Technology: Top 10 gadgets of 2010
This was the year of the iPad, High-definition 3D TVs’ and controller-free gaming. While those technologies may not take us to Mars, they will make our lives more fulfilling and fun. Here are the top 10 gadgets of 2010.
The iPad has resurrected the market for tablet computers since its introduction in January, combining the mobility of a smartphone with the speed of a laptop. The 9.7 inch touch-screen device is a little smaller than a regular notebook computer and is designed for surfing the Web, watching movies and reading. In addition to running thousands of third-party apps made specifically for the device, the iPad also supports most of the 300,000 apps designed for iPhone and iTouch.
Barnes & Noble unveiled the latest iteration of its Nook e-reader, which features a 7 inch color touch screen, Wi-Fi browsing and plenty of extras. Readers can store up to 8GB worth of material on the device and choose from more than 2 million titles and an array of magazines and newspapers in the Barnes & Noble Nookbook store. Heap on top of that support for PDF and Word documents, audio and MP3 playback and some video formats and you have an e-reader packed with some of the powers of a tablet.
Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360
This controller-free gaming system plugs into Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and allows users to control movements on-screen simply by using gestures and voice commands. Like Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s Move motion-sensing game systems, Kinect is aimed at average players instead of hardcore gamers. The system comes with one set of games called “Kinect Adventures”, scenarios where players navigate courses on fast-flowing rivers, underwater and in space. Other available titles include Kinect Sports, Dance Masters and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Samsung Galaxy S smartphone
Part of the Android boom sweeping the mobile world, Samsung found a hit in the high-end smartphone category with its Galaxy S handset. Billed as a competitor to Apple’s iPhone, the handset runs on Google’s flagship mobile operating platform and boasts a sleek high-resolution 4 inch touch screen, a powerful processor and a 5 megapixel camera with HD video capture.
Boxee Box by D-Link
The Boxee Box joins the growing list of devices designed to bring the power and entertainment of Web to your TV (hello Apple TV, Google TV and Roku). Easy setup, a slick user interface and a dual-sided remote that includes a QWERTY keyboard for searching content have all drawn praise in early reviews, and Boxee promises to beef up its movie and TV content with access to Hulu Plus and Netflix soon. The device, built by network and harddrive manufacturer D-Link, comes equipped with a variety of apps out of the box, ranging from YouTube to Flickr to Pandora’s music streaming service
11-inch MacBook Air
Apple’s thinnest, lightest Mac laptop yet fuses features from its popular iPhone and iPad with its traditional line of personal computers. Utilizing flash storage like the iPad rather than hard drives like conventional computers, it can power up almost instantly from standby mode and store data twice as quickly as a standard hard drive. Apple will also bring a version of its mobile applications store to the Mac, meaning users can load up the laptop with iPad features.
Dell Inspiron Duo
For those who can’t decide between buying a notebook or a tablet, there’s a new option in town: the Dell Inspiron Duo. The new 10-inch touchscreen looks and runs like a portable tablet but can also be popped into a laptop shell and used like a traditional notebook. Inside, the hybrid sports a dual-core Atom processor and runs Windows 7 premium.
Google Nexus One
For those who can’t decide between buying a notebook or a tablet, there’s a new option in town: the Dell Inspiron Duo. The new 10 inch touchscreen looks and runs like a portable tablet but can also be popped into a laptop shell and used like a traditional notebook. Inside, the hybrid sports a dual-core Atom processor and runs Windows 7 premium.
Canon PowerShot S95
Positioned to become another photography-fan favorite, the new PowerShot S95 camera, sibling of the popular PowerShot S90 camera, has been enhanced with 720p HD video capability and in-camera HDR scene mode. For macro-photography enthusiasts, Canon has built its Hybrid IS technology into the PowerShot S95 camera to compensate for angular and shift camera shake, making it the first PowerShot model to feature Hybrid IS technology. The camera also sports a 3.8x optical zoom and an f/2.0 lens that opens up to 28mm wide with Canon`s Optical Image Stabilization technology, giving consumers a great, wide-angle lens with excellent focus.
Panasonic Viera 3D HDTV
Judging by the amount of hype surrounding 3D TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, 2010 seemed destined to be a year in which consumers openly embraced the technology. Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and Sharp all unveiled 3D capable sets this year, but sky-high prices and a lack of available content have made it a tough sell with consumers. Panasonic’s flagship Viera 3D HDTV stands as one of the most talked about plasma models released this year, drawing positive reviews of its 3D and overall picture quality. It also includes 3D glasses and gives viewers the option of switching back to 2D.