AwardWiki.org
Enrich people's lives with award-winning
books, music, movies, gadgets, toys & more

PCMag's Best Products of the Year

Every year PC Magazine (http:www.pcmag.com) editors rank the best PCs, HDTVs, components, sites, and services. Plus: the products they are looking forward to next year, and which technologies are rising and falling.

View as
Sort by

Canon Rebel XSi

Canon builds on earlier Rebels to provide a feature-rich, low-cost digital SLR that produces top-notch images. The XSi ($699 list, body only) comes with a larger LCD and longer battery life than its predecessor. Canon has also added an image-stabilized kit lens, revamped controls, and SD/SDHC-card compatibility. The 12.2-megapixel resolution is magnificent.

Canon Vixia HF R300

$349.99 The Canon Vixia HF R300 strikes a great balance between performance, features, and price. It's a no frills camcorder that will produce sharp and clear video in a variety of settings, and its long 32x zoom with solid image stabilization only sweetens the deal.EK

Cisco Network Magic Pro 5.5

Consider it a Swiss Army knife for your network. Network Magic's Network Activity and Intruder Tracking are the big blades that provide information on all connected devices, while other features like File Sharing and Wireless Protection are the cool corkscrew and toothpick extras. New in version 5.5, Network Magic integrates with Cisco wireless routers and includes Trend Micro's Home Network Defender.

Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall

$79.99 The Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall is a step in the right direction for businesses that need more than just a wireless router but don't need overly complex all-in-ones. Administrators get the business featuresrouter, firewall, VPN server, and a wireless access pointin a compact box along with a management interface that's as easy as the more consumer-oriented offerings.Fahmida Y. Rashid

Cisco Valet Plus

Ever wanted a router that's a fast performer, but still easy enough for networking newbies to set up? Meet the Cisco Valet Plus. There's no user configuration; Valet Plus handles all of the under-the-hood tinkering for you, just like a good manservant. It's truly no-brainer router configuration and Valet Plus is no speed slouch, either.

Cloudmark Desktop (5.3.3) for Outlook

All the algorithms in the world can't match the human mind as a spam-catching tool. Cloudmark pioneered the concept of community-based spam filtering and uses its million-strong community to block spam accurately. Cloudmark Desktop 5.3.3 for Outlook ($39.95 direct) virtually never blocks valid e-mail in error. Where many antispam products filter only standard POP3 e-mail, Cloudmark works with most types, including POP3 and IMAP, Web mail accessed via POP3, and (for Outlook only) Exchange-based mail accounts.

Cloudmark DesktopOne

This spam filter's collective intelligence is great at telling spam from valid mail. It works with any kind of e-mail account and any e-mail client you have at home. It's easy to install and use, and amazingly, it's free!

Colasoft Capsa

$999.99 For Windows network administrators who may not want to undertake the steep learning curve associated with Wireshark, Capsa is a great, albeit pricey, alternative. Capsa works a lot like Wireshark. It's a network analyzer and packet sniffer that provides excellent visualization of network traffic.SL

Compaq Presario CQ5110f

The recent boom in netbooks and nettops shows the demand for affordable computing, but traditional budget PCs like the CQ5110f are a better value for many. The chassis is larger than a nettop, but it's a dual-core, full-featured desktop, and makes no compromises.

Corsair Vengeance M65

The Corsair Vengeance M65 may be made for gaming, but with its contoured aluminum construction, adjustable 8200 DPI tracking, and rock solid design, it's also one of the best mice, period. Buy it whether you're gearing up for hours of FPS gaming or just want a well-built mouse for work and play.BW

Crow (for iPad)

$2.99 Sunside, Inc.'s shadowy, mysterious action-adventure title impresses with not only dark visuals and haunting soundtrack, but also an eerie story that changes over the course of the game based on your decisions. Crow's later levels become quite difficult, but don't let that deter you from sampling the game.JW

CyberLink PowerDirector 12

CyberLink PowerDirector is a longtime favorite among prosumer video editors. It offers impressive performance, an intuitive interface, and lots of editing goodies. The latest version now has multicam viewing (up to four angles), 3D and 4K editing and output, direct uploading to sharing sites, and can even author a Blu-Ray disc. Considering its price, even serious video editors should look no further.EG

Dashlane 2.0

Dashlane manages and protects all of your passwords. Version 2.0 is better than ever, with automatic form field capture, security breach alerts, secure sharing of login credentials, and a new browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. It generates strong passwords, rates passwords as you type, helps you replace weak passwords, and even keeps a record of your online purchases. You can securely share logins with other Dashlane users and double-secure your data using Google Authenticator. New to Dashlane? It includes built-in training to walk you through all its password management features.Neil J. Rubenking

Dell Inspiron 545

You can find this bargain on the shelves at Costco, bundled with a large 23-inch widescreen monitor. It's powerful enough to be a primary PC for everyone in the house to use, and offers quad-core power and scads of memory for under a grand.

Dell Latitude 6430u

Road warriors who prefer travelling with a light footprint will dig the Dell Latitude 6430u, a Windows 8-equipped business ultrabook that deftly blends style and performance. With its slick design, excellent keyboard, and great battery life, it's an easy choice for those who want productivity for work without having to settle for a drab, utilitarian business ultrabook.BW

Dell Studio 15

The Studio 15 ($1,229 direct) is a stylish 15-inch laptop that outperforms many of its competitors; it led the pack on our Photoshop and video encoding tests. Photographers will like the four-in-one card reader. A wide array of upgradable features and configuration options really makes the Studio 15 shine.

Dell XPS One 27

$1,999 The Dell XPS One 27 high-end all-in-one PC manages to put almost every technology and feature we're looking for in a compact and stylish chassis. And it has excellent performance, thanks to its third-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce (Kepler) graphics. Media enthusiasts, this is the all-in-one desktop you want.LAR

Digsby

Digsby's acceptance of every IM protocol under the sunAIM, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo, you name itand its excellent social network tools earn it our nod as the top instant messaging client.

D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media Router (DIR-855)

Great wireless performance makes this the dual-band king in our tests. If the price ($359.99 list) isn't too much for you, you'll find that the feature-rich DIR-855 makes an excellent home or business wireless router.

Dropcam Pro

Dropcam's approach to the surveillance market is software first. Its CVR, or "cloud video recording," is proof of that, and the service costs you a few bucks per month to store a few days of footage. But the hardware also shines. The latest Dropcam improves on the old in every way with better optics, a wider-angle lens, and a slick-looking black paint job. You don't need to pan or tilt when you use a Dropcam Pro; the sensor is so big that even zooming digitally looks pretty amazing. Ease of use, PC-free setup, sharing video streams, and monitoring from anywhere make the Dropcam Pro a winner. You can buy one at the Apple Store, too.Eric Griffith

Duolingo

Free The free website Duolingo provides a fascinating new way to learn Spanish, German, or French (for English speakers), or English for speakers of Spanish and Portuguese. Duolingo first teaches words and phrases through basic language-learning exercises, and then lets you try translating real Web pages, based on your skill level. Other users vote on the quality of the translations, and the results are used as part of a crowd-sourced project to make Web content publicly available in more languages.JD

Epson BrightLink 436Wi

The Epson BrightLink 436Wi Interactive WXGA 3LCD Projector brings Epson's leading-edge interactive features to a more affordable projector. The 436Wi offers an attractive balance of image quality, brightness, and price. Unless you need 3D support, it's the short-throw, interactive projector you want. TH

Epson BrightLink 450Wi

The Epson BrightLink 450Wi projects with an ultra-short throw image: a maximum 98-inch-diagonal image at just 13 inches from the screen. It turns any surface it projects onto into an interactive whiteboard.

Epson BrightLink 485wi

$2,200 The Epson BrightLink 485Wi is a compelling pick as an interactive projector if you don't require 3D capability. It offers a bright, high-quality image plus innovative features, including automatic calibration and the extension of interactivity to any image source. It's more expensive than the competition, but the price includes two pens and a mount.Tony Hoffman

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e

The Epson Home Cinema 3020e offers high-quality 2D and 3D at full 1080p, both as a home theater projector and as a home entertainment projector that stands up to ambient light. It works directly with HDMI 1.4a devices like Blu-ray players and cable TVs. In most ways the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e is the 2D and 3D home entertainment projector we've been waiting for. It's an excellent low-cost 3D home theater projector as well.TH

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e

$3,000 The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e is an impressive projector for its price, with a bright, high-quality image; an absence of rainbow artifacts; and a variety of useful features, from zoom and lens shift for easy setup, to auto-iris, frame interpretation, and 2D to 3D conversion. The balance of features, and particularly the high level of both 2D and 3D image quality, made it an easy pick as Editors' Choice.TH

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020Ube

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBe is an impressive projector for the price. It delivers a high-quality image for both 2D and 3D and a wide range of brightness settings suitable for both theater-dark lighting and a family room with ambient light. Its advanced features include an unusually large zoom and lens shift, an auto-iris, frame interpolation, and super-resolution. Taken together, this constellation of features makes it a highly capable home theater projector for both 2D and 3D.TH

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 710HD

$649 If you can make do with 720p resolution in a family-room projector, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 710HD provides a winning combination of low price, high brightness, solid image quality, connectivity choices, and built-in sound system. Its 2,800 lumens will let you project a large image in a fairly bright room, and its image quality is better than many HDTVs can manage.TH

Epson Stylus NX515

Epson's Stylus NX models in the past have been home AIOs that do some thingsmost notably printing photosextremely well. But none did all things well and just missed the Editors' Choice award by a hair. Until now. With the Epson Stylus NX515, text quality is much improved, making it a top choice.

Epson Stylus Photo R2880

Suitable for both serious amateurs and professional photographers and graphic artists, the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 delivers great-looking output at fast speed. It prints on 13x19-inch paper or larger with a roll. Using the R2880 for anything besides photos is possible, but it's also like buying a hot, 3D-capable gaming system for word processing.

Eurocom Scorpius

$5,297 This monstrous 17-inch Eurocom Scorpius gaming laptop is the fastest portable gaming system to hit PC Labs, boasting the latest Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processor, dual high-end Nvidia GeForce graphics controllers, and dual high-capacity solid-state drives (SSDs). Its feature set is as good as it gets. Two things to keep in mind, however: You'll have to shell out over $5K for this kind of performance and it weights a hefty 12.9 pounds.BW

Evernote for iPhone

When it comes to staying organized and keeping track of ideas and other information, Evernote for iPhone does the heavy lifting for you. Integrate it with one or two other apps and you can't do better. Its online synchronization is effortless and the search is outstanding; it'll even use OCR to search terms inside images, even with the free version. (A premium account with lots of extras is $5 a month or $45 a year.)Jill Duffy

Falcon Northwest Fragbox (GeForce GTX 780 SLI)

High-end gaming rigs like the Falcon Northwest Fragbox (GeForce GTX 780) are made to play premier AAA gaming titles at the highest resolution possible with the highest-quality settings. The Fragbox is certainly capable of that, and it's semi-portable to boot. The latest Fragbox gives users a high-powered fourth-generation Intel Core i7 plus a pair of Nvidia's latest GTX 780 graphics cards. It's smooth as butter on the gaming benchmark tests.JSD

Falcon Northwest Talon (Core i7-950)

Finally, a reasonably priced high-end gaming rig from Falcon Northwest. This hardcore gamer PC eschews gimmicks like a flashy case for simple design, great build quality, and blistering performance. If you don't want to build your own yet want a braggable gaming rig with high benchmark scores, take a look at this box.

Falcon NW FragBox QX9650

The roaming gamer has reason to rejoice: The Falcon FragBox is now available with the latest graphics, and its 3D performance is impressive. With an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor overclocked to 3.8 GHz and a blazing ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card with two GPUs, the FragBox is quite adept at keeping you alive on the game grid. At $4,095 (direct) it's not cheap, but it's a bargain compared with high-end gaming PCs that reach closer to $8,000 for a similar level of performance.

FileMaker Pro 12

$299 FileMaker Pro 12 brings Apple's refined sense of aesthetics to creating databases. Added new features and capabilities such as the ability to embed multimedia files and with over 40 new database themes, FileMaker Pro 12 is a tool for creating visually stunning and interactive databases.Samara Lynn

Final Freeway 2R

Final Freeway 2R is a blatant Outrun clone, but it duplicates that addictive, arcade racing style so well, that you can't help but to wonder why SEGA hasn't produced an iPad Outrun. Final Freeway 2R is one of the best games on the platform, and a must-have for those looking for a fun, quick racing romp. (Note: This is a universal app that is designed to run on all iOS devices.)JW

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Region: 32349
Model: CTRPAFEE
PartNumber: CTRPAFEE
In the visually stunning world of the Fire Emblem Awakening game, you command and fight alongside an army of spirited heroes standing against an enemy with the power to destroy empires; a dark dragon whose agents include armies of the undead. Plan your attack, customize your forces, and guide your heroes as you forge alliances that strengthen your resolve in battle and shape the course of history. Lead a team of distinct characters with unique abilities, rich backstories, and evolving relationships that guide the path of your quest. Plan your attack carefully the lives of your soldiers and the future of the world depends on it.

Firefox 3.5

With version 3.5 of its browser (currently at version 3.6), Firefox showed its willingness to champion emerging Web standards and continue to improve speed. Add the new private browsing mode, improved tab handling, and incredible customizability, and you have a winning combination.
Disclaimer: All trademarks remain property of their respective holders, and are used solely to directly describe the products being provided.
Their use in no way indicates any relationship between Awardpedia.com and the holders of said trademarks.