We spend a good chunk of our time here at DVICE writing about fun gadgets and cool pieces of gear (the butter cutter notwithstanding), and occasionally we come across something that’s truly amazing: a piece of technological wizardry so deftly put together in either form or function that it crosses the line from “That’s cool,” to “I want one now.”
2007 had its share of breakthrough technology. Each team member at DVICE picked his or her favorite product from the year's many debuts, and we've compiled them into an incredible new literary device that we think will be big in 2008: the List. Click Continue to see 10 of our favorite tech products of 2007.Sirius Stiletto 2 Portable Satellite Radio
Like most gadget guys, I'm a nerd. And as a nerd, I have idol worship-style devotion to Howard Stern — who is all the geekier for being the icon of satellite radio. Sirius's Stiletto 2, then, is like a pocket-size audio Bible to me, providing several opportunities throughout my day to worship Howard and the gutter saints Artie, Richard Christie, Eric the Midget, and all the rest. Six-hour chunks of the Show (and, yes, any of the other music, news, or talk stations) can be recorded TiVo-style on the portable player, so I can listen while underground or on a flight. Even better, it picks up live broadcasts via the sufficiently dorky headphones (with antenna) or Wi-Fi. OK, so it's not the first handheld portable satellite receiver, or the first with recording capabilities, but it's the best that I own… at least until the oft-delayed Slacker portable finally arrives. — Matt Schneiderman
How important is this product? I've stopped reviewing cellphones. Each time I had to lay my iPhone down to review a different phone, my review started off with "Compared to the iPhone…" and ended with "…it can't compare with the iPhone." I'm spoiled. I'm a country boy who's been to the big city and can't go back. Yeah, other phones can do what iPhone does. What naysayers don't get is that it's not only what iPhone does but how it does it. A Chevy and a Lamborghini do the same thing, too, but which would you rather drive?
— Stewart Wolpin
LG BH100 Blu-ray/HD DVD Player
Sure the Blu-ray/HD DVD war is getting old, so instead of having each side battle each other, LG decided to make peace and deliver a player that supports both formats. There are certainly some downsides #&8212; it's slow in booting up, doesn't support all the features of HD DVD, and it costs $1,000, but for those of us who were eager to jump on the bleeding edge, it's an ideal product. Besides, who wants to buy two separate players just to watch movies in high-def? But as 2008 kicks off, don't rush out and buy this player, as LG has just released the BH200 that includes better HD DVD support. — Stephen Schleicher
Garmin Edge 705 GPS
The Garmin Edge 705 is the long-awaited follow-up to the Edge 305, a revolutionary GPS unit designed specifically for cycling. While the already-cool 305 would record your journey and let you upload to either Garmin's own Training Center or online to MotionBased, letting you see exactly where you've been overlaid on a Google Map or even fly over your route on Google Earth, it only tells you where you've been. The new 705 tells you both where you've been and where you're going. The 705 had built-in maps, so you can see where you are, program in a course to follow, along with a virtual training partner, and do all the after-workout analysis. The built-in heart-rate monitor is a bonus. — Leslie Shapiro
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema Projector
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080p three-LCD projector combined with Elite’s Cinetension Electric 84-inch motorized screen gave my home theater a major upgrade in '07. As a reviewer, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of testing various different plasma and LCD displays, and even though most of them were quite impressive, there's nothing, nothing like watching HD shows or sports with a HD projector on a high-quality screen. You could imagine my disappointment when I had to return it.
— Ken Sander
Winter Xbox 360 Update
My favorite innovation wasn't all that big a deal to most people, but it made a big difference in my life: the Winter Xbox 360 update that allowed playing of Xvids and DivX files on my entertainment system. What did that mean? Well, before, if you wanted to watch videos on your Xbox, you had to convert them to a proprietary format that wasn't very common. With this new update, virtually any file downloaded from the depths of the Internet can be streamed to the system. That means that any show or movie that I downloaded via BitTorrent (legally, of course) is now free from the shackles of my computer, playable on my big ol' TV either through my home network or via a USB thumb drive. It's certainly the innovation that's impacted how I use technology the most this year, from my computer to my Xbox to my TV. Thanks, Winter Xbox 360 update! — Adam Frucci
TiVo HD for $300
Hands down, my favorite gadget from 2007 has to be the TiVo HD. It could be because the TiVo HD was my first experience with the bloop-blooping service, but regardless, never again will I be forced to endure the trials and tribulations of using a cable-provided DVR. TiVo's software suite only complements the great hardware. TiVo HD just isn't a piece of my entertainment center, it is a part of my family now. — Travis Hudson
One of the tech advancements that I was most excited about this year was Sony's CyberShot DSC-T2 camera. It's probably not the best camera on earth (it certainly hasn't gotten the best reviews), but it comes with 4GB of internal memory without sustaining a huge price jump from previous models. The most memory I've ever needed in an SD or XD card was 2GB, so most people who own the DSC-T2 probably won't bother with a memory stick or card reader at all. I'm hoping that bigger internal memory will be a trend we'll see in 2008 in point-and-shoot cameras from every brand. In the future, it should be a consumer expectation, not an extra. — S.E. Kramer
i.C. Hexapod Robot
There are few things that interest me more than a well done hobby robot, and the i.C. Hexapod is the best I saw this year. Despite taking on the shape of a horrifying robotic spider, i.C. manages to allay any fears with its whimsical swaying motions and attentive face tracking. It even makes friends, uploading the pictures it takes of people to a website. Creator Matt Denton has truly designed a unique companion for himself with the Hexapod.
— Kevin Hall
Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card
Pretty much every weekend in 2007 I’ve set the goal to finally put all my digital pictures on my Flickr feed. And every weekend I never got around to it. It’s not like the process is cumbersome — finding the USB cable to connect my camera to my MacBook is probably the most challenging part — but it is a process. The Eye-Fi card makes uploading digital pics as easy as breathing, throwing your photos online automatically, directly from the camera. All I have to do is get the cam inside the range of my apartment’s Wi-Fi access point. Hell, I was going to do that anyway! — Peter Pachal