Cloud News

CRN’s 2021 Products Of The Year

Wade Tyler Millward, Kyle Alspach

CRN staff compiled the top partner-friendly products that launched over the past year, then turned to solution providers to choose the winners.




HP debuted the Elite x2 G8 this year featuring a number of updates and new capabilities. The tablet offers options for its 13-inch touch display including a model with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution and up to 450 nits of brightness. It can also be configured with a 1,920 x 1,280 resolution display, featuring the Sure View Gen 3 integrated privacy screen and up to 1,000 nits of brightness. On performance, the tablet offers a choice of 11th-gen Intel Core processors. The Elite x2 G8 has a built-in kickstand and is made from CNC aluminum and can attach to a full-size backlit keyboard.

Subcategory Winner—Technology: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for Business

Business-friendly updates with Microsoft‘s Surface Pro 7+ include optional LTE Advanced connectivity and a removable SSD to help enhance security and data retention -- as well as longer battery life (up to 15 hours on a charge, compared to 10.5 hours on the Surface Pro 7). The 12.3-inch tablet also moves up to 11th-gen Intel Core processors, for a performance boost of more than 2X.

Subcategory Winner—Customer Need: Apple iPad Pro (M1)

Apple’s iPad Pro update for 2021 adds the company’s Arm-based M1 chip, enabling up to 50-percent faster CPU performance over the previous model. The iPad Pro is available in 11-inch and 12.9-inch display sizes, with other upgrades including support for 5G and a new “Liquid Retina XDR” display with up to 1,600 nits of brightness on the 12.9-inch model.

Finalist: Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable

Dell’s Latitude 7320 Detachable features a new 13-inch display size with FHD+ resolution and 500 nits of brightness, along with an enhanced webcam and a newly designed folio keyboard with a faux suede design. On performance and connectivity, the tablet offers up to the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 with vPro as well as support for WiFi 6 and optional LTE connectivity.

Finalist: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X12 Detachable features a 12.3-inch FHD+ display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 400 nits of brightness and Gorilla Glass 5 for durability. The device includes 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro), up to 10 hours of battery life and always-on responsiveness, allowing users to resume working within less than a second of waking the device.

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