The PC World 100: Best Products of 2009
The PC World 100: #81-#90
81. Samsung TL225 (digital camera, $330) For sheer wow factor in a compact camera, the TL225 is hard to beat. Besides including dual LCD screens (the one on the front is designed for self-portraits), Samsung provides a touchscreen-only, gesture-sensitive interface. On the downside, the TL225 supports only MicroSD/MicroSDHC cards, and its image quality isn't great.
82. Asus Eee PC 1101HA (netbook, $430) This well-designed, slim-line netbook stands out for its excellent keyboard and touchpad, and its clear, bright, 11.6-inch screen. Its battery life rocks, too, at over 8 hours. Though this model isn't be the fastest we've tested, its overall handling impressed us.
83. Wolfram Alpha (search engine, free) This radically different search engine doesn't return Web pages; it returns information, neatly formatted with graphs and images. Wolfram Alpha doesn't have nearly the scope of Google, and you won't find anything about Jon and Kate's latest fight, but for well-presented data on serious topics, it's a great resource.
84. Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition (operating system, free) With its twice-yearly release cycle, community-driven Ubuntu Linux has become the gold standard in free OSs. Version 9.04, also known as Jaunty Jackalope, includes the best hardware support in Linux history, with simple tools to manage displays and wireless network connections. If you're looking for a PC OS to replace Windows or to breathe new life into an aging laptop, Ubuntu remains the best option out there--and it keeps getting better.
85. LG BD390 (Blu-ray player, $250) The LG BD390 delivers the best Blu-ray images we've seen, and it supports BD-Live, CinemaNow, DLNA, Netflix, Wi-Fi, and YouTube. Picture clarity is amazing, though the player doesn't achieve the same level of quality when upconverting regular DVDs. The BD390 is well designed and easy to use, with intuitive menus and an option that lets you output all audio in DTS format.
86. Hillcrest Labs Loop Pointer Remote (input device, $100) This stylish device is essentially an oddly shaped wireless mouse for pointing and clicking your way around the dial. The remote is also adept at navigating various set-top media hubs, such as the Kodak Theatre HD Player. The Loop Pointer Remote requires no software; but to input text into your PC without a keyboard, you must use the Loop in conjunction with Windows' free on-screen keyboard feature.
87. Transmedia Glide OS 3.0 (content access service, basic service free) Glide gives you remote access to your data--everything from media files like photographs and music to word processing and spreadsheet content--via a Web browser over a cell phone, smartphone, PDA, or other device. Glide applications are closely integrated with the company's Engage app, so Glide users don't have to move between various siloed apps to modify and share various types of files. Glide is both OS- and device-neutral. Its apps are compatible with a wide array of file formats, and you can create online meetings to collaborate in real time with any Glide OS user.
88. Acronis True Image Home 2010 (backup software; free trial, $50 per license) Following a complete revamp of its interface, and the introduction of useful new features such as one-click backup and continuous data protection, this powerhouse backup software is now one of the most complete and convenient imaging packages we've seen.
89. Wordnik (online reference, free) With detailed definitions, synonyms, audio pronunciation guides, usage examples and statistics showing how often a term is used, Wordnik is the perfect site for word nerds (like us).
90. Intuit Mint (accounting software, free) Last year, Mint made our list of favorite sites, thanks to a suite of accounting tools that rivaled most paid apps. This year, the makers of Quicken bought Mint, but it continues to add great features at the same unbeatable price. A streamlined but robust iPhone app takes Mint on the road, and you can even integrate it with your Yahoo Finance account.