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Gadgets of the Year: Serious Tech of the Year

Asus double-screens and Apple chipsets in MacBooks made waves in 2020, making the task easier for ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK and BRYAN TURNER as they select the best serious technology of the year.




Not technically tech, but the tech built into some facemasks qualify them eminently in this category. Our hope is that this is the first and last time this category will need to feature in our annual choice. Setting aside medical masks, which we believe should still be allocated to medical professionals, we made selections in three categories:

Best fashion mask: Sophie Moda Ice-cooling 3D mask 

The lightest mask we have yet used, also happens to be one of the most stylish: it fits snugly over the nose, sits comfortably on the face, thanks to adjustable earloops, and looks good compared to typical shapeless and even 3D masks. Microfibre materials also protect from passive smoking and waste gas. The masks start from R129 for a pack of 3 from

Best air filtering mask: AirPOP Light SE  

The AirPOP Light SE draws on a legacy of air filtering and design to provide one of the safest face masks available over the counter. A cushioned nose seal makes it one of the few masks to eliminate eyewear fogging completely, while its 3D shape creates an air canopy that offers enhanced breathability. Ergonomic wings and adjustable ear loops round out a unique look and feel. The makers claim 99.3% particle filtration, 99.9% bacterial filtration and fluid resistance. The mask goes for R199 for 1 or R599 for pack of 4 from

Best sports mask: UA Sportsmask 

Many runners still refuse to wear masks, arguing that they are “too uncomfortable”, when they really mean they are too entitled. The UA Sportsmask from Under Armour helps eliminate the excuse, with the first dedicated Covid-19 sportsmask brought into South Africa. It is both snug and spacious, standing off the face while sealing the upper edges with a mouldable nose-bridge. This means that one has more breathing space inside the mask, so that airflow to the eyes – and therefore fogging – is reduced. And it is both comfortable and stylish. The sports mask costs R499 from

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee. Bryan Turner is senior writer on Follow him on @BryanTurnerZA

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