Networking News

CRN’s 2020 Products Of The Year

Kyle Alspach

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




As Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPad, the latest X1 Carbon gets some notable upgrades that business users will appreciate. A new display option offers the Privacy Guard integrated privacy screen and high brightness, up to 500 nits, along with a touch screen. The eighth-generation X1 Carbon also offers an enhanced keyboard, with the inclusion of keys for unified communications, and features keys that are comfortable and deep for a notebook that only measures 0.58 of an inch thick. But the most stunning quality remains its portability, with the notebook weighing in at just 2.4 pounds. That makes the 14-inch X1 Carbon notably lighter even than other top-level notebooks that have smaller display sizes.

Subcategory Winner—Customer Demand: Apple MacBook Pro 2020

The 2020 update for the 13-inch MacBook Pro replaces the “butterfly” keyboard with Apple’s Magic Keyboard design, offering deeper key travel for improved typing comfort. The notebook also offers both eighth-generation and 10th-generation Intel Core processors to choose from, and adds a 32-GB RAM configuration for the first time on a 13-inch MacBook.

Finalist: Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1

Dell’s Latitude 9510 stands out with a number of built-in AI capabilities. The notebook’s Intelligent Audio feature lets users configure their mic and speakers for the type of room they are in, while ExpressCharge learns how people use their PC and then adjusts policies to improve the battery life. Express Sign-In locks the notebook when users walk away and senses their proximity when they return—then automatically logs them in with Windows Hello facial recognition.

Finalist: Dynabook Portégé X30L

Dynabook’s Portégé X30L stands out with a weight of just 1.92 pounds--which makes it the world’s lightest 13.3-inch notebook with 10th-generation Intel Core processors. The laptop supports up to an Intel Core i7-10710U processor and offers up to 14 hours of battery life.

Finalist: HP Elite Dragonfly

HP’s Elite Dragonfly convertible features a fresh design paired with serious portability (with a starting weight of just 2.2 pounds) and battery life (up to 24.5 hours of battery life per charge). The design of the 13.3-inch notebook features a CNC-machined magnesium body and an iridescent “dragonfly blue” color.

Finalist: Microsoft Surface Book 3

Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 detachable laptop offers choices of display sizes (13.5 inches and 15 inches) and of quad-core, 10th-generation Intel Core processors (Core i5 or Core i7). The Surface Book 3 is also configurable with double the RAM of the previous model—32 GB—and offers “the fastest SSD we have ever shipped,” as well, Microsoft said.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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