Product of the Year 2010: and the nominees are...

Well, this is the big one. Here at Pocket-lint, we've seen a hell of a lot of products over the last year - some good, some bad and some, very, very ugly. We've trawled through our review vaults to whittle down the gigantic list of gadgets, leaving only those that have what it takes to scoop the ultimate prize.

With the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2010 almost upon us, we take a look at the five devices fighting for the chance to be Product of the Year 2010. 

 

Amazon Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi

Type
E-book reader

Price
£149

Released
October 2010

PL review score
8/10





Ebook readers continue to take the market by storm, as commuters and lovers of literature ditch their heavy hardback books in favour of the lightweight devices. Online retailer Amazon has led the charge with its Kindle range, and this year saw the introduction of the hotly anticipated launch of the 3G and Wi-Fi model.

The new model is smaller and lighter than the last incarnation, while the screen contrast and the refresh rate are also better. We could go on about the spec list all day, but the Kindle's biggest draw is the exceptional value offered by the surprisingly reasonable price tag. At £149, the 3G and Wi-Fi model really is a great deal, while the 3G-less model can be picked up for just £109. This is certainly going to be one of the must-have Christmas gifts for 2010, and also a worthy contender for Product of the Year.

 

Apple iPad

Type
Tablet

Price
From £429

Released
April 2010

PL review score
8/10





As much as we hate to keep banging on about the iPad as if it's the best thing since some bright spark decided to slice up the bread before they sold it, this really is an outstanding gadget. Nabbing itself several nominations in this year's Pocket-lint awards, Apple's ground-breaking tablet is a joy to use and not just for fanboys and gadget-lovers, but for the less tech-savvy among us as well.

Our concerns that this was just a cross between a smartphone and a netbook, without really being as good as either were eliminated the second that we got our paws on that gloriously responsive touch screen. One of the things that's great about the iPad is that it's so much fun to play with. No one really needs one, but boy, do we want one. The iPad has also succeeded in more or less single-handedly kick-starting the market for tablets. But, could it take the Product of the Year crown? Find out here soon.

 

Canon EOS 550D

Type
DSLR camera

Price
£799 (body only)

Released
April 2010

PL review score
9/10





As more amateur photographers look to upgrade their equipment, quality DSLRs continue to become more affordable. This certainly isn't one of the cheapest contenders in the Product of the Year category, with the body alone priced at £799, while the setup we tested would set you back £1099. However, we're 100 per cent positive that it's worth every penny, and it's unlikely that you'll need to buy a new camera any time soon with a solid foundation like the 550D.

One of the best bits on Canon's snapper is the 3-inch LCD screen which has a pin-sharp 1040k- dots, one of the highest resolution displays you'll find on a consumer DSLR. But does the 550D have enough going for it to be 2010's Product of the Year?

 

Huawei E585 MiFi

Type
Mobile Wi-Fi device

Price
£49.99

Released
July 2010

PL review score
9/10





The use of Mi-Fi devices has been steadily growing as more of us want to be able to access the Internet on the move, and many public Wi-Fi services are still too weak or clunky to be of any use. A Mi-Fi device effectively lets you create your own hotspot that you can move around wherever you want (assuming that you've got mobile coverage).

Earlier in the year, Three updated the modem it uses for its Mi-Fi service to the Huawei E585 model, the older one being the 3 Mi-Fi Mobile Wi-Fi (Huawei E5830). The upgrade brought with it a host of improvements including connection details, battery status, how many devices are connected and even how much data you've used. Add to that the extremely reasonable pricing structure - £49.99 as a pay as you go option, or £39.99 and £15 a month for 5GB data a month - and you've got one hell of a product, and one that we simply couldn't do without.

 

HTC Desire HD

Type
Android smartphone

Price
Varies

Released
October 2010

PL review score
9/10






Android has shaken up the mobile phone market in recent times and carved out a role for itself as the main competitor to Apple's iOS. HTC has been the brand leading by example when it comes to Google's OS, with the long-awaited Desire HD launching just a few months ago. Sporting a huge 4.3-inch screen, and Android 2.2, the handset certainly didn't disappoint and has become a firm favourite with gadget fans and consumers who want a non-Apple smartphone option.

A new chipset and more RAM, combined with the latest that Android has to offer results in a very slick experience, making this one of the best mobile devices available today and a worthy contender for Product of the Year.

Which of these five do you think is the best? Have your say in the comments box below.