Feature Articles

Top 100 Products of 2006

Top 100 Products of 2006



Nos. 91 - 100

Zalman's first attempt at a HTPC casing looks the part - a silver aluminum chassis with built-in VFD display and remote control. There's even a conveniently located volume control knob and excellent expansion and connectivity options. Zalman's expertise in cooling naturally plays a role in keeping this casing cool and quiet.
Arguably the top performing HTPC in the market now, Shuttle's XPC SD37P2 is based on Intel's 975X Express chipset and supports the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors. You can even run ATI's CrossFire on this powerful HTPC, thanks to a competent 400W high efficiency PSU.
For those who prefer AMD processors, Shuttle has updated its XPC lineup with this AM2 based HTPC using NVIDIA's nForce 570 Ultra MCP. That means NVIDIA's proprietary technologies like its FirstPacket and MediaShield are all found on the SN27P2, along with the standards like eSATA, SATA RAID and PCI Express x 16. This is easily the most feature-packed AM2 HTPC.
One of the first consumer PSU series to receive the coveted '80 Plus' certificate for its high efficiency, the Seasonic S12 Energy+ has an efficiency rating of up to 88% and has achieved a low 3% variation in the +12V rails for consistent performance. A smart thermal controlled fan guarantees that its performance is matched by its quiet operation.
Size does matter when it comes to cooling devices and the best example of that is the massive cooling tower that is the Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU cooler. Suitable for both AMD and Intel processors, the Ultra-120 relies on multiple heat pipes and lot of aluminum fins to achieve its excellent cooling.
With its 4x writing speed for single layer Blu-ray media, LG has set a new standard for Blu-ray writing. While it may not be able to write dual layer 50GB discs, it makes up for that with its brute speed. It also does an excellent job of supporting existing DVD and CD formats, writing to these media at a fairly competitive speed.
One of the highest-end NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI motherboards in the market, the MSI K9N Diamond supports the latest AMD processors and has two separate PCI Express x 16 lanes for SLI. Besides the usual MSI proprietary technologies like Dual CoreCell, D.O.T, and a host of other expected features from this class of board, MSI has got Creative to provide the sound with its SoundBlaster Audigy SE hardware audio.
Canon's PowerShot G series has always been the ideal learning platform for anyone looking to eventually step up to DSLR cameras and when the G7 was released it sure didn't disappoint. Now packed with 10-megapixel and with a slimmer, more sturdy metal chassis, the PowerShot G7 continues Canon's direction towards a prosumer camera that offers much of the photography freedom of a DSLR camera but with virtually non of its drawbacks. The new G-series flagship is equipped with the latest DIGIC III image processor, a fast 1.5-second startup time, high ISO 1600 sensitivity and an optical stabilizer to help you achieve brilliant and sharp snapshots of life.
Another prosumer camera that has been drawing much attention in the past few months is the LUMIX DMC-FZ50 from Panasonic. It too has a 10-megapixel image sensor and an optical image stabilizer called MEGA O.I.S. Apart from offering excellent DSLR-like operations and handling, this particular model makes our choice by having an impressive 12x optical zoom (35-420mm equivalent) fixed lens. In short, we simply cannot leave this fine camera out of our list.
With a wide color palette from its 8-color ink system, the Canon PIXMA Pro9000 is an excellent photo printer to meet the printing demands of any photography enthusiast or professional, and especially for owners with Canon's EOS series of DSLR cameras. It is capable of printing photos of up to A3+ (329 x 483mm) size at 4,800 x 2,400 dpi.

And that's a wrap up, folks! After meticulous selection, these are the hundred of the best products in 2006 that we've identified and bestowed them our coveted Best of 2006 Award. No doubt 2006 was overwhelming with platform changes on almost all the tech fronts, watch out for next year, as it will be no less impressive. Content has and will always be king, which will play a pivotal role to push platforms and technologies introduced this year into the limelight, or fade quietly in the night. As you've always come to expect, leave it to us as we bring you coverage on the hottest products, coolest gadgets and key developments that would move the industry in 2007 and beyond.