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The 100 best products of 2012

PCWorld staff | Nov. 28, 2012
Around this time each year, the editors at PCWorld and TechHive gather to recognize the best new tech products—the hardware, software, gadgets, and devices that had the biggest impact on the world. The process starts out casually enough, because editors get to name their favorites from their respective beats, and everything is included in the first pass.

14. Google Nexus 7 (Android tablet) 

We saw plenty of cheap Android tablets in 2012, but not one that was a worthy contender for this list. Then along came Googles Nexus 7, which brought top-flight performance, features, and great design to an inexpensive tabletalong with a lovely, optically bonded display, too.

15. Falcon Northwest Tiki (mini-gaming PC)

It's small, quiet and extremely fastespecially with games. This is no budget box; rather, its a polished, purpose-built tiny gaming system. The heavily overclocked Ivy Bridge processor, a fast SSD and a GeForce GTX 680 videocard combine to make this the fastest system of its size.

16. Adobe Creative Suite 6  (artistic software)

This suite is full of technological triumphs, from its support for GPU acceleration in Photoshop CS6 and Premiere Pro CS6, to Dreamweaver CS6s ability to output smartphone apps for almost any mobile operating system by transferring their production to the cloud.

17. Sony Tap 20 (tablet/laptop hybrid)

A luggable all-in-one with a 20-inch, 10-point multitouch display that runs on either AC or battery power, this could be the perfect family PC. Or is it a humongous family tablet? Either way, it shows that Windows 8 is inspiring PC manufacturers to innovate.

18. Raspberry Pi (basic Linux PC)

Conceived as a tool that would encourage students to learn how to program long before they entered college, the low, low price tag on this Linux-powered computer also makes it the perfect platform for hobbyists interested in building experimental projects. Raspberry Pi is like a digital blank slate.

19. Dell UltraSharp U2713HM (display)

This big little monitor delivers the same number of pixels as a 30-inch model in a more affordable 27-inch package. An LED-backlit IPS panel boasting accurate color, excellent uniformity, and wide viewing angles, its an excellent choice for both PC and Mac users, even without a Thunderbolt connector.

20. Jawbone Big Jambox (speaker)

Your mobile device might be the center of your entertainment universe, but we've yet to see a phone or tablet equipped with phenomenal speakers. The Big Jambox pairs wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android devices, pumps out impressive bass, and has the battery life to withstand long jam sessions.

21. Olympus OM-D E-M5 (camera)

Most mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras are designed as "step-up" cameras for the point-and-shoot crowd, but the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has the mettle to compete with full-fledged Digital SLRs. We appreciate its fast focusing speed, terrific image quality, and appealingly retro aesthetic.

22. Apple iPhone 5

Its the best iPhone yet, improving on its predecessors with features such as LTE connectivity, an improved camera, and a larger screen. It might not have the best map program, as you may have heard, but we have no doubt that the iPhone 5 is still one of the best smartphones of 2012.

 

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