2009: Sony PS3 Slim
We predicted a “Slim & Lite” PS3 back in mid-2008. So we were a little wide of the mark with our timing, but at least we were on the money in other areas. Trimmed down to a lean fighting force, the Slim has helped the PS3 reduce the Xbox 360’s sales lead in the UK, and with a huge catalogue of killer titles, there’s never been a better time to buy one. Our advice? Opt for the mammoth, 250GB version, which can be had with a three-game bundle for under £300 – that’s a bona-fide bargain.
2009: Philips Cinema 21:9
The first/only TV to have the true cinema aspect ratio and therefore deliver films just as the director intended. Also a cracking set with a bullet-like response time
2009: Apple iPod Shuffle 3G
A bit of an own-goal this one. Over-miniaturised, with some irritating, proprietary earphones it’s also sonically a let-down. We’ll stick with the Touch
2009: Samsung LE40B650
Delivering stellar visuals and a welter of online widgets including YouTube, this cemented Samsung’s place at the telly manufacturers’ top table
2009: Sony Vaio P-Series
Halfway between netbook and notebook, the ultra-portable P-Series is a seriously covetable bit of kit: a laptop that can fit in a suit jacket pocket, no less
2009: Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1
At last, a 3D digital camera. It’s carrying a few extra pounds and you can’t print pics yourself yet, in 3D at least, but props to Fujifilm for pushing the envelope
2009: Palm Pre
We had incredibly high hopes for this one. It didn’t quite deliver everything on our wishlist, but it remains an exercise in OS design others should learn from
2009: HTC Hero
Winner of both Gadget of the Year and Phone of the Year at the 2009 T3 Awards, the HTC Hero is the best Android phone yet, and the only mobile to date that matches the iPhone in most respects – it even bests Apple’s phone in certain areas. Google’s open-source OS means it’s a joy to use as a phone, messenger, media player, browser and app platform – there are 17,000 apps and counting at the Android Market – but the Hero also won plaudits for HTC’s handset design. With its understatedly stylish looks, decent battery life and stunning multi-touch screen, it’s a veritable cornucopia of techy delights. We can’t wait to see what HTC does with Google’s high-fl ying platform next.
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2009: Apple iPhone 3GS
On the face of it, the 3GS was disappointing, with scant new features – a three-meg camera with video replaced the two-meg, stills-only affair found in previous iPhones, and there was now a compass built in. That said, the “S” for speed meant a real jump in download rates and processor performance over the 3G and maximum storage stormed up to 32GB. That’s why, despite HTC’s glorious Hero, the iPhone still ranks as our number one phone overall. Apple shifted a cool 7.4 million iPhones last quarter, a year-on-year uplift of seven per cent. Clearly, the iPhone juggernaut remains on course.