Feature Articles

Top 100 Products of 2005

Top 100 Products of 2005

Nos. 1 - 10

Best of 2005 Award

2005 has come and gone, but it has been one hell of an exciting ride in the world of tech. From concept technologies to retail products, it has left a trail of tech toys and geek gadgets that is hard to ignore. Looking back, the editors and staff writers here at Hardware Zone has compiled a list of a hundred products that we believe made the biggest impact. Without further ado, we present to you (in no particular order of merit) products and technologies that took top honors in Hardware Zone's Best of 2005 award.

When it comes to having the best dual-core design and performance, there's really not a single shred of doubt that AMD is now leaving Intel no room for competition. Although it costs more, you get more speed out of it too - thanks to AMD's Direct Connect Architecture and its integrated DDR memory controller. AMD showed the world how a dual-core processor should be designed in 2005 and we're eternally thankful for the choice and innovation that AMD brought us.

The year 2005 was still continually dominated by Intel's mobile Pentium M processor which not only gave laptop users the performance they need, but also cooler computing with slimmer notebook designs and extended battery life. The Pentium M also made to some desktops and HTPCs (Home Theatre PCs), and is expected to get even more powerful with a dual-core sibling in early 2006.

The i-RAM is a one-of-a-kind unique product from Gigabyte which lets you substitute your hard drive with volatile DDR memory modules. What you get are incredible access speeds and a drive that won't crash even if you were to kick your PC real hard. With the i-RAM, Windows will load up faster than you can spell "Gigabyte" - backwards.

The Seagate Barracuda hard drive, in its 9th generation, got bigger and better in 2005. It supports the latest SATA 3Gbps interface, performance enhancing NCQ (Native Command Queueing) and equipped with a large 16MB buffer. Though not the fastest drive around, its solid 5 year warranty policy is more than enough reason to earn it the best honors for 2005.

The Maxtor OneTouch II FireWire 800 series were probably the fastest external drives ever introduced. Equipped with the next generation FireWire interface, transfer speeds will be as fast as an internal PATA or SATA drive. With its unique aluminum chassis design, it does not only make it look sleek, but it also improves overall reliability by improving the drive's heat dissipation.

It's not about high performance computing nor portability, but it's about style and choice. Apple introduced the Mac Mini to give users the choice to purchase an Apple Mac without the display, keyboard and mouse. We think its sleek design is what makes it a cut above the rest, and not to mention the countless copycats appearing by PC clone makers.

Smaller is better - that's what Apple wants you to believe when they unleashed an iPod Shuffle lookalike equipped with a full color screen. The iPod Nano is small and yet is equipped with up to 4GB of Flash memory. What's cool about the Nano is that it's very shock resistant and comes equipped with a large storage capacity. It's no wonder why so many users are selling off their first generation iPod Mini these days.

The Hitachi Desktar 7K500 is not only big in capacity but it's one of the highest performing 7200RPM hard disk drive available today. It supports the latest SATA 3Gbps interface standard and is also equipped with a huge 16MB data buffer. If you want it big and fast, the Desktar 7K500 will certainly fit your criteria.

Microsoft's answer to the lackluster original Xbox is the all new all powerful Xbox 360 gaming console. While it may not necessarily be the most powerful 3rd-generation console (the upcoming PlayStation 3 takes the cake), nor does it bring any new innovation in console gaming (and that honor goes to Nintendo's new Revolution console), the Xbox 360 is undeniably the hot sexy electronic chick you want to lay down next to your spanking new HDTV at the moment. It does not only bring photo-realistic graphics to life or connecting you to thousands of other Xbox 360 gamers worldwide via the revamped Xbox Live!, the 360 can also functions as a Media Center to complement your PC and supported gadgets - allowing you to stream music, videos and more into your living room. The Xbox 360 is not just a gaming console, but an all-rounder entertainment machine!

Although the Nintendo DS may not be as sexy as the PSP, its appeal lies in its unique touch-screen and voice-recognition gaming experience. Furthermore, we applaud Nintendo for daring to change the way games are played today with its implementation of a console with two color screens and the inclusion of a solid Wi-Fi functionality. The Nintendo DS is also much sought after for its distinctive games such as Nintendog, Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing DS and its backward compatibility with GBA SP games - making it the only portable gaming machine with access to thousands of game titles. Surely 10 million DS owners around the world - a statistic that even Microsoft would be envious of - can't be wrong.