FinancesOnline.com has sent us their picks for the best and worst tech products of 2013. Since I agree with most of it, I thought it was worth reposting their infographic. Topics covered include smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, laptops, wearable tech, mobile OS, apps, and other gadgets, which are each ranked into four categories:
- Winners: They’re a cut above the rest. Best in class. Clear standouts.
- Contenders: Would have been winners, but beaten to the tape by millimeters.
- Game changers: There’s something to them that might upset the old order and start a whole new way of doing things.
- Clunkers: Bright ideas when they were rolled out, but consumers didn’t think so.
Delve into the infographic below, and let us know what you think they got right and wrong.
- Winner: Apple iPhone 5s [$649]. Beautiful design, super-fast 64-bit processor, and fantastic camera make this possibly the best smartphone ever made.
- Contender: HTC One [$599]. Easily the most stunning Android smartphone, it’s highly praised by reviewers but suffers from anemic sales.
- Clunker: Blackberry Z10 [$580]. This was intended to be Blackberry’s hero phone, the savior of a sinking ship. Didn’t happen.
- Game Changer: Motorola Project Ara [$350]. First to build on the Phonebloks project, which promises to make all essential phone components upgradable. 2014 might see the first Project Ara “phone worth keeping.”
- Winner: Apple iPad Air [$499]. Slimmer and sexier, the iPad Air has a 64-bit processor for a total package that combines portability, power and productivity.
- Contender: Google Nexus 7 . The second-gen Nexus 7 has the highest resolution display ever seen on a tablet.
- Clunker: Microsoft Surface RT [$500]. Nine months after the tablet’s release, Microsoft announced a $900-million write-down because of unsold Surface RTs.
- Game Changer: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX [$229]. Using the Mayday button, customers get free 24/7/365 tech support via video chat.
- Winner: Apple MacBook Pro 13” Retina [$1,099]. Still the best all-around laptop you can buy, with amazing battery life that can go 13.5 hours.
- Contender: Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus [$1,400]. Simply the best Windows laptop currently in the market, with an unprecedented 3200 x 1800 display running a full 12 hours.
- Clunker: Google Chromebook Pixel [$1,299]. Gorgeous hardware with limited functionality at a price way more than more powerful competition.
- Game Changer: Asus Taichi [$1,300]. Dual 1080p IPS displays on both sides of the lid, anyone? A productivity boost for business meetings, surely, but will consumers agree in 2014?
- Winner: Sony PlayStation 4 [$399]. Absolutely and unashamedly focused on being the best game console in the market, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
- Contender: Microsoft Xbox One [$499]. Mainly a fabulous gaming device, but with only a few fabulous games right now. Wants to take over your living room in the next decade.
- Clunker: Ouya [$100]. Console shortages, half-baked firmware and a lack of apps plague this successful Kickstarter startup.
- Game Changer: Oculus Rift [$300]. Designed for immersive gaming, it plunges wearers into a virtual world. Will cause a stir if released for retail in 2014.
- Winner: Pebble Smartwatch [$150]. Pebble is taking smartwatches mainstream with an e-paper display, useful apps and a low price.
- Contender: Misfit Shine [$100]. A quarter-sized activity tracker that awards users points for walking, running and swimming among other activities.
- Clunker: Samsung Galaxy Gear [$300]. Overpriced, oversized, and overly dependent on a companion Samsung device.
- Game Changer: Google Glass [$1500]. A wearable breakthrough, Glass lets you snap pictures, get directions, speak to text and a whole lot more. Projected to launch in Q4 of 2014.
- Winner: Google Chromecast [$35]. Stream videos and other content from your laptop, tablet or phone to the big screen, no wires involved.
- Contender: Nest Protect [$130]. A smoke and carbon-monoxide detector the delivers alarms in a calm female voice.
- Clunker: HapiLabs Hapifork [$100]. Monitors how fast you’re shoveling food into your mouth, but can’t tell whether it’s healthy stuff or junk food.
- Game Changer: Leap Motion [$80]. Leap Motion can read your hand gestures for doing everything from gaming to exploring the universe on your PC. An improved version with enhanced functionality is expected in 2014.
- Winner: Waze [Free]. Turn-by-turn GPS directions, and alerts for speed traps, accidents and slowdowns provided by the Waze user community. You’re expected to contribute information to, too.
- Contender: Blackberry Messenger [Free]. The handsets might be dying, but the Messenger lives on. 24 hours after release, it notched a combined 10 million downloads on iOS and Android.
- Clunker: Twitter #music [Free]. Just because we both follow Barack Obama doesn’t mean we both like One Direction. ‘Nuff said.
- Game Changer: Tinder [Free]. It’s changing the way people meet people in real life. The double opt-in algorithm means you get to chat with people you like who also like you. Continued success expected in 2014 and beyond.
- Winner: Android 4.4 KitKat [Free]. A stunningly good operating system that feels every bit as up-to-date and modern as iOS 7, if not more so.
- Contender: Apple iOS 7 [Free]. iOS 7 with its new flat UI remains an excellent operating system but doesn’t match the power and flexibility of its rival.
- Clunker: Blackberry BB10 [Free]. Not at the level of Android or iOS, but could have given Windows Phone a run for the money. Sadly, a lack of killer apps kills the whole package.
- Game Changer: Ubuntu [Free]. Streamlined and more intelligently designed, all it needs is dedicated hardware to really fly.