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PCWorld and TechHive Pick Top 100 Products in Time for Holiday Gifts

With big technology launches and announcements now on par with blockbuster movie premiers and red carpet galas, tech fans were treated to their fair share of pageantry and promenading from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and many others this year. The experts at PCWorld and TechHive took a look back at 2012 to rank the 100 Best Products that made the biggest impact, and have released their list just in time for the holidays.

Windows 8 is No. 1

At the top of the list of 100 Best Tech Products sits Microsoft’s biggest operating system update and rollout since Windows 95: Windows 8. In some ways, the jury is still out on whether Windows 8 was/is a big success, but the experts at PCWorld and TechHive credit its substantial performance improvements and bold step into the mobile/touch-screen universe with winning the top rank for 2012.

The top 10 includes many of the most popular and successful products from the year: Apple’s iPad (3rd generation, for its groundbreaking, high-res Retina display), Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone, and even TV maker Vizio’s first foray into the laptop market with a sleek ultrabook. Check out the full list here: http://go.pcworld.com/100best

Tech in the Home

The era of the smart home is dawning, as indicated by the large number of home automation and home entertainment products turning tech experts’ heads in 2012. Vivint ranked in the top 100 for bringing sophisticated home security and automation systems (alarm, electronic door lock, door/window sensors, lighting controls, an IP camera, and a programmable thermostat) to the mainstream market. Automation solutions from ADT and Lowes also made the list. Other top products for the home include a handful of wireless and network-capable sound systems and speakers, two HDTVs, several acclaimed video games, and a number of headphone offerings. Take a closer look at what PCWorld and TechHive had to say about the products from the list in the categories of home technology and entertainment.

5 Flops & 5 for the Future

For the PCWorld magazine version of the 100 Best list, editors also took the opportunity to review some of the products of the past year that didn’t quite make the impact they could have, and some others to look forward to in the coming year.

The five on the list of flops and failures: Google Nexus Q—Google’s overpriced media streaming device; Ping—Apple’s ignored music-oriented social network; Sony PS Vita—the underachieving handheld gaming system; 3D TV sets—in only 3% of U.S. households; and Windows Home Server 2011.

For 2013, the PCWorld team recommends keeping your eye on five highly anticipated products: Open-source gaming console Ouya; Google Glass—the wearable display product demoed this year; A hand gesture device for controlling your computer called Leap Motion; Microsoft’s Pro version of the Surface tablet; and the epic third sequel to one of the best video games of all time—Half Life 3.

Overall, the editors at PCWorld and TechHive have come up with a thorough list of the year’s most exciting and impactful tech, just in time for everyone to hit the electronics stores and websites for the holidays. If you’re looking for more advice about a category, or insightful reviews on all of the top 100 products, visit PCWorld.com and TechHive.com.

About PCWorld & TechHive

IDG Consumer & SMB publishes leading tech media brands, PCWorld, Macworld and TechHive. PCWorld includes PCWorld.com and PCWorld magazine, reaching nearly 16 million readers each month who look for advice on getting the most from the PC ecosystem. TechHive.com launched in Sept. 2012 and gives it’s growing audience of almost 2 million visitors a fresh, enthusiastic perspective on new technology and its active role in our lives. Both PCWorld and TechHive can be found in apps and readers across many smartphone and tablet platforms, along with responsive, HTML5 websites, built to flex to virtually every screen size.

IDG Consumer & SMB is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading technology media, events and research company.

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at http://www.idg.com. Additional information about IDG Consumer & SMB is available at http://www.idgcsmb.com/.

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