The 100 Best Products of 2006

At a Glance

Photograph: Marc Simon
You know how many new-product pitches we get every year? Thousands, each declaring that the item is the best in its category. Though many of the companies making these claims are clearly delusional, some creations do stand as superbly designed top performers in their field--and you'll find all of them right here in our roster of the 100 best products of the year.

We rated each candidate on its design, performance, and specifications. We generally did not consider price in our evaluations; instead, we looked for products that represent the cream of the crop. But in compiling our list, some products were such great bargains that we couldn't ignore them. Of course, ranking laptops and Linux distributions in one place is tricky, but we used the same scoring system for each candidate and assessed them as consistently as we could. This year we have also assigned each candidate an "impact" score, to recognize significant products that changed the technology landscape. And last, we ranked every World Class award winner by its final score, creating our list of the year's top 100 products.

We've also identified a few of the year's most noteworthy companies, including our pick for the loser of the year. And we've named the 25 worst tech products of all time. For more information see our list of World Class products.

The 100 Best Products of 2006

At a Glance
  • Citrix GoToMyPC 5

  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8.0 Preferred

  • Best Software Simply Accounting 2005

  • Vonage VoIP

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Full Product, PC)

  • Intuit Quicken Premier 2006

  • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 4

  • Nero 7 Ultra Edition

  • Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 (PC)

  • Palm GPS Navigator (3207NA)

  • Serious Magic Ovation

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 System

  • NEC 21.3" MultiSync LCD2180WG-LED-BK-SV Black LCD Monitor (21.3", 1600x1200, 25ms, DVI, PC/Mac)

  • Yamaha RX-V4600 Receiver (7.1 Channels, 130 W/Channel, 0.04% THD, Supports 10 Devices)

  • Apple IPod Video 5th Generation 60GB MP3 Player - Black (60GB Internal Hard Drive)

  • Webroot Spy Sweeper 4.5

  • Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro

  • Intel Core Duo Processor (2.16GHz, 2MB, 667GHz FSB, Socket 478)

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Dual-Core Processor (2.4GHz, 2MB, 2GHz Bus, Socket 939)

  • Seagate Portable ST9160821U2-RK External 160GB Hard Drive

  • Toshiba HDA1 HD-DVD Player

  • eVGA GeForce 7600 GT Video Card (256MB, PCI Express x16, Dual DVI)

  • RedOctane Guitar Hero Bundle (PS2)

  • Pioneer Blu-Ray Disc Writer (2x/2x/2x BD, 8x/4x/8x DVD+RW, 8x/4x/8x DVD-RW, 2.4x DVD+R DL, 2x DVD-R DL)

  • Mionet

  • TiVo ? Series2? 80-Hour Digital Video Recorder (80 GB)

  • Western Digital Raptor X 150GB Hard Drive (Serial ATA-150, 10,000 RPM, 16MB)

  • EIZO Nanao FlexScan S2410W 24.1" LCD Monitor (24.1" 1920x1200, 16ms, DVI, PC/Mac)

  • SmartHome SYLVANIA Z-WAVE DELUXE STARTER KIT BY UNICAL ENTERPRISES

  • Salling Software Salling Clicker 3

  • Mindjet MindManager Pro 6 with Media - 1-User License

  • iRiver Clix

  • BFG Technologies GeForce 7900 GTX OC Video Card (512MB, PCI Express x16, Dual DVI)

  • Channel Sources Dist. ThinkFree Office (Full Product)

  • NewsGator FeedDemon 2

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