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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.

32. MicroExpress MicroFlex 37B (desktop PC)

  Its not pretty, but this model's utilitarian looks disguise a balanced, high-performance PC thats both a speedy general-purpose system and a decent gaming rig. Credit the fast Ivy Bridge CPU, Radeon HD 7850 GPU, SSD, Blu-ray drive, and 16GB of RAM, all in a package that costs less than $1300.

33. Mass Effect 3 (game)

This conclusion to one of the most ambitious gaming trilogies ever created isnt perfect. Indeed, the abbreviated, nonsensical ending ignited a firestorm of criticism from series fans. Nevertheless, the strong voice acting and action sequences propel the game forward at a satisfyingly breakneck pace.

34. D-Link DCS-5222L (IP security camera) 

IP cameras are great for monitoring your home, but configuring one for remote access is a pain in the neck. D-Links Cloud Camera line makes it easy. The DCS-5222L is a pan/tilt model with LED lighting for night viewing, a MicroSD card slot, and two-way audio.

35. HP ZR2440w (display) 

This 24-inch desktop monitor has it all: A 1920-by-1200-pixel IPS panel that produces brilliant images with wide viewing angles, an easy-to-adjust stand that can pivot to portrait mode, a four-port USB hub, and an energy-saving LED backlight. It can connect to your computer via DVI, DisplayPort, DVI, or HDMI.

36. Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 (camcorder) 

Burning up your smartphones battery shooting impromptu videos? Maybe its time to move up to a dedicated device. The Bloggie Live is the most versatile pocket camcorder around, delivering wireless streaming, peer-to-peer sharing, and image resolution on a par with todays top phone cameras.

37. Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 (GPU)

If you find the size and power consumption of AMDs Radeon HD 7970 objectionable, this Nvidia GPU blends the high performance of the companys Kepler architecture with the terrific efficiency of its earlier Fermi design to deliver a well-balanced powerhouse thats suited to both gaming and GPU-compute applications.

38. Angry Birds Space (game app)

Quick review for the 0.00002 percent of the population that hasnt played Rovio's Angry Birds: You shoot birds at pigs. In-game physics are one of the games best attributes, so it was a brilliant idea to move the games environment into space and add gravity puzzles.

39. Instagram (digital photo app)

Love it or loathe it, Instagram has driven plenty of interest in phone photography. This free app for iOS and Android devices makes it incredibly easy to apply creative filters and borders to your photos and then share them with friends and family via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

40. Arcam rPAC (digital-to-analog converter)

This device connects to your computer via USB, sounds spectacular (for its price), is built like a tank, supports high-resolution files, and incorporates a high-quality headphone amplifier to make even power-hungry headphones sing.

 

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