notice things on Aloy’s belt in Horizon Forbidden West that we’d previously not seen! The smoothness was excellent and a highlight too, ensuring that the X300i can excel not only in RPGs but also in faster-paced FPS games as well.

BenQ and the X3000i have set a new standard for gaming projectors in 2022 and it will be fascinating to see how the next cycle and year play out in the world of projectors.

Highly commended – BenQ TK700

In a year filled with some belting projectors, the BenQ TK700 helped to raise the bar further still by nailing the combination of 4K resolution and pictures with minimal lag and refresh rate to hone a near-perfect gaming projector. Proving to be particularly excellent with fast-paced games, its performance and specs marked a breakthrough for gaming projectors. Add in overall excellent image quality, great colours, and superb performance in both darker scenes and lighter settings, thanks to impressive HDR chops, and this was – and will continue to be – a terrific projector to come out of 2022.

Best microphone – HyperX DuoCast

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(Image credit: Future)

The HyperX DuoCast is a near-perfect mic for streaming and other uses that impressed us enormously with its polar pattern options, wide frequency rate, and even its cool design and look

This microphone is one of the best microphones for streaming we’ve ever used and it really has the stats to back it up. Featuring a 96kHz audio interface frequency rate an audio interface bit rate of 24bit, and two polar patterns, the HyperX DuoCast is a great option for those looking at streaming for gamers, podcasting, or just about any form of content creation out there.

Alongside presenting some of the best features, it is also beautiful and exceptionally light in design, meaning it fits into any setup with ease and can be suspended from a boom arm or mount. It is also RGB-tastic so adds to your setup’s shine.

You can also use this mic with pretty much any device that you can plug it into, you’re not just limited to Windows here, so if you’re someone that creates content at a Mac, then you’re still able to pick up one of the best streaming microphones without sacrificing quality.

The quality was frequently so good that we often sounded as if we were in the same room as those listening to us; it was that good.

Highly commended – RODE PodMic

The RODE PodMic proved to be one of the best-performing mics of the year, and one of the best value propositions you can get right now – especially when compared to the likes of the far more expensive microphones. It’s a great-sounding mic and excelled at whatever we threw at it, from live streams to recording music, and to tracking commentary tracks for VOD content; the accuracy and clarity that comes out of the PodMic was punchy and brilliant, and you even have the ability to fine-tune it to exactly how you want it.

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