The clocks have gone back, the evenings are drawing in and the nights are getting colder. Not to worry, as we're here to brighten up your November by announcing the nominations for the annual Pocket-lint Gadget Awards. As of next week, you'll be able to find out exactly which products made the cut and landed on our shortlist.
As in previous years, we need your help with drawing up our list of nominations. To give you a kickstart, we've scoured the depths of the Pocket-lint archives to jog your memory. Now all you need to do is let us know which products you'd like to see nominated in the comments box below. We'll be announcing the shortlist next week, but until then we'll be carrying on the work that we started last week and providing you with a selection of the best gadgets from each of our 10 categories. Now, it's up to you...
Liquid Crystal Displays have steadily become the standard for TVs today, pushing out their bulky CRT forebears and putting the frighteners on the dwindling plasma camp. The most popular size for LCDs is 32 inches, with Sony's KDL-32EX503 putting in one of the best all-round performances we've seen all year. We also saw Panasonic's TX-L32V10 with built-in Freesat while its TX-L32S20B featured both Freesat and Freeview HD, keeping all the high-def bases covered.
While the 40-inch screen size is also rapidly gaining fans, we saw a fair few Freesat-enabled panels such as Sony's KDL-40V5810, along with plenty of Freeview HD models that also boast a selection of web widgets, including the Samsung LE40C650 and the Sony KDL-40HX703. Sony gave its Bravia TV range a makeover introducing the Monolithic design, as seen on the KDL-40NX503.
But not all LCDs on offer boast such large screens, Sony's diminutive 19-inch KDL-19S5700 impressed us with its good looks and performance. Brands such as Toshiba introduced slightly more affordable options such as the 32LV713, along with some models that even include built-in DVD players, such as the 26DV615D.
The fastest-growing type of TV in recent months has to be LED-backlit LCDs. Although generally a little more expensive than conventional LCD panels, these TVs offer a wider colour gamut and better black reproduction and are also extremely svelte. In particular, panels that use edge-lit LCD tech rather than direct lighting, such as LG's 42SL9000, are even slimmer still. We also saw plenty of slightly more affordable models offering direct LED backlighting, including LG's 47LE8900
Some manufacturers clearly set out to impress the design-savvy among you, with Panasonic's chic, purple-tinged TX-L32D28BP being a prime example. Sony also set a high standard with its range of TVs (including the KDL-46NX703) sporting its new Monolithic design.
Sharp upped the ante even further with the introduction of its Quattron TVs, such as the LC-46LE821E. Equipped with an extra sub-pixel, this range of TVs brought yellow to the traditional TV colour palette of red, green and blue (RGB). Philips also introduced a unique offering by introducing LED backlighting to its range of ambilight TVs, including the 40PFL7605 and 40PFL9704, which projects coloured lights onto the wall around the TV, to compliment the images onscreen.
Plasma and OLED
With the demise of Pioneer's excellent Kuro brand, the ever-diminishing roster of brands offering plasma panels continues to decrease. However, there are still some excellent screens around and 2010 saw some great panels launched onto the market. LG's 50-inch 50PK990 impressed us with its svelte profile and comprehensive feature list, while Samsung introduced its shockingly affordable PS50B550, priced at just £750. We were also wowed by Panasonic's 42-inch TX-P42G20B which not only boasts Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, but also the brand's superb Viera NeoPDP gas panel.
OLED TVs offer an ultra-slim alternative to LCD and plasma, although they haven't really succeeded in becoming a mainstream proposition just yet. There are only a couple of OLED panels available to buy, with Sony's XEL-1 OLED kicking things off last year, and LG debuting its 15-inch 15EL9500 in 2010.
Three-dimensional technology may have been around for a while, but 2010 was the year that marked 3D in the home finally becoming a reality. Along with the launch of the first 3D TVs, we also saw the introduction of 3D Blu-rays, as well as 3D TV broadcasts from Sky and Virgin.
Most of the 3D TVs launched this year make use of active shutter technology, meaning slightly bulky and steeply priced specs. Samsung was first to market with its UE40C7000 40-inch LED panel, which impressed us with its 2D picture performance as well as its three-dimensional abilities. Along with several other brands, the Korean manufacturer is offering both LCD and plasma 3D panels including the high-end UE46C8000 LED model.
The 3D screens that have launched this year vary in size with some, such as Panasonic's TX-65VT20 plasma panel measuring a whopping 65 inches. We also saw the introduction of many slightly more manageable screens such as LG's 47-inch 47LX9900 edge-lit LED screen. Along with all the models using active shutter 3D technology, there was the only commercially available TV to use passive 3D tech, in the form of LG's LD950.
What do you think?
These are just some of the fantastic choices we've had in 2010. What would you like to see held aloft as the winner of Pocket-lint Best Television 2010? What have we missed out? Which are your unsung heroes and, of those we've already mentioned, which would get your vote? Let us know in the comments below and you can help our panel decide which make the shortlist of nominees to be announced here on Pocket-lint on 8 November.