SLIDESHOW

In Pictures: Most Anticipated Products of the Year

No matter when we plan our awards issue, a few hot products just miss the cutoff date. Here are a few that might be worth waiting for.

Apple iPhone (June)

Reality Distortion Field aside, the iPhone is the real deal. While the lockout of third-party apps is disappointing, the preproduction version of Apple's uberdevice had the best mobile browser we've ever seen, an incredibly slick touch-screen interface, and some innovative and useful e-mail, voice, and text messaging features. Here's hoping Apple gets that software keyboard right.

AMD Phenom (summer 2007)

There's a lot riding on this CPU and its 65nm manufacturing process. Can AMD recapture the performance lead? Can it at least catch up to Intel? By all accounts, the Barcelona architecture has a very modular design that AMD should be able to scale for years. However, not too long after Phenom launches, Intel should be ready with its own new offering, Penryn.

Intel Penryn (Q1 2008)

Intel may have a serious performance lead with its Core 2 Duo, but the company isn't resting on its laurels. Samples of Penryn, Intel's successor to Core 2 Duo, are already running at over 3 GHz in labs, and Intel's first benchmarks of the new chips showed some impressive gains in gaming and video editing. Penryn will be the first mainstream CPU manufactured through a 45nm process with high-K metal gates, which lets Intel continue upping clock speeds while keeping power requirements constant.

Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" (October 2007)

Supposedly delayed so Apple could finish the iPhone, this latest OS X update will include official support for dual-booting through Boot Camp. Also on tap: an automatic-backup feature called Time Machine, continuing iChat improvements, and some other cool tricks yet to be disclosed.

Rock Band (Q4 2007)

This second Guitar Hero follow-up adds bass, drum, and vocal parts so you really can get the band back together. Rock on!