As in years past, 2012 saw a number of new tech products and devices come and go. Some faded quickly, but others managed to make a lasting impression. These are the ten best tech products we saw this year.
10. MacBook Pro With Retina Display The laptop isn’t quite dead yet. By bringing a Retina display to the MacBook, Apple has reinvigorated its notebook section while adding to its army of Retina devices.
9. Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad It’s a magnetic keyboard for the iPad. Big deal, right? Form factor and the timing make this a top tech product, as it came out just in time to stop Microsoft’s Surface from eating too much of the iPad’s market share.
8. LG 84LM9600 Ultra HD TV Most people think 1080p is a big deal, but LG begs to differ. Its 4K set was one of the first to release, and the 3840 x 2160 featured on it is years ahead of other manufacturers and content producers. It also has an edge-lit LED display, making it future-proofed for many years to come.
7. Apple iPhone 5 A top-ten list wouldn’t be complete without the iPhone 5. Apple’s latest smartphone added a larger screen, 4G LTE speeds and a very lightweight profile.
6. Wii U The Wii U has a bit more of a niche market, but Nintendo’s fusion of tablet and home console gaming is a hint at what the future of gaming probably looks like.
5. Samsung Galaxy S3/Note II Samsung’s smartphones went to a new level this year. With a number of software enhancements and eye-popping specs, the iPhone has a true competitor now. Be sure to check for coupons for Best Buy to see if you can find this at a better deal.
4. Microsoft Surface Microsoft’s vision for the tablet arrived this fall. In spite of the confusing commercials, the product gained a lot of attention. It’s a tablet that can run desktop or tablet apps, but it also happens to feature a removable keyboard for serious computing.
3. Windows 8 The jury is still out on whether Windows 8 will be a success, but our hats are off to Microsoft for making such a bold move. They abandoned the conventional desktop approach that made them a computing giant over the last two decades and switched to a very unique UI. It was refreshing to see some innovation both on laptops and smartphones.
2. iPad Mini On paper, there’s nothing astounding about the iPad Mini. It’s essentially just a smaller iPad 2. The sales numbers say otherwise, though. Consumers are infatuated with Apple’s new tablet, and so are we. The form factor feels so natural that the mini version of the iPad may become the new standard.
1. Google Now For all of the praise given to Apple’s Siri, that attention is being stolen by Google Now. Google’s intelligent voice-driven software lets users look up nearly anything, all while building a card-based profile of who they are to make their lives seamless. For better or for worse, Google has managed to make Google Now a central part of users’ mobile lives.