SLIDESHOW

In Pictures: The Top 20 Products of the Year

Innovative Web Applications, powerful processors, spectacular HDTVs, and creative game consoles--here are our top 20 products of the year.

#1 Google Apps Premier Edition (Web applications)

Google's Docs & Spreadsheets (soon to be joined by a PowerPoint-esque presentation application) already makes for an interesting alternative to Microsoft Office. Combine it with Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar, and suddenly nearly all of your basic productivity programs and data can be available online. For small businesses, Google Apps Premier Edition adds capacity, support services, and tools for integrating existing infrastructure so that all your employees can use Google's powerful Web apps--no matter where they are. Printouts may never die, but if Google has its way, the office-less office may become a reality long before the paperless one does. Review | Vendor Site

#2 Intel Core 2 Duo (desktop CPU)

It's superfast, it's not too expensive, and it uses less energy than its predecessor does. But could Core 2 Duo be too good? Unless AMD can respond to its startling success, the absence of competition could drive up desktop PC prices. That's how terrific this CPU is. Review | Check Prices

#3 Nintendo Wii (game console)

Readers went gaga for the first game console to get nongamers hooked on gaming, nominating it more than any other product. With motion-sensitive controls and a slate of fun games for all ages, Nintendo really has something with the Wii. Now if only we could find one for sale... Review | Check Prices

#4 Verizon FiOS (Internet service)

Supplying enough bandwidth to offer IPTV plus Internet access at up to 30 megabits per second, fiber is the way of the future. As of this writing, FiOS users on BroadbandReports.com gave the service an 84 percent satisfaction rating. Vendor Site

#5 RIM Blackberry 8800 (smart phone)

Take one sweet smart phone, and add GPS. With no camera but some serious e-mail mojo, the 8800 is all business. Review | Check Prices

#6 Parallels Desktop (virtualization software)

A Mac OS application in PC World's Top 10? You bet. With a simple interface and improving 3D acceleration, Parallels offers the slickest way to run Windows (or any other OS) on Apple's beautifully designed Intel-based hardware. Review | Check Prices

#7 Pioneer Elite 1080p PRO-FHD1 (plasma HDTV)

In a crowded field of nice-looking HDTVs, Pioneer's high-res Elite series plasma stands alone as the display that everyone wants. If you have the means, we highly recommend it. Check Prices

#8 Infrant Technologies ReadyNAS NV (network-attached storage device)

Great for backups or shared storage, Infrant's 1TB ReadyNAS performs well and includes helpful features such as uPNP support and a built-in print server. Check Prices

#9 Apple Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" (operating system)

Quick: Name a good Vista feature that goes beyond what's in Tiger. Yeah, we can't either. Review | Check Prices

#10 Adobe Premiere Elements 3 (video editing software)

Like the rest of Adobe's Elements products, Premiere gives you just the video editing features you need at a reasonable price. Review | Check Prices

#11 Apple TV (media-streaming device)

Apple's media streamer focuses on doing a beautiful job at a few key tasks. Now that it's out in the wild, hackers can focus on making it do a bunch more cool things. Review | Check Prices

#12 Samsung Syncmaster 244T (wide-screen monitor)

The 24-inch wide-screen LCD has been this year's hot display format, and Samsung's model is one of the best, with outstanding image quality and lots of useful features. Review | Check Prices

#13 BillP Studios WinPatrol (system utility)

When programs install themselves, WinPatrol watches your back, ensuring that tray icons, update checkers, and other random junk show up on your PC only if you allow them. Download

#14 HP dv9000t (power notebook)

This attractive 17-inch notebook is a terrific performer when properly equipped. An optional HD DVD drive lets you rock the HD movies on its WXGA+ screen. Review | Check Prices

#15 McAfee SiteAdvisor (security software)

The free version of SiteAdvisor can warn you away from spyware, adware, or phishing sites before you visit them, giving you some peace of mind during your Web surfing. Download

#16 Ubuntu 7.04 (operating system)

Fast and friendly, Ubuntu has solidified itself as the one Linux distribution that Linux geeks love and newbies can comfortably use. Even Dell turned to the 7.04 version of Ubuntu when it announced its intention to preload some systems with Linux. Review

#17 Pandora.com (digital music site)

Sadly, the current scrap over Internet-radio royalty payments may turn this award into a eulogy for Pandora, a nifty Internet radio service that learns your preferences and plays songs you've never heard but will probably like. Review

#18 Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite (game console)

The high-end 360 now ships with 1080p support and a 120GB hard drive, but it's the Xbox Live service, and the games and downloadable video on it, that make Microsoft's console really shine. Review | Check Prices

#19 Paint.net (image editing software)

This open-source photo editing application packs tons of muscle into a measly 1.3MB download that doesn't cost a dime. Impressive. Download

#20 Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (hard drive)

Sure, it's pricey, but Hitachi's 1TB monster isn't just a big hard drive: It aced our performance tests. Review | Check Prices