Roku Streaming Stick

Cnet rating: 5.0 stars out of 5

The good: The Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers 4K and HDR video in a compact package for an affordable price. Its simple interface puts every streaming service on a level playing field. Roku has more 4K HDR apps and better search than competitors. Its responses are lightning fast, its video as good as any streamer, and its remote can control your TV’s volume and power.

The bad: The menus can seem dated compared to rivals, and some apps use old-school layouts. Voice search and control is worse than some competitors.

The cost: $59 to $70

The bottom line: Roku’s 4K HDR streamer is one you should get.

Sony WF-1000XM3

Cnet rating: 4.0 stars out of 5

The good: They sound excellent for true-wireless headphones, with a premium look and feel. They have effective active noise cancellation, decent battery life and USB-C charging (with a quick-charge feature). Touch controls.

The bad: Not sweat-resistant; not as discreet looking as some competing models; call performance could be a little better.

The cost: $230

The bottom line: Despite some small drawbacks, these are among the best wireless headphones.

Lenovo Smart Clock

Cnet rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The good: The Lenovo is an affordable and attractive way to put Google Assistant on your nightstand. You can choose from a variety of clock faces, and the alarms are highly customizable. The sunrise alarm feature is particularly neat.

The bad: The touchscreen is much more limited than other smart displays — you can’t watch videos, access a smart home control panel, look at pictures or use the touchscreen for anything beyond a few prescribed functions. At night, the clock doesn’t hit the right balance of visibility and minimal glow.

The cost: $80

The bottom line: It does a lot of things well enough to be a helpful addition to your nightstand.

Amazon Microwave

Cnet rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The good: Alexa voice commands add convenience to this AmazonBasics model. Amazon says it can add and improve features via software updates.

The bad: Some preset cooking commands via Alexa produce poor results.

The cost: $60

The bottom line: Using your voice to control a microwave is a natural fit, and Amazon’s pricing essentially puts no premium on the Alexa-powered smarts. This is a low-risk investment for one or two people in a small space.

The following Cnet staff contributed to this story: Rich Brown, David Carnoy, Andrew Gebhart, David Katzmaier and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit