Best of the Best in Tech This Year
The best consumer electronics products don’t simply boast the finest features in a given category. They are also exemplars of a significant trend that represent a shifting landscape in the market. And what shifts there were last year.
While manufacturers continue to introduce great audio products—with Denon, Yamaha and others adding networking and wireless AirPlay support in moderately priced AV receivers, for example—the category didn’t have any standouts that matched the introduction of, say, an iPod. Consumers continued to go mobile, moving away from room-sized systems—even shunning PCs and laptops—to favor smartphones and tablets.
Consequently, in choosing this year’s best of the best, we evaluated the products’ impact on the industry and consumer demand. Here are the front-runners from the past year:
Best Breakthrough Product: Nest
Although networked home control products have been on the market for years, none has garnered much consumer interest thanks to awkward controls and arduous installations. The $249 Nest thermostat is the first to break that mold.