The 100 Best Products of 2008

The 100 Best Products, Numbers 11 through 20

11. Netflix (DVD rental and online video site, $5/month and up) Though it started as a DVD-by-mail service, Netflix offers an ever-widening array of movies, TV shows, and documentaries that you can stream instantly to your PC. With any of the service's DVD-by-mail plans you can watch as much streaming video content as you want. Site

X-box
12. Microsoft Xbox Live (online service, $59/year) You can download a lot more than game demos from Xbox Live. Other options are full retail software, independent and home-brew games, expansion packs, music, weekly video updates for gamers, TV shows, and HD movies. Site

iPod Touch
13. Apple iPod Touch (media player, $299-$499) The iPod Touch's beautiful design, 3.5-inch (and 480-by-320-pixel) multitouch screen, built-in Wi-Fi, and useful array of applications (such as Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes) outweigh any quibbles that might arise regarding its audio quality. Review | Check prices

14. Craigslist (online classifieds and discussion, free) In many cities, Craigslist is the best way to get a job, find an apartment, buy furniture, or get a date. It's not flashy or slick, but you won't see any commercial ads here, and the Best Of section is not to be missed. Site

15. Scrabulous (PC game, free) This exceedingly Scrabble-like game, created by brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, has become such a popular Facebook application that Scrabble's trademark holders, Hasbro and Mattel, threatened to sue to have it removed. Site

Nintendo
16. Nintendo Wii (game console, $250) The Wii is a gateway addiction for people who don't think of themselves as gamers. The Wii's controllers encourage players to get up off the couch and move around--and soon, to engage in actual exercise! (Watch for the new WiiFit balance board coming soon.) Review | Check prices

Apple Leopard
17. Apple Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' (operating system, $129) Vista's woes may be evidence of a general decline in the popularity of Microsoft Windows; meanwhile, Apple's new Leopard operating system has users buzzing over the Mac yet again. Review | Video review | Check prices

Apple Cinema Display
18. Apple Cinema HD Display (23-inch LCD monitor, $899) This 1920-by-1200-pixel-resolution monitor renders text sharply, and images and video beautifully. It looks pretty good on the outside, too, with its cool industrial design. Site

Twitter
19. Twitter (social networking site, free) Imagine a hybrid of blogging and text messaging--that's Twitter. People seem polarized over this quirky tool, either loving or hating it, but Twitter has helped pioneer an age of social networking in real or near-real time. Site

Pioneer Kuro
20. Pioneer Kuro PDP-5010FD (50-inch plasma HDTV, $3500) The Kuro's great design, vivid color, and deep black levels impress us mightily. Too bad you have to take out a loan to buy one. Review | Check prices

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