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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.

50. Alienware M17x-R4 (gaming laptop) 

This luggable laptop is just the ticket for LAN parties and dorm rooms. Its no Ultrabook, tipping the scales at 11-plus pounds, but it packs the fastest mobile GPU available; a gorgeous 17-inch, 1080p display; and a great keyboard. It runs current-generation PC games with nary a hiccup.

51. Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover (iPad keyboard)

If you have an iPad, you need a cover. And if you intend to do serious work on that iPad, you need a real keyboard. Logitech fills both needs with one slick device that adds just 12 ounces to the weight of a bare iPad.

52. The Walking Dead (videogame) 

This adventure gameset in a zombie apocalypse where players must make difficult choicesis easily one of the best games of 2012. Based on Robert Kirkmans graphic novels, the first season of this game consists of five downloadable episodes that can be completed in 2 to 3 hours each.

53. Vivint Home Automation (home control/security system)

The era of the smart home is dawning, and Vivint is one reason why: Sign a $69-per-month contract and you get a sophisticated home security and automation system (alarm, electronic door lock, door/window sensors, lighting controls, an IP camera, and a programmable thermostat) installed for just $199.

54. Sensible Vision Fast Access (facial-recognition software)

Stop memorizing passwords. Show your mug to your smartphone, tablet, or PC, instead. This facial-recognition software will then require you to identify a secret symbol to gain access to secure apps and websites. That two-factor authentication will foil efforts to fool the software with a photograph or video.

55. Libratone Zipp (wireless speaker)

Boasting an attractive industrial design, a simple setup process, and clever AirPlay and PlayDirect implementations (it can create its own Wi-Fi network), the battery-powered Libratone Zipp is easy to recommend as a multiroom speaker system. If you want a portable AirPlay speaker, this is an excellent choice.

56. Vizio M3D470KD (HDTV) 

You'll be hard-pressed to find a better HDTV of this size for less than $1000. This 47-inch, LED edge-lit, passive 3D model offers very good image quality, a built-in Wi-Fi network adapter, a keyboard-equipped remote, and a comprehensive collection of Internet apps and service. Plus, you get four pairs of 3D glasses included.

57. AT&T U-verse (broadband Internet service)

Major infrastructure improvements typically occur in the denser populations of cities. So were tipping our hat to AT&T for deploying fiber-to-the-node in at least some rural areas to deliver its U-verse broadband Internet service. Its not as fast as cable, but its almost twice as fast as conventional DSL service.

58. Turntable.FM (online music service) 

This online service graced our Top 100 last year. When we heard the company had a mobile app, we fell in love all over again. The social music service works perfectly on the go, and it's fun to DJ while riding the bus. Play on, party people!

 

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