CG Greats: The things we couldn't live without last year

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2008: Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn't Live Without


I’m hung over and I’m really sleepy, so I’ll keep this short. 2007 was a fairly dead year for gadgets. The real 8 million pound gorilla this year was the iPhone, and that’s why it leads the pack this year as our top ten gadgets of 2007. Feel free to add your own picks in the comments but let’s get started, shall we. I’ll try drink some Gatorade and power through this.

Apple iPhoneCall it a RAZR knock-off or the dumbest smartphone on the block, but there’s no denying the iPhone defined the year. I don’t care who you show it to: the iPhone redefines the cellphone space and makes everything, including the Blackberry, look like a greenscreen terminal from 1992. I don’t care if you hate on it now — your next phone will borrow liberally from the iPhone UI and design and maybe (just maybe) the next iPhone will be the world beater it was supposed to be.

Amazon’s Kindle – This is the first eBook to stand a chance. It has Amazon on the content side, a great screen, a crappy UI, and all the problems any 1st gen hardware design would have. However, being able to carry four books on the plane without really carrying four pounds of paper is a big plus.

TiVo – I still have a standard definition Humax TiVo from a few years ago but this is the most used box in the entire entertainment center. I hope they survive next year as a separate company and I hope they make more — and better deals — with cable companies and create a cheap HD TiVo sans cable cards so I can finally watch Desperate Housewives in HD a few days after it airs.

Blu-Ray and HD DVD – I won’t take sides: both are fine standards with lots of content. Just wait until next Christmas when the Coby HD DVD/Blu Ray hybrid player sells foor $59.99 at Wal-Mart. You’ll actually throw out your old DVDs just to make room for the HD content you’ll buy. And don’t give me lip about HD on demand over the wire or air: it won’t happen for a few years, no matter how many Joosts and Hulus are out there.

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Asus eee – This is where laptops are going. With most of our content in the cloud anyway, a low-end, small machine with solid-state storage is a winner. With a little Linux, some smart design choices, and a low price tag, the eee is a AAA.

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Nikon D40 – I’m a Canon man myself, but I’ve seen some of the shots that our own Nicholas Deleon gets with his D40 and I might make the switch. It’s easy, light, and takes great pictures on the fly. I won’t turn in my Rebel for a while, but Canon better impress the heck out of us at CES or I might defect.

V-Bot Transforming Robot – This was a surprise hit at the Biggs household. My son loves to watch this cool foot-high robot transform into a truck and back into a death-dealing cyborg. It’s not as cool as Pleo, but it was fun and a good example of the future of simple, cool toys.

XBox 360 – As far as I’m concerned, the only good games were on the 360. Say what you want about Resistance: Fall of Man and Super Mario Galaxy: I’ve had more fun on the 360 than on any of the other consoles. Flame me all you want, but each console has a different core philosophy — PS=power, Wii=In utero development, 360=fun.

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The Garmin Forerunner 205 – This is a year or so old but I just picked one up for my runs. Once my body passes the last of that absinthe and milk cocktail I was drinking last night perhaps I can actually use it. It is better than the Nike+iPod for the simple reason that it actually tells you how far you’ve gone without calibration.
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ScottEVest Tactical 4.0 System – I’ve made my peace with geekiness and thanks to SeV’s Tactical 4.0 System I don’t have to look like a total choad when I carry my newspaper, kindle, DS, iPhone, and a sandwich. The 4.0 has pockets galore and Scott often has sales with free shipping and a few bucks off their gear. I wear SeV gear when travelling and it keeps me from looking like a sweatball when I land.

OS X Leopard – I like Vista just fine, but the OS X update that is Leopard has added some interesting new features to an already strong OS while not bogging things down. Call us fanboys, but only Doug — who has drain bamage, uses XP.

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