Best Gadgets of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 dt

How quickly the world of tech turns. One year ago, the iPad was still a far-flung rumor, the original Motorola Droid represented the pinnacle of Android technology, and using a Groupon deal first meant explaining what the hell Groupon was to your dining counterpart. Fortunately, things get better with every revolution, and this year has been no exception. From set-top streamers to ultra-light laptops and brilliant LED-lit TVs, here are the remarkable gadgets and consumer technology products that made 2010 a great year for geeks.


best gadgets of 2010 cell phonesThe Best Cell Phones of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 iphone 4Apple iPhone 4$199.99 with contract on AT&T

Despite almost impossibly high expectations and early issues with reception, the fourth coming of the iPhone still managed to impress with a sleek new slab design, bit-shredding processor and even 720p HD video capture. And we weren’t the only ones impressed: Apple managed to take orders for 600,000 of the phones in one day, outstripping demand for even previous generations of the iPhone.

Read the full Apple iPhone 4 review.

best gadgets of 2010 htc evo 4gHTC EVO 4G$199.99 with two-year contract on Sprint

4G was just beginning to peek its head around the corner at the turn of the new year, but summer brought us the very first 4G phone in the United States: HTC’s EVO 4G. Next-gen speeds, mobile hotspot capability and even HDMI output helped set it apart from the iPhone and made it a real contender, even after Samsung challenged it with the Epic 4G months later.

Read the full HTC EVO 4G review.

best gadgets of 2010 samsung fascinateSamsung Fascinate$199.99 with two-year contract on Verizon

Verizon fortified its once-weak Android arsenal with a string of successively more capable Droids through the spring and summer, but the Samsung’s Fascinate arguably trumped them all when it arrived in September. A heart-racing Hummingbird processor, picture-perfect OLED display and 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording all made it one of the most capable Android devices yet.

Read the full Samsung Fascinate review.

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best gadgets of 2010 computersThe Best Computers of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 apple macbook airApple MacBook Air 11.6-inch$999.99+

Considering how many times Apple has claimed that it will never build a netbook, this one kind of came out of left field in the fall. But considering we’ve never met a netbook that would make short work of games like the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, we won’t cry foul. Apple’s super-premium spin on a traditional ultraportable redefines thin without abandoning practical features like Nvidia graphics and a luxuriously large touchpad, making it our go-to travel machine of choice.

Read the full Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch review.

best gadgets of 2010 hpelitebook2540pHP EliteBook 2540p$1,099+

For those who still love to travel but need to do a notebook to do a little more than locate the nearest Starbucks and carouse through Facebook profiles, HP’s EliteBook 2540p made us realize that work actually can be fun… if you do on one of these. The super-sturdy magnesium chassis and bulletproof keyboard both promise to keep working long after your caffeine-addled brain is ready to quit, and a Core i7 processor provides plenty of muscle for shoveling data but still turns in decent battery life thanks to strategic underclocking.

Read the full HP EliteBook 2540p review.

best gadgets of 2010 maingear shiftMaingear Shift$2,239+

How is it that overclockers figured out how to cool CPUs with liquid nitrogen before simply trying to move air from bottom to top to work with the natural flow of heat? Beats us, but Maingear’s custom Shift puts the well-known property of hot air to use, and we’re thoroughly smitten with both the unusual design and blistering performance.

Read the full Maingear Shift review.

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best gadgets of 2010 home theaterThe Best Home Theater Products of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 apple tvApple TV$99

After Google TV arrived with a fizzle and the long-awaited Boxee Box somehow shipped without basic features like Netflix, Apple TV might be this year’s most promising Internet TV box. Sure, it lacks analog outputs and it only does 720p, but setup is idiotproof, the Netflix interface is the smoothest we’ve ever used, and it has that Apple charm.

Read the full Apple TV review.

best gadgets of 2010 sony bdp n460Sony BDP-N460$399.99

Ignore the MSRP, we’ve seen the N460 for as low as $145 at some retailers. But watch your language: Sony’s BDP-N460 is affordable, not cheap. The difference shows up in its superior build quality, YouTube interface and crisp picture, all of which seem to outstrip what you might expect from this price range.

Read the full Sony BDP-N460 review.

best gadgets of 2010 boston acoustics tvee model 20Boston Acoustics Tvee Model 20$299.99

The aesthetic benefits of an inch-thick television evaporate quickly when you flank it by two filing-cabinet-sized speakers and a tangle of wiring for surround sound. Boston Acoustics’ Tvee Model 20 soundbar delivers punch on par with a much larger system without the setup hassle or size.

Read the full Boston Acoustics Tvee Model 20 review.

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best gadgets of 2010The Best Gadgets of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 sandisk fuzeSanDisk Fuze+$79.99+

While Apple nuked the Nano this year by eliminating its ability to play video, SanDisk’s competing Fuze+ got a bigger screen, more storage, and hey, you can add on more with microSD cards, too. We weren’t huge fans of the touch interface, but the value alone should put it at the top of the list for anyone who needs a pocket-sized device to play music and video on the go.

Read the full SanDisk Fuze+ review.

best gadgets of 2010 apple ipadApple iPad$499+

We’ll admit, we were skeptics, too. “Who really needs an oversized iPod Touch?” Twenty-five thousand apps and over two million sales later, we’ll confess, Apple got this one right. For surfing on the couch, at the table with a cup of coffee in hand, or just kicking back and reading Wired before bed, there’s really no better platform.

Read the full Apple iPad review.

best gadgets of 2010 ultrasone hfi 2400Ultrasone HFI-2400$299

Ultrasone might not enjoy the same stateside renown as Sennheiser, Klipsch or even Grado, but that’s soon to change if it keeps producing models like this. Lightweight but sturdy, Ultrasone’s HFI-2400 took us off guard with punchy and accurate bass, warm midrange and exceptionally realistic highs.

Read the full Ultrasone HFI-2400 review.

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best gadgets of 2010 cameraThe Best Digital Cameras & Camcorders of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 sony alpha slt a55vSony Alpha SLT-A55V$749.99 (body only)

Sony’s translucent mirror technology, or TMT, could easily be chalked up to yet another worthless marketing ploy, but the results are real. The Alpha SLT-A55V boasts machinegun shooting speeds of 10fps and substantially smaller size thanks to TMT, plus perks like full 1080p HD video, GPS geotagging and sweeping panoramas. Just leave some cash for glass, because you’ll need it.

Read the full Sony Alpha SLT-A55V review.

best gadgets of 2010 canon powershot s95Canon PowerShot S95$399.99

How do you pack the fine manual controls of a DSLR into a point-and-shoot camera without burying layers and layers of software menus? Canon’s S95 uses a unique clicking ring around the lens barrel that can be customized to control any number of settings on the fly. It also leads the class with extraordinary low-light performance that makes it a night owl’s dream.

Read the full Canon PowerShot S95 review.

best gadgets of 2010 sony alpha nex 5Sony Alpha NEX-5$699.99 (with lens)

Looking for a camera with the quality and interchangeable lenses of a DSLR, but the portability and ease of use that comes with a point-and-shoot cam? This niche market is quickly expanding, and Sony stakes its claim with the excellent NEX 5. It’s the smallest of the bunch, but still snaps jaw-dropping shots and has features like a large, high-resolution LCD that pivots out on hinges that a point-and-shoot simply can’t match.

Read the full Sony Alpha NEX-5 review.

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best gadgets of 2010 hdtvThe Best HDTVs of 2010

best gadgets of 2010 sony kld 55nx810Sony KLD-55NX810 55-inch LED 3D HDTV$2,899

This is the TV that made even the video neanderthals of the DT offices stop and do a double take. Top-notch video processing makes sure everything you can feed into it looks awesome, from King of the Hill on Netflix to Avatar on Blu-ray. Although it uses LED edge lighting rather than full-array backlighting, the NEX810 still offers phenomenal brightness, color accuracy, and an ultra-wide viewing angle, not to mention 3D capability. The icing on the cake is Sony’s new “monolithic design” that makes the screen and bezel look like a solid slab of obsidian when it’s powered down.

Read the full Sony KLD-55NX810 review.

best gadgets of 2010 toshiba 55ux600uToshiba 55UX600U 55-inch LED HDTV$2399.99+

OK, so Toshiba never really built the superpowered “Cell TV” it advertised at CES this year. The UX600U is still a darn fine television. Besides LED backlighting, 120Hz refresh rates and Toshiba’s understated “lagoon” bezel design, it includes Toshiba Net TV, which offers access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and even Vudu for 1080p streaming (no Netflix, sorry). Price, if we may say, is pretty reasonable, too.

Read the full Toshiba 55UX600U review.

best gadgets of 2010 sharp lc 46le820unSharp LC-46LE820UN$5,299

When Sharp showed up to CES 2010 with its new Quattron four-pixel display technology instead of 3D, we had to wonder whether it was making a mistake sitting out the third dimension in favor of more vivid color. Less than a year later, the Quattron 3D models are out, and now you can have the best of both worlds. Don’t sweat the eye-popping price tag, more retailers already carry the brand new TV significantly below MSRP, and you’ll realize what a boon that fourth yellow pixel is the second you scope out a field of sunflowers that literally pop out of the TV.

Read the full Sharp LC-46LE820UN review.

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